GM Mikhail Botvinnik

Full name
Mikhail Botvinnik
Aug 17, 1911 - May 5, 1995 (age 83)
Place of birth
Kuokkala, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire (now Repino, Russia)

Mikhail Botvinnik was the sixth World Chess Champion and held his title for close to 15 years. Known as the father of the Soviet Chess School, Botvinnik’s former students included World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik among many other great players. Known as one of the most methodical players in history regarding his approach and preparation before matches, Botvinnik was a true “student of the game” until the very end. He is considered by many to be the most influential chess coach / trainer in history.

Botvinnik was a Russian chess Grandmaster and three-time World Champion. He started to play chess at the age of 12 and became a National Master at the age of 16.

Later, Botvinnik held the World Champion title (with two brief breaks) from 1948-1963. Within that span of years, he lost two World Championship matches but was able to use the “rematch rule” to play his opponent again and take the World Championship title back.

By the time he lost the title for the third time, FIDE had changed the rule and no longer allowed an immediate rematch.

Botvinnik’s playing style was very strong and well-rounded with a focus on strategic play. Botvinnik was also one of the first players to prepare for his opponent’s ahead of time and also advocated mental and physical preparation before games. Botvinnik passed away on May 5, 1995.

Best Game

Most Played Openings

White Pieces
Old Indian Defense (7) : A53 A54
Modern Defense with 1.d4 (1) : A40
Benko Gambit Half-Accepted (2) : A57
Catalan Opening (8) : E01 E09 E05 E07
Benoni Defense (4) : A57 A61
Queen's Gambit Accepted (20) : D20 D28 D25 D27 D23 D22 D26
Queen's Indian Defense (8) : E18 E15 E17 E12 E16
Trompowsky Attack (1) : A45
Semi-Slav Defense (14) : D45 D47 D46 D49 D48
Indian Game (7) : E10 A45 A50
Reti Opening (9) : A05 A04 A09
Modern Defense (7) : A40 A42
Hungarian Opening (5) : A00
Old Benoni Defense (2) : A44 A43
Pirc Defense (2) : B07 B08
King's Indian Attack (5) : A07 A08
Neo-Gruenfeld Defense (5) : D73
Tarrasch Defense (4) : D32
Neo-Gruenfeld Defense with 3...d5 (1) : D70
Caro-Kann Defense (12) : B13 B10
Queen's Pawn Opening (4) : D02 A40
Scandinavian Defense (1) : B01
Four Knights Game (6) : C49 C48
Three Knights Opening (1) : C46
Petrov's Defense (1) : C42
Alekhine Defense (2) : B05
Philidor Defense (1) : C41
Italian Game (1) : C55
Black Pieces
Queen's Gambit Accepted (3) : D25 D22
Queen's Indian Defense (24) : E17 E15 E18 E14 E19 E12
Scandinavian Defense (1) : B01
King's Indian Attack (1) : A07
Tarrasch Defense (2) : D32
Bogo-Indian Defense (3) : E11
King's Indian Defense (7) : E91 E61 E81 E82 E80
Modern Defense with 1.e4 (4) : B06
Pirc Defense (17) : B08 B07 B09
Modern Defense (11) : B06 A40 A42 B07
Neo-Gruenfeld Defense (4) : D79 D71
Slav Defense (7) : D15 D11 D13 D14
Modern Defense with 1.d4 (2) : A40
Semi-Slav Defense (19) : D46 D47 D49 D43 D45 D48
Queen's Gambit Declined (8) : D41 D30 D51 D60 D52
Benoni Defense (1) : A56
Richter-Veresov Attack (1) : D01
Catalan Opening (2) : E01 E00
Reti Opening (13) : A05 A04 A06 A09
Queen's Pawn Opening (4) : D02 D03 D00
Semi-Slav Defense Accepted (6) : D44
Torre Attack with 3.Bg5 (2) : A48
Four Knights Game (4) : C48 C49
King's Gambit Accepted (1) : C36
Torre Attack (3) : A46
Italian Game (2) : C59 C56
Center Game Accepted (1) : C22
King's Gambit Declined (1) : C31
Giuoco Piano Game (2) : C50 C51
Bird's Opening (1) : A02
Vienna Game (2) : C29