GOTW: Bohatirchuk - Botvinnik, Leningrad,1933

This week -- November 27, 2017 to be precise -- marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of Fedor Bohatirchuk, the Ukrainian-born Canadian Champion. Chessbase marked the occasion with a wonderful article which you can read that article here:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-man-who-was-dr-zhivago-fedor-bohatyrchuk

It has good photos and some nice game fragments, though I would have liked a bit more evidence to back up Lawrence Day's (plausible) claim that Bohatirchuk was Boris Pasternak's inspiration for Dr.Zhivago.

Bohatirchuk's greatest claim to chess fame comes from his enviable record against future World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik: +3 =1 -0.  

Our Canadian Game of the Week is the second of those three wins. Against a Sicilian Dragon, Bohatirchuk sets up a kind of Maroczy Bind, and when Black strikes out with ...f5, White keeps a lid on Black's play and converts his space and structural advantage in the center. If Botvinnik had been a better human being -- admittedly, easier in Canada than in Stalinist Russia -- he might have credited Bohatirchuk with a valuable lesson, rather than threatening to kill him.

A future post will include a selection of tactics featuring Bohatirchuk against top Canadian Champions.

photo: Bohatirchuk family headstone in the Pinecrest Cemetary, Ottawa. One hour before sunset, November 27, 2017. 

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