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By Mikhail Botvinnik

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In fact Ilyin-Genevsky had already agreed matters with Flohr. He was counsellor ofthe Soviet Ambassador in Prague and naturally kept in touch with Czechoslovak players, including the national champion. Salo Flohr was always marked by an enterprising character. At that time he was the chess hope of the West and was reckoning on an easy victory when he made the suggestion of playing a match with the Soviet Champion. Nowadays chess players know Flohr as a witty journalist, and that is all, but in the 1930s players trembled before him and compared him with Napoleon.

His murder (later attributed to Stalin) marked the start of the re­ . pression of the 1930s. Tr. 32 Achieving the Aim The day after next our group of twenty was invited to a banquet in the restaurant of the Metropole to meet the leaders of the Komsomol Central Committee. A. V. Kosarev* sat opposite me. His sharp look and determined cast of face made a striking impression. There were many speeches. I can remember one of them. One of the people sitting near Kosarev stood up and eloquently noted the merits of the Komsomol.

It seems his analytical powers waned and his capability for self-programming was not properly developed. After the Nazi occu­ pation Flohr came to the USSR and became a Soviet citizen. Genevsky* now sent two letters, one to Krylenko and the other to Weinstein for me. Ilyin-Genevsky was an unusual person. He was born in a noble family, was excluded from his high school for revolutionary activity and forced to. go to Switzerland to complete his education. There he travelled all the way round Lake Geneva on a bicycle, beat all his chess opponents · in Geneva and added the second part of his name.

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