Botvinnik´s "immortal" game was pre-aranged.
He was model for Cronstein-person in Ian Fleming´s "From Russia With Love", he constructed evil machines for KGB and atomic bombs department, he initiated "4 USSR players limit" in fifties and sixties so as to eliminate many of his own rivals, and by that he destroyed Leonidas Stein and Bronstein when they could put him in danger. He always had a bunch of lacays that served to him as "ghost-seconds" or ghost-partners.
The less said about Botvinnik the better.
He is pretty much a version of "Chess Turkey" behind Iron Curtain, with more far-reaching consequenses, he was a huge fraud which costed many their lives and life opportunities.
I was going to send you a copy of Botvinnik's best games for your birthday
but that last post has put kibosh on that one.
Yes Botvinnik had a hand in designing an anti tank mortar, not sure about
his involvement in nuclear weapons.
Yes Botvinnik suggested the max 3-4 players per country for a candidates.
It was implemented in by FIDE though you often got 5 Soviet players there
because there was space reserved for previous candidates winners and ex-champions.
Regarding Bronstein and Stein. Their destiny was in their own hands, if they had
scored more points than their Soviet comrades then they would have qualified.
In the 1964 candidates Bronstein let slip winning chances v Triganov and Benko and lost
to Larsen when Kasparov is demonstrating a draw in Volume IV of OMGP.
If he had picked those three missing ½ pts he would have won it.
But I do think that 1964 was a bit harsh on Stein. Botvinnik pulled out of the '64 candidate
matches so instead of Stein it went to Geller who did not qualify for the 1964 Interzonal
at Amsterdam, Geller got in because he finished 3rd (after a play off) at Curacao in 1962.
Cannot blame Botvinnik on that one. He had given up the title by then.
I'm an avid reader of your Blog having read all the Chandler cornered as well (hasn't helped too much as I regularly blunder (normally missing Night forks). I have no idea how you find the time, please keep it up!