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Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1964
Compiled by jessicafischerqueen
--*--

This collection is part of Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

These are all the games* Mikhail Tal played at the <USSR Clubs Team Championship 1964>, in correct round order. The Moscow final round games are correctly dated.1

Tal took 1st board for Daugava in the preliminary event, held this year in Tallinn, Estonia.2,3 Less usual was the surprising decision of the Soviet Chess Section to drop Tal from the roster in the upcoming <Tel Aviv Olympiad 1964>.4 Though Tal had struggled since 1961 with an on again, off again kidney ailment, his current form seemed impeccable. He had recently shared 1st at the Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) with Vasily Smyslov, Bent Larsen and Boris Spassky. 5 Just prior to the club championships Tal had finished 1st at the <Kislovodsk International 1964>, ahead of Leonid Stein and Yuri Averbakh. 6 This olympic snub did not go unnoticed by Tal: "Upset by the fact that on this occasion I had not been included in the Soviet team, I was angry with the 'whole world', and was burning with a desire to 'gain revenge'."4

Tal reckoned that it was because of this that he "played so energetically," powering through the Tallinn preliminaries with no losses.4 He beat Aarne Hermlin, Anatoly S Lutikov, Abram Yakolevich Roizman, and most notably, his eternal Baltic rival Paul Keres, who the Olympiad selectors had not overlooked. Tal emerged with top score in the Tallinn division. Daugava finished atop the table and advanced to the final round, which was held in Moscow (11-21 Oct).7

Arbiter Salomon Flohr presided over the cream of the Soviet chess clubs: Burevestnik, Soviet Army, Spartak, Avangard, Lokomotiv, and Daugava.8 Tal kept his form against the premier grandmasters on 1st board, posting wins against Andrei Borisenko, Efim Geller, and Smyslov. He called his triumph with the black pieces over Smyslov "one of my best ever games. It is not very often that one sacrifices a queen for a rook, in order to reach a better ending!"4 Here is the move Tal describes:

24...Qe7-e2!?


click for larger view

Tal also remarked on his game against world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, noting that it was the first time they had ever faced each other in a tournament, as opposed to a match: "Once again the Caro-Kann Defence appeared, Black defended excellently, and after the draw had been agreed, Botvinnik and I shared first place on our board."4 Tal finished with an impressive +7 -0 =5 score.1 Daugava fared less well, managing only 6th place.7

Notes

*Tallinn Preliminary round 6, <Tal-Roizman 1-0>. This game score appears to be lost forever. (Thomas, p.109)

1 Final round games dated from: Alexander Khalifman, ed. "Mikhail Tal Games II 1963-1972" (Chess Stars 1995), pp.75-81

2 Olimpbase "4th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Moscow 1964-Daugava" http://www.olimpbase.org/1964sc/196...

3 Olimpbase "4th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Moscow 1964-Preliminaries" http://www.olimpbase.org/1964sc/196...

4 Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" (Cadogan 1997), pp.276-277

5 Di Felice, "Chess Results 1964-1967," pp.5-6

6 Di Felice, "Chess Results 1964-1967," p.45

7 Olimpbase "4th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Moscow 1964-The Final Group" http://www.olimpbase.org/1964sc/196...

8 Olimpbase "4th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Moscow 1964-Basic Information" http://www.olimpbase.org/1964sc/196...

===

More "Tal at the USSR Team Championships":

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1954

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1955

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1959

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1961

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1962

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1963

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1966

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1967

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1968

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1971

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1972

Tallinn Preliminary Round 1- Daugava vs The Red Flag
Tal vs Lutikov, 1964 
(C40) King's Knight Opening, 31 moves, 1-0

Tallinn Preliminary Round 2- Daugava vs Kalev
Tal vs Keres, 1964 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 42 moves, 1-0

Tallinn Preliminary Round 3- Daugava vs Jõud
Tal vs A Hermlin, 1964 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 28 moves, 1-0

Tallinn Preliminary Round 4- Daugava vs ˇalgiris
V Mikenas vs Tal, 1964
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tallinn Preliminary Round 5- Daugava vs Spartak
Petrosian vs Tal, 1964
(A38) English, Symmetrical, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Moscow Final Round 1- Daugava vs Spartak
Petrosian vs Tal, 1964 
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Moscow Final Round 2- Daugava vs Soviet Army
Tal vs Geller, 1964 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 37 moves, 1-0

Moscow Final Round 3- Daugava vs Burevestnik
Smyslov vs Tal, 1964 
(A36) English, 72 moves, 0-1

Moscow Final Round 4- Daugava vs Lokomotiv
Tal vs G Borisenko, 1964
(B68) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7, 42 moves, 1-0

Moscow Final Round 5- Daugava vs Avangard
Stein vs Tal, 1964
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Moscow Final Round 7- Daugava vs Trud
Tal vs Botvinnik, 1964 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

11 games

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