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Open Defence
Chess Game Collections
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  1. A tale of two Mikhails
    In 1961, two Mikhails, Mikhail Tal and Mikhail Botvinnik clashed again for the World Chess Championship. This was the rematch after Botvinnik's loss to Tal in the previous year. Ironically, the right to a return match was abolished after this and Tal was quoted as saying 'Would it have cost FIDE (the world chess governing body) anything to abolish return matches a year earlier?'

    Judging by the score line this was a crushing victory for Botvinnik 12 1/2 to 5 1/2, but to judge an epic contest like this by the score line would be to do the game of chess an injustice.

    Why did Tal lose? Tal jokingly offered a "journalist's" version saying, I had lost my lucky pen, maybe a supporter of Botvinnik had stolen it?. However Tal later on says, you must look into the form of the winner. In the first match Botvinnik tried to avoid complications, but this time he let the storm rage on if it was in his favour.

    Botvinnik prepared well for this match. He used the Samisch variation of the King's Indian instead of the Classical formation with g3. Tal was "forced" to use his stand by defence to 1.d4 which was the Slav and allowed Botvinnik to play 3.cxd5 which led to dry positions in which Tal could not seek complications.

    Nevertheless, Tal fought despite his ill health, (which was to dog his career,) and the games in this collection are very entertaining.

    18 games, 1961

  2. Behind the Iron curtain
    The USSR Championships have fascinated me as they have yielded scores of talented players. The games in this collection set out past winners of the Championship starting with the 1920 All Russian Championship won by Alekhine until Minasian's victory in 1991, incidentally Gary Kasparov never won the Chamionships outright but tied in 1981 and 1988
    19 games, 1920-1991

  3. Dark side of the Ruy
    I enjoy playing Black in the Ruy Lopez as much if not more than I enjoy it playing White. Some feel that White actually gets the advantage in the Ruy Lopez but I feel this is a classic and evergreen opening system that is as unfathomable as chess itself
    4 games, 1939-2006

  4. Korchnoi vs Polugaevsky Candidates Semi Final
    Korchnoi vs Polugaevsky Candidates Semi Final at Evian 1977
    13 games, 1977

  5. Korchnoi vs Spassky - Candidates Final 1977
    18 games, 1977-1978

  6. Leonid Stein - Forgotten Genius
    Leonid Stein - This Ukrainian born genius is largely forgotten amongst chess circles. Despite his brilliant play and good life scores against leading players he never made it to the Candidates largely due to the six from a single nation limit imposed by FIDE. He died prematurely, but left us some memorable games
    9 games, 1961-1973

  7. Ruy Lopez {9..Nd7}
    These games show play after the position reached (in some games this is by a different move order) 1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘c6 3. ♗b5 a6 4. ♗a4 ♘f6 5. O-O ♗e7 6. ♖e1 b5 7. ♗b3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 ♘d7 10. d4 ♘a5 11. ♗c2 c5 12. dxe5 dxe5 13. ♘bd2 ♗b7 While improvements for White are seen as the days go by, I think that this position merits more analysis as there seem to be a number of promising continuations for Black.

    These games are very instructive for players who like to defend against the Ruy Lopez.

    9 games, 1944-2002

  8. Sicillian 2.f4
    This is a collection of games in the Sicillian 2.f4 variation
    5 games, 1986-2003

  9. Sicillian Najdorf - Poisoned Pawn
    This has been a controversial opening variation of the Sicillian Najdorf, and the following games are an attempt to shed some light on the mystery of the poisoned pawn. Can Black take the pawn ? Fischer and Kasparov seem to think so... lets see what the games say... enjoy!!!
    19 games, 1955-2002

  10. Simply Karpov!!, Simply Superb!!
    These are wonderful games from my favorite chess player.
    37 games, 1969-2002

  11. The New Magician
    Alexy Shirov hails from Riga, Latvia the hometown of the immortal Mikhail Tal who was known as the Magician from Riga.

    The games I have compiled in here are testament that Shirov can claim to be the New Magician.

    8 games, 1993-2006

  12. The Open Defence
    Ever since I was aware of chess openings, The Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez or Open Defence has always fascinated me. Used by Smyslov, Korchnoi, Szabo, Anand and others this line has been promising for those who like active positions with the black pieces.

    As Black's pawn structure is left with some weakness, there is continuing debate as to whether the line is sound. However, recent games by Sokolov and Nunn have once again brought life into this variation

    35 games, 1912-2008

  13. The Prizoner of Prague
    Ludek Pachman was imprisoned for opposing the Soviet controlled regime of what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. His chess gems reveal a talent of the highest quality which even got the better of as good a technician as Fischer in the Ruy Lopez!
    8 games, 1947-1973

  14. When Sultans played Chess
    Mir Sultan Khan is a chess enigma. The servant of a Maharaja who stayed in England for some time, he proved to be a very strong player and probably the first Asian player to be noticed of GM strength.

    Some play down his achievements by stating that he was already a very strong player of the "Indian" variety of Chess.

    However, there are many of us who play chess but only few who master it.

    No doubt further analysis reveals flaws in technique and also reveals "improvements." However, to deny Mir Sultan Khan his rightful place in the Chess world as a player of incredible ability and genius is to do the game of Chess a disservice.

    I hope the games in this collection give one a glimpse of this man's chess prowess.


    9 games, 1930-1933

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