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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"A Brawl with Tal" (game of the day May-09-12)
Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1960)  ·  Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0
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Given 43 times; par: 87 [what's this?]

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find similar games 43 more Tal/Botvinnik games
sac: 27.Rxd7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: <35.f4 Rb1+ 36.Ke2 Rb2+ 37.Kf3 Rb3+ 38.Kg4 Rb2> You might think that only helps White in supporting his pawns, but actually it pushes White's king away so Black can push his pawn down with less White pieces preventing it (though it wasn't successful and the king came back).
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In Game 5 Botvinnik had played 6..e6 and after 7 h4 Tal had considered several speculative sacrifices on e6. Botvinnik varies here with 6..Nd7 preparing ..e5 and avoiding the sacrifices. Tal is sceptical about whether this early opening of the position is in the spirit of the Caro Kann. By move 12 Botvinnik had used almost an hour more on the clock than Tal. Tal was critical of his 14 Kxe2 recommending 14 Ngxe2 instead. Although Tal did not realize it during the game he had played a draw against Ilivitsky in the semi-finals to the 1955 USSR championship.Ilivitsky had played 16..Nce4. Tal's attempts to complicate in a basically even endgame would not have worked had Botvinnik played 25..Rh8 or 25..Bf5. Although Tal's combination won two knights for a rook the awkward placing of the knights gave Botvinnik some compensation. Tal felt that Botvinnik would have had better defensive chances with 31..f5 32 Ne3..f4 33 Nc4+..Ke7 34 f3..Bxc2 35 Bxc2..Rxc4
36 Bb3..Rc5 37 Nf2. Perhaps with 32..Bg6 whites kingside pawns could have been better defended against.
Sep-05-08  Mikhail Tal fan: simply a best demonstration of Tal's genius .. Good Sacrifices never blow down
Nov-02-08  gambitfan: Endgame : ♘♘ + ♙♙ (8.5) // ♖ + ♙♙ (7)

click for larger view

34... ♖xb3

click for larger view

49 ♘xf8 Black just gave their Rook in exchange of the promoted pawn...

In order to win White must get rid of both remaining Black pawns and they must save their own pawn since 2 Knights alone are not sufficient to mate the Black King

click for larger view

52 ♘b1 1-0

Why did the great Botvinnik resign to Mikhaïl Tal ?

How can White prevent both Black Pawns from queening and ensure queening for his own White Pawn ?

Not so obvious !

Nov-02-08  gambitfan: What happens after 52 ♘b1 ?

Let's see...

52... c3 53 ♔d1 ... necessary to forbid the deadly ♙ push c2

black ♔ is forbidden access to d3 very important square to help the pawn push ... c2

54... ♔e3 not being able to protect the push ... c2 black ♔ heads towards the unprotected white ♙ which protects the white ♘ ; but o,nce black ♔ reaches f2 or f3, then ♘e2 and the white ♘ from protected by the pawn becomes protector of the pawn, being protected itself by the white ♔

55 ♘xc3 ♔f2, f3 56 ♘e2!

white ♘e2 is protected both by white ♔ but also by white ♘c3

♘ext move white ♔ can leave his post of protector of ♘e2 to swallow black ♙b2 :

57 ♔c2 ...

57... b1♕+ 58 ♔x♕b1

Having got rid of both black ♙, white can concentrate on the queening of their only ♙

It won't be too difficult...

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: 14. ♔ x e2?...O.K. somebody talk to me about my main man.
Aug-14-11  positionalgenius: Watching Tal's sacrifices never gets old.
May-09-12  HeMateMe: Tal, M.B., 1960. One of my favorite matches.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Shutting the opponent out in the cold!
May-09-12  screwdriver: Gotta love the endgame.
May-09-12  LadiesAndGentlemen: Took me an embarrassingly long time to see that black can't play 44...Kxe4, because of 45.Nf6+, and wherever the black K moves, white would then play 46.Ne8. Doh! Oh well, slow learner I guess :) Cheers all.
May-09-12  Garech: Great endgame!


Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: Wow!! It is probably one of the greatest endgames for Mikhail Tal.

It is like "Mike vs Mike" - (Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik), huh??



Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I wonder if both players were mic-ed.Tal wins sharp ending.
May-09-12  jonico: Why not 44...Kxe4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <jonico> After <44...Kxe4>:

click for larger view

White continues 45.Nf6+ and 46.Ne8, when the f-pawn inevitably promotes. This doesn't work in the game (with the Black ♔ on d5) because Black can answer 45.Nf6+ with 45...Ke6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<HeMateMe:> Tal, M.B., 1960. One of my favorite matches.>

If you don't have Tal's book on the match, you should definitely get it. What makes it fascinating is Tal's comments as he approached each game, as well as his comments about his feelings during the game, all in his unique style. And showing the time on the clock for every move, though seldom done, adds a lot since you can tell how much time each player spent on each move (although I think that the time per move rather than the total running time would have been even more useful). Highly, highly recommended.

May-09-12  Petrosianic: PH Clarke's book on the 1969 match has time readings too. I don't know why they're so uncommon, they're absolutely essential to understanding what was going on in some positions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: 26.Rxd7!! I did not see that coming.
We wont see the likes of Tal in top, top level chess again because its a different age. Maybe Nakamura’s closest of the current crop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Is there an annotated book of this match? I have 'Tal's Best Games' and part 2 I think of his complete games but this game reminds one how good these players were. Just playing over a few games gives no idea of the depth of these games.

And the return match (which Botvinnik won well with some aggressive and imaginative play) has also some great games by both players.

Nov-10-13  Olavi: Tal wrote a book on it. Unfortunately the English translation is poor.
Dec-04-13  jonie: i really like the way Tal still makes aggressive yet calculated moves even in endgames!
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: The entire game is almost like a composed problem - beautiful chess.
May-18-14  thegoodanarchist: <SuperPatzer77: Wow!! It is probably one of the greatest endgames for Mikhail Tal.>

Agreed, ans super interesting. Probably the most intriguing piece ratio imaginable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: From Tal's book on the match:

Tal could have sacrificed a pawn with 10.Nd3 and after 10.....exd4 11.0-0 Ngf6 12.Nh5 Nxh5 13.Qxh5 Qf6 14.Re1+ Be7 15.Qe2 Qxh4 16.Bf4 Bxd3 17.cxd3 black's king stays stuck in the center because of 17.....0-0-0 18.Bg3.

Tal seems annoyed with himself when he passes up sacrifices like these.....and even after winning three out of the first seven games of the match, Tal and his trainer Koblentz concluded that Tal wasn't really in form.

Tal says that he was sort of messing around with 14.Kxe2 ('a provocative but hackneyed move').

Somehow Tal completely forgot that he had played the entire opening, up to move 15, in a 1955 game with Illevitsky, which led to a draw.

21.Red1 is a somewhat desperate attempt to avoid an early draw after 21.Rad1 Re8

Botvinnik loses his grip with 25.....Bg6? forgetting all about the fork on f6 (Botvinnik says he saw that white was threatening to take on d7 and play Nf6+ to fork the bishop on h7 -- so he moved the bishop off h7 but forgot that the rook was also exposed on g8.) Black could have played 25.....Bf5 26.Nxf6 Nxf6 27.Nxg5 Bxc2 28.Bxc2 R5xg5 29.g3 or (stronger) 25....Rh8 26.f4 gxf4 27.N5xf4 and Tal's note is that black is strategically better but the position is 'sufficiently complicated' for Tal's liking.

Black had better defensive chances with 31....f5.

33.Ne4+ fails to 33.....Kd5 34.Nxc5 Bc4+

An important trick for Tal is 44.....Kxe4 45.Nf6+ and 46.Ne8 promoting the pawn.

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