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Mikhail Tal vs Robert James Fischer
"Stare Wars" (game of the day Sep-27-14)
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Petrosian Variation. Normal Defense (E93)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This game, amongst others from this event, is an example of some of Fischer's Soviet adversaries adopting lines in the opening which were not normally part of their repertoires. Keres' essaying the Caro-Kann, both here and at Bled 1961, is another.

Black's plan of exchanging his dark-squared bishop, while normally strategically well-motivated, comes to grief here once the centre is opened and White responds to 1....f5 with the standard plan of 2.exf5 gxf5 3.f4.

Nov-09-11  DrMAL: Modern main line of KID/Petrosian/Keres is in Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 up through 11.h4 but back then Soviets played the variation here up to 12.b4 Ng5 or so. This line was very weak for black and white nearly always won (an exception was J Vesely vs Jansa, 1960). Fischer played along, not sure exactly why, but he also had novelty 12...Bf6 antipositional move that made matters even worse for himself. Line was played out logically and accurately from both sides, it contains basically zero counterplay for black so I guess Fischer got frustrated and played Ng8-f5 dubious plan to at least get some K-side space.

19.f4 was the beginning of a brilliant plan to sac pawns for initiative. Fischer played into this, taking both pawns offered, and giving Tal even bigger potential advantage in very sharp position. Tal's play was very accurate whereas Fischer started making mistakes. First was 22...Qf6?! (instead of 22...Qd6) possibly losing already, but second error next move 23...Qxc3?! was certainly decisive. Tal simply outclassed Fischer again here, finish with its tactics and material imbalance was another masterpiece.


Nov-09-11  AnalyzeThis: 21. Bd3 is one of those moves - when you see Tal play it, and you have the black pieces, you know you're in trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: It looks like everybody has their suggestion for how Fischer could have improved! I like 19....e4 instead of exf4. That way, black keeps the e and f files closed and has a protected passed pawn. If 20.Nd4 Ndf6. 20.g4 definitely requires calculation, but 20....Qg7 and 20....Ndf6 both look plausible.
Sep-27-14  newzild: <zydeco> The problem with 19...e4 is that it relinquishes any chance of Black obtaining an initiative on the kingside or in the centre. Meanwhile, White's pawns are rumbling down the queenside. Not only that, Black's bishop is "bad", his knights lack squares and his h-pawn is isolated.
Sep-27-14  Garech: Why "Stare" Wars?

I don't get it!


Sep-27-14  morfishine: <Garech> Neither do the people that voted for it
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Tal had a piercing stare when he was young but that was more or less an image that was cultivated. He said he liked the noise of an audience, unlike Fischer who always wanted complete silence if possible: but Tal liked to be seen playing his dramatic and creative games. As it was he was a good natured and humorous man. He won against Fischer a lot (in the early days), hence he jokingly signed both sides of score sheet once...Fischer and Tal got on pretty well. I would say that Tal would have been a different proposition for Fischer if it hadn't been for severe illness.

This game is in a book of games I have, forget which one. One of Nunn's (Gambit) or that book of great games...

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: Morph.. Great quote, lol.

And of course a great game. Not quite sure why Fischer didn't play 9..g5 kicking the bishop to g3 though. ✌

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Tal gives up his knight for the attack and then beats Fischer to a pulp!
Premium Chessgames Member
  SatelliteDan: I think a chess score should be like betting.
If you win you earn 1 point or (+1).
If you lose, you lose one point or (-1).
If a draw both players score zero, or (0).
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: A 16 year old pup, needs that qualifier...
Premium Chessgames Member
  SatelliteDan: Beautiful game by Tal btw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SatelliteDan: Fischer probably respected Tal the most of all chess players. I think he even visited him in hospital.
Sep-27-14  WDenayer: I like Tal too, who doesn't, but first, I do certainly not think that Tal is a good model or 'hero' to choose for a beginner. Forget playing like Tal and study strategy. Second, I think that Tal was megalomaniac, but since he was a genius he is forgiven. I have no doubt that his 'image' was carefully construed. I don't remember where I read this, but there is a game Tal-Botwinnik WC (the first of the second, do not remember), French Winaver. Tal played an incredible move (Kd1). In his Best Games he tells the story that he only found out about this move a couple of hours before the game. He liked it and decided to give it a try. During a WC? In fact, the move had been played 4 yrs ago during a tournament where Tal was also playing. It had all been completely analysed. Did Tal have a need to play the genius, aside from being one? Was it all strategy? Who knows.
Sep-27-14  WDenayer: Fischer did visit Tal in hospital there's even a picture of Fischer sitting on Tal's bed. Fischer's relations with 'the Russians' seems like this to me: he was on 'normal' friendly terms with anyone he did not consider a threat (Tal was not a Russian, but he was of course decidedly in their camp). Tal beat Fischer many times; after this game he never beat Fischer again. To Fischer, Tal was not a real threat. Fischer wanted to be world champion. It would take many years. He assumed, rightly, that by that time Tal would no longer be in the running. The same could not be assumed about Korchnoi or Petrosian. Their relations with Fischer were very bad. Spassky was an exception. It turned out that he was the man to beat. Fischer could not have known this in advance. In my opinion, Spassky lost the match before he ever arrived in Iceland. He just wasn't motivated enough. He wasn't well prepared Geller got mad at him several times because he played too much tennis, slept until after noon, played too many card games and read too many novels. Geller was an iron fighter. By the time Spassky arrived, the killer instinct was not there. Can you imagine Kramnik winning a game in the WC against Kasparov and Kasparov applauding to him (that happened after Fischer won the QGD Tartakower variation game, the one played in the back room). Fine, it was genius. That's not a reason to applaud. He's your opponent. You're not interested in genius, your interested in beating him. To me, the 'match of the century' has produced some absolutely great games and also some pretty mediocre ones because Spassky did not have it in him (for example the game where Fischer played the Alekhine but they ended up in a variation of the Scotch - Spassky got outplayed really quick). After 1972, they both disappeared. Fischer got crazy and Spassky became a strong GM who would never again come close to a WC. His last try was against Karpov. Spassky had neglected himself and then Fischer had broken him and then Karpov broke him for good. The difference in playing strength was enormous.
Sep-27-14  KokeFischer: Stare Tal!
Sep-27-14  tivrfoa: which move could be the start of a puzzle (white to play and win)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jack Kerouac: >WDenayer< A doctrinaire regarding Fischer and Tal? Me thinks a changing of new play over taking the old school of Soviet placidity. Some one had to do it. And he did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: What I don't see is why Fischer played 22 ... Qf6 instead of 22 ... Qg5. The obvious thought is that Qd4+ (after Bxf5+) is now playable for White, but I don't see what that would accomplish, other than avoiding the exchange of queens that 22 ... Qg5 otherwise might force.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Third of Tal's four wins against Fischer in this event. Fischer played 9..a6 in both his games with Black against Tal; this move is rarely played anymore. In the earlier game Fischer played 12..Ng5; here he played the new idea 12..Bf6 which appears to be too slow and has not been repeated. Tal was surprised that Fischer took the pawn with 20..dxe expecting instead 20..Ne5; 20..Qe5 also seems like a logical alternative. Tal offered the variation 21..Qg7 22 Bxf5+..Kh8 23 Ne4..Ne5 24 Ng3..Ne7 25 Rae1..Bxf5 (25..Nd3 26 Rxe7) 26 Qxe5 but seems to have not considered 25..N5g6! which looks awkward for White. The decisive mistake was 22..Qf6?; after the better defense 22..Qd6 23 Bxf5+..Kh8 24 Qd4+..Ndf6 25 Bxc8..Raxc8 26 Re6..c5! 27 Qh7..Qd8 the position would have been unclear.
Dec-19-14  ToTheDeath: Total domination, must have been a humbling learning experience for young Bobby.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Internet chess forums ! lol

Exploding with opinions from folk who can't play ... lol

Tal was the best in the world and RJF came up against him at the wrong time lol lol ...

Dec-19-14  Rookiepawn: <harrylime: Internet chess forums ! lol Exploding with opinions from folk who can't play ... lol>

Is that your opinion?

Jan-24-17  Charousek.jnr: The attacking theme here is:"Breakthrough in the Center" which was modeled by Tal's 17th move c5! Fischer should have played b6 instead of Ng8,because that's where he made the decisive error and lost the game.
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