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Mark Taimanov vs Boris Gulko
USSR Championship (1976), Moscow URS, rd 1, Nov-27
Torre Attack: Fianchetto Defense. Euwe Variation (A48)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-09-11  Hesam7: <The second example, from New In Chess, shows up in Luke McShane's review of 'Lessons with a Grandmaster' by Boris Gulko and Joel Sneed. It's from the game Taimanov-Gulko, Moscow 1976 (replayable here), and the psychological moment comes with 19...h6, which Gulko awards an exclamation point. Here's the dialog in the book between Joel (the amateur) and Gulko:

<<Joel>: Why did you give this an exclamation point?

<Boris>: I continue my psychological battle. I am defending against threats that don't exist to give the opponent the impression that he has the advantage.

<Joel>: But 19...h6 seems very natural. You neutralize the threat of h4-h5.

<Boris>: But h4-h5 is not a real threat! I could just take the h-pawn if I wanted to. However, I defend against h4-h5 anyway. If Black is on 'defense', White must be on 'attack'. Because of this impression, White played an unfortunate 'active' move.>

At this point Taimanov plays 20.Re1-e4, and after 20...b5! realizes that the rook does nothing there - there's no attack after all - and rightly brings it back: 21.Re4-e1. A subtle trick by Gulko!> Dennis Monokroussos in

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Gulko's comments on 18...♔g7 and 19...h6 in "Lessons from a Grandmaster":

"Now the psychological struggle starts...I started to make defensive moves to give the impression that I was on the defensive. Taimanov, because of his optimism, plays a couple of active looking moves, but they weaken his position".

"I am defending against threats that don't exist, to give the opponent the impression that he has the advantage."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Grandma Sturleigh: White loses against the h and f pawns because his king is trapped on the back rank. 48. Rf5 Rb7 49. Ra5 looks like the last chance to hold.
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