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Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov vs Mikhail Tal
"Loch Nez Monster" (game of the day May-14-2013)
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 6, Jan-29
French Defense: Winawer. Bogoljubow Variation (C17)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-11-05  Hesam7: <hippatxu> It is a chapter from the book "Learn from Grandmasters" edited by GM Keene.
Mar-11-09  AnalyzeThis: It took me a long time to realize this, but when you play these black defenses, castle kingside, and put the bishop on b7 - a lot of times, it doesn't work out. If white is attacking your king, and you need to defend, the bishop on b7 is just whistling in the wind. All you can hope for then is just the chance to exhange it for some piece, for all the good it does.
Sep-03-10  libertyjack: Thanks a lot <hesam7>. Tal's comments are brilliant and very insightful.
Nov-09-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp61...

Oct-10-11  DrMAL: This game shows great example of 5.Be2 in Winawer (3...Bb4 ) Advance (4.e5) French named after its inventor (e.g., Bogoljubov vs G A Thomas, 1927) surprising that Fischer never used it. I also prefer it to usual 5.a3 for its sharpness and seemingly greater winning chances, often opponent is not well prepared increasing chances. Other attacking players appreciated it (e.g., Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930) but it requires good preparation or double edge may cut the wrong way.

Best line according to Houdini is played out, more common was 6.Nb5 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 O-O where 8.f4 or 8.c3 are both good (8.dxc5 sometimes played too but accepting pawn sac is poor). But 8.b4 was chosen instead of 8.Bb5+ this was not introduced until Spassky vs S Mohr, 1988 as even stronger. After 8.b4 Houdini choses 8...Qc7 9.Nf3 as played but then 9...cxb4 10.Bxb4 a5 instead but the two lines are nearly equivalent.

Similarly, white started to get very slight edge after 13...Ncxe5 strong and natural move but 13...Rb8 was most accurate.

Houdini_20_x64: 29/65 29:22 19,076,005,211
+0.03 13. ... Rb8 14.Bd3 h6 15.Qd2 Nxc5 16.Bb4 Qb6 17.Qe3

15.Qd4 (instead of 15.Rb1) sets stage for K-side/center play here 18...Rb8 was again best but sharper 18...e5 was chosen this gives white some advantage after 19...Nxe5 but Tal recaptured wrong allowing sequence played, where 21.Rd7 instead of 21...Rf8 was another small error. This was probably already decisive but further inaccuracies added fuel to fire. Game had explosive finish 29...Re7 still loses but 29...e2 stepped into M4.

In sharp positions one must be very well prepared to deal with all sorts of possibilities very accurately or, instead, be prepared to be on the wrong side of it. Bogoljubov with 5.Be2 is great variation to very carefully study to master it makes for strong weapon in repertoire for 1.e4 player when faced with French.

Feb-29-12  Everett: <AnalyzeThis: It took me a long time to realize this, but when you play these black defenses, castle kingside, and put the bishop on b7 - a lot of times, it doesn't work out. If white is attacking your king, and you need to defend, the bishop on b7 is just whistling in the wind. All you can hope for then is just the chance to exhange it for some piece, for all the good it does.>

Wow, all the tomes of theory discussing the QID must be destroyed, lest we ignorant players lose our way trying to emulate Karpov, who apparently didnt know what he was doing.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: Well, the game in hand is a French Defense - there is the possibility that my comment is more applicable to 1. e4 openings than 1. d4 openings.

But let's consider the Queen's Indian Defense, which I've played on numerous occasions myself. Let's look at a few positions from the Queen's Indian that go rather well for black:


click for larger view

In this position from:
Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1938

Alekhine played the move 17. Ne1, and the game continued 17.... Bxg2 18. Nxg2 Surely, the Ne1, Bxg2 Nxg2 sequence is one that you'll recognize from many varations of the Queen's Indian. Black conforms to my rule of swapping off the queen's bishop before white does something like f3 and e4 to him.

Well, how about Karpov? In playing over his queen's indian games, it appears that he also is happy when the b7 bishop is swapped for white minor piece. Some examples:

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 2005

Smyslov vs Karpov, 1976

Are there examples of Karpov hanging onto the bishop? Yes. He's a well known one:

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974

It's worthwile to mention that Korchnoi tortued Karpov in this game, and Karpov needed a lot of skill to hold the draw.

In summary, my opinion is that finding a with black, in any opening, to exchange the c8 bishop is a correct way of playing chess. Are there other methods? Yes, of course there are. But, my belief is that there are an awful lot of games where black gets mated on the kingside, and black has a bishop on or near b7, doing nothing.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: By the way, Rookfile and AnalyzeThis are the same account, in case you're wondering. Thanks.
Feb-29-12  Everett: <rookfile> I see your point, but I think we both know that one can cherry-pick games to fit ones argument. Do I really need to point out to you that the Najdorf and Hedgehog type positions quite often have a bishop on b7 and a kingside castle?

I simply don't agree with the generalization. Now if you wanted to make a point about the French Defence in particular, you may have a point, but the positions like the QID, Najdorf and Schveningen are flexible enough to produce many, many games with k-side castling and an active Bb7.

Another point; in the KID the value of Bc8 is of extreme importance, and though this is a trouble piece, bad things happen if it is exchanged frivolously. So to exchange it pell mell is not "the way to play chess." Which reminds me, the Reti system must also be condemned with your logic. I think it needs to be refined to certain openings...

BUT, I think it is important that you see this aspect of chess a certain way. We each have to find ways to get the positions we want and avoid trouble. You seem to have found a pattern with certain weaknesses. It will naturally follow that you will likely win games by recognizing when your ideas are viable or not.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: I thought about your examples, Everett. Of course, the queenside fianchetto does happen. This may be a good time to remember that Rubinstein thought that only white can permit himself the luxury of a fianchetto. I guess I have some support for my idea.

If there is to be some value in this, I suppose that it would be to have a clear understanding of when a queenside fianchetto would be ok and when it is not.

Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.

By the way, in the Nezhmetdinov game, Tal, in his notes above, gives an opportunity at around move 9 where black can aim for ...Ba6. That is how I think black should have played - White's light squared bishop is certainly more valuable than black's is, and black should seek a good opportunity to exchange it off. As played, the b7 bishop did not give black either e4 control or a kingside attack, so it seems as though this piece was on the wrong square.

Yes, there is more than one way to play chess. The way I like to play involves gettting rid of that c8 bishop.

Interesting talking to you about these things. I agree with you regarding your insight regarding the c8 bishop for black in the King's Indian for example. It's a very valuable piece for black.

Feb-29-12  Shams: Both of you have made good, instructive points.
Feb-29-12  Everett: <Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.>

I think this is great and succinct advice! In all sincerity, I think this is a remarkable strategic summary for the Bc8 from the black-side, and it will probably help me in coming games. I appreciate you sharing this insight.

As far as Tal's play in this game, and what i think you allude to, to me it seems he did not reconcile the way be needs to play with the opening he chose, but it took a genius to show the weaknesses of this disconnect.

Thanks again for the discussion.

Feb-29-12  Everett: And here is food for thought. In the first game, Karpov smothers the Black LSB to win on the white side of a QID, a nice example of your point. Karpov vs Vyzmanavin, 1993

But then he shows us how to play the QID like a hedgehog, and allows his LSB get buried for dozens of moves before it decides to get involved. Vaganian vs Karpov, 1976

Of course Karpov managed to smother the entire white army while he had a few pieces bundled on the q-side.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: Thank you too, I thought this was an interesting and thought provoking discussion.
Mar-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Tal threatening to promote, but never gets that chance.
Feb-10-13  pescau: <Hesam7>: thanks a lot for these set of comments; they are highly instructive.

Cheers.
P.

Apr-23-13  SeanAzarin: One of Nezhmetdinov's most brilliant games, against a master with an equal reputation for brilliance. A wonderful game to see.
May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Fine pun, once again.
May-14-13  Oginschile: Both of these players have left us amazing gifts to study and admire, but none seem to shine brighter than when these two masters squared off against each other. I never tire of playing through this game, or this one : Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961
May-14-13  Abdel Irada: Is it true that Rashid's second was named Ja'afar? Or was that only when he ruled the Baghdad Caliphate?

May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: <Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.>

The good thing in chess is that it is that complex, that often it is not possible to forsee what a Bb7 can do later on. Sometimes it is just a passive bad bishop behind a blockaded d5 pawn (for example in the QGD) but from the same opening it can happen that Black is able to play d5-d4 and the bishop is getting a monster.

I like to play the c8 bishop to b7 when ever I have no chance to develop this piece on the c8-h3 diagonal - sometimes in closed position with a lot of own pawns on white sqaures also on a6 to exchange it versus a bishop or night.

Mostly when having the chance to devop it along the c8-h3 diagonal I prefere to do so.

May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> If you haven't yet seen the video on the life of Nezhmetdinov by <Jessicafischerqueen>, give yourself a treat and watch it. You can find it on her Forum page.
May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Tal was paraphrasing Shelley:

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory.
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed.
And so your thoughts, when you are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

May-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Tal had the game won,but his king could not survive his troubles.
Dec-15-15  Whitehat1963: Tactical masterpiece from the player of the day!
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