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Jonathan Penrose vs Mikhail Tal
"Penrose to the Occasion" (game of the day Jul-31-06)
Leipzig Olympiad Fin (1960)  ·  Benoni Defense: King Pawn lines (A65)  ·  1-0
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Jonathan Penrose vs Mikhail Tal (1960)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-15-07  whatthefat: <aazqua>

What makes you say that?

Jun-15-07  Open Defence: <aazqua> if you are looking for flawless chess technique... then you might be dissapointed with some of Tal's games.. though there are a good number of games where he displayed excellent technique.. but Tal fires the imagination... in many of his games he would see the lines that were probably the best and then see lines that were the most interesting.. and Tal the artist is above all... probably only Bronstein comes close...
Mar-24-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <The Olympiad ended on the day before my birthday and I wanted to be free at the finish. Therefore I agreed with my fellow team members to play through the 'middlegame' of the Olympiad without a break. However, the day before the last round, for strictly private reasons, the captain of our team asked me to play. I 'threatened' him that I would lose, and I carried out my threat, although God knows, I didn't want to. It was just that the English master Penrose played the whole game very well.>

From the book: The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal.

Oct-23-08  Sem: Quite a feat to beat the Tal of 1960!
Dec-03-08  MorphysMojo: Much as I appreciate Tal's brilliance, I will actually agree that he was overrated as a player, compared to the many other great players of his time, but not as a chess artist. As a chess artist he is on a par with Bronstein and others, as a player I would put him as the tactical version of Petrosian (how's that for a hard to see comparison). We never actually saw Tal at his potential best because the Soviet Government waited for years before they would allow doctors to remove his horribly diseased kidney. The Soviet Machine intensely disliked Tal and his humorous and at times hedonistic lifestyle reflecting poorly on them. When he was near the end of his prime, he finaly got the surgery, but the damage was done. I'm just grateful he was able to make the one last trip to the U.S. before he passed on.
Dec-03-08  wanabe2000: <he was overrated as a player, compared to the many other great players of his time>

Are you nuts? He was World Champion against the best of his contemporaries. Right up there with Capablanca and Fischer on win/loss percentage. On most people's list, top 5 ever to play the game. Your comments are ridiculous.

Dec-03-08  sergeidave: An overview of this game with Dennis Monokroussos at 9 pm E.T. http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp...
Dec-03-08  sergeidave: <Jack Kerouac>, <Marvin Tsai>, "intelligence" is a very broad term. And in this broad sense, I personally do not believe that computers will EVER become "intelligent". Of course, the unbelievable calculating power of these monsters have left us behind long time ago when it comes to solve algorithmic tasks and the like, but intelligence, in its stricter meaning, encompasses many more aspects which computers are far from being able to even emulate.
Dec-04-08  MorphysMojo: Tal was World Champion for one year, and lost the return match by one of the broadest margins at that time and at any time. His endgame was suspect for a world champion. Top 5 all time? No way, Top 10 very possible. Does not compare well as a world champion to Seinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Karpov or Kasparov. Again, it was not Tals' fault, the Soviet chess machine limited and damaged his career. For the 1960's I would put him in the top 5 with Petrosian, Spassky and Fischer. Before and after the 60's decade, top 10. Was he in the top 5 as a brilliant chess artist? Yes. Top 5 for a world champion? No way. He gave great pleasure to the chess world and playing through his games is more than great fun, but that does not put him be in the top 5 as a world champion. The mental hedonistic pleasure of enjoying his games, clouds chess player judgment on his overall value as world champion. Objectively: tenure, match, and tournament record show the true picture of the players' quality, not the artists.
Dec-04-08  wanabe2000: <MorphysMojo> A reasoned response. Thank you. On closer examination, Tal had an equal record with Botvinnik 12-12-20, and Fischer 4-4-5 but a minus score against Keres, Smyslov, Spassky, Petrosian, Korchnoi, Karpov, and Kasparov. A plus score against Taimanov and Bronstein. Your comments seem objective. Maybe I'm the one who is "nuts".
Dec-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <MorphysMojo> <Tal was World Champion for one year, and lost the return match by one of the broadest margins at that time and at any time. His endgame was suspect for a world champion.>

I don't think that Tal was suspect at all in the endgame.

See Game Collection: Mikhail Tal - Underrated Endgame Artist

Dec-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: If it's true Tal lost the rematch by one of the largest margins ever, then he also won the first match by one of the largest margins ever.

Tal won 12.6-8.5, then Botvinnik 13-8. Not much of a difference.

Dec-05-08  MorphysMojo: I try to be objective when giving an opinion on a GM as much as I can so let me also add that I am a big fan of Tals'. I only enjoy Kasparov, Bronstein and Fischers' games more. I recall Tal losing some real key games (and they were heartbreakers) to Larsen, Korchnoi and Spassky in the endgame. However, I will also point out that Tal consistently kept his rating at or above 2600 back in the day when less than 10 players were usually at or above 2600. It's possible he was one of the most intimidating players in his day, (although those at the very top may not have been intimidated). The story with Benko and the sunglasses is evidence of the intimidation factor.
Dec-08-08  vsadek: For those interested into Sir Roger Penrose (Jonathan's brother) thoughts on artificial intelligence , I can recommend his book “The Emperor's New Mind“. But, be aware, it is not an easy read and it requires a certain knowledge and understanding of mathematics, quantum physics, cosmology and computing. http://www.amazon.com/Emperors-New-...
Aug-30-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Jim Bartle: Tal won 12.6-8.5, then Botvinnik 13-8. Not much of a difference,>

I take it Tal was awarded that extra tenth of a point for playing the Benoni?

Oct-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: Fifty years ago !! Penrose won against World Champion Tal !!
Feb-03-11  Albanius: On 19..f5 as suggested above,
W can play 20 Bxf5 instead of 20 e6
For example 20..gxf5 21 exd6! Qxd6
22 Nxf5 Qc7 (to defend Nc5) 23 Nxg7 Kxg7
24 Bd4+ looks very strong,
eg 24..Kf8 25 Qh4 Re7
26 Qh6+ Ke8 27 d6 Qc6
28 Qh5+ Rf7 29 Rfe1+ wins
Oct-02-11  pom nasayao: i think there is no other game on record which Tal was able to play Penrose again. Must be a lifetime good feeling for Dr. Penrose.
Oct-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: This victory made Penrose the first <British> player to beat a reigning world champion since Joseph Henry Blackburne defeated Emanuel Lasker in 1899. Lasker vs Blackburne, 1899
Dec-20-12  leka: The finnish player Kaarle Ojanen elo rating 2563 world ranking 89th showed fist how to beat the Benoni.Ojanen played bishop d3! knight e2! f4! against Paul Keres in 1960.The British have robbed mug this from Ojanen.They called this a Penrose Tal line it is not it is a Ojanen! Keres line.The topic say the king pawns line itshould says Ojanen! attack.Ojanen was not a pro.He had a job.Ojanen could have been even better if he could use all his time to chess
Dec-20-12  leka: The chess era from 1962 to 1972 was the weakest in the history of chess.Fischer was a genius but the computers today solved all Fischer famous moves under second thinkng time.Against Byrne bishop e6! Gligoric rookf6! Benkö rook f6! larsen rook e5! the only move computer thinks is Minic knight e5!!.Fischer was a genius but the blunder makers like Taimanov Larsen Hort Gligoric Benkö were not a good ones.
Dec-20-12  thomastonk: <leka:Ojanen> I have just consulted another database, and there are seven games played before 1960 with the position after 8.Nge2. The first one is Sämisch vs Schlage, Berlin 1937. Moreover, even Tal had this position before: Mileika vs Tal, Riga 1954.

<leka:The chess era from 1962 to 1972 was the weakest in the history of chess.> :-)

Nov-23-13  jerseybob: How about a little chess "Alt-history"? Earlier in this Olympiad Penrose nearly beat Bobby Fischer. If that sensational upset had occurred, would Tal have played as he did in this game? Or would this pairing have even come up?
Nov-23-13  Organizer: Given Tal's health problems, and the lack of attention the Soviets gave them, it's a wonder he was able to accomplish what he did. He also didn't help himself by smoking excessively and not living a healthier life style. But, he is one of the top 5 GMs in my book, in terms of imagination and daring on the chess board.
Nov-23-13  ughaibu: What "lack of attention" was that?
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