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Mark Taimanov vs Milan Matulovic
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)  ·  Queen's Gambit Accepted: Janowski-Larsen Variation (D25)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-11-05  RookFile: Well, it's hard to know what to make
of this game. At first thought,
22... Nd5 seems really bad. But,
what else can you do, let's say
you try 22.... Nd7. White will
at some point play Ne4 and Nd6.
Jan-06-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Wouldn't the $400 Taimanov paid to win this game have been better spent on medicine for sick children?
Mar-05-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp> After the Fischer match, Taimanov probably wished he'd spent the money on sick children.
Mar-05-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: We will probably never know if Matulovic threw this last round game to allow Taimanov an easy entry to the Candidates.

The way Matulovic played this game, as described in the tournament book, has caused many to think so. Or as Levy points out, another possibility is that he may have just been uninterested in the result. Matulovic finished 18/19th out of 24 competitors and had been out of the running early in the tournament. Either way, he did not make a very serious effort in this game, based on his time expended or by some of his actions during the game.

The tournament book states that Matulovic arrived at least fifteen minutes late. Then filed his finger-nails and reviewed the newly issued tournament bulletin before replying to Taimanov's move 1. d4. Then according to the tournament book, after Taimanov's 4th move, Matulovic again browsed through the bulletin for another 5 minutes before replying.

The opening followed Matulovic's 11th round game with Smyslov until Black's 11th move. In that game Matulovic played 11...0-0 and that game eventully was drawn. The tournament book and Fritz 9 evaluates 11...0-0 (.22 - 16 ply) as only slightly superior to 11...Bxf3 (.26 - 16 ply). In this game Taimanov slowly outplays Matulovic and reaches a positionally won ending.

The full time for this game was 1 hr 8 min. for Taimanov and 1 hr 4 min. for Matulovic. With Matulovic's indicated time off, he used approximately only an average of 1 minute for each of his 42 moves.

Of all the decisive games in this tournament, other than Fischer-Panno, this was the quickest game. Also, other than Fischer-Panno, Matulovic'c time of 1 hr 4 min. is the least amount of time used by a loser in this tournamant.

In his prior decisive games in this tournament, Matulovic spent 3 hours 20 minutes to 4 hrs 35 min. on his 2 wins and 2 hrs 30 min. to 5 hrs 11 min. on his other 6 losses.

Of his 14 draws, he had three short, quick draws with Ivkov, Hort and Geller. In his other 11 draws Matulovic's expended time ranged from 2 hrs 14 min. to 3 hrs 45 min.

I would think that, at least Symslov and Portisch, who had won their last round games, and still had a chance to qualify, if Matulovic could at least draw this game, were not appreciative of Matulovic's effort in this game.

One last item. Some may wonder, how much additional prize money would Matulovic have received if he had drawn or won this game?

Well, the prize money for this tournament was not very good. Fischer's 1st prize was 100,000 Pesetas or about $1,450 (1970 dollars).

Matulovic's prize was 8,500 Pesetas ($123.25). If he had drawn this last round game, his prize would have increased to 9500 Pesetas ($137.75). If he had won this last round game, his prize would have been 12,000 Pesetas ($174).

Mar-06-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks <Pawn and Two>! Really interesting. Do you have the tournament book? When/where was it published?
Mar-07-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <keypusher> Yes, I do have the tournament book. It is titled, International Chess Tourament - PALMA DE MALLORCA 1970. Edited by R.G. Wade and L.S. Blackstock. Published by The Chess Player, Nottingham, England, December 1970 and published in the U.S.A. by Chess Digest, Inc., Dallas, TX.

I strongly recommend this book. There are good notes to all of the games. The notes were based on the comments of the players, seconds and others. There is also a round by round summary and pictures of all of the competitors. One drawback is that the book is a paperback and the binding is not very strong.

In my first posting, I should also have included the following comment regarding this game; At move 25, the tournament book notes: "Between moves Matulovic strolled looking completly unconcerned - at variance with his normal tense, shortish, paces".

The summary for round 23 also noted that Matulovic played his moves for this game at colossal speed.

Jun-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: A lovely win by Taimanov. How effortlessly he outplayed his adversary is a treat to watch as well as a good example for Chess enthusiasts.
Jun-04-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Acoording to Timman, Matulovic was paid $400 to lose, arrived late and read the newspaper in between moves. If so, that is disgusting. I would have demanded twice that much for such an important game.
Mar-17-09  Cibator: One comment of Levy's, in that "Chess" report, was to the effect that although Matulovic mightn't have had any chance of qualifying for the Candidates, he still had an obligation to the rest of the players to fight his hardest. And that his failure to do so was (in Levy's book anyway) almost as reprehensible as taking a bribe would have been.
Mar-17-09  Cibator: As for Taimanov: it's worth recalling that he'd been eliminated from the previous WC cycle after a three-way play-off for the last two qualifying places from the USSR championship to the Interzonal. (He didn't even lose the play-off outright; it too finished in a tie, and Taimanov was the unlucky one under the tie-break rules.) So there was certainly a motive of sorts for him to avoid another play-off in 1970.
Dec-11-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <Resignation Trap: It has been widely rumored that Taimanov bought the full point from Matulovic for $400. It was played very quickly>

according to David Levy (Chess Life & Review 1975), the price was $300..

Apr-13-12  King Death: < Pawn and Two: ...I would think that, at least Symslov and Portisch, who had won their last round games, and still had a chance to qualify, if Matulovic could at least draw this game, were not appreciative of Matulovic's effort in this game...>

If you want to call it one.

<...the prize money for this tournament was not very good. Fischer's 1st prize was 100,000 Pesetas or about $1,450 (1970 dollars)...>

By 1970 economics in chess events this wasn't terrible either, the year before Spassky didn't get much more for winning the title. I've read that he got either $1500 or 2000 depending on the source. For all of the failings Fischer had as a person he made it possible for other players to succeed in chess by getting some money in it.

Nov-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < wordfunph: <Resignation Trap: It has been widely rumored that Taimanov bought the full point from Matulovic for $400. It was played very quickly> according to David Levy (Chess Life & Review 1975), the price was $300..>

Levy also cites this figure in his book How Fischer Plays Chess, published well before 1975.

May-03-13  eyalbd: In his book in Hebrew, Liberzon says that Matulovic admitted that he had sold the point for $200.
Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Pawn and Two:

Well, the prize money for this tournament was not very good. Fischer's 1st prize was 100,000 Pesetas or about $1,450 (1970 dollars).

Matulovic's prize was 8,500 Pesetas ($123.25). If he had drawn this last round game, his prize would have increased to 9500 Pesetas ($137.75). If he had won this last round game, his prize would have been 12,000 Pesetas ($174).>

Not very good??? You must not understand what the value of money was in 1970. Fischer's $1450 was nearly enough to buy a nice new car at that time!

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: By the way, $400 would be about $1,850 today.>

Closer to $4k, actually.

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That $400 in 1970 would be $2411.10 today:

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_c...

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <thegoodanarchist> A nice new car in 1970 would have cost considerably more than $1,450. I know someone who bought a new car back then, and the price was in line with the following information:

http://www.ask.com/question/how-muc...

Sep-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <thegoodanarchist: <offramp: By the way, $400 would be about $1,850 today.>

Closer to $4k, actually. >

<perfidious: That $400 in 1970 would be $2411.10 today...>

This figure will probably continue to rise.

Sep-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <<perfidious:> That $400 in 1970 would be $2411.10 today:

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_c>...

I find it amusing that you accept the government data without question.

I prefer market place data myself, and having made purchases on my own since 1969 I KNOW FOR A FACT [not just guessing or sourcing some website, but for a fact because I lived it] that many if not most everyday items are a factor of 9 to 10 higher than they were in 1970.

Sep-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Pawn and Two: <thegoodanarchist> A nice new car in 1970 would have cost considerably more than $1,450. >

I said "nearly enough", not "enough". I suppose it also depends on your version of "nice". We bought a new Chevy Vega when I was a kid and I thought it was great! (I try to be satisfied by simple pleasures)

Sep-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <thegoodanarchist>: Hold your horses, mate, before you cast me in with the sheep-I too remember those days, when it was possible to get a gallon of gas for .39 and a pack of cigarettes for the same amount-got run to the corner for the latter item enough times!

The latter item has risen by considerably more than a factor of nine or ten, what with one thing and another.

As to your charming little aside, you want to have reasonable discourse, I shall be more than happy to do so: you choose to dish out insults without the slightest provocation, I am more than capable of giving as good as I get.

Oct-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: I'm not convinced by the bribe story either. Taimanov had a very good score against Matulovic in previous games (+4=3, and all in the previous decade) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...
Oct-16-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < Pawn and Two: ... The tournament book states that Matulovic arrived at least fifteen minutes late. Then filed his finger-nails and reviewed the newly issued tournament bulletin before replying to Taimanov's move 1. d4. Then according to the tournament book, after Taimanov's 4th move, Matulovic again browsed through the bulletin for another 5 minutes before replying.>

In those days, was one allowed to consult printed chess books during the game?

Apr-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> Why not? After all, Najdorf got by for years without being brought to heel for asking colleagues what they thought of his position during games.
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