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Mikhail Tal vs Janis Visockis
URS-chT Juniors (1954), Leningrad URS, Aug-??
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch. Closed Variation (E87)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Black set up a pretty little trap in move 20 but it had unfortunately a little hole. Text continuation 21.Nd5 ("fall" in the trap) 21...cxd5 22.Qxd5+ Nf7 23.Qxa8 Bc6 looked bad for white at first glance but Tal had his own nasty surprize for black with 24.Bb6!! axb6 25.Rc1 which not only saved the trapped Queen but also left black in deep troubles. After trade of Queens black still had two pieces for Rook and Pawn but all his pieces were badly positioned and totally uncoordinated for successful defense. Nice game of Tal.
Aug-08-11  Ulhumbrus: After 24 Bb6!! Black's Queen is overworked. If she has to defend the N on c8 she cannot then take White's bishop on b6.

By attacking Black's Queen the move 24 Bb6 removes with tempo an obstruction on the c file so that on 24...axb6 White can, by means of the move 25 Rc1, pin the B on c6 which attacks White's Queen on a8.

It could have been conceivably because of resources such as this that Bronstein called Tal "The sorceror from Riga"

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Yes, the 24th is very pretty--and the opponent possessed of an interesting name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game was not played in Riga.

It was played in the <USSR Republics Junior Team Championship 1954>, held 9-23 August in Leningrad.

Tal played 1st board for Latvia, scoring 7/9. Latvia finished 3d, behind RSFSR and Moscow, ahead of Leningrad, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Armenia and Estonia.

Moves 21-41 of this game are given in Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" (Cadogan 1997), p.30.

Tal labels the game "USSR Youth Team Ch, Leningrad."

The tournament can be found here at <Rusbase>

Here is the entire game score downloaded from that <Rusbase> page, which also lists the site as <Leningrad>:

[Event "Ch URS (team) (juniors)"]
[Site "Leningrad (Russia)"]
[Date "1954.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tal Mikhail (LAT)"]
[Black "Visotskis"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E87"]
[WhiteElo "0"]
[BlackElo "0"]
[Annotator ""]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[Remark ""]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Ne8 8.Qd2 f5 9.O-O-O f4 10.Bf2 Nd7 11.Nge2 Nb6 12.Qd3 g5 13.Kb1 Bd7 14.Nc1 c5 15.dxc6 bxc6 16.c5 Nc8 17.cxd6 Nexd6 18.Bc5 Rf6 19.Be2 Qc7 20.Nb3 Be8 21.Nd5 cxd5 22.Qxd5+ Nf7 23.Qxa8 Bc6 24.Bb6 axb6 25.Rc1 Bxa8 26.Rxc7 Rc6 27.Rc1 Rxc7 28.Rxc7 Ncd6 29.Nd2 Bf8 30.Bc4 b5 31.Be6 Kg7 32.a4 Kf6 33.Bxf7 Nxf7 34.axb5 Bb4 35.Nc4 g4 36.Ra7 gxf3 37.gxf3 Bxe4+ 38.fxe4 Ng5 39.b6 Bc5 40.Ra6 Ne6 41.b7 1-0


I have submitted a correction slip.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

More evidence that this game was played in <Leningrad>, not <Riga>.

Both these sources say this game was played at the <USSR Republics Junior Team Championship 1954> and both sources list the city as <Leningrad>:

-Hilary Thomas "Complete Games of Mikhail Tal 1936-1959" (Batsford 1980), pp.39-40

-Khalifman et al, "Mikhail Tal - 8th World Champion" (PC-CD)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Black is Janis Visockis?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project: <Stony>

I don't know.

You can see the spelling <Rusbase> gives above there: "Visotskis"

<Khalifman et al> also give "Visotskis"

But <Thomas> gives "Visockiss"

None of them gives a first name or even an initial.

Strange page on Janis Visockis eh?

Like he jumped straight from birth to senior championships.

If I were forced to bet, I'd say it was him. He's the right age and he's from Latvia.

I can't imagine how we'd prove it.

Maybe we could ask him on his player page, but I highly doubt he reads it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: See and I didn't want to post those links immediately because databases contain mistakes, as we both very well know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project: Thanks <Stony> well that's one for each on the new sources.

Preponderance of evidence still supports <Leningrad>, no?

On the other hand, without knowing data provenance we are blind.

We know that <Rubase> got that pgn from <chessbase> because they list it as the source. Hmm but where did <chessbase> get it...

In Poker, does a "chessbase" and a "chess365" beat a "chesstempo"?

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

To tell you the truth though, I still think the venue should be changed based on the <Khalifman> and <Thomas> sources alone.

They are both "dedicated" to collecting the games of just one player, and so may have made more of an effort to get the facts right- about Tal, that is.

One subject (Tal) = one research job.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: (page 51)

Mickey Mouse translation:

"A year later there was a similar case in games with Vysotskis , played in the youth team competitions. Tal saw Vysotskis obviously provokes him to a combination with a piece sacrifice . It quickly analyzes the position and finds a mine laid by the enemy. Well , let's say , a mine explodes, what happens next ? As it turns out , Vysotskis convinced that this game ends , did not look further . Meanwhile, Tal is a very interesting move , negates the whole idea partner. Again, he dutifully goes on about the Vysotskis and again knocks wedge wedge - a combination refutes combination. This technique - falling to win over opponents to roll over and then turn on it - will have a favorite Tal ..."

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project: <Stony>

heh... thanks for that great anecdote, and I like your translation.

The word "team" would be another piece of evidence to suggest changing this game here to <Leningrad>.

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