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Aleksandar Matanovic vs Mikhail Tal
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 4, Aug-10
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-30-06  nescio: This was the most sensational game of the tournament. At the beginning of the interzonal the two most discussed questions were "What can be expected of Bobby Fischer?" and "What to do against Tal"? To the second question Matanovic provided an answer. Tal had already won the USSR championship in murdering style, but here in the fourth round he was defeated with his own weapons. Matanovic released such a concentrated violence on the black position that Tal succumbed. But Tal did not allow such an attack to other paticipants and went on to win the tournament.
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  Eyal: <here in the fourth round [Tal] was defeated with his own weapons>

12.Nd5 indeed looks like a Tal-move (it's also practically forced if White wants to achieve anything - 12.Na4 or Nce2 are answered by 12...Nxe4 followed by capturing on g5); but the best part of the game is actually the way Matanovic plays the ending from move 27 onwards, following the exchanges that Tal initiates in order to ease White's pressure. Btw, a few months after this game Tal played this line again as Black, substituting 15...Qb6 for 0-0-0, and won without too much trouble (Lokvenc vs Tal, 1958).

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  zydeco: Tal describes this game as a "very annoying loss." He says he played the opening carelessly and thought he was winning a piece but ran into home preparation (phe means 12...b4 and 13.Nd5!). Then he says Matanovic made several mistakes and gave him good drawing chances. I'm not sure what Matanovic's mistakes would have been.

24.b3 seems like a sharp move that kills most of Tal's counterplay.

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