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Anatolij Bannik vs Mikhail Tal
"Bannik On It" (game of the day Nov-12-2004)
USSR Championship (1958), Riga URS, rd 8, Jan-??
French Defense: Winawer. Positional Variation (C19)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-26-04  Granite: White takes powerful advantage of the e5 square for the entire game. Bringing at various times his initial pawn, queen, both rooks, a knight and his dark square bishop. It seems to me this is how the French was designed to be played!
Oct-12-04  Resignation Trap: Tal rarely played the French, so his result here shouldn't surprise anyone. However, there may be a better reason for Black's loss here:
Nov-12-04  Hanzo Steel: <Resignation Trap> I am even more rarely able to read German. What does that page say, if you'd be so kind as to translate the gist?
Nov-12-04  notsodeepthought: <Hanzo Steel> The bottom line is that Tal had the flu during this tournament, and his nurse was supposed to inject a "vitamin-cocktail" to keep him match-fit. But before the Bannik game, instead of vitamins, she apparently injected him with Nembutal, a sedative that apparently was linked to Marilyn Monroe's death (together with other drugs, but that's another story). After the thirtieth move, one of his seconds commented that he was about to go to sleep...
Nov-12-04  Bears092: You'd think that Tal would play the french more often due to his style. In positions like this, black often abandons position for raw attacking chances.
Nov-12-04  Rowson: Worst game ever!!!!
Nov-12-04  sneaky pete: <Rowson> You wouldn't say that if you had seen Merel Schoonman vs Hiekel2 Huistra, 2001.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It is interesting how long black's knight is bewitched by white's bishop.A knight at e8,bishop at e5. A tactic seen in endings,rarely in middlegame chess.

Tal lost this game,he,however,won the tournament-only losing two other games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <sneaky pete> Good candidate, but let's cut the kids some slack. Here's my vote for Worst Opening Ever = A Onishko vs M Leonov, 2002
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Worst game? How about this one?

1 c4 ♘c6 2 e3 ♘e5 3 ♘e2 ♘d3# Smothered mate in three moves!!

Nov-28-04  tex: Tal claimed he never truly mastered French. He said Black must play with great precision to stay alive.
Nov-10-07  sfm: The little bishop on the black square in the corner deserves a medal in this game.
Jul-22-12  vinidivici: i havent seen many of tals games. But im surprised that he played so defensively in this game. He was kind of an all out attack player.
Jul-22-12  RookFile: He chose the wrong opening - for him - for this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Resignation Trap: Tal rarely played the French, so his result here shouldn't surprise anyone....>

Indeed not-his record with it was very poor (+3 -6 =4), and he never got a win with it as a GM. After Vasiukov vs Tal, 1961, it didn't feature in his games again until 1989.

<....However, there may be a better reason for Black's loss here...>

I can't read it exactly, but does the article state that Marilyn Monroe had something to do with Tal's defeat? If so, she cut a wide swath indeed! From JFK to Latvia was no mean feat.

Sep-11-16  zydeco: 19...Bxa4 looks like the start of black's problems: the e6 pawn is more important than the pawn on a4. It's interesting that the French was a mystery to both Tal and Fischer.
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