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Wolfgang Unzicker vs Mikhail Tal
FRG-URS (1960), Hamburg FRG, rd 8, Aug-05
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-19-04  rafaelluiz: The errors favor the best tactician :)
May-04-04  Helloween: White played very incorrectly with 15.b3(instead of the normal 15.a4) and 16.d5?(a move which is almost always bad in these kinds of positions unless Black has already played c7-c5.)
Jan-11-06  chesscrazy: 17.Qe2 was the major mistake, 17.Be3 is better.
Jan-11-06  morpstau: Well it goes to show the Hypermoderns were right about there theory on the center. Just because whites pawns occupied the center doesnt mean he controls the center as Tal makes it collapse with the power of the fiachetto Bishops!
Jan-30-11  talisman: <chesscrazy> 17.even ♖ b1. = game.
May-05-14  Zugzwangovich: How many games in his recorded career did Tal ever win as Black playing the Closed Lopez? This one was the first and so far the only one I've been able to find. He played the Ruy only very sporadically but apparently developed a liking for the Open variation late in his career.
May-05-14  Nerwal: <How many games in his recorded career did Tal ever win as Black playing the Closed Lopez?>

Gufeld vs Tal, 1954 (although white eventually took on c6)

Geller vs Tal, 1963

N Littlewood vs Tal, 1964

Suetin vs Tal, 1965

Tseshkovsky vs Tal, 1970

May-06-14  Zugzwangovich: <Nerwal> Thanks for the input, but I define the "Closed Lopez" as the position that arises after 9.h3, from there going into the Breyer (9...Nb8), Chigorin (9...Na5), Smyslov (9...h6), Zaitsev (9...Bb7), and other variations. Only the Suetin game falls in this category.
May-07-14  Nerwal: <Thanks for the input, but I define the "Closed Lopez" as the position that arises after 9.h3>

Ok. I started the search after 5... ♗e7 (since the Open one starts with 5... ♘xe4), with the idea that the Closed Spanish is an 3... a6 Spanish where d6 and ♗e7 are played. We can notice that in the games above it's white who actually chose to deviate. Tal used the Marshall move order, maybe that's why.

So we don't have a lot of Tal winning as Black after 9. h3, but a lot as White. On a side note, I get the impression that Tal with the white pieces was not fond of the idea of closing the center with d4-d5 in the Closed Spanish. Most of the time he prefered to play dxc5 or dxe5, to allow exd4 or even d6-d5, maybe with the feeling this would give white more tactical possibilities.

May-08-14  Zugzwangovich: During his regrettably short reign as The Man, Misha scored two nice wins vs. Unzicker with the Breyer Lopez, one on the White side and one on the Black.
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