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Mikhail Tal vs Bent Larsen
Eersel (1969)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Classical Variation (B65)  ·  0-1
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sac: 39...Qg1 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Can't believe that I am the first to comment on this absolutely stunning game.

Doesn't Larsen know that he is supposed to attack the white king on the Q-side, in the usual who-gets-mated-first race? No, he does not. Instead he plays against White on the K-side, doing risky pawn advances while maintaining security for his king in a delicate balance.

A move like 15.-,g5!?!? could only have been played by Larsen - and Tal himself!

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Strange that this game hasn't attracted more comments, even after <sfm> drew attention to it, though a few people have attached it to their collections.

Must say that the exchange of rooks that finished the game is a novel one.

<sfm> has a good point...fancy attacking from your king side when your king side is about to be attacked anyway.

Sep-11-10  hellopolgar: 38. ... Qxc1+
would be a good Tuesday puzzle.
Sep-11-10  Kazzak: Very fun to follow, though it should be pointed out that Tal himself made serious efforts to have this match postponed due to ill health, and that he considers his play completely sub-par throughout, filled with (his) mistakes. (According to TLaGoMT).

That said - a wonderful game to follow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Heh. Just finished reading an interview with Larsen on Chessbase not long before he died, and he said he felt like crap during the Denver match with Fischer.

Who was it that said they'd never played a fit opponent?

Sep-11-10  Kazzak: :-)

I was thinking the same thing, but thought I should put in the info, as Tal makes a big issue of it in his book. He fought with the Soviet chess federation, which sabotaged his attempts to move the match.

But that's his POV.
Yes, health issues do tend to be used to explain away losses - but there's little doubt that Tal's health was frail at the time.

Oct-13-15  Howard: Exactly what was the purpose of this match ? I recall reading that it was for a spot in the 1970 interzonal, but wouldn't both Tal and Larsen have been seeded into it ? They both were in the 1968 Candidates obviously. And the four players who were eliminated in the quarterfinals (Gligoric, Portisch, Reshevsky, and Geller) were all in the interzonal.

So why not Tal ?

Oct-13-15  Petrosianic: Only the 3rd place finisher in the Candidates got an Interzonal spot back then. Those other four people probably got in the Interzonal by qualifying for it. (Reshevsky and Geller definitely did).
Premium Chessgames Member
  NeverAgain: WWC Editing Project explains it here: Game Collection: Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff 1969
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