Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Mikhail Tal vs Bent Larsen
Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff (1969), Eersel NED, rd 8, Mar-23
Alekhine Defense: Modern. Larsen-Haakert Variation (B04)  ·  0-1


Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [14097 more games annotated by Stockfish]

explore this opening
find similar games 38 more Tal/Larsen games
sac: 16...d3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If we are missing an important game, you can submit it (in PGN format) at our PGN Upload Utility.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-06-03  AgentRgent: Tal was certainly not at his best here, what was he thinking?
Nov-06-03  tud: 29 a5 Any opinions ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: I think Tal's move is no worse than pushing the a pawn. Playing a5 gives Black time to unravel his K-side. 29.a5 Kf7 30.a6 Bg7 31.a7 Qe4 32.Re1 Qa8 Indeed, 30.Ra3 to swing the R to e3 was held to be stronger after the match.
Nov-07-03  tud: 31 Qb7 is stronger I cheat. I remember from a book that 29 a5 is winning and it is an example of Tal missing a good win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: This is a very sharp position.

After 29.a5 Kf7 30.a6 Bg7 31.Qb7 (Tud) Black could try 31...Qb5

I have then looked at a line in which White pushes the passed pawns energetically:

32.Qxb5 Bxb5 33.a7 Ra8 34.Ra5 Bc6 35.b4 Bc3 36.Rb1 Bd4 37.b5 Be4 38.b6 Bxb1 39.b7 Rxa7 40.b8(Q) Rxa5

There many other complex variations, but I "feel" that Black is not losing, although I am sure that there are improvements (for both sides), and would be very interested to see other people's opinions.

Jul-12-05  PARACONT1: Actually Tal was at his poorest form ever in 1969. From 1970 onwards he began a revival that would culminate in his reaching the Candidates semis in 1980 when he lost to Polugaevsky.
Mar-09-06  Poisonpawns: This game is very complex.It seems to me that Tal should win but Larsen kept finding these amazing moves to escape. first:12.Qh5 Kd8 13.f3!?(preventing Qg4) seemed ok then Fritz showed the move 13..Nxc4! Larsens play is very provacative he violates classical principles in the opening concerning development and TAl of all people cant make him pay in this game.
Mar-10-06  RookFile: It's not just about Tal. Larsen was at his absolute strongest around this time, a legitimate top 5 player in the world.
Aug-22-10  OBIT: According to Tim Krabbe, Tal rejected the probably winning 31. a6 because of 31...O-O, forgetting that he had chased Larsen's king to d8 and back earlier in the game. Larsen might have been top 5 in the world in 1969, but Tal had certainly seen better days.
Jul-19-12  Zkid: From "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal":

"My poor form in the match is best illustrated by the episode which occured in the 8th game.

click for larger view

This position was reached after the black king had 'taken a walk', and then returned to e8. I had calculated that by advancing my a-pawn, I would win in a few moves, but suddenly I saw that by castling (!!) Black could set up a counter-attack on f2. I therefore began taking energetic measures to prevent Black from castling...

After the game, which I lost, one of the participants in a mass tournament taking place there came up to me, and asked why I hadn't played 29 a5 at the appropriate moment. I replied, and then stopped short on seeing the glazed eyes of Larsen and the enquiring fan. Only then did I realize that I had been fighting not against castling, but against its shadow, and I thought to myself, 'It is just as well that this was only a prestige game; if it had decided the match, I would have been near to having a heart attack...'"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <According to Tim Krabbe, Tal rejected the probably winning 31. a6 because of 31...O-O, forgetting that he had chased Larsen's king to d8 and back earlier in the game.> Well, 31.a6 just runs into 31...Bd4 32.Qb8+ Kf7 33.Qb3+ Kg6 34.Qc2+ Bf5 35.Qe2 g4 36.Red1 e5 37.Ra3 Be4 with overwhelming position of black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It was better to kick the Queen with 31.g3 at first.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
IGM Bent Larsen
by 64rutor
Match Tal!
by amadeus
Another Tal-Larsen Alekhine's defense game. Tal loses. Bummer
from paultopia's favorite games by paultopia
Battleship 1e4 Fredthebear at War!
by fredthebear
Round 8
from WCC Index [Larsen-Tal 1969] by Hesam7
Forgot he didn't have to worry about his opponent castling.
from ARGH! by Korora
Master of Attack--Best Games of Bent Larsen
by Ron
from favorite games according to opening b00-b99 by mirage
Tal-ented Indeed is a FTB Understatement
by fredthebear
Master of Attack--Best Games of Bent Larsen
by brucemubayiwa
Tal plays the strong 6. e6! but loses anyway.
from Historically Important Alekhine's Defense Games by ksadler
Tal didn't realize Larsen already losting castling rights
from Game collection: WTF by noTALent
Game 8 March 23 (Sunday)
from Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff 1969 by Tabanus
my favourite endgames
by obrit
Game Eight- March 23
from Larsen - Tal 3rd place Candidates Playoff 1969 by WCC Editing Project

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC