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Mikhail Tal vs Slim Bouaziz
Riga Interzonal (1979), Riga URS, rd 5, Sep-10
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation (E92)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-02-09  ughaibu: Tal won his first four games in this event, then drew this one, against his first non-Soviet opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: When Bouaziz sat down to play the mighty Tal, the pundits said that he had Slim chances.
Jun-25-12  Abdel Irada: <FSR>: What you're saying is that Bouaziz had peaceful chances? ;-)

Actually, the most interesting thing about this "draw" is that it occurred precisely when Black obtained what should have been a winning advantage. Had Bouaziz been less peaceful, perhaps he would have made Tal prove he wasn't lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Of course, there's a significant disparity in strength between Tal and Bouaziz. Particularly after Tal had won his first four games, Bouaziz must have been apprehensive sitting down, with the black pieces, against him in Round 5. In the final position, presumably Tal was happy to draw since he'd dropped a pawn for nothing, while Bouaziz was happy to draw because he was playing the great Tal, a player he'd expected to beat him. As Bouaziz painfully discovered in the very next round, having a winning position against a strong GM does not guarantee that one will in fact win it. S Bouaziz vs Miles, 1979
Jun-25-12  Abdel Irada: Of course that is almost certainly the real explanation. I was merely having fun punning on the meaning of Bouaziz's first name.

I'm sure that this scenario has played out many times thus:

GM: Watch me ram the pawn down this fish's gullet! Oops. He outplayed me and won the pawn; now I'm losing. But I'm sure he'll feel so honored to escape with a draw against the great me that he'll accept the half-point.

Opp.: Well ... technically, I'm winning, but there's many a slip... and I'd look a terrible fool if I refuse the draw and he proceeds to swindle me and win. Maybe I'd better take the half-point and run.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Abdel Irada> Yes, I imagine that was pretty much the players' thought processes. In the case of Miles in the following round (luckily for him, as it turned out), he got such a ridiculously lost position that Bouaziz would have laughed at any draw offer. My guess is that neither player offered one, and certainly not in the late stages of the game.
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