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Tal at the Munich Olympiad 1958
Compiled by jessicafischerqueen

This collection is part of Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

These are all the games Mikhail Tal played at the <Munich Olympiad 1958>, in correct round order.

The German Chess Federation organised the event and chose Munich as the site, in order to help mark the 800th anniversary of the founding of that city.1

Tal made his first appearance in a non-student olympiad on 1st reserve board, which may have seemed too modest an assignment. He had won both the USSR Championship (1957) and the USSR Championship (1958), and FIDE had awarded him the international grandmaster title in August 1957.2 Nonetheless, Tal himself did not think he should have been given a higher board: "I was very well aware that Mikhail Botvinnik, playing on board one, and Vasily Smyslov on board two, and Paul Keres and David Bronstein had given a great deal more to chess..."3 In fact, just four months earlier Botvinnik and Smyslov had played a match for the world championship.

The preliminary rounds were held 1-10 Oct, and Tal scored a team-leading 5½ points from 6 games.1 Only a draw against Jens Enevoldsen prevented a clean sweep. The Soviets easily qualified for Final Group A, held 11-23 Oct, but they faced stubborn opposition through the first 4 rounds.1 World champion Botvinnik drew his games against the USA and West Germany and was promptly rested for the next two rounds. The best the USSR could do in their round 4 match with tournament leaders Yugoslavia was to draw each game, making no headway. Tal helped keep his team close by scoring valuable points against lesser opposition in these early rounds.4

It was not until the 8th-10th rounds that the Soviets took the lead by posting clean scores against England, Germany, and Austria. They went on to win by a comfortable margin over Yugoslavia, Argentina, USA, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. Tal finished with +12 -0 =3, more than good enough for the gold medal on 1st reserve board.4 He later reported that the tournament highlight for him was the opportunity to share a stage with Mikhail Botvinnik, and watch him conduct post mortem analyses.3


1 Árpád Földeák, "Chess Olympiads 1927-1968" Robert Ejury , Jeno Bochkor and Peter Clarke transl. (Dover 1969), pp.264-267

2 Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," pp.66-67

3 Tal, pp.108-109

4 Olimpbase "13th Chess Olympiad: Munich 1958,"


More "Tal at the Chess Olympiads":

Game Collection: Tal at the Uppsala Student Olympiad 1956

Game Collection: Tal at the Reykjavik Student Olympiad 1957

Game Collection: Tal at the Varna Student Olympiad 1958

Game Collection: Tal at the Leipzig Olympiad 1960

Game Collection: Tal at the Varna Olympiad 1962

Game Collection: Tal at the Havana Olympiad 1966

Preliminary Round 2- USSR vs Austria
A Beni vs Tal, 1958 
(B20) Sicilian, 38 moves, 0-1

Preliminary Round 3- USSR vs Bulgaria
Tal vs Z Milev, 1958 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 22 moves, 1-0

Preliminary Round 4- USSR vs Italy
G Laco vs Tal, 1958 
(A22) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Preliminary Round 6- USSR vs Ireland
Tal vs A Russell, 1958 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 26 moves, 1-0

Preliminary Round 7- USSR vs Denmark
Tal vs J Enevoldsen, 1958
(C74) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary Round 8- USSR vs Puerto Rico
P Reissmann vs Tal, 1958 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 53 moves, 0-1

Final Round 2- USSR vs West Germany
Tal vs K Darga, 1958 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 35 moves, 1-0

Final Round 3- USSR vs Bulgaria
Tal vs G Tringov, 1958 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 20 moves, 1-0

Final Round 4- USSR vs Yugoslavia
Tal vs P Trifunovic, 1958
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 5- USSR vs Czechoslovakia
J Fichtl vs Tal, 1958 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 84 moves, 0-1

Final Round 7- USSR vs Argentina
Tal vs R Sanguineti, 1958 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 8- USSR vs England
Tal vs Golombek, 1958 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 35 moves, 1-0

Final Round 9- USSR vs East Germany
D Bertholdt vs Tal, 1958 
(E79) King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, Main line, 47 moves, 0-1

Final Round 10- USSR vs Austria
J Lokvenc vs Tal, 1958 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 41 moves, 0-1

Final Round 11- USSR vs Switzerland
E Walther vs Tal, 1958 
(B20) Sicilian, 34 moves, 0-1

15 games

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