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Tal at the Varna Olympiad 1962
Compiled by jessicafischerqueen
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This collection is part of Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

These are all the games Mikhail Tal played at the <Varna Olympiad 1962>, in correct round order.

The Bulgarian Chess Federation, which had risen to some prominence on the international chess scene after World War II, hosted the 15th Olympiad in the beautiful Black Sea resort town of Varna1

The Soviet team featured world champion Mikhail Botvinnik on 1st board, followed by Tigran V Petrosian, Soviet champion Boris Spassky, and perennial world championship candidate Paul Keres. Efim Geller took 1st reserve board, with Tal following as 2d reserve.2 Tal's low rank on the team might seem odd, but just three months earlier he had been forced to abandon the Curacao Candidates (1962) due to a serious kidney disease. The Soviet team doctors had debated whether or not to include him at all, but in the end Tal passed the medical inspection, which he characterized as "not inferior to" the space program's cosmonaut medical examination.3

The preliminary rounds ran from 16-25 Sept,1 and Tal indeed started off slowly by drawing his first two games. He was rested in the next round, and managed to post two consecutive victories, although he acknowledged that on his board the opposition was "not... strong."3 Tal rested three more rounds before notching one more victory in the preliminaries, against the untitled Greek player Lazaros Vizantiadis.

The finals, played 27 Sept - 10 Oct, provided a much sterner test. Given his shaky health, perhaps Tal's first truly impressive accomplishment in the tournament was drawing the tough Yugoslavian grandmaster Borislav Ivkov in round two. After another rest, however, Tal finished the tournament with a flourish, scoring 4½ points from his last five games. His overall score of +7 -0 =6 earned him a board gold medal. The USSR finished 1st over Yugoslavia, Argentina, USA, Hungary, Bulgaria, West Germany and East Germany.2

According to Tal, the two most memorable moments in the event were his queen sac brilliancy vs. Hans-Joachim Hecht in round 9, and the sleepless night the Soviet team spent finding a draw for Botvinnik vs Fischer in their adjourned game.3

Notes

1 Árpád Földeák, "Chess Olympiads 1927-1968" Robert Ejury , Jeno Bochkor and Peter Clarke transl. (Dover 1969), pp.311-313

2 Olimpbase "15th Chess Olympiad: Varna 1962" http://www.olimpbase.org/1962/1962u... http://www.olimpbase.org/1962/1962f...

3 Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," pp.233-235

===

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 Munich Olympiad 1958

Game Collection: Tal at the Leipzig Olympiad 1960

Game Collection: Tal at the Havana Olympiad 1966

Game Collection: Tal at the Skopje Olympiad 1972

Preliminary Round 1- USSR vs East Germany
R Fuchs vs Tal, 1962 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary Round 2- USSR vs Sweden
Tal vs B Soderborg, 1962 
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary Round 4- USSR vs West Germany
Tal vs D Mohrlok, 1962 
(B63) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 31 moves, 1-0

Preliminary Round 5- USSR vs Spain
E Franco Raymundo vs Tal, 1962 
(A65) Benoni, 6.e4, 62 moves, 0-1

Preliminary Round 9- USSR vs Greece
Tal vs L Vizantiadis, 1962 
(C45) Scotch Game, 42 moves, 1-0

Final Round 1- USSR vs Bulgaria
Z Milev vs Tal, 1962
(E83) King's Indian, Samisch, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 2- USSR vs Yugoslavia
Ivkov vs Tal, 1962
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 4- USSR vs Argentina
R Sanguineti vs Tal, 1962
(E83) King's Indian, Samisch, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 7- USSR vs Romania
Tal vs A Ginsberger, 1962
(C18) French, Winawer, 34 moves, 1-0

Final Round 8- USSR vs Netherlands
H Kramer vs Tal, 1962 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 47 moves, 0-1

Final Round 9- USSR vs West Germany
Tal vs Hecht, 1962 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 49 moves, 1-0

Final Round 10- USSR vs USA
D Byrne vs Tal, 1962
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final Round 11- USSR vs Hungary
Tal vs Barcza, 1962 
(C11) French, 25 moves, 1-0

13 games

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