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Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1971
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 <USSR Clubs Team Championship 1971>, dated and in correct round order.1

Rostov-on-Don hosted the championship in the Donetsk Sports Palace of Friendship,* where both the preliminaries (1-3 Aug) and finals (5-10 Aug) were played. L.O. Shapiro served as arbiter.2

Photo: Donetsk Sports Palace http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/img...

Tal remarked ruefully that he was "still 'fit' to play for the 'Daugava' team," referring to the fact that the Soviet chess team seemed to have dropped him.3 After he was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the inaugural <USSR Cup 1970> (1-21 Aug), Tal complained that he "was forgotten."4 He was not invited to play in either the <Siegen Olympiad 1970> (5-27 Nov) or the USSR Championship (1970) (25 Nov - 28 Dec), which was held in his home town of Riga.5 So, if he wasn't "fit" for the Soviet team, at least he was still 'fit' for his Latvian club team Daugava.

Daugava played in Preliminary Group 2 without the services of their regular 2nd and 3rd boards, grandmaster Aivars Gipslis and perennial Latvian champion Janis Klovans. Both had left to join the Army Sports Club.1,6 Despite this loss, Tal reported that "we were a happy group" who could still give a good account of themselves.3 In the preliminaries Tal did his best, scoring +1 -0 =2, with draws against Leonid Stein and Mark Taimanov. 7 But Vitaly Levchenkov and Andrejs Petersons, the Daugava 2nd and 3rd boards, managed only a paltry 2 points between them. Daugava finished 3d to the powerful Burevestnik and Avangard teams, and only qualified for Final B.6 It seems Gipslis and Klovans really were missed.

In 3 Final B rounds, Tal had no trouble drawing David Bronstein and beating up on the lowly Aron Reshko and Shlomo Giterman. Against Giterman he found this pretty combination, which nets significant material in all variations:

Nc4-b6


click for larger view

Daugava finished 2nd in Final B, behind Moldova, ahead of Zenit, Dinamo and Vodnik.8 Tal's combined score of +3 -0 =3 was good enough to win the 1st board gold medal, but this is a bit misleading. The medals were calculated on who scored the most total points.2 Without doubt, world champion Boris Spassky gave the best performance in this tournament. Playing for Lokomotiv, he skipped the preliminaries and played 4 rounds in the Final A group. He put up a +3 -0 =1 score, mowing down grandmasters Stein, Taimanov and Ratmir Kholmov. If the medals had been calculated on percentage, he would have won the gold on 1st board.9

Notes

1 Khalifman, ed. "Mikhail Tal Games II 1963-1972" pp.306-308; Hilary Thomas, "Complete Games of Mikhail Tal 1967-1973" (Batsford 1979), pp.91-92

2 Olimpbase "7th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Rostov-on-Don 1971-Basic Information" http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/197...

3 Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" (Cadogan 1997), p.400

4 Tal, p.397

5 Di Felice, "Chess Results 1968-1970," pp.283-286, 331, 364-373

6 Olimpbase "7th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Rostov-on-Don 1971-Qualifying Group 2" http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/197...

7 Olimpbase "7th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Rostov-on-Don 1971-Daugava" http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/197...

8 Olimpbase "7th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Rostov-on-Don 1971-Final B" http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/197...

9 Olimpbase "7th Soviet Team Chess Cup: Rostov-on-Don 1971-Lokomotiv http://www.olimpbase.org/1971sc/197...

===

More "Tal at the USSR Team Championships":

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1954

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1955

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1959

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1961

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1962

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1963

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1964

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1966

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1967

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Clubs Team Championship 1968

Game Collection: Tal at the USSR Republics Team Championship 1972

Preliminary Round 1- Daugava vs Avangard
Tal vs Stein, 1971
(A75) Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary Round 2- Daugava vs Burevestnik
Taimanov vs Tal, 1971
(E12) Queen's Indian, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary Round 3- Daugava vs Zenit
Tal vs F N Ignatiev, 1971
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 36 moves, 1-0

Final B Round 2- Daugava vs Vodnik
A Reshko vs Tal, 1971 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 37 moves, 0-1

Final B Round 3- Daugava vs Moldova
Tal vs S Giterman, 1971 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 28 moves, 1-0

Final Round 4- Daugava vs Dinamo
Bronstein vs Tal, 1971
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

6 games

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