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Mikhail Tal vs Robert James Fischer
Zuerich (1959), Zuerich SUI, rd 15, Jun-07
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-22-05  KibitzerX: Yes Ughaibu I do mean black, and that does look like a good defence.
Jun-29-05  tenarius: 35 ... Bb3 36 Bd1 and the bishops leave the board while the pawn remains defended.
Jan-31-06  Joao Quintas Godinho: Defently draw...repetition draw...
Jun-04-09  WhiteRook48: oh, frustrating that Fischer can't take the b2-pawn!
Sep-11-09  kooley782: These two should have played a title match.

"Fischer-Tal World Chess Championship 1975"

Of course, if Tal had beaten Karpov in the qualifiers.

Nov-15-09  SugarRaySam: What about

16...Ng4 (can't be taken by Queen or by Bishop)
17.Qh3 Bg5+
18.Kb1 Ne3

Forking the rooks

Nov-15-09  Ron: <SugarRaySam: What about

16...Ng4 (can't be taken by Queen or by Bishop)
17.Qh3 Bg5+
18.Kb1 Ne3

Forking the rooks>

After 16. ... Ng4 it is better for White to play 17. Qg3, then play would go 17. ... Bg5 18. Kb1 Ne3 19. h4 Nxd1 20. Rxd1 and White is soon going to get a material advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: The B on c1 is actually trapped here - White threatens Kc1 winning it. h4 had closed the door for Bg5

I have a video annotation coming up for this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Video annotation :

Sep-15-14  Petrosianic: <NICOLAS GR>: <if he hadn¬Ęt got any health problems during his youth 1958-1970 (he made 20 surgeries from 1960 up to1992 when he died at the age of 55!!) he would have dominated chess for decades..>

I doubt it. His style during those years was fundamentally unsound. It brought him huge success for a while because the chess world had become so staid in the previous 40 years or so that they had forgotten how to defend against the kind of attacks Tal specialized in (nobody played them any more). After the chess world adjusted to that style, Tal had to modify it somewhat. He was still one of the best players in the world, of course, but he was never again head and shoulders above everyone else after the world made their adjustments.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Nice ride while it lasted, though, for a genuinely decent man, by all accounts.
Sep-15-14  Petrosianic: Yeah, one of the great runs. And even when the ride was over, Tal hovered near the top of the heap for decades.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Petrosianic, you don't think his poor health and simple aging are more to blame than any "adjustments" by the chess world to his attacking style? By the time Fischer was in his nearly unbeatable prime - cutting through players as strong as Larsen like a knife through warm butter, 6-0 repeated - the epoch of tal was over. But is it fair to say the epoch of the aggressive attack was over? Spassky's style wasn't so very different, was it?

A few years later karpov was in his nearly unbeatable prime. Is it fair to expect tal to do more than "hover near the top" of a field with karpov in it, having aged, not to mention having put chess on hiatus for a bit?

Karpov is a good example of what you're describing - the readjustment of chess toward positional soundness above all. But really, he was just one phenomenal player exhibiting that trend. Did everyone? I don't ask rhetorically, I'm curious whether you can give more examples in support of the claim.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Alex Schindler: Petrosianic, you don't think his poor health and simple aging are more to blame than any "adjustments" by the chess world to his attacking style? >

I don't. Even as early as Bled 1961 he was playing in a notably quieter style. When he had temporary returns to form, as in 1972-1973 or 1979, he played beautiful chess, and certainly had the occasional terrific attack, but he wasn't the blitzkrieger he'd been 1957-60.

<By the time Fischer was in his nearly unbeatable prime - cutting through players as strong as Larsen like a knife through warm butter, 6-0 repeated - the epoch of tal was over.>

The <epoch of Tal> -- the first one, anyway -- ended in 1961, long before Fischer became dominant.

<But is it fair to say the epoch of the aggressive attack was over? Spassky's style wasn't so very different, was it? >

Yes. It was completely different, and a lot sounder.

Apr-22-15  Petrosianic: Tal's health was an issue at times, but not at other times. At NO time after 1961 did he dominate like he did from 1957-1960. After the adjustments, he was "merely" One Of the World's Best Players, and Petrosian and Spassky eclipsed him for the rest of the 60's (arguably, Korchnoi did too).

As for aging, Tal was only 25 when he lost the title. No, I don't think age was much of a factor for several years after that.

Apr-22-15  Howard: Tal though did have one strong resurgence in 1979, when he not only shared first place with Karpov at Montreal 1979, but he also blew away the pack at the Riga interzonal.

In fact, as of the January 1, 1980 FIDE rating list, he had a 2705 rating, and was ranked second in the world. Not bad !

Granted, 1980 was a different matter for him, for he lost over 100 points that year.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Tal also had a nice go of it in 1972-73, which ended at Leningrad Interzonal.
Premium Chessgames Member

<Tal> had several bright patches after 1961, including two lengthy unbeaten runs.

Here is Tal's full match and tournament record from 1949 through 1976:

Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1974-1992

All entries derive from multiple sources, but if anyone finds errors, please let me know in my forum.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: If 18...Ne3(?), then 19.Rxf7! Kxf7 20.e5 Nf5 21.g4 Nh4 22.Rf1+ Kg7 23.Nf3 Rg5 24.Qxh4 dxe5 25.Ne4 with decisive attack.
Jul-10-15  RookFile: In this game, Fischer shows the value of opening preparation. He was able to hold against a stronger player (at that time) because much of the game was something he had already analyzed.

In the thread above, the focus seems to be on Tal's sometimes unsound tactics in the middlegame, which worked for him most of the time on the way to becoming champ. As interesting as that is, it's not the only phase of chess.

One might imagine a healthier Tal being able to devote more time to opening research, for example. I think this factor may have allowed him to be champ for a number of years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Photo from the analysis, I guess:

Oct-11-17  ughaibu: They both look happy.
Nov-19-17  BAILEYROHAN: Make reversing colors easier!!!
Apr-30-22  Sally Simpson: The link stonehenge linked to appears to be broken (it's a good pic)

They appear to be around here...

click for larger view an analysis session (or posed for the cameras)


I got that pic from a site that contains at least half a dozen Fischer pictures I had never see before. The last one (go right down the bottom) of Bobby clutching a white pawn on e4 is a real find.


Apr-30-22  catlover: <Sally Simpson>, thanks for the links. The photos show just how young Fischer was when he started to make his mark on the international chess scene. I suppose the dark-haired women with Bobby in one photo is his mother.
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