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Yuri S Balashov vs Mikhail Tal
9th Soviet Match-Tournament (1973), Moscow URS, rd 3, Apr-26
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-23-02  ughaibu: I think this is the game that ended an earlier unbeaten run of Tal's, on this occasion 86 games without loss.
Dec-23-02  GregorMendel: It's hard to believe that Capa didn't play 86 games in 10 years, but both streaks are nonetheless astounding.
Dec-23-02  ughaibu: It seems Capablanca lost to Chajes in 1916 then went 63 games unbeaten before the loss to Reti.
Dec-23-02  GregorMendel: Well, if Chajes beat him in '16 and Reti in '24, then that's only eight years...hmm, I didn't know that!
Dec-23-02  ughaibu: Kramnik had an unbeaten run of 82 and Tal(!) one of 80, so of the four longest runs three are by Tal, not a player noted for the safety of his style.
Dec-23-02  GregorMendel: Yeah, the database doesn't show Chajes' victory; I'll look that up sometime.
Dec-24-02  ughaibu: As far as I know Capablanca only played in two major events between Saint Petersburg 1914 where he lost to Lasker and Tarrasch and New York 1924 where he lost to Reti. Those events were the match with Lasker, who was hospitalised for several months after resigning the match so presumably was not at his best and London 1922 which did feature a lot of strong players as well as the locals. Viewed like this it's perhaps not such an impressive unbeaten run, in effect one top rank tournament and one match.
Dec-24-02  PVS: I concur with ughaibu on this. The war watered down his competition and postponed the clash with Lasker. In St. Petersburg Capablanca won the preliminary, but in the finals lost to Lasker and then blundered and lost against Tarrach and ended up behind Lasker by a half point. I think the New York tournaments of 1915, 1916 and 1918 are considered strong events, but not major events such as St. Petersburg 1914 and London 1922. But Lasker is still Lasker and Capablanca met several strong players. It is not Fischer's famous winning streak of course, but still impressive. Later he was in fantastic form in New York 1927 after having stumbled at New York 1924 and Moscow 1925. His supporters saw the Alekhine match as a way of quelling all talk of his vulnerability.
Feb-28-03  ughaibu: Alhine: Here's part of the story about unbeaten runs, I dont remember where the rest is.
Jun-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

<ughaibu: I think this is the game that ended an earlier unbeaten run of Tal's, on this occasion 86 games without loss.>

<ughaibu>, you are correct.

Before this game, Tal last lost in round 11 of the <Ilmar Raud Memorial 1972>: G Uusi vs Tal, 1972

Between that loss and this one, he was unbeaten for 86 games.

Tal lost both of his games to Balashov in this event, the <Moscow Match Tournament 1973>.

Here is his second loss:
Tal vs Balashov, 1973

Game Collection: Tal at the Moscow Match -Tournament 1973

-Hilary Thomas "Complete Games of Mikhail Tal 1967-1973" (Batsford 1979), pp.150-151

Jun-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

<ughaibu: As far as I know Capablanca only played in two major events between Saint Petersburg 1914 where he lost to Lasker and Tarrasch and New York 1924 where he lost to Reti. Those events were the match with Lasker, who was hospitalised for several months after resigning the match so presumably was not at his best and London 1922 which did feature a lot of strong players as well as the locals. Viewed like this it's perhaps not such an impressive unbeaten run, in effect one top rank tournament and one match.>

<ughaibu> That's an interesting assessment. To help compare Capablanca's and Tal's streaks, here is a complete list of events Tal played between the <Ilmar Raud Memorial 1972> and the <Moscow Match Tournament 1973>

<Sukhumi International 1972> Game Collection: Sukhumi 1972 (16 Aug - 5 Sept) 1st over Savon, Taimanov, M. Mukhin, Beliavsky, Liberzon, Kholmov, Murey, Espig, Huebner, Honfi, Gufeld, Suttles, Ree, Kirov and Jansa, with +7 -0 =8. Awarded a special prize for K Honfi vs Tal, 1972 ["Mikhail Tal - 8th World Champion" (PC-CD) Event Index, p.10; "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," pp.11, 403-404; http://al20102007.narod.ru/it/1972/...; Complete Games of Mikhail Tal 1967-1973," pp.116-120 ]

<Skopje Olympiad 1972> Game Collection: Tal at the Skopje Olympiad 1972 (18 Oct - 13 Nov) Gold medal on 4th board, with +12 -0 =4. The USSR 1st over Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, West Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Netherlands, East Germany, USA and Spain. ["Mikhail Tal - 8th World Champion" (PC-CD) Event Index, p.10; "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," p.11; Olimpbase http://www.olimpbase.org/1972/1972i...; http://www.olimpbase.org/1972/1972e...; http://www.olimpbase.org/1972/1972f...; http://www.olimpbase.org/1972/1972u... ]

USSR Championship (1972) <40th USSR Championship> In Baku (16 Nov - 25 Dec) 1st over Tukmakov, Kuzmin, Savon, M. Mukhin, Vasiukov, Balashov, Bagirov, Furman, Kholmov, Lein and others, with +9 -0 =12. [Cafferty and Taimanov, pp.157-159; http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1... ]

<Wijk aan Zee 1973> (13 Jan - 3 Feb) 1st over Balashov, Vasukiov, Hort, Planinc, Andersson, Enklaar, Ribli, Ljubojevic, Najdorf and Szabo, with +6 -0 =9. [Winter, p.154; "Mikhail Tal - 8th World Champion" (PC-CD) Event Index, p.10; http://www.tatasteelchess.com/histo...; http://www.tatasteelchess.com/histo... ]

Tallinn (1973) (19 Feb - 15 March) 1st over Polugaevsky, Balashov, Bronstein, Spassky, Keres, Andersson, Nei, Timman and others, with +9 -0 =6. Spassky vs Tal, 1973 [http://al20102007.narod.ru/it/1973/... ]

<Moscow Pioneer's Tournament 1973> Game Collection: Tal at the Moscow Pioneer's Tournament 1973 Six city teams competed, each team consisting of one grandmaster with 6 pioneers from their respective cities. Each grandmaster played a clock simul against the pioneers from each of the opposing 5 teams. Tal's Riga team finished 3d, behind Moscow (Smyslov), Leningrad (Spassky), ahead of Kiev (Bronstein), Cheliabinsk (Karpov) and Tbilisi (Petrosian). ["Complete Games of Mikhail Tal 1967-1973," pp.148-149 ]

Jun-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: For Capablanca, there was also this event, pretty strong.

New York (1918)

Though Capablanca was not the only undefeated player there.

This event looks weaker:

Hastings (1919)

With the same two undefeated players.

But that makes Capablanca's performance in this event more impressive.

Capablanca - Kostic (1919)

Jun-28-14  Bangalorechesslover: Folks: this should be a GOTD. I have submitted a pun "Balashov Ballet"!

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