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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Tal World Championship Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 5, Mar-24
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-14-03  bunti: The fifth game of the the 1960 World Championship where Tal won one game and drew the next three. In the third match game, also against the Caro Kann, Tal introduced the theoretical novelty gxf3 and here he played the rarely played 6th move Nge2 hoping to bring the knight to f4 and the bishop to c4. Botvinnik spent 20 minutes thinking of an appropriate reply. Tal says during the game he seriously considered the following sacrifical line: 10. 0-0 Bd6 11. Nxe6. This certainly would have livenend up the game. Tal kept trying to prevent white from castling by advancing the g pawn but Botvinnik's 15th move Bg6 spoils his plans and the closed position resulted in another draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The first of 3 games where Tal played 6 N1e2. This was the only one where Botvinnik responded 6..e6 which does not seem the most precise. If Botvinnik had grabbed the pawn with 10..Qxd4 Tal was not going to sacrifice a piece on e6 but,instead, just play 11 0-0 and Be3 with the initiative for the pawn. By avoiding 27..Rxh4 28 Nf4..Kd7 29 Ng6..Rh2 30 Nf4..Ke7 31 Rxf5 Botvinnik turned down Tal's attempt to sharpen the position. Tal defended carefully in the endgame where he was slightly worse to hold the draw and maintain his 1-0 lead. One trick he avoided was 41 dxe+..Kxe5 42 Ke3?..Nxg3! 43 Nxg3..f4+ 44 Kf3..fxg 45 Kxg3..h5
and black wins.
Aug-16-09  Nyctalop: After 10...Qxd4 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Bb4+ 13.c3 Bxc3+ 14.Kf1 Bd3 15.Nxd4 Bxe2+ 16.Ngxe2 Bxd4 17.Nxd4 with an even position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: From Tal's notes:

Tal should have played 7.Nf4 Bd6 8.h4 Qc7 9.h5 Bxc2 10.Qg4 with an attack for the pawn. (7.Nf4 is more principled than 7.h4 in this position.)

The sacrifice with 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nxe6 is sound and Tal tried to play it later in the match.

Tal says he was 'angered' at about move 13 -- after passing up opportunities for promising sacrifices, black castles queenside and obtains a quiet, strategic game.

17.Bd3 is an improvement over 17.Ng3

"Now the unpleasantness begins," Tal writes after black's 26th move.

Tal was hoping for 27.....Rxh4 28.Nf4 Kd7 29.Ng6 Rh2 30.Nf8+ Ke7 31.Rxf5.

Botvinnik's more aggressive try is 41....e4+ but then after 42.Kc4 a5 43.b4 axb4 44.Kxb4 Nf6 45.Nf4 Nd5 46.Nxd5 Kxd5 47.Kc3 white draws by a hair: 47....b6 48.h5 Ke6 49.Kc4 Kf6 50.Kc3 Kg5 51.d5 Kf6 52.Kd4 Ke7 53.Kc4 Kd7 54.Kc3!

Tal was pleased with himself that he played 41.a4 instead of 41.dxe5 since Botvinnik was going to seal the next move -- and so forced Botvinnik to make a difficult choice over the board instead of in home analysis.

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