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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"A Brawl with Tal" (game of the day May-09-2012)
Botvinnik - Tal World Championship Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 7, Mar-29
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-09-12  SuperPatzer77: Wow!! It is probably one of the greatest endgames for Mikhail Tal.

It is like "Mike vs Mike" - (Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik), huh??



Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I wonder if both players were mic-ed.Tal wins sharp ending.
May-09-12  jonico: Why not 44...Kxe4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <jonico> After <44...Kxe4>:

click for larger view

White continues 45.Nf6+ and 46.Ne8, when the f-pawn inevitably promotes. This doesn't work in the game (with the Black ♔ on d5) because Black can answer 45.Nf6+ with 45...Ke6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<HeMateMe:> Tal, M.B., 1960. One of my favorite matches.>

If you don't have Tal's book on the match, you should definitely get it. What makes it fascinating is Tal's comments as he approached each game, as well as his comments about his feelings during the game, all in his unique style. And showing the time on the clock for every move, though seldom done, adds a lot since you can tell how much time each player spent on each move (although I think that the time per move rather than the total running time would have been even more useful). Highly, highly recommended.

May-09-12  Petrosianic: PH Clarke's book on the 1969 match has time readings too. I don't know why they're so uncommon, they're absolutely essential to understanding what was going on in some positions.
Sep-07-13  MarkFinan: 26.Rxd7!! I did not see that coming.
We wont see the likes of Tal in top, top level chess again because its a different age. Maybe Nakamura’s closest of the current crop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Is there an annotated book of this match? I have 'Tal's Best Games' and part 2 I think of his complete games but this game reminds one how good these players were. Just playing over a few games gives no idea of the depth of these games.

And the return match (which Botvinnik won well with some aggressive and imaginative play) has also some great games by both players.

Nov-10-13  Olavi: Tal wrote a book on it. Unfortunately the English translation is poor.
Dec-04-13  jonie: i really like the way Tal still makes aggressive yet calculated moves even in endgames!
Dec-04-13  RookFile: The entire game is almost like a composed problem - beautiful chess.
May-18-14  thegoodanarchist: <SuperPatzer77: Wow!! It is probably one of the greatest endgames for Mikhail Tal.>

Agreed, ans super interesting. Probably the most intriguing piece ratio imaginable.

Jun-06-14  zydeco: From Tal's book on the match:

Tal could have sacrificed a pawn with 10.Nd3 and after 10.....exd4 11.0-0 Ngf6 12.Nh5 Nxh5 13.Qxh5 Qf6 14.Re1+ Be7 15.Qe2 Qxh4 16.Bf4 Bxd3 17.cxd3 black's king stays stuck in the center because of 17.....0-0-0 18.Bg3.

Tal seems annoyed with himself when he passes up sacrifices like these.....and even after winning three out of the first seven games of the match, Tal and his trainer Koblentz concluded that Tal wasn't really in form.

Tal says that he was sort of messing around with 14.Kxe2 ('a provocative but hackneyed move').

Somehow Tal completely forgot that he had played the entire opening, up to move 15, in a 1955 game with Illevitsky, which led to a draw.

21.Red1 is a somewhat desperate attempt to avoid an early draw after 21.Rad1 Re8

Botvinnik loses his grip with 25.....Bg6? forgetting all about the fork on f6 (Botvinnik says he saw that white was threatening to take on d7 and play Nf6+ to fork the bishop on h7 -- so he moved the bishop off h7 but forgot that the rook was also exposed on g8.) Black could have played 25.....Bf5 26.Nxf6 Nxf6 27.Nxg5 Bxc2 28.Bxc2 R5xg5 29.g3 or (stronger) 25....Rh8 26.f4 gxf4 27.N5xf4 and Tal's note is that black is strategically better but the position is 'sufficiently complicated' for Tal's liking.

Black had better defensive chances with 31....f5.

33.Ne4+ fails to 33.....Kd5 34.Nxc5 Bc4+

An important trick for Tal is 44.....Kxe4 45.Nf6+ and 46.Ne8 promoting the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: why 33 axBb3 over Ne4+, forking the king and rook? white can be up a knight (or 2 knights to a bishop) instead of 2 knights to a rook, no? at the cost of a pawn?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Oh , from the end of Zydeco's comment. nevermind
Mar-24-16  Joker2048: Wonderfull chess ...
Great sacrifices ...
Amazing endgame ...
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: After 49...c4 white wins in 22

click for larger view

plays Nb1

Feb-18-19  Triebe: 44. Nf6+ would simplify it, after King moves 45.Ne8 and the pawn is free to crown.
Feb-18-19  noftox: <Triebe> I'm afraid that 44. ♘f6+ ♔d6 45. ♘e8 ♔e7 intercepts the pawn at the last possible moment.
Feb-18-19  Antonin1957: Wow! This is a game I will replay over and over!
Feb-18-19  Count Wedgemore: Tal's book on this match is in my opinion one of the best chess books ever written.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I owned that book, one of my favorites.
May-13-20  joddon: at move 30 Tal had to have read 22 moves ahead in his mind, there is no other way he could play this risk without a clear vision in his head!!
Jun-21-20  tinnderbox: I wonder whether the position is all that clear after 34. ... Ke5 (rather than Rxb3).

I put Stockfish to work and he comes up with 35. Nfe4 Rxb3 36. Nf3+ Kd5 37.Nf6+ Kd6 38. Ke2 Ra3 and white has only a very small advantage (+0.2).

Alternatively 35. Nh5 Rxb3 36. g4 c5 37. f4+ Kd4 38. f5 c4 39. Ne6+ Ke3 40. Nhf4 Kf3 eventually ends up in KNN vs KP with the pawn on b5, which should be a draw.

May-14-23  Sally Simpson: Another pleasant hour or so going over this game with Tal's notes keeping me company.

As Zydeco mention above:

<Somehow Tal completely forgot that he had played the entire opening, up to move 15, in a 1955 game with Illevitsky, which led to a draw.>

Tal was apparently looking through some old games of his after the match when he discovered this. Going by the times Botvinnik was also unaware of this game.

Tal vs G Ilivitsky, 1955

Times to moves 15. Tal: 28 Minutes. Botvinnik 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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