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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
URS-chT (1966), Moscow URS, rd 10, Oct-04
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack. Fianchetto Defense (B14)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-21-08  Alphastar: <dragon40: WEll, as theroy stand right now, March of 2004, the whole line beginning with 5...g6, all variations and sub-variations in the Caro-Kann, Panov attack are not recommended OR considered sound at all!!>

The 5. ..g6!? has never been refuted, but the line starting with 6. Qb3! is critical. After any normal move by white (like Nf3) the opening is simply a Tarrasch QG with reversed colors and a tempo less. This just results in 'easier equality'.

The reason that the line 5. ..g6 is not played much is that white usually reaches a favourable position by in time returning the d5-pawn by playing d5-d6 (as in the game).

Jul-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: <kinda makes ya wonder why Tal didn't treat the caro-kann this way in 60 and 61.> "On the eve of that meeting Botvinnik had been showing his best form, defeating Smyslov, Keres and Spassky; and against Tal again made use of his favourite Caro-Kann. For the first time against his great rival Tal replied with the Panov variation. And he achieved an astonishingly easy victory. There were some who thought with melancholy, he should have done that long before..." (Svetozar Gligoric).
Jul-03-08  RookFile: Well, that system that Tal was playing back then, involving a piece sacrifice on e6, also looked promising.
Jul-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: This game is Tal's only tournament victory against Botvinnik, thus evening their lifetime score.
Jul-27-08  talisman: <aw1988> how right you are and by the way come back...we all miss you and the wolf.
Oct-15-08  Mikhail Tal fan: the end of one of the strongest rivalities in the world of chess , from Steinz-Lasker, Capablanca-Alekhine...Kasparov-Karpov ..to Anand-Kramnik nowadays ..

i wish i had met Tal before his Death..R.I.P

Jul-29-09  WhiteRook48: 5...g6 is stupid
Aug-24-09  WhiteRook48: Tal should have played this variation as many times as possible in the 1961 rematch
Apr-19-10  DrGridlock: < dragon40: <Catfriend> WEll, as theroy stand right now, March of 2004, the whole line beginning with 5...g6, all variations and sub-variations in the Caro-Kann, Panov attack are not recommended OR considered sound at all!!>

Maybe not so unsound after all.
In the last year (2009) the 5 ... g6 variation has been used for the Black pieces by Grischuk:

M Meinhardt vs Grischuk, 2009

and Kamsky:

Ehlvest vs Kamsky, 2010

Jul-18-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Tal vs Botvinnik, 1966.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF TAL.
Your score: 75 (par = 73)

LTJ

Nov-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PivotalAnorak: 21.Ne3?!
21.Re8+! Kg7 22.Ne3! If then 22...Bd7 23.Bxc6 Bxe8 24.Bxe8>

Old stuff: Cafferty pointed out this possibility in his collection of Tal's games many years ago.

Aug-15-21  tbontb: Tal's 14.Bg5 aiming to control d5 was a new move at the time and after Botvinnik's 20....Ra5 Black was simply lost. Instead 20....Nxd4 21.Re8+ Kg7 22.Nxb6 Rb8 23.Ncd5 Nf3+ 24.Bxf3 Bxf3 23.Re3 would have limited White to only a small advantage.
Aug-15-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As Cafferty also wrote in his annotations, it was surprising really that the Panov did not feature more frequently in Tal's praxis.
Aug-15-21  offramp: The QGA and the CK Panov are similar. In this game Tal takes the pawn on d5. He then makes it <look like> he is going to keep that pawn!

For some players being a pawn down can be a bit edgy; they can have a radio rental hemispheroid dyspapse.

You get the same thing in the QGA. As Black, don't play the QGD, wait for a few moves and play ...dxc4. The player of the white pieces will be scratching all sorts of bits of his body.

Mar-11-22  Chesgambit: Dubious system by black I played Caro-Kann then realize white can defend pawn or just give back pawn to create weakness and activity
Mar-11-22  Chesgambit: Black should find strong moves like 8...a5 or 9...b5 not 9...Qb6
Mar-11-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <stoy: This game is Tal's only tournament victory against Botvinnik, thus evening their lifetime score.>

These players met only twice at the board aside from the two matches.

Nov-07-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Only two games between Tal and the grizzled veteran after their world championship matches, the above and a draw.

Botvinnik seems to get a bad opening here, busted pawn structure. Tal avoids exchanges and just picks him apart.

Nov-07-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: <Only two games between Tal and (Botvinnik) after their world championship matches, the above and a draw.>

That's hard to believe. Do you think that was by Communist Party design?

Nov-07-22  Olavi: Karpov and Kasparov only played thrice before their matches, also surprising at first sight. But Kasparov was very busy 1982-84 with the IZ and Candidates.
Nov-07-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: FTB> I doubt the Communist Party cared that much.

Tal was not a political person, but a lot of people seem to assume he was some sort of dissident. I'm not aware of any evidence for that.

Tal's autobiography has a complete list of his tournaments and matches. I don't have that for Botvinnik, but I have a decent handle on what he was doing in the last decade of his career.

In the 1960s Botvinnik was active compared to his WC championship years, but that's still not enormously active by anyone else's standards. Tal's activity level varied with his health. In 1969, when his health reached a nadir, he played only in the 36th and 37th USSR championships.

Tal played in many Soviet championship and WC cycle events, neither of which Botvinnik was doing. For example, in 1965 Tal played in three Candidates matches and the Latvian championship. Obviously there was no chance he and Botvinnik would play each other that year.

They met each other in team events.

The other place where they could have met each other was in international tournaments.

However, the Soviets tended to dole out those invites very carefully, generally sending only one or two people, and often if they sent two they would send one superstar and one lesser player, often an up-and-comer. So that would tend to rule out seeing the likes of Botvinnik and Tal at the same event.

Hastings is illustrative. Here are the Soviet representatives by year.

59-60: Averbakh
60-61: Bondarevsky
61-62: Botvinnik and Flohr (who were friends)
62-63: Smyslov and Kotov
63-64: Tal
64-65: Keres and Gaprindashvili
65-66: Spassky and Vasiukov
66-67: Botvinnik and Balashov
67-68: Stein
68-69: Smyslov and Tukmakov
69-70: Smyslov

So, Botvinnik went twice, with lesser players both times. Tal went once, by himself.

In Palma 1966, Tal was there with Leonid Shamkovich. In Palma 1967, Botvinnik and Smyslov played. They also both took part in Monaco 1968. So those are exceptions to the no-more-than-one-Soviet-heavyweight rule. But again, Botvinnik and Smyslov were friends. Another exception is Hoogovens 1968, where Korchnoi and Tal both played. But I think the other thing to bear in mind is that Botvinnik also tended not to play in the absolute strongest events at the end of his career. Hoogovens has already been mentioned; he also skipped Moscow 1967.

Nov-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher....Tal's activity level varied with his health. In 1969, when his health reached a nadir, he played only in the 36th and 37th USSR championships....>

Tal also played the candidates match with Larsen for third, another disaster in that annus horribilis, and the only encounters they had between their candidates match in 1965 and Leningrad 1973.

<....But I think the other thing to bear in mind is that Botvinnik also tended not to play in the absolute strongest events at the end of his career....>

After Botvinnik's last appearance in the Soviet championship (1955) and the Alekhine Memorial in the first half of 1956, that was largely the case, in some part because of all the title matches.

Nov-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < perfidious: <keypusher....Tal's activity level varied with his health. In 1969, when his health reached a nadir, he played only in the 36th and 37th USSR championships....> Tal also played the candidates match with Larsen for third, another disaster in that annus horribilis, and the only encounters they had between their candidates match in 1965 and Leningrad 1973.>

Oops, you are right. Two Soviet championships plus a match with Larsen is a reasonable level of activity for 1969. Given how sick he often was, it's amazing how much high-level chess Tal played in the 60s.

Nov-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher>, believe Cafferty noted that soon after the Soviet championship in late 1969, Tal had a kidney out and his play improved.
Nov-08-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Botvinnik was a loyal, good party boy back when your life might depend on the whims of Stalin. After winning a big tournament, back when Stalin was still alive, MB wrote some sort of butt kissing letter for Pravda, (paraphrasing) "I honor our glorious leader Iosif Stalin with the winning of first prize in the ______ tournament, a reflection on the high ideals and accomplishments of our communist utopia."

In the 1960s things had been tamped down a bit and great soviet players no longer had to grovel in such a way.

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