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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal
"Big and Tal" (game of the day May-21-2015)
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 27, Oct-26
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Flank Variation (B87)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-21-15  Petrosianic: Oh, I don't blame Tal. He never made excuses himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Two giants...both winners...this time, it's Tal
May-21-15  A.T PhoneHome: Mikhail Tal most probably knew the road he was taking the moment he started drinking. He knew the risks, but he wanted to lead bohemian life which he did.

He was the last person to make excuses for losing, I think.

May-21-15  ToTheDeath: <No one was better than Tal in 1959. No one.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karne: <ToTheDeath: No one was better than Tal in 1959. No one.>

And not even the Almighty Lord was better than Fischer in 1971.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: lol good pun
May-22-15  reticulate: Help me out here. Why would Fischer not play 20. BxR? If 21....BxR, then 22. Qxe7+ and the Black King's fortress is breached. At the very least, the other rook falls and a mating net seems likely once the other rook gets to the D file. This seems so obvious that I feel I must be missing something.
May-22-15  reticulate: Now I see that I erroneously had the Black Queen on a4 rather than c6. That makes a big difference!
May-23-15  KID Slayer: Wasn't this GOTD earlier?
May-23-15  Howard: No, you're probably thinking of another game from the 1959 Candidates tournament that these two greats played.

It was from the third round, and it had Tal doubling his ranks on the 8th rank. It was GOTD sometime last year.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 17.Bf4 was a slip that allowed black to ease his position after 17...Qc6 with double attack against g2 and Na4. After simple 17.Rf2! white is better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Given that Tal was one point ahead of Keres with two games to play his accepting the gambit with 8..b4!? and 9..Nxe4!? was extraordinarily risky.

From My Great Predecessors:
"On the morning of the day of this game was played, Tal analysed this variation with Averbakh, Koblents and Petrosian, who had called in. 9..Nxe4 appealed to Tigran: 'Such a nice little central pawn...hmmm, hmmm...I think I would take it'. But Mikhail had his doubts, and it was only after sitting at the board and glancing at Fischer, that he mentally waived his hands: 'Ah, what the devil - I'll take it!'. Such preparation is not so much an indication of Tal's flippancy, as of the level of opening theory at this time."

10..g6 did nothing to inhibit f5. After 12..Rg8? Black was in serious trouble; better was 12..d5 13 Nh6..Bxh6 14 Bxh6. 17 c3 was the best way to deal with the threat of ..Qc6; instead after Fischer's 17 Bf4?! Black was better.

Tal on 18..Qxa4:
"I was faced with a choice: should I go into a slightly inferior endgame (18..Qxf3 19 Rxf3..Re2 20 Rf2..Rxf2 21 Kxf2)or, after accepting the piece sacrifice, subject myself to a very strong attack? I could not see a forced mate, it is true, but, perhaps, only because I wasn't looking for one. If I had been playing White, I would have considered the attack to be decisive. Nethertheless, I chose the second path."

Tal's play from that point on was quite impressive.

Jan-10-18  Petrosianic: Although Fischer looks very good early on in this game, the Opening Explorer shows White's results are very bad after 8. f4. The risky 8...b4 hasn't been played much, but White has awful results against it too. That doesn't prove much when there are only a few games, as a lot comes down to who played those games.

<plang> <10..g6 did nothing to inhibit f5.>

Right, it doesn't. And it's not really intended to (even though it looks like it is). The point of g6 is to exchange a wing pawn for White's f pawn, leaving his center pawns intact. Also, as you can see, Black needs to have the f5 square still under pawn attack a few moves later, when he plays 14...exf5.

Where Fischer maybe goes a bit too far is with 20. Bxb8. Maybe like Tal, he assumed the attack would be decisive, but it's not like Fischer to play speculatively. It was probably time to get out of the market with 20. Qxc6+ Nxc6 21. Bxe7.

It should be pointed out that this is not a typical Tal game. With Tal you think of him conducting the smashing SUCCESSFUL sacrificial attack. He's not usually the one who allows the other player to do it, hoping to come out with a better game when the attack fails. That's more of what you'd expect from a Korchnoi game (or Steinitz). It shows that Tal knew more than one way to play for a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: In my opinion (and I'm not alone) Tal and Fischer were the best players ever, because they had, more than others, the queen of every sport: phantasy.
Dec-03-19  m.okun: In the 1959 Candidate Tournament, Tal defeated Fisher 4-0!
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Is this the game where Tal pulled the ..c7-c6-c5 stunt with a grin on the first move? Captured on film at the time.

I guess Tal implied he fancied his chances against Fischerís two-Knights variation against the Caro-Kann.

Feb-04-20  Howard: The latest issue of Chess Life (February) gives some updated analysis of a crucial position from this game.
May-29-20  Helios727: M60MG has only 51 moves for this game. It leaves out the Black King going to c7 and the White Rook going to b5 at the end. Is there a way to know if the book is wrong or that this web presentation is wrong?
May-29-20  SChesshevsky: < Helios727: M60MG has only 51 moves for this game...>

Yeah, my 1969 version has the 51. But my 2008 version has as presented here with the 52.

Guessing the 1969 was just bad print job as 51. Rc8+ probably wins in the 51 move version.

May-29-20  ewan14: Just to be boring Fischer was only 16 , give or take a year , in 1959
May-29-20  Helios727: Does the 2008 Batsford version keep all of Fischer's notes and just add to them, or do they delete some of Fischer's notes?
May-29-20  Helios727: ewan14, he was 16 exactly since the game was after March 9 of that year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<woldsmandrifield> Is this the game where Tal pulled the ..c7-c6-c5 stunt with a grin on the first move? Captured on film at the time.>

Yes, but it might have been have been an empty gesture. I did not remember any game in which Tal played 1...c6 in response to 1.e4 and thought that he had never played the Caro-Kann. But I was wrong, the ChessTempo database has 26 games in which he did. However, the first game in which he did so was this one, V Heuer vs Tal, 1972, in 1972. So I was partly right, he had never played the Caro-Kann when he played this game.

BTW, here's the video of Tal "threatening" to play the Caro-Kann in this game: One of the comments says that Fischer was trying not to laugh at 00:10 into the video but I disagree, Fischer does not look amused.

But this game was notable because, as <apple head> mentioned in Fischer vs Tal, 1959 (kibitz #19), Fischer was going to play 23.Rae1 and, as was his habit and was legal in those days, wrote it down on his scoresheet. But Tal smiled at him and Fischer thought better of it and instead of playing the best move, 23.Rae1, he played 23.Qc6+ and eventually lost. And you can see a discussion of that in <agadmator>'s analysis in starting at ~ 06:08.

May-30-20  SChesshevsky: <Helios727> The 2008 back cover says no alterations to the text made. Just change to algebraic. But assuming they also fixed typos and printing errors like the one you spotted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby got his revenge loike
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