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Mikhail Tal vs Viktor Korchnoi
Moscow (1968), rd 5, Jul-04
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-12-05  lentil: K's extraction of the N/c3 from the pin is nothing short of miraculous!
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Korchnoi does seem to have been a bete noire of Tal's. Perhaps Tal brought the best out of Korchnoi. Playing over their games, one has the impression that Korchnoi was completely unintimidated by Tal's tactical ability.

23..Nxc3! The game has a nice flow to it...

Oct-01-06  MadBishop: This is my favorite game of all time! I really admire Korchnoi's brilliance for combination! 27.Rec1?? was obviously the losing move for Tal! Korchnoi consolidated on that move, a move later with the brilliant move 28. ...e4!! For interest sake, this game was one of the games in the 1968 Candidates Semi-final, which Korchnoi went on to win!!
Aug-25-09  dTal: Before the match, Korchnoi and many others expected this to be a walkover because of Tal's record against Korch. However it was extremely close, with Tal losing 2 to 1. Tal missed a couple of wins in some of the drawn games. Although he never complained, he was often crippled by pain, illness and various tragedies in his later career.

Tal was a genius in the truest sense; this is what Kramnik says about him:

"Tal was a star, a real chess genius. As far as I am concerned he was not ambitious at all, he played primarily for fun and enjoyed the game. This attitude is totally unprofessional. But he was an incredibly gifted player and even with such an amateur approach, Tal managed to become a World Champion."

"Tal was quite simply an outstanding versatile chess player. Of course, his attitude to chess had an effect. If only he had had Botvinnik's character, he would have been impossible to deal with..."

"It is difficult to talk about Tal because he was an unusual person as well as being a very fascinating player. Like a natural phenomenon. I am absolutely sure he would have been a success in any other field of endeavour. He had a quick and brilliant mind. If he had been an academic, he would have won a Nobel prize. He was an unworldly man. By the way, many people who knew him quite well said that he bore no relation to homo sapiens. He was like a man from another planet! That's why he played "unidentifiable" chess. Analyzing his chess games is tantamount to discussing what God looks like."

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <dTal:Before the match, Korchnoi and many others expected this to be a walkover because of Tal's record against Korch.> When they drew colors, Korchnoi won the toss and...he chose Black for the first game...
Jan-28-11  Ulhumbrus: On 25...cxb3! 26 Qxh6 bxc2 27 Re3 Rd1+ 28 Kh2 e4+ 29 Rg3 Qxg3+! removes White's Rook and on 30 fxg3 Rxa1 31 Qxf6 c2-c1/Q denies White's Queen access to the squares g5 and h6. Korchnoi had probably calculated this sequence amongst others before playing 25...cxb3.
Feb-21-22  tbontb: Needing a win in the match, Tal over-pressed with 27.Rec1, playing for complications involving a subtle trap

<Game Collection: Korchnoi - Tal Candidates Semifinal 1968>

but Kortschnoj found an immediate refutation.

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