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Mikhail Tal vs Svein Johannessen
Riga (1959), Dec-??
Slav Defense: Schlechter Variation (D15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-04-03  ughaibu: This is interesting. It's the more familiar Tal style without requiring anything super brilliant just the exploitation of his opponent's piece weaknesses. Maybe that's a distinctive point of Tal's style, that he plays against the pieces not the pawns?
Nov-04-03  Open Defence: hehehe <journalist> How does Tal win his games? <Koblents (Tal's trainer)> he brings his pieces onto center squares and then sacrifices them, his oponnent faced with checkmate then resigns! hehehehe
Nov-21-07  Whitehat1963: What's the best finish here?

I'm thinking 27...Kf7 28. Re7+ Kf6 29. Bxb4, and white has a big advantage. Is there something better that I'm missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Whitehat 1963> I think that's it. White is the exchange and two pawns up, so it's hopeless for Black.
Jun-02-08  Assassinater: Tiny problem is that it looks like it just hangs the rook after 29... Kxe7 so 29. Rcc7 might be needed beforehand.
Jun-02-08  euripides: <27...Kf7 28.Re7+ Kf6 29.Bxb4> and the rook is protected by the b4 bishop so Kxe7 is illegal. Black can try 29...Bf8 but White has 30.Re4, or 29... a5 30.Bc5 and the bishop is protected.
Jun-02-08  Assassinater: D'uh! Talk about chess blindness...
Jul-15-09  ToTheDeath: 12.Bxf7+!- the key move, giving up two pieces for rook and pawn is usually a bad trade but Tal has seen in this position his rooks will be able to quickly occupy the central files and make threats while Black's queenside development remains retarded.

A good example of Capablanca's rule that the initiative itself is an advantage, and must be pursued like an extra piece.

Dec-20-10  Crocomule: 11...Nbd7 is a typical example of the difference between a master and a gm. He was afraid to play 11...Nc6 because of the potentially isolated c6 pawn, while the half-open lines and support of d5 would have compensated. Compare to 13. d:e6 in Khermlin-Tal '68.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game won the prize for "Best Attack" in the <1st Riga International Tournament>, played 5-21 December 1959.

The tournament slogan was "The Baltic is the Sea of Friendship."

<Tal> finished 4th, behind Spassky, Mikenas and Tolush, ahead of Sliwa, Gipslis, Teschner, Nei and Pietzsch, with +7 -2 -4.


-Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.352


-"The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," p.124;

Jul-16-17  RKnight: Tal's 21st move is stunning. 21 Rc6! Of course the rook sac must be declined or else 21...Qxc6, 22 Qxe7+ Kg2, 23 Qxe8+ Bf1, 24 Ne7+ winning the Q. I wish I could see moves like that over the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < keypusher: <Whitehat 1963> I think that's it. White is the exchange and two pawns up, so it's hopeless for Black.

Nov-21-07 Whitehat1963: What's the best finish here? I'm thinking 27...Kf7 28. Re7+ Kf6 29. Bxb4, and white has a big advantage. Is there something better that I'm missing?>

I didn't realize how big White's advantage is, e.g. 29....Bf5 30.Rcc7 and after either 30....Bh6 31.f4 or 30....Bf8 31.Bc3+ Black is getting mated (Stockfish).

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Incidentally, Stockfish is not convinced by Tal's 12.Bxf7+ sacrifice, continuing 12....Rxf7 13.Nxf7 Kxf7 14.Qb3+ Kf8 15.Rac1 Qc6 16.Rfd1 Nc5 17.Qa3 b6 18.b4 Bb7 19.f3 Ne6 and Black has developed his queenside.
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