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Mikhail Tal vs Fridrik Olafsson
Bled (1961), Bled YUG, rd 3, Sep-05
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B48)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Perhaps best is 29...Bf4 30.Bxg7+ Rxg7 31.Qf6+ Qxc2 32.g3 Be5 33.Qxh6+ Kg8 34.Qe6+ Kh8 35.Qe8+ Rg8 36.Qh5+ Kg7, and Black may be able to hold.

If 33...Kh7, then 34.Nf5 Rg4 35.Re6, and White wins another pawn.

If 39...Kg6, then 40.Ng3 Be3+ 41.Kf1 Kg5 42.Ke2 Bc1 43.a4 Kf4 44.Nf1 b4 45.Kd3 Bb2 46.Kc4 and White should win.

Aug-15-09  roastedrook: one of Tal's most amazing masterpieces !!!
Nov-20-09  tonyboy: good game ol tal
Aug-29-10  sevenseaman: Tal, in this game and quite often elsewhere has shown that he is a very pragmatic chess master and not an ambitious glory grabbing fool. He sees what is invisible to most.
Dec-13-10  Crocomule: If you really love Tal... read his comments to 20...Kg8 in Life and Games. It begins, "Black chooses the path of least resistance".. a phrase he usually reserves for Larsen.
Dec-13-10  checkmateyourmove: tal is the master of the inbetween moves. I can only hope for half his vision over the board.
Aug-05-11  ToTheDeath: A deeply complex game with MANY fantastic side variations that were never played. <20...Qd8!> appears to refute the attack. In his notes Tal gives a beautiful variation that goes:

20... Qd8 21. exd6+ Bf6 22. Qh4 Kg7 23. Bd7! Bxd7 24. Nd5 Bxd4+ 25. Qxd4+ Kh6 26. Re4 with a decisive attack.

However 22...Bg7! refutes this line, and after the practically forced 23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. Qg3 Qb6+ 25.Kh1 Rad8 White is lost.

Tal didn't hypnotize his opponents- he took them out into deep water and let them drown.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Tal's description of this game in 'Life and Games of Mikhail Tal' gives a lot of insight into his thought-process.

He spent 40 minutes on his 17th move primarily calculating the lines following 20.....Qd8. He went down two 'false trails': 1) 21.Qh6 dxe5 22.Bxe5+ Bf6 23.Re3 Rg8 (if 23.....Bxe5 24.Rh3 wins) 24.Rh3 Rg7 and black defends and 2) 21.e6+ Bf6 22.Qh4 fxe6 23.Rxe6 Be5!! but decided that there should be some way to exploit the undefended position of the bishop on c6 so decided on 21.exd6+ Bf6 22.Qh4 Kg7 23.Bd7!

Tal went through all this feeling that the variations weren't quite right - as ToTheDeath points out, he missed 22.....Bg7 - but at a certain point he decided to simply go for it: he felt his position was strong and the win should be found in some sort of combination, so he played 17.f5 instead of 17.Kh1, which he suspected was objectively the more accurate move.

Tal's gamble paid off because Olafsson didn't look as deeply into the position - he played 20....Kg8 very quickly.

Tal says that after move 29, the players were in a mad time scramble -- and Olafsson flagged as he was trying to play 38.....Kg6.

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