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Mikhail Tal vs Bent Larsen
Tal - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1965), Bled YUG, rd 6, Jul-31
Alekhine Defense: Modern. Larsen Variation (B04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-29-07  talisman: tal made 12 queen moves,larsen 13.both sides were too busy to get their queen bishops out(tal move 28) and larsen never did.
Oct-04-07  Hinger: This was a really fun game to play through. Misha is awesome!!
Jan-31-08  Nezhmetdinov: someone help me out on why Bent didn't play 18...nb6. Cheers.
Jan-31-08  Shams: <Nezhmetdinov> he didn't fancy 19.Rd1 Kc7 I guess. I'd give back the piece for counterplay too.
Jul-04-08  ToTheDeath: 16.Nb5!? is the only move to give Black any problems.

After 18... Nf4 19. Rd1+ Kc7 20. Rd7+ Bxd7 21. Qxd7+ Kb8 22. Qxe7 Qxe5 23. Be3 Ng6 24. Qxf7 Qf6 25. Be8! Qe7 26. Qxg6 Rxe8 27. Bc5 Qd7 28. Bd6+ Kc8 29. c5 the bishop is stronger than the rook.

Yes, 18... Nb6 19. Qa5 Kc7 20. c5 Kb8 21. cxb6 axb6 22. Qb5 Ra5 23. Qc4 was the correct defense. It's not easy to defend against Tal.

Feb-02-09  peterh105: Instead of the fatal ... b5, what about ... Qe2 hoping to get the queen to f3, h5, or g4 supported by a pawn at h5? White might try and put his bishop on the a8-h1 diagonal; then black might be able to get away with f5. Black's queen belongs near his king and white's king! He might even get some counterplay by advancing the h-pawn? Admittedly, white has a huge advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The game annotated:
Oct-03-09  birthtimes: If 23...e5 24. Qxg7 Be6/Qxa4 25. Bxh6 White gains an irresistible attack...If 24...Rd8 25. Be3...Tal
Oct-03-09  Lt.Surena: 13... Qf5? seems like a very weak move. Black goes on a wild goose chase with his queen instead of development (ie. 13... Bd7).

16.Nb5!! incredible foresight by the magician from Riga. Black should have resigned here. White claims supremacy on the Queen side. Poor performance by black from here on ...

Dec-14-10  Crocomule: See Ivkov-Kagan '79... which is odd, because Misha mentions him in his analysis.
Mar-14-11  hedgeh0g: Objectively speaking, is there anything wrong with 13.Qxg6? From a positional point of view, it looks like a pretty good move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Hedgeh0g> Nothing wrong with 13.Qxg6 at all; I'd certainly have played the move, leaving Black with the weakness at e6 and the bad light-squared bishop.
Mar-12-12  ephesians: Wonderful game. Only Tal plays like this, everybody else would find a way to lose this with white. There's a sense of humor regarding the entire game.
Aug-18-12  Conrad93: Larry Evans:

"A world of fantasy arises after
18...c4 19. Nf4 Rd1+ 20. Kc7Rd7+ 21. Bxd7 Qxd7+ 22. Kb8 Qxe7 23. Qxe5 Be3 24. Ng6 Qxf7 25. Qf6 Be8! 26. Qe7 Qxg6 27. Rxe8 Bc5 28. Qd7 Bd6+ 29. Kc6 c5."

--Modern Chess Brilliancies

Seems like an interesting line.

Aug-18-12  Conrad93: Evans also claims that 18...Nb6 is the correct move, but does that work against 19. c5?
Aug-18-12  Conrad93: Never mind. It fails.
Aug-18-12  Conrad93: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 dxe5 5. Nxe5 e6 6. Qf3 Qf6 7. Qg3 h6 8. Nc3 Nb4 9. Bb5+ c6 10. Ba4 Nd7 11. O-O Nxe5 12. dxe5 Qg6 13. Qf3 Qf5 14. Qe2 Be7 15. a3 Nd5 16. Nb5 cxb5 17. Qxb5+ Kd8 18. c4 Qxe5 19. cxd5 Bd6 20. g3 Qxd5 21. Qe2 Ke7 22. Rd1 Qa5 23. Rxd6 Kxd6 24. Qd1+ Ke7 25. Bd2 Qf5 26. Bb4+ Kf6 27. Bc3+ Ke7 28. Rc1 Qd5 1.69/12 1 29. Qe2 a5 30. Rd1 1-0

This seems to win.

Aug-18-12  Conrad93: By the way, I knew about Nb5 five moves before Tal played it.

It's not that remarkable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Conrad93: By the way, I knew about Nb5 five moves before Tal played it. It's not that remarkable.>

What can the fish who played it say to that? He was only a world champion and you're 3550 on a bad day.

Aug-19-12  Conrad93: I didn't use Rybka. I'm used a plain board.

All you have to do is think outside the box.

That wasn't the best move in the game, nor was it even one of the best. The beauty was the bishop move that dislodged the queen in order to check and mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: It is clearly a case of whomever moves their queen the most loses, so Tal wins 12 moves to 13. Or perhaps it's about each queen striving to most efficiently and sophisticatedly shriek: "Nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo" at the other.
Aug-19-12  Conrad93: 16.Nb5 has been played before by Bronstein before.

It's part of opening theory now.

Jul-17-18  Inocencio: Wow, what a wonderful Tal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: The game line 18...Qxe5 (+2.00) was very weak for a top GM like Larsen.

click for larger view

18...Nb6 was much better, leaving Tal with only a slight advantage: +0.10 (23 ply) 18...Nb6 19.Qa5 Kc7 20.c5 Kb8 21.cxb6 axb6 22.Qb5 Qe4 23.Bd1 Bc5 24.Qe2 Qxe2 25.Bxe2 Bd4 26.Rb1 Bxe5 27.Rd1 Ra5 28.Bf3 f5 29.b4 Ra4 30.Be2 g5 31.Bb5 Ra8 32.a4

But Tal being Tal, I'm sure he would have won anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  michael104: In the updated edition of The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, it is pointed out that if Black played 18...Nf4, White could win with 19.Qa5+ b6 20.Qd2+.
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