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calmrolfe ♡ 193 ( +1 | -1 )
The genius of Tal Tal regards the following game as being one of the most fascinating games he ever played. It is 1957 and Tal is playing in the USSR Championship in Moscow and he is playing at his most brilliant best, he has already scored 4.5/5 and his sixth victim is to be the draughts champion of Kazan.

Mikhail Tal has the Black pieces and plays the French Defence

1.e4 e6
2.d4 d5
3.Nc3 Bb4
4. e5 c5
5. Bd2 (a3 is considered to be sharper) Ne7
6. a3 Bxc3
7. Bxc3 b6
8. B4 Qc7
9. Nf3 Nd7
10. Be2 Nc6 (Both players fight for control of the centre)
11. 0-0 0-0
12. bxc5 bxc5
13. dxc5 This is where the genius of Tal is evident. Having pondered the various options he decides that if he can capture the e pawn then he will be able to dominate the centre of the Board. He mentally calculates all the likely moves up to move 20 and visualises the position he would like to achieve by move 20.
14.Nxe5 Nxe5
15. Qd4 f6
16. f4 Nc6
17. Qe3 Rd8
18.Rad1 e5
19. fxe5 fxe5
20. Bb5 Bb7 And here is the ideal position that Tal had visualised at move 13. At last he can relax in the comfort that the fight for the centre has been won, lean back on his chair, puff contentedly away on his cigarette and spare a glance to see how his Championship rivals were faring. It was then that an awful realisation hit him, what if his initial assessment of the postion at move 13 had only been superficial ? What if his opponent had made a far deeper assessment of the position, realising that Tal’s control of the centre posed no threat to him. Mikhail Tal squirmed a little in his chair and prepared for a salutary lesson..

Within just 12 more moves it was all over….Tal’s position was destroyed.

21. Qg3 (the pressure on the e-pawn will eventually force Black to advance one of the centre pawns, thus destroying the harmony of the two pawns abreast) …Rd7
22. Rf2!! Re8
23. h3 ! Ba8
24. Ba4 ! Bb7
25. Kh1 Ba8
26. Rf5 e4
27. Qxc7 Rxc7
28. Rfxd5 e3
29. Rd7 e2
30. Bb3+ Re6
31. Bxe6+ Kf8
32. Bxg7+

Oh ! Who was the draughts champion showing such a fine aptitude for Chess ?………Rashid Nezhmetdinov. These two players were destined to meet a further three times, Rashid being victorious by 3 games to one (his only loss coming about when he blundered when in a winning position).

Kind regards,

brobishkin ♡ 116 ( +1 | -1 )
Mikhail Tal... During his professional career, his style was characterized by risk and daring, and he reveled in tactical duels and complex combinations... A man of unbelievable tactical vision, he was able to calculate long, complicated variations after merely glancing at a position... Considered to be an unsound player, he nevertheless confounded his critics by constantly winning tournament after tournament...

As Botvinnik said in 1960 after losing the championship to Tal... "I was surprised by his ability to figure out complex variations. Then the way he sets out the game; he was not interested in the objectivity of the position, wether it's better or worse, he only needed room for his pieces. All you do then is figure out variations which are extremely difficult. He was tactically outplaying me and I made mistakes."

Tals coronation meant to some a new era of attacking play was at hand... Many players and coaches went so far as to insist that their students play aggressively and sacifice whenever possible... But as Tal stated the next year when he played Botvinnik again... "These poor students must have breathed a sigh of relief when I lost to the title back to Botvinnik. Now they could play calm positional chess again"...

brobishkin ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Tal... Tal was a risk taker... Sometimes it worked and other times it didn't... But he was always very entertaining to watch...

calmrolfe ♡ 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Tal learnt another lesson in this game, that was that the French Defence was not in accord with his playing style, at most he only ever used it a couple of times more before he completely abandoned it.

By the way, I have played through a couple more of Nezhmetdinov's games, this guy had some incredible brilliancies over the chessboard ! A book of his greatest games was published many years ago but is extremely rare, Tal says it was his favourite chess book ! If anyone has a copy for sale........(don't mind if it is in Ruissian !)

Kind regards,

zdrak ♡ 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, Nezh was a brilliant player, unfortunately not particularly stable. Wins over world-renown GMs together with losses to local masters ... "Bane of Grandmasters", that was his nickname.