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Tal Attacks or Did I Repeat Myself?

  • NM GreenLaser
  • | Sep 11, 2009
  • | 5271 views
  • | 37 comments

Mikhail Tal was on his way to the world championship when he faced Milko Bobotsov on his way to beconing the first Bulgarian grandmaster. Tal played the King's Indian Defense which Bobotsov challenged with the Saemisch Variation characterized by f3. Tal did not use e5 or Nc6, but played c5 and Nbd7. Bobotsov did not play 7.dxc5 or 7.d5. A few moves later the game entered Tal's sacrificial labyrinth. Bobotsov was offered Tal's queen. It was a sacrificial offering made two years earlier by Rashid Nezhmetdinov. Did Bobotsov know that and prepare to deal with it? We do know that he was now seeing Tal's face and hearing the ticking of his clock. I suggest that before seriously studying the position, two equal players start play after move 11.Nd5 with 5 minutes each. That is one of my training methods. This variation has been tested since this game, especially in the last twenty years. I first was shown the game decades ago in New York by a Bulgarian refugee from communism. Here is the game and a review of theory.

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    aalekhine68

    Fischer and Kasparov may be compared to Tal and Alekhine...great attacking players.

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    Yes, Alekhine and Tal were great attackers. They were also great at other aspects of the game. At their level of competition they had to be.

  • 3 years ago

    mehmetmetingulcan

    if you like agressive attack method in chess games

    then you must learn Tal's and Alekhine's style

  • 3 years ago

    bethatway

    I know for sure that Tal and Alekhine have something in common, they crave for alcohol and both were world champ but, a missing finger or ear it did not show at all to affect their genius in the game of chess.

  • 5 years ago

    1wa

    Tal was incredible. This game will probably be studied by many players for Years.

  • 5 years ago

    chessbibliophile

    Fine.This would be an eyewitness account without prejudice or ulterior motive.

  • 5 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    If William Hartston's Soft Pawn mentioned Tal missing fingers, it is a primary source since he would have seen Tal himself over the board. 1-0 Tal-Hartston, Hastings 1973/74 and 1/2-1/2 Hartston-Tal, Keres Memorial, Tallinn 1979.

  • 5 years ago

    chessbibliophile

    We are looking at the same picture.So now it has to be accepted.

  • 5 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    chessbibliophile, I have that hardcover edition. The dust jacket has that picture. I must have been looking at it like Swiss cheese. Not only does Tal have three fingers on his right hand, but his part is on the left side. These features support the photo above being printed backwards.

  • 5 years ago

    chessbibliophile

    The photograph on the cover page of The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal shows his right hand with only 3 fingers. I don't think liberties would have been taken with the image in an authorized biography.So one may have to accept the point that he had three fingers on the right hand. Any way he needed just two fingers to create what he did, not even three! 

  • 5 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    One possible source stating that Tal had three fingers (including the thumb) on his right hand is Soft Pawn by William Hartston. I do not have that book to check. A video that shows Tal shaking hands with his right hand is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?=vobluon7cZM. I think it shows three fingers on his right hand. If that is the case, the photo above could have been printed backwards. When black and white negatives were printed, this mistake happened. Today our programs can reverse (or re-reverse) pictures.

  • 5 years ago

    chessbibliophile

    1)In Genna Sosonko's book, Russian Silhouettes, we find this line in the chapter on Tal:

    Despite a physical defect-from his birth he had only three fingers on his right hand-he played the piano, and not at badly.

    I am a little uneasy about accepting everything said there as the factual truth. Otherwise it is a wonderful portrait of Tal, warts and all.

    2)Tal's inspiration came from  the game Zamikhovsky-Nezhmetdinov 1956. Zamikhovsky played the probably better 11.dxc5 dxc5 12.Nd5 to be met with12...Nxd5. It was drawn, with both players missing their chances.

    3)I checked the autobiography, The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal.I am not able to locate this story of Tal analysing the Nezhmetdinov game, and Bobotsov challenging him.Incidentally, he did not include this game in the book.Could our friend, Spectrowski mention the source of his information? Thanks. 

  • 5 years ago

    kitifolen

    wow...what a sacrifice!

  • 5 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    No, I do not think the Tal picture is reversed. The Lasker picture sometimes was. The idea is that a picture will often not show everything we are looking for and sometimes is misprinted. I have seen other pictures of Tal without a part in his hair on the left side. If this one were reversed, his part would be on the left.

  • 5 years ago

    idosheepallnight

    You are right Greenlaser. The picture above is inverted. That explains it.

  • 5 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    idosheepallnight,  see five fingers in the above picture of Tal. However, I only see one ear. A picture does not always show everything a person has. I remember a picture of Emanuel Lasker as published by Dover that had Lasker and the board printed backwards (upside down in the printing). The right hand corner of the board was the wrong color. Lasker's unbalanced hair line was backwards and his cigar was in the wrong hand. The picture was available printed correctly for comparison. If we reversed the picture of Tal, he would have a left ear instead of a right ear and a part on the other side of his head.

  • 5 years ago

    Spektrowski

    In Tal's autobiography, he said that he analyzed the Nezhmetdinov game, and Bobotsov, watching the analysis, said he would easily refute the Queen sacrifice. Then they informally challenged each other to play this variation, and did so next day.

  • 5 years ago

    idosheepallnight

    Weird in a picture I saw Tals right hand had like 3 fingers. And the picture above he seems to have 4.

  • 5 years ago

    irish-yuk

    Great game, imagine having the courage to go into those complications. It demonstrates a different attitude to chess.

  • 5 years ago

    chessbibliophile

    Yes,that's right.  I was referring  to the whole concept of sacrificing a queen for two minor pieces.Bronstein lost that game to Spassky in the Candidates' Tournament,1956. If I remember right, subsequently improvements were found for Black. But I would still like to check the present status of that line with analysis by Gallagher and others. In a similar situation Karpov "refuted" Velimorovic's queen sacrifice and won in 1976.Some times a line is OK,it is just spoilt by an error in the middle game or not following it up properly. So it is always good to verify with specific variations. I shall soon give it a try here. 

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