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Tal vs Botvinnik 1960


  • 5 years ago · Quote · #1

    AWARDCHESS

    Tal vs Botvinnik 1960
    Moscow

    No sooner did Mikhail Botvinnik regain his title, the chess world became entranced by charismatic young Latvian named Mikhail Tal. Tal won the 1958 interzonal tournament at Portoroz, then helped the Soviet Union to retain the Chess Olympiad; before going on to win the 1959 Candidates Tournament with 20 out of 28 points--a point and a half ahead of second place Paul Keres.

      Tal Botvinnik 1960
      Tal and Botvinnik, 1958
    Tal often sacrificed material in search for the initiative in chess. With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions. Although this playing style was scorned by ex-World Champion Vasily Smyslov as nothing more than "tricks", Tal convincingly beat every notable grandmaster with his trademark aggression.1

    Lev Khariton relates the electricity of the match:

    This match played in Moscow in the spring of 1960 is forever engraved in my memory. Hundreds of chess fans who had failed to buy an entrance ticket stayed outside the Pushkin Theater watching on a big demonstration board the games of the match. I will never forget the famous 6th game in which Tal right after the opening moves sacrificed a knight. It was a challenge to Botvinnik, to all his followers who were trying to put the game into the Procrustean Bed of cold logic and algorithms. As if nothing had happened, Tal was pacing to and fro on the stage, and his famous opponent , who had scored victories over such legends as Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, confronted with a surprise sacrifice was taking all possible pains to refute Tal's daring decision. All in vain! Botvinnik had already few minutes left on his clock when Stahlberg and Golombek, the arbiters of the match, transferred the game backstage. The spectators were so excited that the atmosphere in the playing hall was more reminiscent of a football match! Tal won this game, and in spite of Botvinnik's stubborn resistance, he won the whole match.2

    The match was conducted in Moscow from March 15 to May 7, 1960. After 21 games, at the age of 23, Mikhail Tal became the 8th World Chess Champion.

    click on a game number to replay game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    Botvinnik 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½
    Tal 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½

    FINAL SCORE:  Tal 12½;  Botvinnik 8½
    Reference: game collection WCC Index [Tal-Botvinnik 1960]

    NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]

        · Game #6     Botvinnik vs Tal, 1960     0-1
        · Game #1     Tal vs Botvinnik, 1960     1-0
        · Game #9     Tal vs Botvinnik, 1960     0-1

    1Mikhail Tal article at Wikipedia
    2Mikhail Tal, the Chess Player Ahead of Chess by Lev Khariton

    Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match

     page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
    Game   Result Moves Year Event/Locale Opening
    1. Tal vs Botvinnik 1-0 32 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match C18 French, Winawer
    2. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 44 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match A61 Benoni
    3. Tal vs Botvinnik ½-½ 37 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
    4. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 40 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E27 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
    5. Tal vs Botvinnik ½-½ 43 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
    6. Botvinnik vs Tal 0-1 47 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
    7. Tal vs Botvinnik 1-0 52 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
    8. Botvinnik vs Tal 1-0 41 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E10 Queen's Pawn Game
    9. Tal vs Botvinnik 0-1 58 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
    10. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 60 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
    11. Tal vs Botvinnik 1-0 72 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match A07 King's Indian Attack
    12. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 72 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
    13. Tal vs Botvinnik ½-½ 16 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match A30 English, Symmetrical
    14. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 22 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
    15. Tal vs Botvinnik ½-½ 41 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
    16. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 41 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
    17. Tal vs Botvinnik 1-0 41 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
    18. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 76 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
    19. Tal vs Botvinnik 1-0 41 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
    20. Botvinnik vs Tal ½-½ 27 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
    21. Tal vs Botvinnik ½-½ 17 1960 Tal-Botvinnik World Championship Match E19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
     page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
      REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
     
    Kibitzer's Corner
    Sep-19-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       talisman: #1-#21 and they all have the K-bitz sign.
    Sep-19-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       suenteus po 147: It's seen as a clash of chess ideologies now, but it's interesting to know it was seen that way then. I've been curious how history will look at the Topalov-Kramnik match fifty years hence. Will it be seen as akin to this one?
    Sep-19-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       positionalgenius: This is one of the greatest WCC matches ever.I love all these games.
    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       whatthefat: A wonderful match. Tal was absolutely at the height of his powers, and Botvinnik fought hard, but seemed a little off colour - maybe simply dazzled. The next year, it was a completely different story. Tal was not Tal, whereas Botvinnik was most formidable. It's a real shame that the Tal of 1960 couldn't meet the Botvinnik of 1961 - that would have been a truly epic tussle.

    By the way, I highly recommend Tal's match book. It really conveys the flavour of the match, while being very objective.

    Sep-20-06    jamesmaskell: Im going thorugh Tals match book funnilly enough. Really good stuff. That knight sac in the 6th is mind-boggling. Just looking at it you just think "What???", but the way he storms through afterwards is incredible.
    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       acirce: <It was a golden age of chess journalism with all those writings about 'an ultimate clash' between 'iron logic', represented by Botvinnik, and 'diabolical tactical trickery', as shown by Tal. It appealed well to the generally well-educated masses of chess fans in the Soviet Union, who needed a little poetic flavour - describing a chess game as an intellectual duel - to keep fuelling their interest in sparsely played World Championship Matches between Soviet grandmasters. Their sympathies were more or less evenly spread between the two players. Even some 15 years later, the Botvinnik-Tal controversy didn't seem to be dying out. Indeed, it represented a mystery: the first match saw Botvinnik losing by 4 points, and the next year he came back, winning by an even larger margin. Serious books had been written on the subject, with in-depth analysis of the players' respective styles done by the best chess journalists the Soviet Union ever produced.

    I considered myself a good enough chess-player to form my own opinion on the subject. Surely I wasn't going to take any crap from sportswriters, and one day I sat down to look at the games myself. Luckily, the books also contained the game scores from both matches. I thought of something along the lines of tracking the widely announced differences between the players' styles. I expected to see wild attacks and numerous sacrifices from Tal in one game, and deep strategic plans relentlessly implemented by Botvinnik in another. Before I could do any deep analysis I was disappointed. The difference in style didn't show as much as I expected!

    Tal, the tactician, was well aware of the positional principles listed in the books. Botvinnik, the strategist, went for tactical solutions very often. The two bashed at each other any way they could, with Tal winning the most in the first match, and Botvinnik getting the better of it in the return match. I couldn't see where the difference between them lay, except for Tal being the aggressor early and more often. Go figure. I began to suspect that I, along with thousands of others, had been led to believe in something that didn't exist.

    Or maybe, such thing as style of play does exist, but on some higher level of the decision-making process that is lurking in the background only to surface in critical moments of a battle. I, at my superficial glance, of course wasn't able to detect it. The truth is, a chess-player's main objective is to find good moves, and the last thing he should worry about is attaching them to his (or, worse, someone else's) theoretical beliefs. In retrospect it's nice to attribute your success to superior 'understanding' or 'class', but it doesn't relieve chess-players from sweating it out on every move. While it's possible to distinguish between positional and combinative play, I wouldn't put one ahead of the other, and here I disagree with the great maestro Mikhail Botvinnik.>

    Alex Yermolinsky, "The Road to Chess Improvement"

    Sep-20-06    Petrosian63: Tal the great!!!

    Art defeats Science... LOL!!!

    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       keypusher: <acirce> thanks, nice quote.

    <It was a challenge to Botvinnik, to all his followers who were trying to put the game into the Procrustean Bed of cold logic and algorithms. As if nothing had happened, Tal was pacing to and fro on the stage, and his famous opponent , who had scored victories over such legends as Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, confronted with a surprise sacrifice was taking all possible pains to refute Tal's daring decision. All in vain! Botvinnik had already few minutes left on his clock when Stahlberg and Golombek, the arbiters of the match, transferred the game backstage. The spectators were so excited that the atmosphere in the playing hall was more reminiscent of a football match! Tal won this game, and in spite of Botvinnik's stubborn resistance, he won the whole match.>

    Wait 'til next year!

    --Botvinnik, Procrustes, Cold Logic, Algorithms, etc.

    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       micartouse: As beautiful as Game 6 was, I believe Game 1 was the greatest game of the match. It makes absolutely no sense! Tal forgot that rooks were meant for the endgame and used them as minor pieces instead.
    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       CapablancaFan: <With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions.> Was every sacrafice made by Tal exactly sound? Well maybe, maybe not. You try finding the CORRECT refutation with less 5 mins. on your clock! Lol.
    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       Benzol: "I shall observe for the thousand and first time: years of analysis and minutes of play are not quite the same thing" - Mikhail Tal.

    Very true!

    Sep-20-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       talisman: 1958?(under picture)must be '60.keep the candidates tournament and tal's the challenger again(and again?).
    Sep-26-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       talisman: these two kinda remind me of what we're watching now w/ the WC.
    Sep-27-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       whatthefat: <talisman>
    I'm currently seeing shades of Petrosian-Spassky 1966.
    Sep-27-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       talisman: <whatthefat> you're right. at least when spassky threw everything at tigran in '66 he would come away with a draw.topa throws everything at kramnik and comes out 0-2.how do you lose those 2 games? i look for topa now to switch to e-4(5th game).if he came to the game w/nothing for the Petroff then shame on him.what will he play against kramnik's d-4(which he will play for the duration)? he may need to win one w/ black to even it up.kramnik will be a hard nut to crack now up 2-0.come to think of it, it wasn't easy for spassky in '69 either.well anyway i'm enjoying this-wish it was 24 games!
    Sep-27-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       MaxxLange: The Yermolinsky quote came to mind right away, but I could not remember where I had seen it. Thanks. That's a great book, by the way.
    Nov-29-06
    Premium Chessgames Member
       talisman: <talisman> <these two kinda remind me of what we're watching now w/the WC> .....somebody needs to tell me how to delete a post!
    Apr-13-07    sanyas: Too bad, you can't anymore... <insert Topalov joke here>
    Oct-22-08
    Premium Chessgames Member
       whatthefat: Wow, this article is written like junk.
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