Mikhail Tal - not always ingenious

May 29, 2008, 12:00 AM |
2 | Chess Players


A few days ago here was shown the famous game  Mikhail Tal-Tolush (UdSSR-championship 1956) with the brilliant sacrifice 15.Bb5!. If you have not seen yet, please go through it and come back.Smile-

In that game we saw Tal in his elements - the tactics. But, as Botwinnik has proved later, Tal had strategic defizits. Here  another game of Mikhail Tal, the ingenious chessplayer, against Tolush a year later. Here we will see a little bit of  a "strategic defizit".  After a wrong exchange (knight/bishop) he has to accept counterplay to go on with his attack


Tal - Tolush 

( UdSSR-championship 1957)

 1.  d4        Nf6

 2.  c4         g6

 3. Nc3        d6

 4.  e4         Bg7

 5. f3           ...                                              the Sämisch-variation in


 5. ...          e5

  6. Nge2       Nbd7

 7. Bg5         c6

 8. Qd2        0-0

 9. d5           c5

10. g4           a6

11. Ng3        Re8

12.  h4!       ...                                             Tal does not hesitate to go forward

                                                                against the black king residation











12. ...         Qa5

13. Bh6        ...                                             It is necessary to exchange the

                                                                    strong defender on g7

13. ...         Nf8

14. h5          Qc7

15. Bd3         b5                                           now black comes up on the


16. 0-0-0!      ...                                        No fear to castle in the attack. He 

                                                                needs his second rook for his own 


16. ...           bxc4


                                                                    Till this moment Tal has done

                                                                    very well. But now he should

                                                                    have exchanged the bishops.

                                                                    There would have been a clear

                                                                    attacking plan:

                                                                    Defending the point b2 he could go

                                                                    forward with Rdg1, Nf5, Qh6 and

                                                                    hxg6. - The point is that queen+

                                                                    knight are stronger attacker than


17. Bb1?!         Bh8!

18. Rdg1          Rb8

19. Nf5            ...                                            A standard sacrifice in such

                                                                   positions. Black cannot take it.

                                                                   The open g-file would be his end.

19. ...             N6d7

20.Bg5            Bg7

21. Sxg7          ...                                         Once more: this is the wrong piece

                                                                   to exchange the bishop. In this kind

                                                                   of castle attack is the knight 


21. ...               Kxg7

22. Bh6             Kg8

23. f4!? 















                                                               A risky decision!?- He wants to

                                                               improve his attacking chances.--

                                                               A player as Tal has a good feeling

                                                               for positions.And he may have feeled,

                                                               that now after the wrong exchange

                                                               his  attack is not strong enough.

                                                               So he decided to open the f-file. 

                                                               He could also- Botwinnik would Smile-                                                  

                                                               have played Be3, Rg2+Rgh2 with some

                                                               chances.  - Now black gets 

                                                               counterplay in the e-file and the

                                                               strong field e5 for his knight.-

                                                               Botwinnik , the great stratege,

                                                               would never have accepted such a

                                                               counterplay. Surely not!


23. ...          exf4

24. Qxf4       Qd8!?                                  He wants to protect f6.But perhaps

                                                             white could take the pawn with some


25. hxg6       Ng6                                

26. Qh2       ...                                      Perhaps the d-pawn could have

                                                            been taken with adventage

26. ...        Nde5















                                                                  This position is absolutely o.k

                                                                  for black. All his pieces are active!

                                                                  White has two inactive pieces: 

                                                                  Bb1+ Nc3!  

                                                                  This position is slightly better for


                                                                  Tal has won this game,too. But

                                                                  this is another story. It had 

                                                                  "nothing" to do with this position.

                                                                  May be Tals fighting spirit and his

                                                                  reputation as "magician of Riga"

                                                                  may have helped him. 

  The game - move by move:                                                             


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