Generating An Attack#3 - Tal Flummoxes Botvinnik With A Foolhardy Knight Sacrifice!

Generating An Attack#3 - Tal Flummoxes Botvinnik With A Foolhardy Knight Sacrifice!

Oct 7, 2017, 1:56 PM |
Welcome to another installment! This article is a deep look into round 6, of the world championship match in 1960 (which Tal won 12.5-8.5), between Mikhail Tal, and Mikhail Botvinnik. I have delved deep into the possible variaitions, because this game is a very complicated one, and no doubt there may be a couple of places where I have not found the most accurate line; indeed I have used an engine on several occasions to check my own thoughts in the most sharp positions.  
Here is a puzzle to get you warmed up, which I have extracted from a game which is featured in the blog of @love-ches.
White has just captured a piece on g4, it is black to play and win.
A key theme illustrated in this puzzle is 'chess discombobulation', in other words, you cause your opponent`s pieces to coordinate so awfully, that they can put up no defence whatever. Mikhail Tal was a great expert in this technique; his sacrifices were often not entirely watertight, but a few aspects gave him an edge over his opponents.
  1. When you sacrifice a piece, your opponent has too perform deep calculation, otherwise they might miss something. This will return you your time that you invested in the sacrifice in the first place.
  2. Your opponent will be baffled much of the time, so they might not be able to think clearly, so you get a sort of psychological advantage
  3. You are often given great attacking oppurtunities.

Here is the game between Tal and Botvinnik, which contributed to Tal snatching the World crown from Botvinnik, in 1960:


 I won`t do any analysis up until the moment of sacrifice, because I am not an expert on the KID, and I want to give my undivided attention to methods of 'Generating An Attack'. These methods arose out of the chaos caused by Tal`s sacrifice.

First of all, here is a picture of the match (Tal on the left):



 The way out of the deep dark forest, which Botvinnik missed in his calcualtions, involving 25.Bxf3, and reasons why 25.Qxf3 is not playable.

The winning technique of Tal, after Botvinnik exchanged queens in the wrong way.

 I hope you have found some of these positions interesting! This article is very content heavy, so I don`t expect you to have gone through it all, in fact I believe that this type of article is one that you should go back to, for reference, more than reading through all in one go - but you are welcome to read it all in one go for the hell of it if you want to. happy.png

My main point that I want you to understand, is that in certain positions, you can play abnormal moves, often sacrifices, in order to discombobulate your opponent like Tal. You might say 'that is all very well for blitz and bullet, but..' and I would argue immediately, that the focus of this article was a world championship match, and the time control was something like 90/30. This kind of sacrifice can be wholly sound, if you use your time to calculate it thoroughly enough. the ma However. I believe that the main reason why Botvinnik lost, was that the problematic nature of the sacrifice caused him to spend so much time, that he was left with not enough time to find the best moves when he was in some of the most tactical positions.

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