Mikhail Tal's Best Chess Game? - Tal vs. Flesch, 1981
This is my favorite game from Mikhail Tal. What's yours?

Mikhail Tal's Best Chess Game? - Tal vs. Flesch, 1981

NM SamCopeland

Surely every chess player has a favorite Mikhail Tal game. Mine is Tal's 1981 victory over Janos Flesch!

Although Tal's victory over Flesch occurs exactly 20 years after he lost the World Championship title back to Botvinnik, the energy and imagination of his attacking play is undiminished.

Why is this my favorite game? It's true that the game is little less chaotic than some of Tal's other victories, but that actually contributes to it's purity for me.

The game is a perfect illustration of a dark-square attack on the kingside as Tal demonstrates that you only need three pieces to have a checkmating attack. One to sacrifice and two to deliver the checkmate.

I also love the thrust and counterthrust of attack and defense. Flesch tries desperately to open up lines of defense by sacrificing his e-pawn, but Tal responds even more brilliantly by giving the pawn back to create a disturbance in the black forces.

Not convinced that this is Tal's best game? Post your favorite Mikhail Tal game in the comments!

I've included my comments below. Garry Kasparov annotated this game for his "My Great Predecessors" series, and I highly recommend you check those out, but hopefully my notes will do in the short term

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