Tal Makes A Liar Of Najdorf? - Tal vs. Najdorf, 1960
Would you have the guts to dare Tal to be Tal?

Tal Makes A Liar Of Najdorf? - Tal vs. Najdorf, 1960

NM SamCopeland

Prior to his 1960 game with Mikhail Tal, Miguel Najdorf challenged Tal to play like Tal and promised that he would accept all of Tal's sacrifices. Quite a gutsy play from Najdorf to challenge one of the greatest attacking players of all time in such a way!

Najdorf initially held true to his word, as the players ventured into a sharp Sicilian position, but Tal's sacrifices could soon no longer be accepted as checkmate loomed.

Interestingly, in the game, Najdorf (famous for the Sicilian variation that bears his name) ventured a Schevinengen Sicilian. Najdorf is a fascinating historical character who experienced great tragedy in his life, losing basically his entire family to the Holocaust, but always maintained a great sense of humor and zest for life.


  • Don't dare Tal to be Tal.
  • ...Re8 is somehow always correct in the Schevinengen...
  • Qh3 is a very flexible attacking move against the Schevinengen.
  • Don't overreact to moves you are suspicious of, e.g. Bf2.

My annotations are below. It's impressive how quickly things collapse for Najdorf despite only subtle errors on his part.

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