Channeling Mark Taimanov: How To Beat The Stonewall Dutch
I recently came across a famous game played by Soviet legend GM Mark Taimanov. Taimanov, by the way, is still alive at age 90!
Before going into the game, I wanted to share how I first heard about Taimanov. When I was much younger, around 6 or so, I attended a weekly group lesson with my first chess trainer, Alexey Potievsky. We called him Alek back then.
The group was mixed, with players aged 6-16, and ranged from complete beginners to about 1500. Every week Alek would lecture on famous games in history and award points to students if they could guess the next move in the game. Because of the varied level within the class, Alek made sure to also tell stories about the chess greats of the past. His stories made the lessons enjoyable and interesting for all.
Kostya, back in the day
One day Alek introduced us to Mark Taimanov. Alek mentioned that Taimanov was a great player who is most famous for losing 6-0 to Bobby Fischer in their 1971 Candidates Match in Vancouver. Immediately we started to joke, "Well, it doesn't take a great player to lose to Fischer 6-0, anyone can do that!!"
Of course, since then I've seen a few of Taimanov's best games and combinations. Fairly recently I came across the following gem, played by a 23-year-old Taimanov.