Rashid Nezhmetdinov vs Mikhail Tal 1961 – Bakú (Special for JessicaFischerQueen)

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JessicaFischerQueen’s commentary on the game: In the game, Tal responds to Rashid’s favorite 1.e4 with a somewhat passive Scheveningen Sicilian set up. White mounts a kingside pawn storm with the black king still in the center, and with 13…g6? Tal weakens his own dark squares, allowing 15.Nh6! making it virtually impossible for black to castle kingside. Nezhmetdinov then sacs the exchange with 17.Rxf6, securing a dangerous initiative against an already precarious black position. The timely pawn advance 21.e5 puts the question to black’s central control, and leads quickly to a pinned bishop on the e-file against a still uncastled king. The desperate king side-step 24…Kf8 fails to 25.Rxe5, with a rapid collapse of the black position. Nezhmetdinov finishes with the beautiful 26.Rf5+, an extremely temporary rook sac that forces the black king up the board, to inexorable doom.

William’s commentary on the game: Nezhmetdinov opens with e4 and Tal opens with an interesting move order in the Sicilian Scheveningen. White lashes out with 9. g4 and the game immediately becomes extremely sharp, as white attempts to take advantage of black’s focus on the queenside by busting open the center to attack black’s king. Tal attempts to block the center with 12. …e5, however this concedes the valuable f5 square to the white knight – leading to 13. …g6 – further opening up holes in black’s position (notably f6 and h6).  Tal attempts to defend actively, however before black is able to consolidate his position and castle his king away from the center, Nezhmetdinov embarks on a violent refutation of Tal’s provocative opening play with 17. Rxf6!? 18. Nd5 21. e5! 23. Nxf6+! and 24. Qd4.  Tal’s king cover was destroyed and he was forced to resign in the face of insurmountable material loss after 29. gxf5+

PGN AVAILABLE HERE:
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1102235

This video has a corresponding documentary of Nezhmetdinov made by JessicaFischerQueen available here:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Io7jbHsYs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fod6_K8ofY
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo8hTNeJ3rw

Interface used ICC: http://www.chessclub.com/from/WStewart/

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