The Fall of Leningrad | Tal vs Botvinnik 1960. | Game 19

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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
“The Siege of Leningrad”
Tal – Botvinnik World Championship Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 19, May-03
Dutch Defense: Leningrad Variation (A87)

1. c4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d4 d6 6. Nc3 e6 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Qe7 10. Rb1 a5 11. a3 Nd8 12. e4 fe4 13. Ne4 Ne4 14. Qe4 Nf7 15. Bh3 Qf6 16. Bd2 d5 17. Qe2 dc4 18. Bf4 Nd6 19. Ng5 Re8 20. Bg2 Ra6 21. Ne4 Ne4 22. Be4 b5 23. b3 cb3 24. Qb5 Rf8 25. Qb3 Rb6 26. Qe3 Rb1 27. Bb1 Bb7 28. Ba2 Bd5 29. Bd5 ed5 30. Bc7 a4 31. Rd3 Qf5 32. Be5 Bh6 33. Qe2 Rc8 34. Rf3 Qh3 35. Bc7 Bf8 36. Qb5 Qe6 37. Be5 Qc6 38. Qa5 Ra8 39. Qd2 Rc8 40. Kg2 Qd7 41. h4 Qg4

Tal vs Botvinnik 1960
No sooner did Mikhail Botvinnik regain his title, the chess world became entranced by charismatic young Latvian named Mikhail Tal. Tal won the 1958 interzonal tournament at Portoroz, then helped the Soviet Union to retain the Chess Olympiad; before going on to win the 1959 Candidates Tournament with 20 out of 28 points–a point and a half ahead of second place Paul Keres.

Tal often sacrificed material in search for the initiative in chess. With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions. Although this playing style was scorned by ex-World Champion Vasily Smyslov as nothing more than “tricks”, Tal convincingly beat every notable grandmaster with his trademark aggression.

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