Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 12, Aug-23
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C92)  ·  1/2-1/2



explore this opening
find similar games 12 more Fischer/Tal games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you register a free account you will be able to create game collections and add games and notes to them. For more information on game collections, see our Help Page.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-04  Whitehat1963: Why not 39. Re7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <whitehat1963> I think that if 39.Rae7 then 39...a3 is embarassing. If the other R moves to e7 then the two passed pawns are equally dangerous after swapping off a pair of R's. White is worse if he does not go for the repetition.
Jan-08-04  clifton: I thought Tal would win this one for sure.
Mar-03-05  jerry417: Iam studing Tal and fishers openings
Jun-28-05  lentil: doesn't 21. ..cb simply win a P?
Jun-28-05  Kangaroo: <<lentil>: doesn't 21...cb simply win a P?>

No, try to imagine what would happen after <22. Nf5> followed by <23. Qg4> threatening <24. Qxg7#> or <24. Nh6+> winning the queen

Jun-27-06  spirit: nice ending
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Wade's collection of Fischer's games, Leonard Barden cites subsequent analysis claiming a win for White with 35.Bh6 Re8 36.Bg7 Ne6 37.Bxf6, leaving Black defenceless to R6d7, Rxh7 and Rh8 mate.
May-23-07  Owl: Why doesn't Tal take the rook after 39.Rhg7+ 39...Nxg7 40.Rxa8+ and there is no way Fischer can stop those two passed black pawns.
May-23-07  newton296: Owl. I don't get that either . After nxr rxr+ it looks like a win for tal? just push the q side pawns!
Jul-28-07  talisman: 1st encounter....what would the world pay, at ant given point in time, to see a tal-fischer, 24 game championship match.
Sep-16-07  cn1ght: I'm not going to calculate it out because it'd be complicated with many variations and all, but it looks like the pawns cannot push. The bishop covers the pushing squares, the knight is too far away, the king is also far away, and white's rook is behind the pawns, where it should be, not infront like black's rook.
Sep-16-07  smarterthanbobby: you know these are two of the greatest minds chess had to offer at the time... I am sure they had a million reasons why they drew... each making a conclusion based on some exact reason... to any who posted why draw! black I feel looks to be in a tricky dilema, fisher was an end game artist... black only had 1 chance, promote or die and for fisher to break even on whites trade off's was more than a coin toss... leaving a lop sided king - pawn match up I feel tal was lucky fisher agreed to the draw.
( they are both great! ) would be nice to know 100% the conclusion to this puzzle... but who is at fishers level? wonder what THE BIG K, THINKS ABOUT this maze? anyone know is karsopov made thoughts on who would come out on top in this game? I would trust his thoughts!
Jan-02-08  Willem1984: And 27...,g5? Makes the bishop looks silly
Jul-13-08  firefly3: 27... g5 isn't that good. First of all it can be met soundly with 28. h4, necessitating 28... gxh4.

It could also be met with the sharper 28. Rd3. Then you could have

28. Rd3 Kf7 29. Rad1 Kg6 30. Rxd7 Rxd7 31. Rxd7 Kxh6 32. Rd6 or even 30. Bf8 Rxf8 31. Rxd7.


28. Rd3 Nb6 29. Rad1 Rxd3 30. Rxd3 Kf7 31. h4 Kg6 32. hxg5 fxg5 33. Rd6+

This is just a cursory analysis though. So my two responses after 27... g5 are the safer 28. h4 and the sharper 28. Rd3

Jul-13-08  RookFile: Yes, this is nothing at all like Fischer's famous ...Bxh2 against Spassky. The bishop gets out easy enough against ...g5.
Feb-16-09  WhiteRook48: why not 39...Nxg7?
Oct-18-09  WhiteRook48: 26...g5 27 g3 Kf7 28 h4 Kg6 29 hxg5 hxg5 30 Rd6+ Nf6 31 Rad1!!
Jan-01-11  keithbc: strange that we now accept that computers are so strong and, at least, give an unbiases evaluation of any position, but i recall reading at least from two sources that Tal was quoted as saying that he was sure he should have been mated in this game?!? Nothing here to suggest that. Perhaps psychology (Tal would use this to his own end) to make Fischer feel that he 'only' drew this game. In fact, at the end (if Tal wants to play Nxh7) it is only he that has any winning chances. Strange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Owl: Why doesn't Tal take the rook after 39.Rhg7+ 39...Nxg7 40.Rxa8+ and there is no way Fischer can stop those two passed black pawns.>

41. Bc5 seems simple enough

Feb-17-11  Kallahad: Don´t be so cocky. It´s not simple enough...according to Houdini 1.5 black was ahead about 0.30 centipawns...bc5 would make things even worst for white... in fact, our beloved fischer was not with the advantage. Well, not a simple position as said, the draw was fair.
Oct-18-20  SChesshevsky: From the movie "The Big Lebowski", Jackie Treehorn: "A fifteen year old kid? Is this some sort of joke?"

No joke here. As fifteen year old Fischer shows his confidence and talent.

After aggressively going after the king early in a Ruy Lopez, he gets to 27. cxb4. I think a tricky position to evaluate with plusses and minuses for both sides. Then think Fischer is impressive in dropping the two queen side pawns, and allowing connected passers, for what looks like the definition of active counter play. Getting active coordinated rooks eventually to the seventh.

Seems to demonstrate some really good calculation as the advanced rooks appear to allow perpetual under different scenarios. Thought 38...a3 interesting. Pretty good stuff from a 15 year old.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Interzonal Tournament Game #12
from Road to the Championship - Mik Tal by Fischer of Men
Game collection: TAL
by chessdeviant
Game 3
from Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
Interzonal, Portoroz 1958
from Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
Interzonals 1958: Portoroz
by capybara
fifteen year old Fischer shows his confidence and talent
from Youngbloods Like to Listen to Fredthebear by fredthebear
from Fischer's Fury by Owl
by Gottschalk
Portoroz Interzonal 1958
from Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973 by jessicafischerqueen
fifteen year old Fischer shows his confidence and talent
from -ER Fischer by fredthebear
Fischer vs Tal
from foxmt's favorite games by foxmt
Fischer vs Tal
by foxmt
from Chess in the USA 1945-72, Part 1 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
from Chess in the USSR 1945 - 72, Part 2 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
Game collection: TAL
by thunderpaul
0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 7
by 0ZeR0
Game 3
from book: Russians versus Fischer by Baby Hawk
Portoroz Interzonal 1958
from Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973 by Bokke
Portoroz Interzonal 1958
from "Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973" per JFQ by Littlejohn

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC