|May-31-19|| ||keypusher: <Olavi> <Fusilli> <Plaskett>|
I ran SF10 for two hours (60 ply) after 42.a7. The main line was 42....Bc5 43.Rdd7 f5 44.Kf1 Ra1+ 45.Ke2 Ra2+ 46.Kd3 Bxf2 47.Rf7+ Kg8 48.Rfe7 Kf8 49.Rxe8+ Kxe8 50.Rb8+ Kf7 51.a8/Q Rxa8 52.Rxa8 (+1.02), with R+g and h pawns v. B and f, g, and h pawns in the ending. Continuing SF a few moves: 52....h5 53.Rh8 g6
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I glanced at FCE, BCE, and Dvoretsky's endgame manual. If I'm understanding Dvoretsky p. 227 correctly (no sure thing), Black has an unbreakable fortress even without the f-pawn. So, although 42.Ra7 is definitely worse than 42.a7, I don't think it cost Tal a half-point.
I checked Tal's autobiography to see if he had anything to say about the game. Having lost to Torre, Estevez, and Huebner in the early rounds, he recounts a tragicomedy at p. 412:
<I was nevertheless playing 'creakily', with difficulty, and this led to my amassing 6(!!) adjourned games: a difficult position against Korchnoi, and better positions, as I thought, against Kuzmin, Karpov, and Tukmakov, as well as against Quinteros and Cuellar. If they were all to end up as I was planning, then all would not yet be lost in the tournament. But the resumption brought a serious correction, since it was impossible to analyse all the positions anything like thoroughly. We managed this only in the game against Tukmakov, finding a win at around three in the morning, and merely making a superficial acquaintance with all the others.
The resumption began with a loss against Korchnoi, which was more or less planned. Then came Kuzmin, and I suddenly saw that in my nocturnal analysis (at about 5 a.m.) I had made two moves in a row for myself(!!) which, of course, one could not count on doing in an official situation. I should have agreed a draw, but I thought for about forty minutes, and then, just at the point when I was ready to conclude peace, Kotov, the chief controller came up and informed me that Tukmakov had resigned without playing on. The thought flashed through my mind that if I were to draw with Kuzmin now, I would then have to play against Karpov, and my adjournment analysis had not gone as far as that position. So I decided to continue, and played on...to a hopeless position.
Following this, my results had no significance for me.>