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Rashid Nezhmetdinov vs Mikhail Tal
"Loch Nez Monster" (game of the day May-14-2013)
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 6, Jan-29
French Defense: Winawer. Bogoljubow Variation (C17)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <rookfile> I see your point, but I think we both know that one can cherry-pick games to fit ones argument. Do I really need to point out to you that the Najdorf and Hedgehog type positions quite often have a bishop on b7 and a kingside castle?

I simply don't agree with the generalization. Now if you wanted to make a point about the French Defence in particular, you may have a point, but the positions like the QID, Najdorf and Schveningen are flexible enough to produce many, many games with k-side castling and an active Bb7.

Another point; in the KID the value of Bc8 is of extreme importance, and though this is a trouble piece, bad things happen if it is exchanged frivolously. So to exchange it pell mell is not "the way to play chess." Which reminds me, the Reti system must also be condemned with your logic. I think it needs to be refined to certain openings...

BUT, I think it is important that you see this aspect of chess a certain way. We each have to find ways to get the positions we want and avoid trouble. You seem to have found a pattern with certain weaknesses. It will naturally follow that you will likely win games by recognizing when your ideas are viable or not.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: I thought about your examples, Everett. Of course, the queenside fianchetto does happen. This may be a good time to remember that Rubinstein thought that only white can permit himself the luxury of a fianchetto. I guess I have some support for my idea.

If there is to be some value in this, I suppose that it would be to have a clear understanding of when a queenside fianchetto would be ok and when it is not.

Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.

By the way, in the Nezhmetdinov game, Tal, in his notes above, gives an opportunity at around move 9 where black can aim for ...Ba6. That is how I think black should have played - White's light squared bishop is certainly more valuable than black's is, and black should seek a good opportunity to exchange it off. As played, the b7 bishop did not give black either e4 control or a kingside attack, so it seems as though this piece was on the wrong square.

Yes, there is more than one way to play chess. The way I like to play involves gettting rid of that c8 bishop.

Interesting talking to you about these things. I agree with you regarding your insight regarding the c8 bishop for black in the King's Indian for example. It's a very valuable piece for black.

Feb-29-12  Shams: Both of you have made good, instructive points.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.>

I think this is great and succinct advice! In all sincerity, I think this is a remarkable strategic summary for the Bc8 from the black-side, and it will probably help me in coming games. I appreciate you sharing this insight.

As far as Tal's play in this game, and what i think you allude to, to me it seems he did not reconcile the way be needs to play with the opening he chose, but it took a genius to show the weaknesses of this disconnect.

Thanks again for the discussion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: And here is food for thought. In the first game, Karpov smothers the Black LSB to win on the white side of a QID, a nice example of your point. Karpov vs Vyzmanavin, 1993

But then he shows us how to play the QID like a hedgehog, and allows his LSB get buried for dozens of moves before it decides to get involved. Vaganian vs Karpov, 1976

Of course Karpov managed to smother the entire white army while he had a few pieces bundled on the q-side.

Feb-29-12  RookFile: Thank you too, I thought this was an interesting and thought provoking discussion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Tal threatening to promote, but never gets that chance.
Feb-10-13  pescau: <Hesam7>: thanks a lot for these set of comments; they are highly instructive.


Apr-23-13  SeanAzarin: One of Nezhmetdinov's most brilliant games, against a master with an equal reputation for brilliance. A wonderful game to see.
May-14-13  andrewjsacks: Fine pun, once again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oginschile: Both of these players have left us amazing gifts to study and admire, but none seem to shine brighter than when these two masters squared off against each other. I never tire of playing through this game, or this one : Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961
May-14-13  Abdel Irada: Is it true that Rashid's second was named Ja'afar? Or was that only when he ruled the Baghdad Caliphate?

May-14-13  lost in space: <Given the complexities of chess, my best guess is that a queenside fianchetto is ok when it either contributes to black's control over the e4 square, launches towards a kingside attack, or allows black to exchange off this bishop. If you can't say any of those things, then maybe a queenside fianchetto was not a good idea.>

The good thing in chess is that it is that complex, that often it is not possible to forsee what a Bb7 can do later on. Sometimes it is just a passive bad bishop behind a blockaded d5 pawn (for example in the QGD) but from the same opening it can happen that Black is able to play d5-d4 and the bishop is getting a monster.

I like to play the c8 bishop to b7 when ever I have no chance to develop this piece on the c8-h3 diagonal - sometimes in closed position with a lot of own pawns on white sqaures also on a6 to exchange it versus a bishop or night.

Mostly when having the chance to devop it along the c8-h3 diagonal I prefere to do so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> If you haven't yet seen the video on the life of Nezhmetdinov by <Jessicafischerqueen>, give yourself a treat and watch it. You can find it on her Forum page.
May-14-13  offramp: Tal was paraphrasing Shelley:

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory.
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed.
And so your thoughts, when you are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Tal had the game won,but his king could not survive his troubles.
Dec-15-15  Whitehat1963: Tactical masterpiece from the player of the day!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: I thought I would emulate <Hesam7> as I have "Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess" Cassia 2000, which has Nez's comments on this game.

I took the liberty of including the Tal note which <Hesam7> had so kindly typed up, at the end of Nez's own notes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: Part 1 of Nez's own comments onn this game.

In the following text such as 1.e4-e4 are the game moves. The convention follows the standard method of earlier writers, used in the book.

Text in this font follows the book comments. So for example: <“A system often used in the 1930’s It was established that both 5. … cxd. 6 Nb5 and 5. …Nc6? 6. Nb5 are unfavourable for Black because of the unpleasant threat of Nd6+.”> Is the first comment by Nezhmetdinov in the game (see below)

Text in this <<font>> preceded with a “ * ” is a comment added by yours truly. Either as an explanatory remark, or to provide additional information. For example, to give a link to a game referenced in the comments.

1.e2-e4 e7-e6
2.d2-d4 d7-d5
3.Nb1-Nc3 Bf8-Bb4
4.e4-e5 c7-c5
5. Bc1-d2 . . .
A system often used in the 1930’s It was established that both 5. … cxd. 6 Nb5 and 5. …Nc6? 6. Nb5 are unfavourable for Black because of the unpleasant threat of Nd6+. Botvinnik proposed here the good move 5. … Ne7. Now 6. Nb5 does not achieve anything because of 6. …Bxd2 7. Qxd2 0-0 after which the knight move to d6 does not threaten anything. By Nc6 and later f6, Black is able to undermine the knight on d6 and provoke it’s exchange for his “bad” bishop on c8 getting good counterplay in the center and on the queenside. In the 1950’s young RSFSR* players breathed new life into the 5. Bd2 line by continuing 5. …Ne7 6. a3 Bxc3 7. Bxc3 and not weakening the queenside pawns.

* <<(SB note RSFSR = Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, (aka the Soviet Union or Russia) was the largest State in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The forerunner of today’s Russia/Soviet Union . End of note)>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: Part 2

. … Ng8-e7
6. a2 – a3 Bb4xc3

<A sharp interesting game can occur after 6. …Ba5. 7. dc Bc7 8. f4 0-0 9. Nf3 f6 10. Bd3 Nd7 11. b4 b6> *

*<<(SB note I have been unable to find a game with this exact variation. The closest I could find was Igudesman (2370) vs. Vanek (2210)
Pardubice 1998 · French, Winawer, advance, Bogolyubov variation (C17) · 1-0

That game continued:
6. a3

7. dxc5

8. f4

9. Bd3

10. Qh5

This game is not in the CG database. White went on to win. End of note).>>

7. Bd2xc3 . . .

<The first time I used this system was in the USSR Team Championship (1954) against Zelinsky.* After 7. …cd 8. Qxd4 Nbc6 9. Qg4 Nf5 10. Nf3 Qb6 11. Bd3 h5 I continued 12. Qf4 and got nothing out of the position. Analysis showed that 12. Qg5 Nce7 13. Bb4 would have given White the advantage.>

*<<(SB note: I checked four db, including CG. I find this game against Zelinsky listed in the cross table for “Team Championship of USSR Riga 3 – 17.9.1954” However I cannot find a file this game. Further the CG db gives 11. …0-0 and also 11. … d4. Opening Explorer The CG db does not give 11. …h5
I checked another db for11. …h5 , with no success. End of note)>

<If Black continues 7. …Nbc6 then 8. Nf3 and after 8. …cd either 9. Bxd4 or 9. Nxe4 Nxe5 10.Nxe6 Bxe6 11. Bxe5 with a small positional advantage.>*

*<<(SB note: The CG db gives 14 games after 9. Bxd4 (Nxd4) …. 11. Bxe5 Opening Explorer Another db gives 48 games. End of note)>>.

7. … b7 – b6

<7 … b6 was played in Krogius-Furman (24th USSR Championship Semi-finals, 1957). The game continued 8. Qg4 Nf5 9. Bd3 h5 10. Qh3 Qg5!, with equality.>*

Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: Part 3

(SB note: The game was agreed drawn on move 12
Krogius vs Furman, 1956)

<This time I played a continuation I had prepared ahead of time; it’s aim is to put life into the Black squared bishop. In conclusion, I will mention that in the 25th USSR Championship Semi-finals, Petrosian played the following line 7. …cd 8. Qxd4 Nf5! and 9. Qg4 h5 with a good game.* All the same it is my opinion that after 8. Bd4! White has excellent prospects.>

*<<(SB note: CG has this game of Petrosian’s Y Sakharov vs Petrosian, 1957. Further the variation given 8. Bd4! can be found in the CG db here: Opening Explorer End of note)>>

<This last variation (after a transposition of moves) was seen in my game against Korchnoi (Black) at the 26th USSR Championship (Tibilsi 1959). After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.Bd2 c5 6.a3 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 cxd4 8.Bxd4! Nbc6 9.Nf3 Qc7 10.c3 Bd7? (even after the better 10. …Ng6 11. Bb5 Bd7 12. Bxc6 Bxc6 13. h4 White has a small advantage 11.Bd3 Ng6 12.O-O! ( a solid, although small, advantage can be kept by 12. Bxg6 fxg [ 12. … hxg 13. 0-0] 13. h4 Sacrificing pawn for a fearsome initiative is undoubtedly stronger and more creatively interesting.) Ngxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bc2 f6 (after 14 …. 0-0 15. Bxh7 Kxh7 16. Qh5+ Kg8 17. Bxe5 White, with material equality has a strong positional advantage) 15.Qh5+ Kf8 16.Rae1 Nc6 (not 16 …Bb5 because of 17 f4!) 17.Bc5+ Kg8 18.f4 b6 19.Bf2 Qd6 and by the natural 20. Bh4 White could have set Black almost insoluble problems.>*

*<<(SB note: CG has this game Nezhmetdinov vs Korchnoi, 1959 The game continued: 20.Re3 Qxf4 21.Rg3 Be8 22.Qe2 Qd6 23.Bxb6 axb6 24.Rxf6 Ne5 25.Rf2 Bg6 26.Bb3 h5 27.h3 Rh6 28.Re3 Be4 29.Qd2 Rd8 30.Rg3 Ng4 31.Rf4 Rf8 32.Rgxg4 hxg4 33.Rxe4 gxh3 0-1. End of note)>>

8. b2-b4 Qd8-Qc7
9. Ng1-Nf3 Nb8-Nd7
10. Bf1-Be2 Ne7-Nc6
11. O-O O-O

<After 11. …cxd 12. Nxd4! Ncxe5 (12. … Ndxe5 13. Nxc6) 13. Nb5 Qb8 14. f4 Ng6 15. f5 White gets a strong attack for the pawn.>

12. b4xc5 b6xc5
13. d4xc5 Nc6xe5

<Black overestimates his chances. Better was 13. …Nxc5! to fight for equality. Black consents to the opening of the diagonals for White’s bishops, relying on his own strong center. But, as the course of events shows, Black’s center pawns cannot advance and they come under fire. After 13 … Nxc5 the following variation might occur: 14. Bd3 Ne4 ( 14 … Nxd3? 15. Qxd3 is better for White whoes attack comes first) 15. Qe1 Bb7! (proposed by Keres) 16. Bb2 (16. Be4? de 17. Qxe4 Ne7! giving Black the initiative) with an approximately equal position.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: Part 4

14. Nf3xe5 Nd7xe5
15. Qd1-d4 f7-f6
16. f2-f4 Ne5-c6?

<If 16. …Nd7 then 17. f5 or 17. Bg4 and the capture on c5 is impossible because of the pin Bb4. All the same 16. …Nd7 is stronger than the move played in the game.>

17. Qd4-e3 Rf8-d8
18. Ra1-d1 e6-e5?

<Black has a difficult position, and it is hard to find a satisfactory continuation Perhaps he could try to reorganize his pieces by 18. …Ne7, Qd6, Bd7, Rac8. Now the White Bishops start to dominate the entire board.>

19. f4xe5 f6xe5
20. Be2-b5 Rc8-b7

<If 20. …d4 then 21. Bc4+ Kh8 22.Qg5 Be6 23.Bxe6 dc 24.Bd5 h6 25. Qe3 Rac8 26.Bxc6 Qxc6 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 28.Qxe5 and White wins>

21. Qe3-g3 Rd8-d7
22. Rf1-f2! …

<Now 23. Bxc6 Qxc6 24. Qxe5 is threatened ( 24. …Qxc5 - without check - 25.Q e6+). If 22. … d4, then 23 Bc4+ Kh8 24. Rdf1.>

22. … Ra-e8
23. h2-h3 …

<Black is in a peculiar kind of zugwang; he does not have a single good move. First White consolidates his position and then begins an offensive in the centre and on the Kingside.>

23. … Bb7-a8

<If 23. … d4 then 24. Bc4+ Kh8 25. Rdf1 Qc8 26. Rf7 Rxf7 27. Rxf7 Rg8 28. Bd2 with an irresistible attack.>

24. Bb5-a4 Ba8-b7
25. Kg1-h1 Bb7-a8
26. Rf2-f5 e5-e4

Premium Chessgames Member
  sbevan: Part 4 end of Nez's comments

<In time pressure Black forces matters and loses quickly. However there is already no escape. For example: 26. … g6 27. Bxc6 Qxc6 28. Rxe5 Rf8 29. Bd4 Or: 26. … d4 27. Bb3+ Kh8 28. Rdf1 Qd8 29. Rf7 Rxf7 30. Rxf7 Rg8 31. Bd2 e4 32. Bg5 Qe8 33. Rc7 Rf8 34. Bf6! and wins.>

27. Qg3xc7 Rd7xc7
28. Rf5xd5 e4-e3
29. Rd5-d7 e3-e2

<… Re7 loses also:
30. Rxc7 Rxc7 31. Rd6 Kf8 32. Kg1 Ke8 33. Kf1>

30. Ba4-b3+ Re8-e6
31. Bb3xe6+ Kg8-f8
32. Bc3xg7+ Black resigns

Jun-05-20  carpovius: One of the most beautiful games I'd ever seen. Thanks both the magician of Riga and Tartar wizard.
Jun-05-20  carpovius: Tal isn't French like Korchnoi))
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