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Mikhail Tal vs Boris Spassky
Spassky - Tal Candidates Final (1965), Tbilisi URS, rd 9, Nov-19
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-30-05  knightspot: Why hasn't anyone kibitzed this game yet? This is a pivotal game from the sixties - Game 9 from the candidate's final, score tied 4-4 and Tal develops a winning position only to blunder it away. He then proceeded to lose three in a row and Spassky went on to the WC match.
May-30-05  Jim Bartle: At what point did Tal have a winning position?
Feb-08-06  Joao Quintas Godinho: Spassky played wounderfully!
Mar-02-06  Maynard5: Most likely, Tal never achieves a winning position. While he is able to deploy his pieces to attack the king side, starting around move 30, Spassky's powerful defensive moves (especially 36. ... Rae8) parry all of the threats. At this point, White's position appears overextended. This game is actually a good example of defensive play by Spassky.
Apr-07-06  Fast Gun: This was Spassky's last ever win against Tal (hard to believe isn't it?) At this point Spassky led 9-2. During their next 22 games played over 24 years Tal won five more games with 17 draws and not one loss!! Yet Spassky still led overall by 9-7. It is incredible that a player like Spassky was unable to beat Tal again, mind you his record against Karpov is even worse!!
Oct-26-08  gulliver: I just went over the game. Very enjoyable. My appreciation goes for both players. For Spassky's ability not to panic. And for Tal's fighting spirit and combinatorial mind. Great game.
Aug-08-11  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 11 dxc3, 11 bxc3 maintains a d pawn so as to put pressure on Black's e5 pawn by the attack d2-d4.

After the removal of White's d pawn Black's central pawn chain c7-d6-e5 has no longer to suffer the attack d2-d4 and Black is able to play the advance ...f5 with relative impunity.

The attack 28...f5 induces the move 28 g3 which weakens the N on f3 and Spassky takes advantage of it by 28..Qc8!! threatening 29...fxe4 followed by 30...Qb7 attacking the b2 pawn as well as the Rook on e4 and the N on f3.

Tal's move 29 Qe2 does not answer all three of the threats and he loses the b2 pawn, and eventually the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 35.Re1? wass not good and it is a weird move by the way. 35.Ng5+! should give winning prospects. This is why 34...Qc8? was not good. 34...Qe8! moving nearer to the King was better. But Tal missed the point and then his position collapsed.
Oct-17-15  Howard: Interesting that Spassky never again beat Tal after this match---wasn't aware of that.
Oct-17-15  Howard: Interesting that Spassky never again beat Tal after this match---wasn't aware of that.

This game was briefly alluded to, by the way, in that second volume on Tal's career, which just came out a couple months ago.

Oct-21-16  cpalape: Un final terrible para Tal, el genio.
Aug-29-17  edubueno: Tal queda sin plan en la jugada 27, cuando en lugar de 27 Cd2! juega 27 Ta5?
Jul-16-18  Everett: So what about never beating Tal agsin? Spassky didn’t have to! He became WC, and he was never the same player again. Still great, of course, yet we all know he had an issue with work and motivation...
Nov-05-18  brankat: By winning this game Spassky took a 5-4 lead. This was not his last win against Tal. He won two more games ( 3 in a row altogether ) to beat Tal, and win the match: 7:4.
Dec-10-20  Ulhumbrus: 11 dxc3? seems anti positional, keeping a b pawn instead of a central d pawn
Mar-31-22  Zugzwangovich: Hilary Thomas' collection of Tal games contains the seemingly bizarre note that Black achieves a winning position with 43...Rg8! 44 Kf1 Rg5 45 Ne4 Rh5! Perhaps he does, but is there anything so wrong with 44 Nxf5? As far as this poor patzer can see Black gets nothing but a discovered check for his ox sack.
Mar-31-22  Retireborn: <Zuggy> Might be a misprint. My notes give 43...Rg5! as best.
Mar-31-22  Zugzwangovich: <Retireborn> Thank you. That possibility really should have occurred to me since several game scores from this match in the book feature at least one misprint.

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