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Paschaian Melik vs Mikhail Tal
URS-chT Juniors (1954), Leningrad URS, Aug-??
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The database has Tal playing this defence three times, and winning all of them. I wonder why he didn't play it more?
May-03-06  Milo: In retrospect, 19.h4 looks a little hasty, as it lets the black knight reach g4, but I'm not sure white has anything better...
Dec-11-07  enoughsaid05: 4. ... Bg4 5 c3

White fortifies the centre by advancing the c pawn because the pin on knight by the bishop decreases the knight's ability to protect the d pawn.

White's few inaccuracies hasten his loss

h3? Qc2?

The loss of tempo enables Tal to execute his original plan swiftly. His orginal plan was to have a quick exchange of the centre and win the game via the kingside.

10 ... Nxd4 enables ...b5!

And that is the reason why Tal moved his queen to d7 in the earlier opening one or two moves after Bc4. Tal's experience and knowledge of the position has help him make the move.

14 ... Ne8 ?!

Don't know why he made the move, but my guess would be that he didn't want white to exchange his dark square bishop for the knight because he still needs his dark bishop to seize further tempo.

15 ...c5 16. Be3 c4

Tal gains a few tempi!

19 ... Nf6!

Tal puts his knight into action. His intent is to advance his h-pawn with a little hope of saving his bishop. But still his main focus is to make use of the h pawn to allow his knight to advance so that his rook and go to the second rank to hit the queen.

If 21 ...Nxg4 22 Rxg4 hxg4, Tal's pawn is too dangerous.

23 Bd4 Bf6 24 Nf3

White hopes that Bxd4 Nxd4 can drive the Queen away and at the same time gain a tempo. But still...

24 ... Qa6!!!

25 Ng5 Bxd4

Desperate attempt to attack the kingside. White's game went downhill from there due to losing too many tempi for the game....

Jul-11-09  Gambit All: Why doesn't White take the Bishop on the 19th move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: [Gambit All} It wasn't going anywhere, White was in no hurry.
Jul-06-17  RKnight: Why did Melik play 17 Bxc4? Perhaps he didn't like being pushed around by Tal, but I think 17 Be2 is better. E.g. 17...f6, 18 h4 Bf7, 19 h5 and it would be Melik pushing Tal around with his king-side attack.
May-11-18  whiteshark: Game-related data from chessbase:

[Event "URS U20 Team-ch"]
[Site "Leningrad (Russia)"]
[EventDate "1954.08.09"]
[EventType "team-tourn"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[WhiteTeam "Armenia"]
[BlackTeam "Latvia"]

May-11-18  whiteshark:

click for larger view

White to move

1) +1.65 (27 ply) <17.Be2> f6 18.h4 Bf7 19.h5 Nc7 20.h6 g5 21.Nf1 gxf4 22.Bxf4 d5 23.Ng3 Bd6 24.Qd2 Rae8 25.Nf5 Bxf4 26.Qxf4 Ne6 27.Qd2 Ng5 28.exd5 Re5 29.d6 Rfe8 30.Ne7+ R5xe7 31.dxe7 Qxe7 32.Bf1 Qe4 33.Bg2

2) +1.24 (27 ply) 17.Bf1 f6 18.Kb1 d5 19.Bg2 Rd8 20.f5 Bf7 21.Nf3 Bd6 22.exd5 Nc7 23.Nd4 Nxd5 24.Bc1 Be5 25.Be4 h6 26.Qg2 Qc8 27.h4 b4 28.Ne6 Bxe6 29.fxe6 Ne7 30.cxb4 Rxd1 31.Rxd1 Qxe6 32.h5

3) +0.67 (26 ply) 17.f5 cxd3 18.Qxd3 Qb7 19.h4 Nf6 20.h5 Bxf5 21.gxf5 h6 22.Kb1 Kh8 23.Bd4 b4 24.cxb4 Qxb4 25.Nc4 Rfc8 26.b3 Rab8 27.e5 dxe5 28.Bxe5 Rd8 29.Qf3 Rbc8 30.Bb2 Qb5 31.Rxd8+ Rxd8

6.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 9 v010218

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