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Vladimir Saigin vs Mikhail Tal
Match for USSR Master title (1954), Riga, rd 8
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation (A31)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-09-03  talchess2003: Tal orchestrated the attack very nicely, he seemed to have it in mind for a while. The e5 d4 push is interesting, although it inevitably leaves black with an isolated pawn, this pawn is very powerful...

For annotations, this game is featured on page 53 in Tal's book, The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal.

Dec-09-03  talchess2003: BTW, just for additional info, this was the match in which Tal obtained his Soviet Master's title.
Jul-30-04  Knight13: The attacks made by Tal are interesting. Good game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: Okay, I give up. How does Tal win after 30.Kxg2?
May-04-05  hintza: Never give up! White is in all kinds of trouble after 30...d2 31.Rd1 Bg4 32.Ne4 Qc6 etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <hintza> Excellent advice! I see now that my error was in looking for some kind of attack on the king, when actually the goal was to clear the way for the d-pawn.
May-04-05  hintza: You can be forgiven for looking for an attack on the king considering who was playing Black!
Jun-26-10  rapidcitychess: I believe this opening was played in Petrosian vs Keres, 1953 Of course branching with 7.Nf3. This may be infereior as his e5-e4 push comes with tempo.
Jun-09-11  hedgeh0g: The fireworks really kick off in this game when White plays 25.Ng5? intending Bd5+ with a decent position. However, the reply Ne3! is the beginning of a nice combination which does not allow White to play the crucial bishop move and culminates in the elimination of the key piece, clearing the way for the d-pawn. A very instructive attacking game.
Jun-09-11  leroquentin: Here, when 30.Kxg2 Qc6+ 31.Nf3 d2 32.Rd1 Rd3 wins the queen, isn't? Is it the best continuation?
Jun-09-11  hedgeh0g: White isn't forced to play 31.Nf3. After 31.Kg1, it still looks a little tricky to force the win. I think 30...d2! 31.Rd1 Bg4 32.Nf3 (32.Ne4 Qc6!) Qd3! is more convincing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Tal has a terrifying style. Soon even grandmasters will know of this."

- Vladimir Saigin (after losing to 17-year-old Tal in a qualifying match for the master title)

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

In his autobiography, <Tal> calls this, round 8, the "best game" of the match.

-Mikhail Tal, "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" (Cadogan 1997), p.28

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