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Mikhail Tal vs Levente Lengyel
Moscow (1971), Moscow URS, rd 2, Nov-25
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Nimzo-English Opening (A17)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-01-07  M.D. Wilson: This game shows just how impressive Tal really was at this time (there are a number of games from this period, and indeed many in the early 50s, that illustrate Tal's positional-aggressive style. Usually I'm not into superlatives, but I get frustrated by the number of people who divide chess into tactical/positional etc. You know, the "unwashed" who think Tal can only sacrifice, or that Petrosian was overly soporific and less combinative.

What do people think?

Rant signing off

Oct-25-10  tranquilsimplicity: What you say is absolutely correct ie. that one cannot divide the beautiful game in absolute terms of positional or tactical or infact claim that some players like Tal were tactical and not positional. My latter statement would be a show of ignorance to anyone that carries that mentality around. These are the guyz you are referring to as "unwashed".

However even the great combinative player Chigorin played very sound positional moves. Chigorin had great positional depth. I would go as far as to claim that all GMs at least Masters above 2600 Elo have deep positional knowledge. One cannot play great combinations out from nowhere! Postional depth is a prerequisite of combinative strength! However it is also true to say that some GMs than others have a greater appetite for combinational tactical Chess than others. Eg. Karpov prefers to keep his games in the quiet waters of positional depth almost throughout most of his games, whereas guys like Tal, Alekhine,Chigorin,Spielmann, Kasparov and Shirov have an appetite for seeking a tactical blow to finish off their opponent.

What do you think?

Oct-25-10  SpiritedReposte: Yep, safe to say every single GM (shoot even expert and a little below) have very good positional knowledge. Very hard to improve more when you reach that level. Now as for Tal, (one of the greatest of all time!) I bet he could play any type of position blindfolded standing on his head. But against similar world-class competition, he chose a more risky technique. And he carved up the likes of Botvinnik, Petrosian, Spassky, and Fischer. Now if he beat one of THOSE guys with this quiet style, that would be something.

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