Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Fischer Vs Tal – the Magician from Riga

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal – the magician from Riga . Fischer – Tal 1960 Olympiad Team tournament. Leipzig, East Germany was chosen as the venue of the 14th Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE.

It comprised of an open team tournament, as well as many other events designed to promote the sport. It took place between October 26 and November 9, 1960.

Fischer BobbyAfter winning a tournament in Reykjavik (3 1/2 out of 4), in October, the teenager Bobby Fischer arrived at the Olympiad in Leipzig, to head the American Olympic team for the first time in his life. And what a team tournament it was for him!

The American team was without Samuel Reshevsky who did not want to play below Fischer, yet the Americans succeeded in winning ‘silver’ for the first time in the postwar period!

The contribution of young Fischer who was also the team captain was significant: 10 wins, 2 losses and 6 tough draws! (+ 1 0-2=6), and more importantly the best result on board 1 in the final that clinched the second spot for the team.

Of his two defeats, one (in the semi-final) caused a shock; the Ecuadorian Master Munoz defeated Bobby who played against his ‘Dragon’ as black!

As for Gligoric, the Yugoslav grandmaster was a veritable opponent for the young Fischer. The 5th round of the team tournament saw Fischer having White against Tal. Fischer had read a lot about Tal’s swashbuckling style of sacrificial play and was also obviously eager to get even with him for past humiliations as well as to show him a taste of his own medicine!

It was a tactical slug-fest by a existing world champion against a future world champion.

Tal had beaten Fischer in their last four encounters, but Fischer came out aiming for Tal’s jugular.

The Olympiad wasn’t that important, they could easily have avoided a fight had it been so, but went for one deliberately to prove who was the better man standing.

The draw was looked as such by spectators who wanted a result, however the draw by perpetual check, was not because both players felt like it on that day, but was born out of practical necessity – the attack had died out and it was prudent to either repeat the moves or lose.

The world champion Tal employed a sharp variation of the French Defense involving the sacrifice of his king side pawns and opposite side castling.

At the critical moment he created a tactical melee on the board, leading to a draw by perpetual check.

This game showed Fischer why Tal was considered a  tactical genius although Tal himself said of his tactical sacrifices sarcastically – “There are two types of tactics, the sound ones and the ones I make”!

As is seen the photo was taken when Tal played 7… Ne7 – see by the game lines.

Fisher appears to be analyzing with rapt attention (little nervous?) while Tal seems to be seemingly easy (preparation home ground?). The above photo is an evergreen classic in the annals of chess.

This fine game, which was annotated by both players and later in great detail by many other authors, rightfully appears in the well-known book The Mammoth Book of World’s Greatest Chess Games as well as in Fischer’s 60 best games of Bobby Fischer


According to Tal himself, when he was interviewing Fischer at the 1962 Varna Olympics, the first question he asked Fischer was: “Whom do you consider to be the strongest player in the world?”

Fischer looked at Tal with surprise to which Tal simply made it easy by adding, “Excluding yourself, of course.”
Fischer replied tounge-in-cheek –  “Well, you don’t play badly.”

By that time (1962), Bobby had defeated Tal twice. One might assume that perhaps Fischer couldn’t consciously admit that Tal was the best, but when Tal eased the question ruling out Fischer, he readily accepted to Tal’s superiority.

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Fischer visits Tal while he was hospitalized during the 1962 Candidates tournament

At that time Tal was still the world’s best chess player, when ever he was in robust health. If you may recall he lost his crown long back to Botvinnik in partly because of ill health.

In Tal’s own words, Tal was Tal but Fischer was not yet Fischer.  They were friends. They became friends at the 1958 Inter-zonal.

Fischer was the only player to visit Tal while he was hospitalized during the 1962 Candidates tournament.

That showed the human side of Fischer and what he cared about friends.


Hope you liked this info about two of my favorite players! Your comments, suggestions and feedback are welcome. I will be happy if you were to share this article or copy it anywhere (provided you attribute it to this webpage).

  • Some good books for you to read about Bobby Fischer at the site with free shipping worldwide.
  • Some good books for you to read about Mikhail Tal at the site with free worldwide shipping.

Golden Chess Centre teaches chess for students staying in Nanganallur and suburbs like Madipakkam, Adambakkam, Moovarasampet, Kilkattalai, Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Ullagaram and Pazhavanthangal in South Chennai. Online sessions for players who live out of Chennai are also undertaken via appointments.

  Note: The links in this page are affiliate links.


Power of the common Pawn – Chennai (Tiger) Express

Power of the common Pawn – Chennai (Tiger) Express

Power of the common Pawn – Chennai (Tiger) Express


Power of the common PawnThis was one brilliant game of technique played by Vishy Anand, that shows how positional understanding is the foundation of all tactics. Its not often you get to see a game that literally keeps you mesmerized. There was some inefficiency by Wesley So but that does not take the credit away from Anand. A champion has to be brave and this is what Anand demonstrated – he showed the Power of the common Pawn today in Shamkir 2015.

The 2nd Vugar Gashimov Memorial took place in the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir from 17th to 26th April 2015. The participating players were: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Vladimir Kramnik, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Adams Michael and Mamedov Rauf.

Magnus Carlsen won the 2nd Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerhaijan with 7/9 a point clear of Viswanathan Anand.  However Vishy produced some of his best games here and notable is this one as told earlier.

Carlsen finished a point ahead of Viswanathan Anand who had an interesting event. Anand was also impressive as he remained undefeated, though he also had ample chances to win against his arch nemesis Carlsen in the first round.

We can learn how chess is played from up-there. The perspectives are sure to raise your understanding and your elo too. A game that I liked a lot is shown below.

A brutal technical win over Wesley So by the Chennai Tiger Vishy Anand. It was all about endgame finesse and understanding. And the Power of the common man, er… the common pawn.

[Event “Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015”]
[Site “Shamkir AZE”]
[Date “2015.04.21”]
[Round “5.2”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan”]
[Black “So, Wesley”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C77”]
[WhiteElo “2791”]
[BlackElo “2788”]
[Annotator “Kish”]
[PlyCount “89”]
[EventDate “2015.04.17”]
[SourceDate “2015.02.07”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nc3
d6 9. a3 Nb8 10. Ng5 $5 Nc6 {[%csl Gd4,Rg5][%cal Rc6d4,Gf3g5,Yd4f3] Taking
advantage of teh fact that the Knight on f3 is missing in action albiet
temporarily.} 11. Ba2 Nd4 12. Ne2 {Exchanging the Opponent’s active piece.}
Nxe2+ 13. Qxe2 h6 {The courage of a chess player. A very intuitional sacrifice
(that happens only when you look at the position from a bird’s eye view) and
one that is purely positional rather than tactical. Wonder what the engines
must be thinking about this move. It is what I call a human-like move!} 14. f4
$5 hxg5 (14… exf4 {seems to be an idea for another day. However I think
Anand must have simply moved back the Knight to f3.} 15. Nxf7 (15. Bxf4 hxg5
16. Bxg5 $19 {Seems to be bad for White.}) (15. Nh3 $13 Bxh3 16. gxh3) 15…
Rxf7 16. Bxf7+ Kxf7 17. Bxf4 {Nothing tangible for White again. So there seems
to be a lot of ways where Black could have kept White subdued}) 15. fxg5 {
Pawns on the 5th rank and beyond, are powerful and work almost like a piece in
terms of strength. That is what makes a player stand out when he can
understand the fluid nature of how the power-balance can shift subtly.} Ng4 $6
{What is that Knight doing?} 16. g6 {There goes the battering Ram! This pawn
is on steroids and seems unstoppable! That is the ‘Power of the common pawn’.}
Bg5 $5 (16… Nh6 $5) 17. h3 $1 {At first sight this looks like a move that is
kicking the Knight. Look deeply and you will see that the h-pawn is raring to
join its friend on g6! This li’l fella is planning for the future!} (17. Bxf7+
Rxf7 18. gxf7+ Kf8 {gets nothing for White!}) 17… Bxc1 18. Raxc1 Nh6 19. Qh5
$1 {The Queen comes in for the kill. A menacing move that takes adv of the
power of White’s active pieces.} Be6 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. g4 {There is that pawn
rush to attck and soften Black’s fortress. Poor Black is helpless even though
he is a piece up.} c6 $6 {Anand thought this was a mistake during the press
conference as I guess it is not doing anything about the impending aftermath.}
22. Rxf8+ Qxf8 23. Rf1 Qe7 24. g5 Rf8 25. gxh6 Rxf1+ 26. Kxf1 Qf8+ 27. Ke2 $1 {
No more checks!} gxh6 {Subtle pawn play by White. Conversion from this
position is an entire game altogether. It is here that Anand had to shift
gears and play delicate strokes. No mad rushing here.} 28. Qg4 Qf6 29. h4 d5
30. h5 d4 31. b4 $1 {Bringing the point home. This requires finesse on the
part of the White player.} Kg7 32. Qf3 Qe7 33. Kd1 Kg8 34. Qf2 Kg7 35. c3 dxc3
36. Kc2 Qc7 37. Qc5 Kg8 38. Qe3 a5 39. Qh3 axb4 40. Qxe6+ Kf8 41. axb4 Qa7 42.
Kxc3 Qa3+ 43. Kc2 Qa4+ 44. Qb3 Qa7 45. d4 1-0


Never under-estimate the Power of the common Pawn !

Further Reading –

Kish Kumar is a passionate Chess player and coach at Golden Chess Centre and loves teaching the various aspects of Chess. When not involved with Chess he is busy life-coaching! Connect with him here 🙂

Using the Opponent’s force (a la Judo) in your chess games

Using the Opponent’s force (a la Judo) in your chess games

Using Opponent’s Force

My first memory on seeing this  is Judo. It does an amazing job of using your opponents force and weight (damage from the throw), then adding in your force to damage your opponent.  This is what happened in the game.

Judo (Japanese: 柔道, jūdō; “gentle way”) is a martial art and combat sport, which originated in Japan. Judo, now primarily a sport, is a system of unarmed combat. The objective is to throw, pin, or cause the opponent to yield by applying pressure to arm joints or the neck. Judo techniques are intended to turn an opponent’s force to one’s advantage, rather than confronting it directly. Rituals surrounding the practice of judo promote an attitude of calm readiness and confidence – Source

It is all about maximum results with least effort, and simple chess is all about it. The key is to react with quiet consciousness, not blind raging urges.

Please go over the game slowly and see where my moves appear strange to you.

These would be the points you have to understand.

So what exactly happened in this game?

I did not do anything but only used my opponent’s own urge to ‘do something’, against him. I am a fan of Petrosian and Karpov.I always think what they would do in such a position.

The reason I am showing this game is because I feel that beginners and intermediate players usually are never taught to play as per the needs of the position or how to change gears based on the opponent’s moves.

Here when I say ‘opponent’s moves’ and let me clarify that I refer to the beginners urge to try and dominate – usually obvious in the first 10-15 moves.

Coming to the topic of how to train this method of using your opponent’s force against him, I would suggest – always sitting with a stronger player and asking him to block your attacking attempts by playing ferociously, and then see how he can withstand your onslaught. Then go over that game and see where you rushed in. All these moments will be our learning notes.

In this experiment you will see where you are lacking, like lack of patience or lack of proper visualization + calculation in critical positions or both.

One more method would be to slowly go over games by players like Karpov, Capablanca or Petrosian and see how you are able to find their moves. Every time they make a move that appears difficult to understand, you need to pause and meditate.

That is all for now friends! Hope to hear from you soon – if you are in Facebook why not join me there and like my page ?


Golden Chess Centre conducts regular training sessions for dedicated and upcoming chess players in Nanganallur, Madipakkam, Adambakkam, Moovarasampet, Kilkattalai, Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Ullagaram and Pazhavanthangal – Chennai, as well as online sessions for those players who live out of Chennai.

Get in touch here.

Attack and Counter-Attack – Model Chess Game

Attack and Counter-Attack – Model Chess Game

One of the best games by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk on Attack and Counter-Attack – Model Chess Game for all budding chess players.

Attack and Counter-Attack - Model Chess Game

I think it needs to given a closer second look to understand many concepts related to attack and defense. I really enjoyed this game and hope you would too.

Attack and Counter-Attack – Model Chess Game

Suggested Reading –

Grandmaster Chess Strategy: What Amateurs Can Learn from Ulf Andersson’s Positional Masterpieces By Jurgen Kaufeld, Guido Kern

Attack and Counter-Attack - Model Chess Game

Attack and Counter-Attack - Model Chess Game 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures

Tactics, audacity, and speed are the hallmarks of chess matches called “miniatures,” games played in 25 moves or less. Learn from 100 fascinating games played by Soviet chess masters, taken from the records of the Soviet Chess Bulletin. Selected and annotated by noted chess authority P. H. Clarke. 99 chess diagrams.

Have you ever wanted something really bad and after some time, not so much?

Golden Chess Centre conducts regular training sessions for upcoming chess players in Nanganallur, Madipakkam, Adambakkam, Moovarasampet, Kilkattalai, Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Ullagaram and Pazhavanthangal – Chennai, as well as online sessions for those players who live out of Chennai.

Get in touch with Golden Chess Centre here.

Note: The links in this page are affiliate links.

Worth replaying slowly.

[Event “Zurich ct”]
[Site “Zurich ct”]
[Date “1953.09.19”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “12”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Mark Taimanov”]
[Black “Efim Geller”]
[ECO “E94”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “80”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 O-O 5.Nf3 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O
Nbd7 8.Re1 c6 9.Bf1 Re8 10.d5 c5 11.g3 Nf8 12.a3 Ng4 13.Nh4 a6
14.Bd2 h5 15.h3 Nf6 16.b4 b6 17.bxc5 bxc5 18.Rb1 N6d7 19.Qa4
Bf6 20.Nf3 h4 21.Nd1 hxg3 22.fxg3 Nb8 23.Re3 Nh7 24.Reb3 Bd7
25.Qa5 Qc8 26.Nf2 Bd8 27.Qc3 Ba4 28.R3b2 Nd7 29.h4 Ra7 30.Bh3
Qc7 31.Ng5 Nxg5 32.Bxg5 Bxg5 33.hxg5 Kg7 34.Qf3 Qd8 35.Rb7
Rxb7 36.Rxb7 Kg8 37.Bxd7 Bxd7 38.Ng4 Qxg5 39.Rxd7 f5 40.exf5
Rb8 1-0

How to Play in Rook Endgame

How to Play in Rook Endgame

How to Play in Rook Endgame

“In a Rook and Pawn ending, the Rook must be used aggressively. It must either attack enemy Pawns, or give active support to the advance of one of its own Pawns to the Queening square.”  (Tarrasch).

In this game, with the help of an active Rook, Tarrasch´s King and passed pawn march methodically up the chessboard. As they move forward step by step, the opponent´s pieces are driven further and further back until the edge of the board, where they can put up little resistence to the advance of the passed Pawn. The classic simplicity of  Tarrasch’s technique in the conduct of this ending is so impressive as to make it. The Most Instructive Rook and Pawn Ending Ever Played.

Siegbert Tarrasch vs Edmund Thorold

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 (Tarrasch prefers this to the usual Nc3 because the Knight is developed without blocking c2 Pawn.)

c5 4. exd5 Qxd5

5. Ngf3 (A temporary Pawn sacrifice, to gain time for quick development of the pieces.) cxd4 6. Bc4 Qh5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nb3 e5 9. Nxe5!

Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Nxe5 11. Re1 (This pin, followed by 12.f4 will regain the piece given up by White.)

f6 12. f4 ( The threat is now 13.fxe5, fxe5; 14.Rxe5+, followed by 15.Nxd4, and White is a Pawn ahead.) Bb4 13. Bd2 Bxd2 14. Nxd2 Bf5 15. fxe5 O-O-O 16. Bd3 Bxd3

17. cxd3 (After the exchange of Bishops White has: (a) the c file open for his Queen Rook, (b) big advantage in development: all his pieces are active now.)

fxe5 18. Rac1+ Kb8 19. Rxe5 Nf6 20. Rce1 Rhe8

21. Rxe8 Nxe8 22. Re7 (Rook on the seventh rank. Black´s Knight cannot move now (the g7 Pawn would be lost). a6

23. Nb3 b6 24. Nxd4 Rxd4 25. Rxe8+ Kc7 26. Re3

Kd7 27. Kf2 g6 28. Rh3 (This forces the h-pawn to advance, weakening the g-pawn.)

h5 29. Ke3 (Changing of the guard. Now:

(1) White King protects the Pawn, freeing the Rook for active duty.
(2) The King is brought closer to the center.
(3) Black´s Rook, blockader of the Pawn, is forced to retreat.
(4) The passed Pawn will be able to advance.)

Rd6 30. d4 Re6+ 31. Kd3 Re1 (An attempt to get behind White´s Pawns.)

32. Rg3 Re6 33. Re3 Rd6 34. Re5 Rf6

35. a4 (Mindful of the safety of his Queen side Pawns, Tarrasch decides to move them away from the second rank and possible attack by Black’s Rook.) Rf2 36. Re2 Rf6

37. b4 (Once his two Queen side Pawns are on the 4th rank, Tarrasch could advance them, if necessary, and protect them with his Rook from the 5th rank (e5 square).)

Rf1 38. Re5 Rf2 39. Rg5 Rf6 40. h3 Kd6 41. Ke4

Re6+ 42. Re5 Rf6 43. d5 Kd7

44. Rg5 ((1) Clears the e5 square for the King, (2) prepares to bring the Rook to g3 and f3, where the threat of exchange will drive the opposing Rook off the open file.)

Kd6 45. Rg3 Ke7 46. Rf3 Rd6 47. Ke5 Rd8 48. d6+ Kd7 49. Rf7+ Kc8 50. Rc7+ Kb8 51. Rc2

Re8+ 52. Kf6 b5 53. d7 Rh8 54. Ke7 Rh7+ 55. Kd6 Rh8 56. Re2 (The exchange of Rooks on e8 is inevitable, followed by the queening of the Pawn.) 1-0

Related Posts

[related_posts limit=”5″ image=”550″]

Page 1 of 212