Monday, 14 September 2009


While i am recovering from my ankle operation i have read a book that i have had for a number of years but never got around to reading.

P.C. Clarke's Mikhail Tal's best games of chess.
This book is an old book published by Bell back in the 1960's.
Bell produced great chess books,game collections of Alekhine,Capablanca and Larsen
being my favourite ones.

The Tal book covers his chess from 1951 to and including his 1960 World Championship win against Botvinnik.
The book has a photo of Tal,followed by 9 pages of biography called "The road to the championship",rounded off with 7 pages of "The genius of Tal" using positions in a what Tal did next format.
Thier is also a page and half from Tal talking about chess as an art form.

The rest of the book has 50 of his games.
In most of them he seems to sacrifice pieces and pawns almost at will,but Clarke's note are very good if brief.

Game 39 stands out for me as a great game, played against V. Smyslov.
Who only 2 years before was himself World Champion.
The game is played during the 1959 Candidates tournament at Bled,Tal has the white pieces.On move 17 Smyslov plays 17...Qxa2 threatening mate next move.
Tal defends against this then on move 19 plays a wow move 19.Qxf7. offers his queen
to Smyslov.
Enjoy game 39.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

If 19....Rxf7 20.Rxd8+ Rf8 21.Rxf8+ Ng8 23.Rxg8++
If 19....Re8 20.Qg8+ either knight or rook xg8 21.Nf7++ smothered mate.
Don't even think about 19...Rg8.
If 19...gxh6 20.Bxf6++

I found this an enjoyable book of a snap shot from history.


LinuxGuy said...

I would need to see the analysis from the book. Black seemed to get a good game, then play bad. Even in the final position, I am not sure why Black doesn't play on a while longer with ...Bb7, threatening...Nxf.

LinuxGuy said...

I didn't like ...Qa6, but why did he have to play ..Nh5 and not g6? If there is a flaw in there, I'm guessing Black probably should have connected rooks first, with ...Bb7 before Qa5.

Wahrheit said...

What a great book! I have it too, the original first ed. Almost all the books about Tal or by Tal are well worth having. Joe Gallagher's book that picks up on the last part of his career is great, too.

Tommyg said...

Hey ChessX!

That Tal books sounds great. I loved Tal's book on his WC match with Botvinnik. Sorry I haven't been around in awhile. Music is keeping me rather busy.

How is the healing coming along?

Rolling Pawns said...

I just shook my head at Qxf7, a few moments thinking - how come?

CHESSX said...

If you let me have your e-mail address, i will try to scan the book analysis,and send it to you.

I have known Tal was a tactical great, but playing through 50 of his games you see how great he really was.

I will now be looking to get Tals book on the 1960 Botvinnik match.

Rolling pawns
I spent most of the time shaking my head playing 50 of his games one after the other.
Thinking how does he do it?.

PetrS said...

I like books with Tal's games. Even although I don't fully understand them :) There is a lot to learn from his games!

PetrS said...

I just study his book about attacking. It is in Russian (happily I can understand it, but it is not my native language) so I don't know the book's English title to share it with you :(

Tommyg said...

Hey ChessX:

I answered this at my blog but I thought I would post here for you as well.

Whenever I post a game with analysis and alternate moves I just save the PGN in a database and then that is the pgn I upload to ChessFlash. If the information is in the pgn it should register in the HTML at chess flash which should enable it to be seen at your blog.

I have never done anything special other then what I described above. If the info is in the original pgn file it should show up with chess flash.

I hope that this helps.

What program are you using to create the pgn?