The Irish Times - - Bulletin Page - by JJ Walsh

Tal – Botvin­nik (Moscow 1960)


World cham­pion Mikhail Botvin­nik failed to cope with the un­re­lent­ing tac­ti­cal prob­lems posed by Mikhail Tal dur­ing their 1960 ti­tle match but Botvin­nik man­aged to curb Tal’s at­tack­ing skills in the 1961 re­turn match and re­gain the ti­tle. Here Tal play­ing the White pieces has sac­ri­ficed a cou­ple of pawns for an at­tack­ing initiative against the Black king. How did he con­clude the as­sault?

1, Rxa6+! Kb8(1…Kxa6; 2, Qb6 mate or 1…bxa6; 2, Qb6+ Ka8; 3, Qxa6+ Ra7; 4, Qxc8 mate); 2, Qa4, and Black had no de­fence against the threat 3, Ra8+ Kc7; 4, Qa5+ and mates.

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