(5) Tal,Mihail (2625) - Jakobsen,Ole (2440) [B53]
Skopje ol (Men) qual-A Skopje (2), 20.09.1972
[Llewellyn,Alan Mansel]

Mihail Tal was one of the most exciting Soviet players of all time, nicknamed 'The Magician from Riga', ie his home town in Latvia, he was probably amongst the best players of all time known for his sacrificies which were extremely long term and so complicated that he beat many strong players in comprehensive fasion. The Soviet Union once dominated Chess and he was among a number of a continuous stream of players from there that became World Champion, though he was the shortest reigning Champion in history with only about a year due to internal Soviet politics and a physical illness.

this game is from a prelimanry section of an Olympiad [where players play in teams for their individual nations] in Skopje.

1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4
an unusual Sicilian defence line - here 4.Nxd4 is much more normal but Mihail often avoided known theory so he could out think his opponents over the board.

4...Bd7 5.c4 Nc6 6.Qd2 Nf6 7.Nc3 g6 8.b3 Bg7 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Be2 Qa5
10...Nxe4 is threatened.

11.Rb1 a6 12.a3 Rfc8 13.0-0 Bg4
i think concentrating on a minority attack was probably better here for Ole, a minority attack is where a defender counters in an area of the board where he has a minority of pawns facing one another, so getting in b5 was key to this position and Ole moving the Bishop away from d7 where it defended b5 indirectly wasn't the best idea.

14.Rfe1 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Rab8 16.Be2 Ne5 17.f4 Qb6+ 18.Kh1 Neg4 19.Bxg4 Nxg4 20.h3
[20.Nd5 Nf2+ 21.Kg1 Nh3+ 22.Kh1 Nf2+ 23.Kg1 Nh3+= drawn position.; 20.Qd5?? Nf2+ 21.Kg1 Nh3+ 22.Kh1 Qg1+!! 23.Rxg1 Nf2# ]

20...Nf6 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.exd5 Bxb2 23.Rxb2 Qc7 24.f5 b5 25.fxg6 hxg6 26.Qg5 bxc4?!
[26...Qd8= ]

27.Rxe7 Qc5 28.Qf6 Qxd5
[28...Rf8 29.Re4!! heading for h8 when its mate. 29...Qa5! (29...Rxb3?? 30.Rh4 Re8 31.Rh8# ) 30.bxc4 (30.b4 Qd8 31.Qd4 Qg5 32.Rh4 f6 ) ]

29.bxc4 Qxc4 30.Rf2 Rf8 31.Rf4 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Qb2 33.Rxf7 Qxf6 34.R7xf6 Rxf6 35.Rxf6 Kg7?
The strong Danish player makes a mistake not spotting Tals advantage and defending the wrong pawn. [35...Rd8 36.Rxg6+ Kf7 37.Rg4 d5 38.Kg3 Kf6 39.Kf4 Rc8 this is pretty even though Mihail has all the winning chances.]

36.Rxd6 a5 37.Rd5!?
keeping the pressure on the a-pawn.

37...Ra8 38.a4 Ra6 39.Kg3 Kf6 40.Kf4 Ke6 41.Rb5 Kf6 42.Rc5 Rb6 43.Rxa5
if Ole could have defended the a-pawn without becoming so passive, a pawn down would probably have been a draw, but white was threatening to advance his pawns on the Kingside and get a pawn in a queening position thus diverting the rook from the vital defence of the a pawn and winning, still I think Ole capitulates a little under the intense pressure and makes the win an easy task.

43...Rb4+ 44.Kg3 Rb3+ 1-0