Magazine article The Spectator

Misha V. Bobby

Magazine article The Spectator

Misha V. Bobby

Article excerpt

My occasional series on matches that never took place continues to arouse interest. A fabulous clash would have been that between those two uncompromising warriors of the chessboard, Misha Tal and Bobby Fischer. Both of them were renowned for throwing everything they had at the opponent, though in Tal's case this stemmed from a restless dynamism and in Fischer's a pristine classicism. If we construct a match from their existing results it would look like this.

This week a sharp clash between Tal and Fischer from the Candidates Tournament which catapulted the former to World Championship glory, while the position shows Black (Tal) saving himself from a precarious position in the Olympiad a year later. It should be observed that although Tal leads overall, it was Fischer who started to score more heavily towards the end of their personal rivalry.

Fiseher-Tal: Candidates' Tournament, Bled/Zagreb/Belgrade 1959; Sicilian Defence 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 The Najdorf Variation. Very much Tal's favourite then, as it is Kasparov's now. White's next move, virtually a Fischer patent, proved to be Short's main weapon in his world-title match against Kasparov in 1993. 6 Bc4 e6 7 Bb3 Be7 8 f4 0-0 9 Qf3 Qc7 10 0-0 b5 11 f5 White should not permit his c3-knight to be attacked and driven away from c3, so 11 a3 was in order here. 11 b4 12 Na4 e5 13 Ne2 Bb7 14 Ng3 Nbd7 15 Be3 Bc6 16 Bf2 Qb7 The apparent win of a piece by 16 ... Qa5 is defeated by 17 a3. …

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