Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade 1959

Critical Moves and Winning Lines for Smyslov:

1. 17…Qxa2: Smyslov sacrifices the queen to gain a strong attacking position.

2. 19…Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Rxf7: This was a good move, but the key is to follow up accurately.

Let’s look at a possible winning sequence for Smyslov starting from move 20:

– 20…Rxf7: Instead of exchanging queens, Smyslov could try to continue the attack with 20…Ne4+, aiming to keep the initiative.

– 21. Nxf7+ Kg8: This move is forced.

– 22. Rxa1 Kxf7: Now, Smyslov has to be precise.

A possible sequence to win:

1. 24…Nxc6: Smyslov should ensure not to exchange too many pieces to keep the attack going.

2. 25. Nxc6 bxc6: This is correct.

3. 26. Ke3 Bb6+: Here, Smyslov should look for tactics to exploit the king’s position.

Instead of 25…Nxc6, consider:

25…Ng5+ 26. Kf4 Ne6+ 27. Ke5 Bd4+ 28. Kd5 Bc8

This line keeps the pressure on Tal and maintains the initiative. Smyslov should always look for ways to keep attacking and using tactical motifs to pressure Tal’s king and pieces.

The game between Mikhail Tal and Vasily Smyslov played in 1959 in Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade is special for several reasons:

1. Aggressive Play: Mikhail Tal was known for his aggressive and imaginative play. In this game, he demonstrated his exceptional attacking skills and his ability to calculate deeply and find spectacular combinations.

2. Sacrificial Attack: Tal’s play often involved sacrifices, and in this game, he sacrificed material to open lines against Smyslov’s king, creating a highly dynamic and complex position.

3. Psychological Impact: Tal’s play had a significant psychological impact on his opponents. His willingness to sacrifice material for the initiative often unnerved his opponents, leading them to make mistakes under pressure.

4. Masterful Endgame: Despite the chaotic middle game, Tal’s transition to the endgame was seamless, showing his understanding of the position and his ability to convert an advantage.

Key Moments of the Game:

– Tal’s willingness to sacrifice pawns and pieces to open lines.
– Smyslov’s solid defensive play that eventually crumbled under Tal’s relentless pressure.
– The tactical fireworks that ensued, showcasing Tal’s creativity and deep calculation abilities.

This game is often studied for its instructional value in attacking play and for demonstrating the power of initiative and tactical prowess.