Tal attacks

[Event "style: Tal on the attack (JUG "]
[Date "1959.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tal, M."]
[Black "Smyslov, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B10"]
[PlyCount "51"]
1. e4 c6 (1... e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nbd7 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.
Nf3 Be7 8. Bd3 c5 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. O-O-O a6 11. Rhe1 Bd7 12. Nxd4 Qa5 13. Nf5 h6
{[#]  Tal whips out another unclear sacrifical attack.} 14. Nxg7+ Kf8 15. Bxf6
Bxf6 16. Bc4 Qg5+ 17. Kb1 {[#]  Barcza must have had a good old think, but

The Theory of Steinitz

  1. At the beginning of the game the forces stand in equilibrium.
  2. Correct play on both sides maintains this equilibrium and leads to a drawn game.
  3. Therefore a player can win only as a consequence of an error made by the opponent. (There is no such thing as a winning move.)
  4. As long as the equilibrium is maintained, an attack, however skilful, cannot succeed against correct defence. Such a defence will eventually necessitate the withdrawal and regrouping of the attacking pieces and te attacker will then inevitably suffer disadvantage.

Rules for attack

Steinitz' rules of attack (from Kotov/Chernev)

  1. In chess, only the attacker wins. Defenders win only when the attacker makes a mistake, OR if the attacker had no right to attack in the first place. Even then, the defender must become the attacker to win.
  2. The right to attack belongs only to that side which has the better position - a positional advantage of some sort.
  3. If you have the advantage, you have not only a right to attack, but also a duty to attack, otherwise there is the risk of losing the advantage.

The Opera Box Game

Just in case anyone hasn't seen it before: I forget that it is new and fresh to every generation of chess players.

Book review: Attack with Mikhail Tal

[This review first appeared in Westward Ho!]

Book review: Attack with Mikhail Tal (179pp+index) Cadogan Press: London.

  Mikhail Tal and Iakov Damsky. [[sterling]]11.99.
Mikhail Tal needs no introduction; the wizard who emerged in the late 1950s as a force to complement the science of Botvinnik. This is Mikhail Tal's last word to the chess world, some of which was transcribed from tapes made within days of his death in 1994, and which he did not live to complete. Damsky tells us the planned

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