Latvian Opera honors Misha Tal
When 23 year old sensation Misha Tal confronted the 48 year old ‘Soviet man’ Mikhail Botvinnik in the spring of 1960 (March 15 to May 7) in Moscow for the World Chess Championship, the chess world was about to be treated to more than just a colorful clash of personalities.
The conservative chess establishment was on the brink of a revolution that was to make the tightly controlled ‘politically correct’ sport of chess a young person’s game for the first time since a youthful Paul Morphy exploded on the scene in Europe in the mid 19th century.
The game was about to be revitalized and would subsequently attract millions of new fans around the world. The chess talents stood ready and eager for the challenge: Bobby Fischer had just turned 17 the week before; Boris Spassky was a mere 23 years old; Tigran Petrosian was 30. Korchnoi 28. Leonid Stein was 25.
But it would be necessary for Tal to fire the first stalvo…Rigid rules were to give way to intution. Strategies were to give way to speculation. Logic was to give way to creativity. And history records that Misha Tal let the genie out of the bottle in the famous 6th game of the match…
Botvinnik, M –Tal, M
Ch World Moscow 1960
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d4 d6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qb6 10.d5 cxd5 11.cxd5 Nc5 12.Ne1 Bd7 13.Nd3 Nxd3 14.Qxd3 Rfc8 15.Rb1 Nh5 16.Be3 Qb4 17.Qe2 Rc4 18.Rfc1 Rac8 19.Kh2 f5 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Ra1
Tal was about to make the move that shattered the establishment…