Bobby Fischer’s last round “must win” chess game with Mikhail Tal – Zurich 1959 – Final Round (15)

Bobby Fischer’s last round “must win” chess game with Mikhail Tal – Zurich 1959 – Final Round (15)

Morning all, on this Kings crusher channel
we have seen many of the encounters of Tal against Fisher. In fact, with this game we will have a complete
set. I’ll put it in a playlist and I’ll link
the playlist from an embedded link within this video. This game is in the Zurich tournament of 1959. This was just before the candidates’ tournament
which Mikhail Tal won and then went on to beat Mikhail Botvinnik in the world championship
match of 1960. So, at this time Mikhail towers at the peak
of his powers. In their very first encounter there was a
draw between Fischer and Tal and that was a very very exciting draw in the cares variation
the Ruy Lopez. In this game Mikhail Tal playing white kicked
off with e4. The Zurich tournament is interesting, 10-gram
masters were invited along with six top swiss masters. Including the swiss champion. In fact, in the round before this in round
14, Fischer had suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Detre Keller and that was actually
in a case variation of the Ruy Lopez funny e enough. Whilst Mikhail Tal had a much better time
at iron crushing donna using about 15 minutes on his clock with an exciting Benoni defense. So maybe Mikhail Tal was a bit more rested
and settled from the previous round and this final round 15 Mikhail Tal just really needing
a draw actually to help secure tournament victory ahead to Fischer. He plays e4 and Fisher plays Sicilian defense. Nf3 from the Mikhail Tal. Fischer plays d6
and we see in fact the Knight off emerging, Knight off variation of the Sicilian with
this a6. Bg5 now, very sharp continuation. E6, f4 and here Fisher was later to play quite
often the poisoned pawn variation, Qb6. But earlier on he’d always, he’d often chosen
rather Be7, so Be7 not challenging this be too poor to take that poison pawn. Qf3, Qc7 white castles Queen side now. So, it looks like an impressive aggressive
position for white. Nbd7 and now on live book for those interested
g4 is the most common move, 1174 games. So, over a thousand games with g4. Bd3 is the second most popular, 340 games. This next move a bit of a rarer bird from
Mikhail Tal, it has been played 62 times and it’s not, it’s just an equaling, not too ambitious
this next move, Qg3. Okay Fischer reacts now with h6, which is
fairly standard actually and we see Bh4 and here, actually the most common move for black
is actually to play g5 here. For example, fg, Rg8, Be2, Ne5, Nf3, hg, Knight
takes Ng6. This has been played before quite a bit. So g5 immediately, so trying to expose sometimes
this Queen, this rook can come to g8. But we see a similar idea now anyway. Because Rg8 immediately with the idea of g5. Okay and this next move is designed against
g5. Because black is actually threatening to win
material with g5 here. For example, if white casually and let’s check
with a kibitzer White casually plays Kb1, then g5 is actually
winning for black after takes. So, we have Nh5 here attacking in the Queen
and the bishop and that’s just winning a piece, even Qh4, Rxg5 protecting the Knight. So Nh5 is the very very dangerous threat to
take out of this. G5 can actually be allowed and this next move
basically allows g5, but just stops Nh5 as the follow-up. So Be2, so permitting g5 and that’s played,
it seems quite aggressive playing from Fischer with black and positionally this is often
trying to secure the e5 square. This f4 if that’s taken away, we get this
lonely pawn in the center and in front of it that e5 square. So, an isolated King’s pawn you could call
it. It is an isolated King’s pawn in the square
in front of the isolated pawns which are usually problem squares for very nice blockades. So here it’s no different. There is an isolated King’s pawn situation. Fxg5 and then we see making use of the pin
just Ne5 not worried about even hg immediately. Gives Mikhail Tal some options here though
and if you wanted a small advantage technically from an engine point of view from a theoretical
like a very theoretical engine point of view, this next move which Mikhail Tal played seems
to be an inaccuracy of some sort g6 is actually a very very sharp idea here. Which only engines can come up with is actually
to play Kb1. So, for example, hg, Bxg5, Nh7, which still
seems to be winning a piece. Because of this pin and black’s ability
to play f6. But lo and behold have a look at this. H4 and it looks as though f6 is attempting
to win a piece. But actually, white has some good counter
play compensation, very very strong compensation here. After check, Kd8, Qh3 just offering a whole
piece to win e6 in this position. So, if black goes for that Bishop now, Knight
takes, Bishop takes, Queen takes and actually blacks position appears to be crumbling here
believe it or not. Okay, so it’s just looks as though there’s
just the threat on the rook. If the rook moved for example Qxe5 blacks
position is actually crumbling with the king in the center. So, a very very dynamic continuation. If Nf6, Rf1. So, threatening, taking in here and this again
blacks position is in bad dire straits here. Qd7, this is still very very good for white. So, a very very aggressive idea to give up
the bishop here exists in this position actually with just Kb1, but Tal prefers the saner g6
and the only do of g6 disposition is, I believe just to emphasize this f file on the target
f7. Okay so how’s Fischer react? He just takes with the Knight here and we
see Rhf1 offering dark-squared bishop and that is actually taken here, Nxh4 and it seems
the Queen’s a bit of a target here after Qxh4 to this bishop. You might think what about, can this not be
used? One of the more spectacular ways of trying
to use this discovery that exists on the Queen is actually Ng4 here and we see here okay
the bishops attacking the Queen and the Knights protecting h6 and the Rook is protecting the
Knight. So where would the Queen go here? Well actually there’s a very very interesting
possibility for white. Well there’s a normal possibility Qh5, just
on f7, Ne5 and that’s defending f7. White is still slightly better here technically. The queen is in not such a bad place here. But also, there’s a very interesting idea
that white can consider in Rxf7 trying to expose the king in the center. If Bxh4, we just take on c7 White’s doing
fantastically. So, if this is now taken Kxf7++, Rg6, Bxg4
and this is quite an aggressive position for white. The exchange down is quite tricky for black. So, if Kg7 and say Qh3 on e6, it’s unwise
for e5, we just played check and white is got a very big advantage coming up like this. So, let’s say black let’s e6 go with Bf6,
takes, take, Bxc3, this kind of position is an interesting exchange tact possibility. But even so, it’s not a huge advantage for
white. So anyway, there’s some very interesting possibilities
here with Ng4. So also, there is Qg3 just prompting actually
the knight to do something again here. What is white actually threatening? Just to take the knight now. So, what happens here? If I will just take the rook, so where does
Knight want to go back? Nf6, we can now either go to h4 or go to h3. Qh3 is a slight improvement here. So, I think overall Ng4 is not so bad for
white. Ng4, there are various ways for white to react
here, including even it seems Rxf7, Qh5, Qg3. Okay Rxf6 is threatens as well. So, what about Nd5 trying to double the pawns
or something. Well unfortunately this is refuted here, and
Queen doesn’t move. Does Nxd5 attacking the Queen here? And now the Queen can go to f2 attacking f7. So, there’s no discovery on the Queen here,
which is useful it seems. So, Fischer plays Rg6 covering both f6 and
h6 and we see Bd3 now with the threat of e5. Okay so now actually the discovery is used
in this position with Ng4 here attacking the Queen. We see a very delicate move Qh5. One question on tip of your tongue might be
the possibility of Ne3 here, which seems to be forking both rooks. Is this dangerous, is this is a trap of some
sort? Well actually there is a very dangerous move
reflecting the dangers the F file again. White can actually play Rxf7 in this position. So, leaving the Rook loose, so black has to
do something about this. If Kxf7, now just e5 and again this is starting
to look a bit nasty for black. This materialistic Ne3 seems to me punished
here. If Nf5 trying to stop the disaster on g6,
White has a very very powerful move. Just taking after exf5, now g4 is incredibly
strong for white. How can black react to this g4 move? Say he tries to sidestep, gxf5 and where’s
the rook going now, and this is all getting a bit dangerous after f6 check. This is quite crushing position and sort of
thing, absolutely crushing. So black really doesn’t want to indulge in
this type of thing with this horrible pin on the rook. If Nxd1, it is a disaster. Like this, check and in this position, there
is actually a really crushing our blow here. Nd5 and if this is taken, check. After Kd7, e6++, after of Kd8, Qh8 and this
is mating. So basically, Knight e3 although tempting
doesn’t appear to be a very very good idea in this position after Qh5, this F file dynamic
pressure is real. It needs to be tightened up here by black
with urgency with Ne5 it seems. One problem with Queen on h5 is that it’s
not protected on h5. Anyway, I think well is that a big deal? You know it’s kind of putting pressure on
h6 is tying the rook you know to f7 sometimes. Well let’s say Ne5. Now Nf3 putting pressure on e5 seemingly justifying
the Queen. But it seems to backfire now. Fischer now plays the crafty Qc5 and actually
there’s a threat here against the Queen directly. Nxd3 check is now threatened to play Qxh5
and even if white tries to get out of it with Kb1, then there’s still Nxd3, the Knight is
actually protecting the Queen. So, it’s gobbling a piece here. So actually, with Qc5 Fischer has at least
equalized, but he really needs a win to catch up Mikhail Tal in this tournament. This is the last round. Ok, will the bishop pair be enough if Nxe5
is played? There’s not much else white can actually do
here rather than play Nxe5. Everything else seems to be quite dire in
fact. Even if we attack the Queen on h3, Knight
takes and okay let’s say cxb5, black is actually from an engine point of view, blacks actually
tons better. Let’s see why. There was a threat of b4 here and also e5
to attack the Queen. So, let’s say Kb1, b4, Na4, Qc6, B3 protecting
the Knight. E5 attacking the Queen and here look at the
Queen’s just, it’s just silly. It’s you know g2 is on the fire. If we go to h5, there’s also Bg4 just winning
the Queen, embarrassing. So, the Queen on h3 is not much of an option. So basically, if Qh3 is not much of an option
because of all this stuff, White’s got no better it seems the Nxe5. So, we’re heading into a position where if
Mikhail Tal, ok he needs a draw and the Queen’s are coming off. Ok he plays Qxe5. He doesn’t want to leave the black queen
in that dominant square on e5, so he takes and now g3. So, can Fischer try and get a win against
Mikhail Tal just with a bishop pair here? It’s asking a lot. But this Bishop is the one to be improved. First Bd7 to put it influencing the center,
put pressure on e4 and then maybe later black can dream about f5 in the future. After Be2 though there’s ideas of Bishop h5. So f5 is completely ruled out here, that’d
be a total disaster. Just Bh5 here. Black has to just shield the f7 pawn soon
and we see that. After Bc6, Bh5 we see the shielding offering
exchange of rooks and white hasn’t, Mikhail Tal hasn’t got enough time to do anything
about f7 here. Because if he takes and Rf1, black just plays
Ke7 and that’s neither the King comes to protect that. There’s no real problem of f7 here that blacks
better there. So, he doesn’t really want to do that. He plays a3 actually here. This rule out some other interesting possibilities
that gives. Ok black, the option to exchange off rocks. But actually, Fischer plays Rd8. So, there’s two options to get rid of all
the rocks and in fact one of them is taken to get rid of one pair and the other pair
comes off. So, can Fischer really win this in the final
round just with the bishop pair here. Seems a bit unlikely. Kd2, Bg5++. But there is a slight issue here with these
two pawns on dark squares. In fact, the b2 pawn which seem to be an Achilles
heel here of White’s position, can white just go back here to it you know why does he have
to invite Bc1? Let’s have a quick look, Kd1 and the problem
here might be that black might be able to get more aggressive King at some point in
the future and then f5 later after unpinning to play f5 and it might start to be quite
dangerous. In fact, Mikhail Tal goes with Kd3. So, the king is ready to support e4 you know
against f5 in the future once this unpins. So maybe it’s more useful here, even though
there seems to be a problem with Bc1 being invited, positively invited. The invitation has accepted, Bc1. The b2 pawn is protected and okay now we see
Bb5++, c4, Ba4 attacking the knight. But alas here what alas for Fisher just Kc3
attacking this Bishop and it seems that blacks last winning resource trying here or major
one for a long time to come in this position would be Bb3 to keep the pressure on the b2
pawn. But in this position, can you see what resource
White has? Very simple one. If I give you 10 seconds starting from now,
what would you play with white? Okay in this position Bd1 so attacking bishop
again, Kings keeping hold of c4. So, it takes just in time protecting b2 and
okay so because of this, the bishop just dropped back to c6 and then we get repeat Nd1. You know Tal is contempt with a draw, he is
going to win the tournament if he just draws this game. Fischer plays King f8. Now actually we see h4 being played and you
know white is not without resources here to be able to draw this game really. In fact, h4 rules out the bishop from the
g5 square. It’s just taken away that g5 square. White is actually threatening Kc2 to munch
the dark square bishop. Now this must have been a little bit annoying
for Fischer, is he really going to have to except to draw now? Well what can he do here if he doesn’t play
Ba4. Oh dear! Tal has just run away with the Zurich 1959
unless there’s anything else apart from Ba4. What can black play? The bishops been lured to this c1 square and
it just can’t get out, it just cannot get out. Just demonstrate that, Ke7, Kc2, where does
Bishop go? Just has to give itself up. This is just losing a piece for nothing. So basically, Fischer is forced to repeat
with Bishop a4, Nc3 and they accept to draw. The bishop on c1 is trapped here and with
this Mikhail Tal won the very very strong Zurich torment of 1959. Ok and then later we saw the epic 4 game encounter,
where Mikhail Tal destroyed Fischer in the candidates, 4-0. Okay but certainly in the first two encounters,
Fischer and Tal actually drew both games. So, I’ll put a playlist link, so you can
see all the games between these two. Comments or questions on YouTube, thanks very

68 thoughts on “Bobby Fischer’s last round “must win” chess game with Mikhail Tal – Zurich 1959 – Final Round (15)

  1. 21:50 wasnt b5 a possibilility to keep the game running? it surely is better for white, but if you have nothing to lose, why not give it a shot?

  2. i guess kf5 would be fine for white. conceding the d5 square could also allow another knight infiltrating which could be unpleasant for black.

  3. yes knight f5 is the accurate move here. not that might moves are abbreviated with the letter N as in Nf5, K is reserved for the king. (as in KC=KingsCrusher) 😉

  4. b5 Nxa4.Worse position with no prospects at all.Doesn't look like something Fischer should go for. He can only lose from there, so why go for it.Waiting for Tal to blunder his last piece? 😀

  5. his prospects could possibly playing f5 or aiming g and h pawn with his dark square bishop. and i think with different color endgame draw might skill be possible. if that option is not taken its draw or loss for sure. (repetition or losing a piece). while this potentially (low chance though) offers a win. i dont say its a good move if u play without context. but in this situation where fischer needed a win, why not try this all or nothing possibility.

  6. show me the winning continuation. i believe this is still at least draw, and black might be able to create a past f pawn.

  7. I tend to agree having been playing this out. But I would start after b5 with cxb5 e.g.

    36. cxb5 (36. Nxa4 bxa4) 36… axb5
    37. Nxa4 bxa4 38. Kc3 Ke7 39. Bd1 Be3 40. Bxa4 Bd4+ 41. Kc2 f5 42. b4 Bf2 43.
    h5 Bxg3 44. Kd3 Bh4 45. Bc2 Kd7 46. a4 Kc6 47. Kc4 f4 48. Bd1 Kb7 49. a5 Be1
    50. Kb5 Bh4 51. Bg4 Be7 52. Kc4 Bd8 53. Bxe6 Bh4 54. Bg4 Bf2 55. Kb5 Bh4 56.
    Be2 Bg3 57. Bg4 Bh2 58. Ka4 Kc7 59. b5 Bg1 60. b6+ Kc6 61. Be6 ….

    Essentially White has all the winning chances and zero losing chances.

  8. The fundamental evaluation points to notice is that White has two connected passed pawns on the queenside whilst black's pawns are going nowhere – very easily blockaded as randalph points out.

  9. 21:38 after Kc2, isn't Bf4 some kind of a "staying alive" move ?
    If gxf4 then …Bxe4+,  Kd2  xf4 and black is 3 pawns up on the king side. Or if  Nc3 then maybe …f5. Not a winning move but still a little bit of hope. If fisher didn't play that move there must be a reason, but I can't see it.

  10. Why couldn't black's LSB  play …Bb3! covering c2 from the king and still eyeing d1 and ready to exchange any piece on there and the DSB can escape by taking on b2. If white then plays Bd1 then …Bxd1 Nxd1 …Bxb2 or if white plays Nd1 then just simply …Bxd1 Bxd1 …Bxb2 – the white king cannot approach the bishops. So if all those pieces would stay there and be tied down let's say, then the black king can get active. This is my own analysis no engine used I'm ~1800 strength so I could be very wrong here but it jumped out at me the Fischer missed a win. Technical zugzwang, Or not as it appeared to me… and reply here would be appreciated thanks Kingscrusher for a great video as always, still loving your channel you're the =#1 on here with chessexplained!

  11. Hello everyone. I have a question.
    Did Bobby Fischer win the game(s) he played after the US government warned him not to play?

  12. Is this the game where there's a famous photograph (or film?) of Tal looking up from the board at Fischer and smirking at him (with those amazing eyes Tal had)?

  13. @Desidium It doesn't matter your "friend" is 2300 elo fide. You can always learn with this type of videos. Not only chess in the game but culture and history of chess.

  14. a3, h4 and versatile defensive Knight, I find the endgame beautiful. But, on the other hand I'm confused that I find it beautiful, since this seems like a rather cheesy, ok I only needed a draw situation.Not playing for a win with the white pieces.

  15. Fischer was a better player than Tal, and he proved it later in life. There was a lot of Bullying at the candidates tournament, specifically bullying of the already awkward Fischer. But, Fischer had the final say against Tal as an adult. The Fischer biography "Endgame" is excellent.

  16. when white knight is on c3, bishop takes on b2 knight takes white square bishop on a3 and black biship takes pawn on a3. fisher could exchange bishop for two pawns and have the left side of the bord open for knight advance. has anyone studied this option?

  17. Lifetime vs. Tal, Fischer has a losing record: 2w-4l-5d.
    Fischer lost to Geller lifetime too: 3-5-2.
    Vs. Petrosian, Fischer has a winning record: 8-4-15.

  18. you go a little too fast man, there's no animation for the motion or highlighting on moving pieces, it's really hard to watch the videos sometimes.

  19. I can see at the end, after b5 there might be some c4xb5 a6xb5 but even then Bishop d1 doesn't work because b2 is lost. If knightxa4 the b pawn takes the knight, king c2 will happen and opens e3 for escape but it leaves a huge hole in blacks queen side pawn structure.

    I like to think everyone is over rating light pieces in the end game. It might be more fun to just give away the bishop on f4, stopping the black e pawn after that might not be as easy as it looks.

    Even more fun seems to just let king c2 happen, have him take the bishop in exchange for e4. After the eventual f5 white will have to work to stop that double pawn.

    But I guess he spoiled that with that weird king f8 move?

  20. He's just going to "Munch" the bishop.
    I can't tell you how many times I've enjoyed munching on bishops…, and knights taste pretty good too.

  21. Replayable game link:
    Join me or other Youtubers for a game: – Cheers, K

  22. I can't afford to make a donation Sorry, the Internet costs too much here …. You should not lip smack or swallow hard during your narration of the game …. it is annoying ….

  23. At 6:15 I considered playing Rh1f1 instead of Bh5+ immediately because of Nf7 where e5 is possible to Qh3 and there is always Qd7 so fxg5 and now Bh5+ and if Kd8 then we got Qxe5, dxe5 and finally Nxe6 mate and if Kd7 then we got Nxe6, Kxe6, Bg4+, Nxg4, Qxg4+, Ke5, Rf5+, Bxf5 and finally Qf5 mate so the best move seems to be Ng6 and I think I had played Qf3 to that, if Kd8 then Qf7 so Bf6, Nf5, exf5, exf5, Bxc3, Bxg6+, Kd8, Rxd6+, Qxd6, Rd1, Be5, Rxd6+, Bxd6, Bxh7, Re8, a3, gxh4 and so forth where white has 2 free pass pawns

  24. @this time MT was the best, but Fischer went far beyond afterwards, but there are other giants before Tal…above all I like Tal creativity, BF become also amazingly criative and calculus machine, I think only compared with Kasparov, such were their epic games…

  25. Tal's mastery displayed in full. If his attack fails he always ensure avoiding defeat with a draw. One of Tal's very best.!!!!!

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