Mikhail Tal vs Vasily Smyslov – 1959 Candidates Chess Tournament

Mikhail Tal employs the Closed Breyer variation against Vasily Smyslov’s Caro-Kann Defense. Do not however be detracted by the word ‘closed’, as the position by move 7 is anything but. A tactical and dynamic position quickly arises where an emphasis on time/development, move order details, and precise calculation are paramount. The 1959 Candidates Tournament was held in three cities of Yugoslavia. The first 14 rounds were played in Bled, rounds 15-21 in Zagreb, and rounds 22-28 in Belgrade. This was game 30 from round 8 between Tal and Smyslov.


Internet Chess Club (ICC)


  1. Well analysed! White could even play Queen capturing knight and winning more quickly instead of knight capturing pawn in the analysis!

  2. Could smyslov give up his queen for a rook with check and only then recapture tal's queen at 17.15?

  3. What if 6 … F5 7.Kg5 and black plays h6 (instead of e4)

  4. 16:55 Ruck E8 seems good to me, or do I then miss something really important..?

  5. Tal was something else, he was just on another level, he was seeing chess like nobody ever, every game of him is art.

  6. toTALly a bruTAL game! Tal at his best😄

  7. The Wizard from Riga.It seemsz so logical… Wonder why I can;t find his moves. So Obvious and logical. I just am not logical.

  8. Unidade de Pronto Atendimento Cianorte says:

    I look up to Smyslov as the most regular player of the first rank.

  9. At 19:00 I believe you showed the Morphy line of attack giving away the knight and rook for a quick devastating cm Morphy he understood materialistic greed in chess

  10. Somebody : Wasn't rook × bishop better than Q × p at F 7 ?

  11. Smyslov should exchange Queen for Rook at 17:19, then capture Tal's Queen and go for end game.

  12. what happens if, after b5, white plays Bxf7, and only after king move, Bd2?

  13. Wow.
    10 games for the price of one from Jerry.
    Very entertaining.
    Brilliant analysis.

  14. Very interesting alternative Caro Opening variation. Led to even more interesting continuations.

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