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. Great game & analysis.  Tal was always exciting, & Smyslov solid.

  2. Thanks for the coverage jerry

  3. We still learn great lessons from the past ,and this game proves it 🙂

  4. What Is the analyse board that you use? i cant seem to find this exact one

  5. Awesome i love watching your vids:) Keep up the great work !!!

  6. What if
    6. …. f5
    7. Neg5 h6
    and only then e4

  7. And now I am going to watch this video. Even before watching, I know it is going to be fantastic analysis…

  8. Great game!  Tal was always my favorite after my Fischer blind infatuation.  [Smyslov – and Tiamanov – I appreciate because they were both professional musicians along with being great Grandmasters].  Tal overcame so much.  This convinces me to try d3.  Thank you Jerry!

  9. Hi Jerry. Could you explain why Smyslov prefers Qa6 as opposed to Qb6 on move 12? His move seems awkward. Queen moving to b7 isn't feasible with the knight and prevents the bishop from going there, whereas Qb6 doesn't seem to have any glaring weaknesses. Double pawn doesn't seem bad if he takes, nor NxQ and Qb6 allows black's queen to stay on the black diagonal which is better.  

    Qa6 blocks in his a-pawn, prevents light bishop movement and doesn't appear to accomplish anything aside from maintaining pressure on a2 which has no practical importance. 

  10. Tal is my fav GM 🙂 his tactical shots are incredible 

  11. Poor Smyslov. Tal really put the pressure on him and didn't let him breath for a second. I love watching his games, such beautiful tactics.

  12. Another reason why Tal is my favorite attacking grandmaster ever! I have no idea how he sees these attacking tactics

  13. just got into chess…are u a GM or IM? very intuitive 

  14. Smyslov left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and Tal took it 'en passant'

  15. jerry u are awesome u are one of my top ten favorite people on earth ive never disliked a single one if your videos keep rocking dude

  16. What a splendid game!
    I have a follow up question for you ChessNetwork , At 15:57, what if after …Nf6 then following up with Qxh7+ Nxh7 and now grabbing the black queen with Rxa1.? Is that any better for the white side?

  17. as always, thank you, as always +like, and as always, you're the best teacher I have ever had(and i'm including my school teachers in this ranking).

  18. Wow, you can't help but smile when watching Tal play

  19. Awesome analysis! Can you do more Tal videos? 😀

  20. I would have gone wrong a million times.
    Thank you really informative.

  21. "Hi, this is MATO.. today I'll show you a bea…" oh no wrong channel srry

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

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

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

  25. 16:55 Ruck E8 seems good to me, or do I then miss something really important..?

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

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

  28. 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.

  29. Unidade de Pronto Atendimento Cianorte says:

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

  30. 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

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

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

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *