Rashid Nezhmetdinov 1 - 0 Mikhail Tal
USSR Championship (Baku) 1961, Rd.15
The fearless attacking player, Rashid Nezhmetdinov (1912-74), had a combined plus score against the world champions he faced, including +3 -1 against Mikhail Tal. This is the best known of his wins against Tal.
The annotations to this game, by R. G. Nezhmetdinov, are from Shakhmaty v SSSR (No.3, 1962). The translation from the original Russian is by Douglas Griffin. It can be found on his excellent blog on Soviet-era chess at https://dgriffinchess.wordpress.com/ and is reproduced here with his kind permission.
One does not question tastes, but to me more reliable appears 6...Nc6 followed by an exchange at d4 and ...Bc8-d7-c6, which permits Black to take aim at the important d4 square.
Also possible was 7...Nc5, forcing White to transfer the bishop to f3, and thereby obstructing the path of the f-pawn. The ex-World Champion prefers a sharper path to the struggle.
The idea of this move is to establish control over the central squares e4 and d5.
Intending the plan of taking control of the central squares f4 and d4, Black loses valuable tempi and does not have time to remove his king from the danger zone. In my opinion the plan associated with ...h7-h6 and then ...Nd7-b6, employed against me by V. Zhilin (RSFSR Championship, 1958), deserves greater attention. One may also recommend 11...e5, on which White ought to withdraw the knight to e2. 12.Nde2 Nc5 13.Ng3 exf4 14.Bxf4 Nfd7 15.Nf5 Ne5 16.Ne3. A lively struggle for the centre begins, in which White all the same has the better prospects.
The exchange of this bishop cannot be permitted!
After 16...Nf4 17.Bxf4 exf4 18.e5 matters for Black would have been altogether bad, for example:18... 18...Bxh6 or 18...Nd7 19.e6 Bxh6 20.exd7+ Kf8 21.Bxb7 Qxb7 22.Qe5 Kg8 23.g5 19.exf6+ Kf8 20.Qe7+! Black's position has seemingly been consolidated. Now he intends to remove his king. But at just this moment, sacrificing the exchange, White begins the decisive attack.
It was still possible to go over to the above variation with 20...Bxd5
A concluding sacrifice, permanently demolishing the defensive structure around the black king.
White has a rook less, but Black is defenceless.
1 - 0
Translator's note: Here an editorial note indicates that this game was awarded a special prize, as the best in the tournament.