World Chess Federation - FIDE

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sicillian Defence 2.f4 Mikhail Tal's approach

The way that Tal dealt with 2.f4 is shown in the following game. At the time that this game was played several of England's leading grandmasters, notably Hebden, Hodgson and Watson had employed 2.f4 as a means of unseating the Sicillian experts.

By playing 2.f4 White aims to steamroll down the Kingside and hold the initiative. It is certain that up until the time of playing, more theoretical advances had been made for the benefit of White after 2.f4. Although it ended in a draw this game provides some good pointers on dealing with 2.f4.


Hartson vs Tal
(Tallinn 1979)

1.e4 c5
2.f4 d5
3.exd5 Nf6
4.Bb5+ Bd7
5.Bxd7+ Qxd7
6. c4 e6
7.Qe2 Bd6
8.dxe6 fxe6
9.d3 0-0
10.Nf3 Ng4
11.Nc3 Nc6
12.0-0 Bxf4
13.Qe4 Qd4+!

(Tal always likes to find a simple win and reaches some very
tactically promising positions ... !

After 14.Nxd4 Bxh2+ White gets mated.)

The game continued ...

14.Qxd4 cxd4
15.Bxf4 dxc3
16.Bd6 Rfd8
17.c5 cxb2
18.Rab1 b6
19.Rxb2 bxc5
20.Bxc5 Rxd3
21.h3 Nf6
22.Rc1 Rad8
23.Kh2 e5
24.Bf2 e4
25.Rxc6 exf3
26.Bxa7 Rd2
27. Rcc2 Rxc2

1/2 - 1/2

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