1959 Candidates' Tournament
by Bill Wall

Download the games here

60 years ago, this month, the 1959 Candidates' chess tournament was held to determine the challenger to Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995) for the world chess championship title.

Early in 1959, World Chess Federation (FIDE) President FolkeRogard (1899-1973) announced the site and date of the 4thInternational Candidates' Chess Tournament. It would be in Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia), where chess was popular, and Russians were not. The fans followed 16-year-old Bobby Fischer and there was already a Bobby Fischer Chess Club in Belgrade.

The 4th Candidates' chess tournament was held from September 7, 1959 through October 29, 1959. The event was held in the Yugoslav cities of Bled (now in Slovenia), Zagreb (now in Croatia), and Belgrade (now in Serbia) with the support of dictator Marshal Josip Tito (1892-1980), an avid chess amateur. It was one of the most dramatic and exciting of all chess tournaments, with the biggest names in chess participating. Eight of the world's strongest chess players contested for the right to challenge world champion Mikhail Botvinnikfor the title of World Chess Champion. It was an epic contest of 28 rounds, each competitor facing the others four times over the two months. The tournament launched Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) on his road to become the youngest-ever world chess champion. Tal was just shy of his 23rd birthday when he won the tournament.

Of the eight places in this competition, one place was allocated to the loser of the previous World Championship match. This went to VasilySmyslov (1921-2010). The other place was granted to the 2nd place finisher of the previous Candidates Tournament that was held in Amsterdam in 1956. This went to Paul Keres (1916-1975). The other 6 places were determined by an Interzonal tournament, held in August and September 1958 in Portoroz, Yugoslavia(now Slovenia). The 6 top-placed finishers were Mikhail Tal, SvetozarGligoric (1923-2012), Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984), Pal Benko (1928-2019), FridrikOlafsson (1935- ), and Bobby Fischer (1943-2008). Fischer was the youngest Candidate in history until Magnus Carlsen qualified for the 2007 Candidates.

The first 14 rounds were played in Bled. Rounds 15-21 were played in Zagreb. Rounds 22-28 were played in Belgrade. British International Master Harry Golombek (1911-1995) was the chief arbiter.

Each player had at least one second. Fischer's second was Bent Larsen (1935-2010). Tal's second was Yuri Averbakh(1922- ) and Alexander Koblentz (1916-1997). Keres's second was VladasMikenas (1910-1992). Petrosian's second was Isaac Boleslavsky (1919-1977). Smyslov's second was Igor Bonderevsky (1913-1979). Gligoric's second was Aleksandar Matanovic (1930- ). Olafsson'ssecondws were Klaus Darga(1934- ) and Ingi Johannsson (1936-2010). Benko's second was Rudolf Maric (1927-1990).

Larsen, Fischer's second, jokingly told Bobby during the tournament, "Most people think that you are unpleasant to play against. You walk funny and you are ugly." Bobby insisted that Larsen wasn't joking and that the insults hurt. Fischer called Larsen "sulky and unhelpful." Larsen was paid $700 to be Fischer's second.

Fischer was the only one that did not wear a suit and tie, preferring his ski sweater and wrinkled pants. The Yugoslavs described Fischer like a hero of an old cowboy movie. Fischer lost his travelers checks and was short on money during the entire tournament.

Tal was recovering from surgery as he had his appendix removed less than two weeks before the tournament.

Before the tournament, Benko was working long hours at a U.S. brokerage firm and had little time to prepare. Benko qualified as a Hungarian and played in the Interzonal Tournament as a "stateless" person. He later took citizenship papers in the United States.

Fischer had dropped out of Erasmus Hall High School to play in the tournament. His mother signed the authorization releasing 16-year old Fischer from the school.

While in Bled, the players stayed at the Grand Hotel Toplice. This is where the international tournament of Bled 1931 was held, won by Alexander Alekhine. As the rounds started, photographers with flash bulbs were allowed to get on stage and take pictures. Most of the veterans were used to this, but Fischer had his face buried in his hands as he squirmed in his chair.

In round 1, Gligoric offered Pal Benko a draw, which Benko refused. A few moves later,Benko, who was in extreme time trouble, offered a draw against Gligoric on move 35 (time control was at 40 moves). Gligoric accepted and stopped the clock. A curious spectator started the clock and Benko's clock fell in less than one second!

Benko — Gligoric, Bled, Sep 7, 1959 (Rd 1) 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bg5 d6 5.e3 c5 6.Nf3 Qa5 7.Qd2 O-O 8.Be2 h6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.h3 a6 11.O-O Rb8 12.a3 cxd4 13.exd4 Qd8 14.Rad1 Bd7 15.Rfe1 Rc8 16.b4 Re8 17.d5 Na7 18.Qe3 b6 19.Nd4 Qc7 20.a4 b5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Ndxb5 Nxb5 23.Nxb5 Bxb5 24.cxb5 Qb7 25.Bxf6 exf6 26.Qd3 f5 27.Rc1 Re4 28.Bf1 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Bd4 30.Qd2 g5 31.Kh1 Qa7 32.f3 Re5 33.Qc2 Qa3 34.Rd1 Qe3 35.Bd3 (draw offer by Benko) 1/2-1/2

Fischer, age 16, checkmated Keres, age 43, in the first round in a queen and pawn vs. rook and pawn endgame. It was probably the only time Keres got checkmated in his professional career. Keres made a queen sacrifice that he and Geller came up with just for Fischer while on a fishing trip. At the time, Keres was considered the 2nd strongest chess player in the world. Fischer annotated the game in his "My 60 Memorable Games," game 14. If Keres had beaten Fischer in two games, Keres would have qualified as the Challenger, and not Tal. Keres defeated Tal three times in this event.

Keres — Fischer, Bled, Sep 7, 1959 (Rd 1) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. Be2 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. e5 Bb7 13. exf6 (queen sacrifice) 13...Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Bxf6 15. Bxa8 d5 16. Bxd5 Bxd4 17. Rxd4 exd5 18. Nxd5 Qc5 19. Re1+ Kf8 20. c3 h5 21. f5 (21.a3) 20...Rh6 22. f6!? (22.Red1) 22...gxf6 23. Nf4 h4 24. Rd8+ Kg7 25. Ree8 (25. Rd4) 25...Qg1+ 26. Kd2 Qf2+ 27. Ne2 Rg6 28. g3 f5 29. Rg8+ Kf6 30. Rxg6+ fxg6 31. gxh4 Qxh2 (31... Qxh4!) 32. Rd4 Qh1 33. Kc2 Ke5 34. a4 Qf1 35. Nc1 Qg2+ 36. Kb3? (36.Kd1 bxa4 [not 36...Qxb2?? 37.Nd3+, winning the queen] 37.Nd3+ Kf6 38.Rxa4 a5 39.Rd4 may draw) 36... bxa4+ 37. Ka3 Qc2 38. Nd3+ Kf6 39. Nc5 Qc1 40. Rxa4 Qe3 41. Nxa6? (the sealed move. Better was 41. Rd4) 41...f4 42. Rd4 Kf5 43. Nb4 Qe7 44. Kb3 Qxh4 45. Nd3 g5 46. c4 Qg3 47. c5 f3 48. Kc4 f2 49. Nxf2 Qxf2 50. c6 Qxb2 51. Kc5 Qc3+ 52. Kd5 g4 53. Rc4 Qe5# 0-1

In round 1, Tal played Smylsov for the first time ever. Smyslov won.

Smyslov — Tal, Sep 7, 1959 (Rd 1) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3 Qc7 10. a4 Be6 11. a5 Qc6 12. Bf3 Nbd7 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. exd5 Qb5 15. Qd3 Rfc8 16. Rfc1 Qxd3 17. cxd3 g6 18. Rc3 Rxc3 19. bxc3 Rc8 20. c4 e4 21. dxe4 Rxc4 22. Nd2 Rc2 23. Bd1 Rc3 24. Kf1 Nc5 25. Bd4 Rd3 26. Bxc5 dxc5 27. Ke2 Rxd2+ 28. Kxd2 Nxe4+ 29. Kc2 Nd6 30. Be2 Bf6 31. Rb1 Kf8 32. Kb3 Ke7 33. Bd3 Kd7 34. f4 Bd4 35. Rf1 Be3 36. f5 Bd2 37. fxg6 hxg6 38. Ra1 Ke7 39. Ra2 Bb4 40. h4 Kf6 41. g4 Be1 42. h5 Kg5 43. Ra1 Bd2 44. Rh1 gxh5 45. gxh5 c4+? (45...Kh6) 46. Bxc4 Kh6 47. Rf1 Kxh5 48. Rf6 Ne4 49. Be2+ Kg5 50. Rxf7 Be3 (50...Bxa5 51.Bd3 Nd6 52.Rd7 Nc8 53.Rxb7) 51. Re7 Kf4 52. Bd3 Nd6 53. Kb4 b6 54. axb6 Bxb6 55. Bxa6 Bd4 56. Re6 Be5 57. Kc5 Nf7 58. Bd3 Bb2 59. Bg6 Ng5 60. Re8 Ba3+ 61. Kc6 Nf3 62. Re4+ Kg5 63. Bh7 Kh6 64. Bf5 Kg5 65. Bg4 1-0

In round 1, Olafsson was in extreme time trouble when he took a pawn with his queen, overlooking that his rook was hanging. Once he saw the rook was hanging, Olafsson resigned without waiting to a reply.

Petrosian — Olafsson, Sep 7, 1959 (Rd 1) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 c5 5. e3 O-O 6. Be2 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Na4 cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. a3 Ne4 11. b4 f5 12. Bb2 Bf6 13. Qb3 d6 14. Nc3 Qe7 15. Rad1 Nd7 16. Nxe4 fxe4 17. Ne1 Bg5 18. Nc2 Rf7 19. Bc1 Bxc1 20. Rxc1 Raf8 21. Ne3 Ba8 22. Rc2 Kh8 23. a4 Qg5 24. Qa3 Rf6 25. Ra2 h5 26. a5 Bb7 27. Qc3 R8f7 28. axb6 axb6 29. g3 Nf8 30. h4 Qh6 31. Ng2 g5 32. hxg5 Qxg5 33. Qe3 Qg7 34. Bxh5 Rc7 35. Be2 Rh6 36. f4 exf3? (36...Qh6) 37. Bxf3 Qxg3?? (38.Qxh6+ Kg8 39.Bxb7, threatening 40.Rxf8 mate) 1-0

In Round 2, Fischer met Petrosian for the first time in his life. Petrosian was a Caro Kann player as Black and prepared well for Fischer. Fischer had 14 Whites in this event and his opponents played the Caro Kann on him 7 times. Fischer lost 3, won 2, and drew 2 against the Caro Kann. Fischer lost to Tal 4 times (who joked in one of his games by first playing 1...c6, then moving it to 1...c5 and grinning). Fischer lost to Petrosian 3 times and drew once.

Fischer — Petrosian, Sep 8, 1959 (Rd 2) 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. h3 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 Nf6 6. d3 e6 7. g3 Bb4 8. Bd2 d4 9. Nb1 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 e5 11. Bg2 c5 12. O-O Nc6 13. Qe2 g5 14. Nf3 h6 15. h4 Rg8 16. a3 Qe7 17. hxg5 hxg5 18. Qd2 Nd7 19. c3 O-O-O 20. cxd4 exd4 21. b4 Kb8 22. Rfc1 Nce5 23. Nxe5 Qxe5 24. Rc4 (24.f4? gxf4 25.gxf4 Qh8 26.bxc5 Rxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Rg8) 24...Rc8 25. Rac1 g4 26. Qb2 Rgd8 27. a4 Qe7 28. Rb1?! (better may be 28.bxc5 Ne5 29.Rxd4 Nxd3 30.Rxd3 Rxd3 31.c6 f6 32.Bf1) 28...Ne5 29. Rxc5 Rxc5 30. bxc5 Nxd3 31. Qd2 Nxc5 32. Qf4+ Qc7 33. Qxg4 Nxa4 34. e5 Nc5 35. Qf3 d3 36. Qe3 d2 37. Bf3 Na4 38. Qe4 Nc5 39. Qe2 a6 40. Kg2 Ka7 41. Qe3 Rd3 42. Qf4 (42.Rxb7+? Qxb7 43.Qxc5+ Qb6 44.Qc2 Rd7; 42.Qxc5?? Qxc5 43.Rxb7+ Ka8 44.Rb5+ Rxf3 45.Rxc5 d1=Q) 42...Qd7 43. Qc4 (43.Qb4 Qb5 44.Qxb5 axb5 45.Be2 [45.Rxb5?? Rxf3 46.Kxf3 d1=Q+] 45...b4 46.Bxd3 Nxd3 47.Rd1 b3 48.Rxd2 b2 49.Rxb2 Nxb2) 43...b6 44. Rd1 a5 45. Qf4 Rd4 46. Qh6 b5 47. Qe3 (47.Bc6? Qe6 48.Qxe6 fxe6 49.Bxb5 Ne4 50.Be2 Nc3) 47...Kb6 48. Qh6+ Ne6 49. Qe3 Ka6 50. Be2 a4 51. Qc3 Kb6 52. Qe3 Nc5 53. Bf3 b4 54. Qh6+ Ne6 55. Qh8 Qd8 56. Qh7 Qd7 57. Qh8 b3 58. Qb8+ Ka5 59. Qa8+ Kb5 60. Qb8+ Kc4 61. Qg8 Kc3 62. Bh5 Nd8 63. Bf3 a3 64. Qf8 Kb2 65. Qh8 Ne6 66. Qa8 a2 67. Qa5 Qa4 68. Rxd2+ Ka3 0-1

In Round 2, Smyslov lost a pawn against Keres, which let to a lost endgame.

Smyslov — Keres, Sep 8, 1959 (Rd 2) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bb7 14.Nf1 Rac8 15.Bd3 Nd7 16.Ne3 exd4 17.Nxd4 Bf6 18.Ndf5 g6 19.Nh6+ Kh8 20.Rb1 Bg7 21.Nhg4 h5 22.Nh2 Nc5 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.exd5 Nxd3 25.Qxd3 Qc2 26.Rd1 Rfe8 27.Qxc2 Rxc2 28.Nf1 Nc4 29.b3 Nb2 30.Rd2 Rxd2 31.Bxd2 Nd3 32.Ne3 f5 33.Kf1 Bd4 34.Nc2? (34.Rd1) 34...Bxf2 35.Bc3+ Kg8 36.Rd1 Nc5 37.Bd4 Bxd4 38.Nxd4 Re3 39.Ne6 Rc3 40.Ng5 Nd3 41.Ne6 Kf7 42.h4 Kf6 43.Ke2 Nc5 44.Nxc5 Rxc5 45.Kf3 g5 46.hxg5+ Kxg5 47.Rd3 b4 48.Rd2 Rc3+ 49.Kf2 h4 50.Kg1 Kf4 51.Kh2 Ke4 52.Rd1 a5 53.Rd2 f4 54.Rf2 Rd3 55.Rc2 Kxd5 56.Rc8 f3 57.Rf8 fxg2 58.Rf5+ Ke4 59.Rxa5 h3 (threatening 60...Rd1 and 61...Rh1+) 0-1

In Round 2, Tal beat Gligoric. Tal could have won earlier, but missed a bishop sacrifice on move 32 that would have won a rook.

Tal — Gligoric, Sep 8, 1959 (Rd 2) 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 c6 8.d5 cxd5 9.cxd5 a6 10.Qd2 Nbd7 11.g4 h5 12.h3 Nh7 13.h4 hxg4 14.fxg4 Nhf6 15.Bh3 Nb6 16.Bg5 Nc4 17.Qd3 Qc7 18.b3 Na3 19.Rc1 Bxg4 20.Bxf6 Bxe2 21.Kxe2 Bxf6 22.Nb1 Qa5 23.b4 Qxb4 24.Nxa3 Bxh4 25.Nc4 b5 26.Nb6 Rad8 27.Bf5 Bg5 28.Rcg1 Qb2+? (28...Be7) 29.Kf3 Bf4 30.Rg2 Qb4 31.Nd7 Rc8?? (31...Rxd7 32.Bxd7 Rd8 33.Bg4) 32.Nf6+ (32.Bxg6! fxg6 33.Rxg6+ Kf7 34.Rf6+ Kg8 35.Rg1+ Kh8 36.Rxf8+ Rxf8 37.Nxf8 and White is a rook up) 32...Kg7 33.Nh5+ Kg8 34.Bxc8 Rxc8 35.Rc2 Rxc2 36.Qxc2 Qa3+ 37.Qb3 Qxb3+ 38.axb3 gxh5 39.Ra1 h4 40.Kg4 Be3 41.Rxa6 Bc5 42.Kxh4 f5 43.exf5 e4 44.b4 (44.Kg5 or 44.f6) 44...Bxb4 45.Kg5 Kf7 46.Ra7+ Ke8 47.f6 1-0

In Round 2, Benko was able to create an outside passed pawn on the kingside to win the endgame against Olafsson.

Olafsson — Benko, Sep 8, 1959 (Rd 2) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Nb8 11.Nbd2 Nbd7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.h4 d5 16.dxe5 dxe4 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Bxe4 Bxe4 19.Rxe4 Nxe5 20.Bg5 Qxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Nxf3+ 22.gxf3 Bd6 23.Rde1 Rxe4 24.fxe4 Re8 25.f3 f5 26.Kf2 Kf7 27.Ke3 fxe4 28.fxe4 Ke6 29.h5 Rf8 30.hxg6 hxg6 31.Kd3 931. Re2 may be better) 31...Rf3+ 32.Re3 Rf1 33.Rh3 Rd1+ 34.Kc2 Rg1 35.Bd2 g5 (or 35...Rg2 36.Kd3 c5 37.Bc1 c4+ 38.Kd4 Rg1) 36.Rh6+ Kf7 37.Kd3 Rg3+ 38.Ke2 Rg2+ 39.Kd3 g4 40.e5? (40.Rh7+ may be better) 40... Bxe5 41.Rxa6 g3 42.Be3 Rxb2 43.a4 b4! 44.cxb4 g2 45.Ke4 Re2 46.Kf3 Rxe3+ 47.Kxg2 Rb3 48.b5 Bd6 49.Kf2 Ke6 50.Ke2 Kd5 51.Ra8 Kc4 52.Ra6 Bc5 53.Rc6 Re3+ 54.Kd2 Re7 0-1

In Round 3, Fischer gave up 2 pawns in the endgame to force a perpetual check against Benko.

Benko — Fischer, Sep 10, 1959 (Rd 3) 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. d4 Bg7 4. Bg5 d6 5. e3 c5 6. Nf3 h6 7. Bh4 g5 8. Bg3 Nh5 9. dxc5 Nxg3 10. hxg3 dxc5 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8 12. O-O-O+ Nd7 13. Be2 e6 14. Ne4 Ke7 15. Rd2 b6 16. Nd6 a6 17. Rhd1 Ra7 18. Nh2 Nf6 19. Ng4 Nxg4 20. Bxg4 f5 21. Bf3 Rc7 22. Nxc8+ Rhxc8 23. g4 f4 24. exf4 gxf4 25. Re2 Bd4 26. Rh1 Rh8 27. Bd5 e5 28. Rh5 Kf6 29. f3 Kg7 30. Re1 Rd7 31. Reh1 Rd6 32. Kc2 Rg6 33. Be4 Rd6 34. g5 Be3 35. gxh6+ Rdxh6 36. Rg5+ Kf6 37. Rxh6+ Rxh6 38. Rg8 Ke7 39. Rg7+ Kd8 40. Bd5 Bd4 41. b3 Rh1 42. Rg6 b5 43. a3 Ra1 44. Rxa6 b4 45. a4 Re1 46. Be4 Bc3 47. Bd3 e4! 48. Bxe4 (48.fxe4 Rg1 49.Rg6 f3 50.g4 Rg2+ 51.Kc1 Ke7) 48...Re2+ 49. Kc1 Re1+ 1/2-1/2

In Round 3, Keres beat Tal in the endgame. Tal perhaps missed the winning move of 35...Qh2+. He then threw away perhaps a draw after 44...b3.

Keres — Tal, Sep 10, 1959 (Rd 3) 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. O-O Nc7 9. b3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Rb8 11. Na4 Bxb2 12. Nxb2 b6 13. Nc4 Bb7 14. e3 Nd5 15. a3 e6 16. Qc2 Qe7 17. g4 b5 18. Nce5 Nxe5 19. fxe5 Rbc8 20. a4 b4 21. Rf2 a5 22. h4 Qc7 23. Qb2 c4 24. bxc4 Qxc4 25. Nd4 Ba8 26. Bf1 Qc5 27. Nb3 Qc7 28. Ba6 Nxe3 29. Rc1 Qe7 30. dxe3 Qxh4 31. Kf1 Qh3+ 32. Ke2 Qxg4+ 33. Kd2 Rfd8+ 34. Nd4 Qg3 35. Rf4 Rxc1 (35...Qh2+! 36.Be2 Bd5 [threatening 37...Bc4] 37.Rxc8 Rxc8 38.Qb1 g5 39.Rg4 Qxe5) 36. Qxc1 Qg2+ 37. Be2 Qd5 38. Qc7 Rd7 39. Qc4 Kg7 40. Qxd5 Bxd5 41. Bb5 Rc7 42. e4 Ba8 43. Ke3 Rc3+ 44. Bd3 b3? (44...Bc6 45.Nb5 Bxb5 46.axb5 h5 47.Kd4 g5) 45. Rf1 Rc5 46. Nxb3 Rxe5 47. Rc1 Rh5 48. Rc7 Kf6 49. Nc5 Ke5 50. Nd7+ Kd6 51. Ra7 e5 52. Rxa8 Kxd7 53. Rxa5 Rh3+ 54. Kd2 Rh2+ 55. Kc3 h5 56. Ra7+ Kc6 57. Rxf7 g5 58. a5 g4 59. a6 Ra2 60. Bc4 Ra1 61. Rf1 Rxf1 62. Bxf1 h4 63. Be2 g3 64. Bf1 1-0

In the first 3 rounds, Tal only scored one point.

In Round 4, Fischer crushed Gligoric's Sicilian Dragon with a rook sacrifice. Fischer annotated this game in My 60 Memorable Games, game 13. In his book, after the rook sacrifice 26.Rxh5, he wrote, "I've made this sacrifice so often, I feel like applying for a patent!"

Fischer — Gligoric, Sep 11, 1959 (Rd 4) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bc4 Bd7 7. Bb3 g6 8. f3 Na5 9. Bg5 Bg7 10. Qd2 h6 11. Be3 Rc8 12. O-O-O Nc4 13. Qe2 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 O-O 15. g4 Qa5 16. h4 e6 17. Nde2 Rc6 18. g5 hxg5 19. hxg5 Nh5 20. f4 Rfc8 21. Kb1 Qb6 22. Qf3 Rc5? (22...Qd8) 23. Qd3 (23.Rxf5! gxh5 24.Qxh5 Be8 25.f5 exf5 26.Nf4) 23...Bxc3 24. Nxc3 Nxf4 25. Qf3 Nh5 26. Rxh5! gxh5 27. Qxh5 (27.Rf1! Be8 [27...f5 28.Qxh5] 28.Bxe6 Rxg5 29.Bxc8) 27...Be8 28. Qh6 Rxc3 29. bxc3 Rxc3 30. g6 fxg6 31. Rh1 Qd4 32. Qh7+ (or 32.Bxe6+ Bf7 33.Qh7+ Kf8 34.Qxf7 mate) and Black resigned. If 32...Kf8, then 33.Rf1+) 1-0

In Round 4, Tigran Petrosian defeated Paul Keres which ended with a great queen sacrifice by Petrosian. Petrosian used a Sicilian Dragon opening idea, and the game is known as the Crouching Tigran, Hidden Dragon game.

Keres — Petrosian, Sep 11, 1959 (Rd 4) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Ng4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 9.Qd1 Ne6 10.Qd2 d6 11.Be2 Bd7 12.O-O O-O 13.Rac1 Bc6 14.Rfd1 Nc5 15.f3 a5 16.b3 Qb6 17.Nb5 Rfc8 18.Bf1 Qd8 19.Qf2 Qe8 20.Nc3 b6 21.Rc2 Qf8 22.Qd2 Bd7 23.Nd5 Rab8 24.Bg5 Re8 25.Re1 Rb7 26.Qf2 Bc6 27.Qh4 f6 28.Be3 e6 29.Nc3 Rd7 30.Bd4 f5 31.exf5 gxf5 32.Rd2 Bxd4+ 33.Rxd4 Rg7 34.Kh1 Rg6 35.Rd2 Rd8 36.Red1 Rd7 37.Qf2 Qd8 38.Qe3 e5 39.f4 e4 40.Ne2 Rdg7 41.Nd4 Bd7 42.a3 Qa8 43.Kg1 h5 44.Rb1 h4 45.Rbb2 Rg4 46.Rf2 Qd8 47.b4 Rg3! 48.hxg3 (or 48.Qc1 Nd3 49.Bxd3 Rxd3 50.Rbd2=) 49...hxg3 49.Rfd2?! (better may be 49.Rf3 or 49.Be2) 49...Qh4 (threatening 50...Qh2 mate) 50.Be2?! (better may be 50.Nf3 exf3 51.gxf3 Re7 52.Qd4 Bc6 53.Qxd6 Bxf3 54.Rg2 Ne6 55.Rbe2 Bxe2 56.Rxe2 axb4 57.axb4 Kf7) 50...Rh7 51.Kf1?? (51.Bh5 Rxh5 52.Kf1 Nd3 53.Ne2 Nxb2 54.Rxb2 Qf6) 51...Qxf4+! (threatening 52...Rh1 mate) 0-1

In Round 4, Tal sacrificed his rook to march his pawn to the queening square.

Tal — Olafsson, Sep 11, 1959 (Rd 4) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Qb6 9.a3 Nc6 10.Bf2 Qc7 11.Qf3 Be7 12.O-O-O Bd7 13.g4 g5 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.fxg5 hxg5 16.Bd4 Rh6 17.h4 Nd7 18.h5 Qa5 19.Be2 b5 20.Rhf1 f6 21.Na2 Qc7 22.Qb3 Kf7 23.Qe3 Rg8 24.Kb1 Ne5 25.Nc3 Kg7 26.Rd2 Rb8 27.Rfd1 Be8 28.Na2 a5 29.Qc3 Qxc3 30.Bxc3 Ra8 31.b4 Bc6 32.bxa5 Bxe4 33.Bb4 Kf7 34.Nc3 Bc6 35.Nxb5 Bxb5 36.Bxb5 d5? (better may be 36...Nxg4 37.a6 Rxh5 38.Bxd6 Ne3 39.Re1) 37.c4 Rb8 (37...dxc4?? 38.Rd7! Nxd7 39.Rxd7 Re8 40.Rc7)38.a6 Rhh8 39.Ka2 Bxb4 40.axb4 dxc4?? (40...Nxg4 41.Kb3) 41.Rd7+! Nxd7 42.Rxd7+ Kf8 43.a7 (43...Ra8 44.Bc6 or 43...Rc8 44.Bc6) 1-0

In round 5, Olafsson beat Fischer with a better endgame. Olafsson — Fischer, Sep 14, 1959 (Rd 5) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. a3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ba2 b5 10. f4 Bb7 11. f5 e5 12. Nde2 Nbd7 13. Ng3 Rc8 14. Bg5 Nb6 15. Nh5 Rxc3 16. bxc3 Nxh5 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Qxh5 Bxe4 19. Qg4 d5 20. f6 Qc5+ 21. Kh1 g6 22. Rae1 Re8 23. Qh4 h5 24. Qg5 Nc4 25. Bxc4 bxc4 26. Re3 Qf8 27. Rb1 Rb8?! (27...Bxc2 28. Rb7 Be4 may be better) 28. Ree1 Rxb1 29. Rxb1 Bxc2 30. Rb7 Bf5 31. Qe3 Be6 (31...Be4?? 32.Qb6 Qxa3 33.Qd8+ Kh7 34.Rxf7+)32. Qxe5 Qxa3 33. h3 Qc1+ 34. Kh2 g5 35. Ra7 h4 36. Rxa6 Kh7 37. Ra1! Qf4+ (37...Qxa1?? 38.Qxg5 leads to mate)38. Qxf4 gxf4 39. Rf1 d4 40. cxd4 Kg6 41. Rxf4 Bf5 42. Rf3 Kxf6 43. Re3 Kg5 44. g3 Bd3 45. d5 (at this point the game was adjourned with Fischer sealing his next move. The next day the sealed envelope was opened and it was found that the sealed move was illegal. Fischer lost the game on the spot, but he was losing anyway. He tried to seal 45...Bf5, but that loses to 46.d6 hxg3 47.Kxg3 Kg6 48.h4) 1-0

In round 5, Benko lost on time to Keres in a drawn position, with perhaps winning chances at the end.

Benko — Keres, Sep 14, 1959 (Rd 5) 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O Re8 7.e3 Bb4 8.Nd5 Bf8 9.d4 d6 10.Qb3 Ne4 11.Rd1 h6 12.Qc2 exd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Rxd4 Nc5 15.b3 c6 16.Nc3 a5 17.Ba3 Qg5 18.Re1 Bf5 19.Qd1 Qg6 20.e4 Bg4 21.f3 Be6 22.Ne2 Qg5 23.Qd2 Qxd2 24.Rxd2 a4 25.b4 Nd7 26.Rc1 Ne5 27.Rdc2 d5 28.cxd5 cxd5 29.Nf4 dxe4 30.fxe4 Rad8 31.Nd5 Bxd5 32.exd5 Nd3 33.Rd1 Ne1 34.Rcd2 Re3 35.Bc1 Bd6 36.a3 Rc8 37.Bb2 Rc2?! (37...Nxg2 38.Kxg2 Rce8 39.Kf1 Rb3) 38.Bd4? (38.Rxc2 Nxc2 39.Rc1 Ne1 40.Rc8+ Kh7 41.Bh3 Kg6 42.Bc3) 38...Re8? (38...Rxd2! 39,Rxd2 Rxa3 40.Bc5 Rd3 41.Ra2 Bxc5+ 42.bxc5 Nxg2 43.Kxg2 Rxd5) 39.Rxc2 (39.Bh1! and Benko may have a winning position by trapping the knight and having a passed pawn, but his flag fell and he lost on time) 0-1

In round 5, Gligoric beat Smyslov by penetrating on the kingside.

Gligoric — Smyslov, Sep 14, 1959 (Rd 5) 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Na6 6. e3 Bg4 7. Bxc4 e6 8. h3 Bh5 9. O-O Nb4 10. Be2 Be7 11. e4 Bg6 12. e5 Nfd5 13. Ne1 a5 14. Bh5 Qb6 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Nf3 Rd8 17. Bd2 O-O 18. Ne4 Rd7 19. Qb3 Qa6 20. Ra3 b6 21. Rc1 Rc8 22. Nfg5 c5 23. Qg3 Bxg5 24. Nxg5 Qe2 25. Bxb4 axb4 26. Rf3 Qxb2 27. Rd1 f6 28. Nxe6 Qc2 29. Re1 c4 30. Qg4 Qd2 31. Rf1 f5?? (best may be 31...Qh6 32.Ng5 f5 33.Qg3 Re7 34.Rf4 Nxf4 35.Qxf4 Rd7) 32. Qxg6 Qh6 33. Qxf5 g6 34. Rg3 Ne7 35. Qf6 Rc6 36. d5 Rc8 37. d6 Rf8 38. dxe7 1-0

In round 6, Tal defeated Fischer. It was his first of 4 wins against Fischer.

Tal — Fischer, Sep 15, 1959 (Rd 6) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. d5 Nbd7 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 a6 10. Nd2 Qe8 11. O-O Nh7 12. b4 Ng5 13. f3 f5 14. Bf2 Qe7 15. Rc1 Nf6 16. c5 Bd7 17. Qc2 Nh5 18. b5 fxe4 19. Ndxe4 Nxe4 20. fxe4 Nf4 21. c6 Qg5 22. Bf3 bxc6 23. dxc6 Bg4 24. Bxg4 Qxg4 25. Be3 axb5 26. Bxf4 exf4 27. Nxb5 Rf7 28. Qc4 Rc8 29. Rf3 Be5 (29...Kf8) 30. Rcf1 Kg7 31. a4 Ra8 32. Kh1 Qg5? (better may be 32...g5 33.g3 Qh5 34.gxf4 Bxf4) 33. g3 Raf8 34. gxf4 Bxf4 35. Nd4! (threatening to fork the king, queen and rook with 36.Ne6+) 35..Qh4 (35...Re8 36.Nf5+ (or 36.Ne6+ Kg8 37.Nxf4) 36...gxf5 37.Rxf4) 36. Rxf4 Rxf4 37. Ne6+ Kh8 38. Qd4+! (38.Nxf8? Rxf1+ 39.Qxf1 Qxe4+ 40Kg1 draws) 38...R8f6 39. Nxf4 (or 39.Rxf4 Qxf4 40.Nxf4 Kg7 41.Nd5) 39...Kh7 40. e5 dxe5 41. Qd7+ (41...Kg8 42.Qd8+ and 43.Qxc7 easily wins) 1-0

In round 7, Gligoric offered a draw to Petrosian (who missed a win earlier). Petrosian did not respond and Gligoric played on and won the game. Later, Petrosian denied any draw was offered. It turned out that Petrosian, who was mostly deaf, did not hear the draw offer.

Gligoric — Petrosian, Bled, Sep 17, 1959 (Rd 7) 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Qc7 11. Rh4 e6 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Ne4 Qe7 15. O-O-O Ngf6 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. Qd2 Nb6 18. Qa5 Qd6 19. Rd3 Qd5 20. Qa3 Nc4 21. Qb4 Nd6 22. b3 a5 23. Qd2 a4 24. c4 axb3 25. axb3 Qa5 26. Qxa5 Rxa5 27. Nd2 Ke7 28. Nb1 Rg8 29. g3 f5 30. Nc3 Ra1+ 31. Kd2 Rg4 32. Rxg4 fxg4 33. Ke3 b5 34. cxb5 cxb5 35. Kf4 Rf1 36. Nd1 (36.Ke3) 36... f5 37. d5? (37.Ke3 Re1+ 38.Kd2 Rh1) 37...Re1 (37...Ne4! 38.Ke3 Re1+ 39.Kd4 Kd6 40.dxe6 Nc5 41.Rd2 Nxb3+ 42.Kd2 Nxd2 wins for Black) 38. Ne3 Re2 39. dxe6 Rxf2+? (39...Kxe6 40.f3 gxf3 41.Kxf3 Re1 should draw) 40. Ke5 Re2 41. Rc3 Ne8 42. Kxf5 Rf2+ 43. Kg6 Rf6+ 44. Kh7 Rf3 45. Kxh6 Kxe6 46. Kg5 (46.Kg6 b4 47.Rc6+) 46...b4 47. Kxg4 (47.Rc6+! Kd7 48.Nxg4 Kxc6 49.Ne5+) 47...Rxg3+ 48. Kxg3 bxc3 49. Kf3 Nc7 50. Ke4 Kf6 51. Kd3 Kg5 52. Kxc3 Nb5+?? (52...Kxh5 offers more resistance) 53. Kc4 Na3+ 54. Kc5 Kxh5 55. b4 Kg5 56. Nc4 Nb1 57. Kd4 (threatening 58.Kd3 and 59.Kc2, winning the trapped knight) 1-0

In round 7, Keres won a pawn against Olafsson and had a nice kingside attack to win the game.

Olafsson — Keres, Sep 17, 1959 (Rd 7) 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.c4 dxc4 5.Na3 Be6 6.Qc2 c5 7.Nxc4 Nc6 8.O-O Rc8 9.d3 Nh6 10.Nce5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Bxh6 Qd7 13.Rad1 f6 14.b3 Kf7 15.e3 b5 16.Qe2 Bc3 17.h4 Rhd8 18.Kh2 Kg8 19.e4 Rc6 20.Bf4 Ra6 21.Be3 Bd4 22.Bc1 Kg7 23.f4 Bg4 24.Bf3 Bxf3 25.Rxf3 Qg4 26.Kg2 Bc3 27.Be3 Bd4 28.Bc1 e5 29.f5 gxf5 30.exf5 Kh8 31.Qd2?! (31.Rd2) 31...Rg8 32.Re1 (32.Rh1 c4 33.bxc4 bxc4 34.dxc4 e4) 32...Qxh4 33.Rh1 Qg5 34.Qe2 (better may be 34.Qxg5 fxg5 35.a3 g4 36.Rff1 Rg7) 34...Qg4 35.a3 Rc6 36.Kf1? (36.Be3 Bxe3 37.Qxe3 Qd4) 36...c4 37.dxc4 bxc4 38.bxc4 Rxc4 39.Bd2 Rc2 40.Kg2?? e4 0-1

In round 7, Tal smashed Benko in the middlegame with a threatened mating attack. It was said that Benko became a specialist in the endgame because he was terrible in the middlegame.

Benko — Tal, Sep 17, 1959 (Rd 7) 1.Nf3 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.d4 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 9.Qd3 c5 10.Ng5 a6 11.Rb1 Rb8 12.Bd2 Qe8 13.b3 b5 14.a3 Ng4 15.Nf3 bxc4 16.bxc4 Rb3 17.Rxb3 Nxb3 18.Rb1 Nd4 19.e3 Nxf3+ 20.Bxf3 Ne5 21.Qe2 Nxf3+ 22.Qxf3 e5 23.Qd1 e4 24.Qa4 Qe7 25.Qc6 f4 26.Rb8 (26.gxf4 Qh4 27.Qxd6 Bh3 28.f5 Rxf5) 26...Bh3 27.Rxf8+ (27.Rb7 fxe3! 28.Bxe3 Qf6) 27...Qxf8 28.exf4 Qb8 29.Ne2?? (29.Nb5 axb5 30.cxb5 Qf8) 29...Qb1+ (White lost on time. If 30.Nc1 or 30.Bc1, then 30...Qc2 wins) 0-1

In round 8, Keres, who was normally an 1.e4 e5 player, played the Caro Kann for the first time in a professional game. Since everyone else was beating up Fischer with the Caro Kann, Keres was prepared to play it, and he won.

Fischer — Keres, Sep 18, 1959 (Rd 8) 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Nf6 6.d3 e6 7.g3 Bb4 8.Bd2 d4 9.Nb1 Qb6 10.b3 a5 11.a3 Be7 12.Bg2 a4 13.b4 Nbd7 14.O-O c5 15.Ra2 O-O 16.bxc5 Bxc5 17.Qe2 e5 18.f4 Rfc8 19.h4 Rc6 20.Bh3 Qc7 21.fxe5 (21.g4) 21...Nxe5 22.Bf4 Bd6 23.h5 (23.Bg5) 23...Ra5 24.h6 Ng6 25.Qf3 (25.Bd2 Rh5 26.Qg2 Bxg3) 25...Rh5! 26.Bg4 Nxf4 27.Bxh5 N4xh5 28.hxg7 Qd7 29.Kg2 (29.Qf5 Qd8) 29...Ng4 30.Nd2 Ne3+ 0-1

In Round 8, Tal defeated Smyslov with a fine attack. The game won the tournament's brilliancy prize.

Tal — Smyslov, Sep 18, 1959 (Rd 8) 1.e4 c6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.Ngf3 Nd7 5.d4 dxe4 6.Nxe4 exd4 7.Qxd4 Ngf6 8.Bg5 Be79.O-O-O O-O 10.Nd6 Qa5 11.Bc4 b5 12.Bd2 Qa6 13.Nf5 Bd8 (13...bxc4 14.Nxe7+ Kh8 15.a3) 14.Qh4 bxc4 15.Qg5 Nh5(15...g6) 16.Nh6+ Kh8 17.Qxh5 Qxa2 (17...gxh6 18.Qxh6 f6 19.Bc3) 18.Bc3 Nf6?? (18...Bf6 should hold) 19.Qxf7! Qa1+ (19...Re8 20.Qg8+ Nxg8 21.Nf7 mate) 20.Kd2 Rxf7 21.Nxf7+ Kg822.Rxa1 Kxf7 23.Ne5+ Ke6 24.Nxc6 Ne4+ 25.Ke3 Bb6+ 26.Bd4! 1-0

A lightning tournament (10-seconds-a-move) was held before round 9 on a day of "rest." Tal won, with a score of 17.5 — 1.5. Yuri Averbakh and Lothar Schmid (1928-2013) tied for 2nd-3rd with 15-4 score. Bent Larsen, Smyslov, and Yugoslav junior champion Bruno Parma (1941- ) all scored 14.5 — 4.5.

In round 9, after Petrosian lost two straight games to Gligoric and Olafsson, he was out for blood. He smashed Fischer after Fischer played the opening poorly.

Petrosian — Fischer, Sep 21, 1959 (Rd 9) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 d5 5. a3 Bd6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. c5 Be7 8. b4 Ne4 9. Bb2 Nd7 10. Bd3 f5 11. Ne2 Bf6 12. O-O Qe7 13. Ne5 Nxe5?! (13...Ng5) 14. dxe5 Bg5 15. Bd4 Bh6 16. f3 Ng5 17. c6 b6 (17...dxc6 18.Bc5) 18. b5 a6 19. a4 axb5 (19...a5) 20. axb5 Rxa1 21. Qxa1 Nf7 22. Qc3 Qh4 23. Ra1 Ng5? (23...Qd8) 24. Qe1 Qh5 (24...Qxe1+ 25.Rxe1 Nf7 26.Ra1) 25. Ra7 Qg6 26. Kh1 (26.Rxc7?? Nxf3+) 26...Qh5 27. f4 (27.Rxc7 Nxf3 28.Qg3 Nxd4 29.exd4 g6 30.Qe1) 27...Ne4 28. Rxc7 g5 29. Bxb6 Kh8 30. Bxe4 fxe4 31. Bc5 Rg8 (and Fischer resigned here. Petrosian is threatening 32.Be7 and 36.Bf6) 1-0

In round 10, Fischer smashed Benko with a kingside attack. Fischer annotated the game in his My 60 Memorable Games, game 11. After Benko's queen comes off the board, Fischer wrote, "Now it's skin and bones."

Fischer — Benko, Sep 22, 1959 (Rd 10) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bc4 Qb6 7. Nde2 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. Bb3 O-O 10. Kh1 Na5 11. Bg5 Qc5 12. f4 b5 13. Ng3 b4 14. e5 dxe5 15. Bxf6 gxf6?! (15...bxc3 16.Ne4) 16. Nce4 Qd4 (16...Qc7 17.Qg4+) 17. Qh5 Nxb3?? (17...exf4 18.Nf5 exf5 19.Rxf4 Qxe4 20.Rxe4 fxe4 21.Qxa5) 18. Qh6! exf4 19. Nh5 (threating 20.Qg7 mate) 19...f5 20. Rad1! Qe5 (20...Qxb2?? 21.c3) 21. Nef6+ Bxf6 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Qxf6 Nc5 24. Qg5+ Kh8 25. Qe7 Ba6 26. Qxc5 Bxf1 27. Rxf1 1-0

In Round 11, Gligoric outplayed Fischer in Fischer's favorite Sicilian, Najdorf varation.

Gligoric — Fischer, Sep 24, 1959 (Rd 11) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. a3 Bb7 14. Bh3 O-O-O (14...g6) 15. f5 Bxg5+ 16. Kb1 e5 (16...Ne5) 17. Ndxb5! axb5 18. Nxb5 Qc5 19. Nxd6+ Kb8 20. Nxf7 Qe7 21. Nxh8 Rxh8 22. Rhe1 Bf4 (perhaps 22...Nf6 or 22...Nc5 was better) 23. Qb3 Nc5? (23...Bxh2) 24. Qb5 Qc7 25. b4 Na6 26. Rd7 Qc8 27. Red1 (27.f6! gxf6 28.Rxh7) 27...Qc6 28. Qxc6 Bxc6 29. Rxg7 Bxe4 30. f6 Bh6 31. Re7 Nc7 32. f7 Bc6 33. Bd7 Kb7 34. Rd6 Bxd7 35. Rxh6 Bb5 36. Rxh7 Rf8 37. Rg7 Bc4 38. Rxe5 Be6 39. h4 Kc6 40. h5 Kd6 41. Re1 Bxf7 42. h6 Ne6 43. Rg4 Rh8 1-0

At Zagreb, all 1,100 seats were sold out long before each round (rounds 15-21). The first 3 days at Zagreb were difficult for the players as the audience were too noisy. There was always a hum of comment and spontaneous bursts of applause for good moves. Also, a crowd of 6,000 spectators, who could not get inside, watched demonstration boards in the town's main square, to the disruption of traffic.

In Round 15, Olafsson defeated Petrosian in fine style.

Petrosian — Olafsson, Oct 3, 1959 (Rd 15) 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. d4 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Ne2 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Be3 O-O 11. O-O b6 12. Qd3 Bb7 13. Rad1 h6 14. Rfe1 Ne7 15. Bf4 Rc8 16. Be5 Nfd5 17. Nb5 Ba6 18. a4 Nf5 19. b3 Ra8 20. Qf3 Bb7 21. Qg4 Qg5 22. h3 Rfd8 23. Bd3 Rd7 24. Qxg5 hxg5 25. Bxf5 exf5 26. Nd6 f6 27. Nxb7 Rxb7 28. Bd6 Kf7 29. Rc1 Rd8 30. Rc6 Rbd7 31. Ba3 Rb8 32. Ree6 Rbd8 33. Kf1 Nf4 34. Red6 Rxd6 35. Bxd6 Ne6 36. d5 Nd4 37. Rc7+ Kg8 38. Be7 Rxd5 39. Rxa7 Nxb3 40. Rb7 Nd2+ 41. Ke2 Nc4 42. Bb4 Re5+ 43. Kf1 Re8 44. Ra7 f4 45. Bc3 Kh8 46. Rc7 Nd6 47. Rc6 Ne4 48. Be1 Rb8 49. f3 Ng3+ 50. Bxg3 fxg3 51. Rc4 Rd8 52. Ke2 Rd5 53. f4 gxf4 54. Rxf4 Rc5 55. Rb4 Rf5 56. Rxb6 Rf2+ 57. Ke3 Rxg2 58. Kf3 Ra2 59. Kxg3 Rxa4 60. Rb3 Kh7 61. Rc3 Kh6 62. Rb3 Kg5 63. Rc3 f5 64. Rc8 Ra3+ 65. Kg2 Kf4 66. Rc4+ Ke3 67. Kg3 g5 68. h4 Kd3 69. Rb4 Kc3 70. Rb8 Kd4+ 71. Kg2 g4 72. h5 Rh3 73. Rh8 Ke5 74. h6 Kf6 75. Rf8+ Kg6 76. Rg8+ Kxh6 0-1

The game was adjourned on move 40. The adjourned game was played the next day on a balcony overlooking Zagreb's Republic Square. A giant demonstration board was erected in the square where 5,000 chess fans assembled and watched. When Olafsson won and he tried to go back to his hotel, the crowd insisted that they carry him on their shoulders.

At Belgrade, the tournament was held at the 2,000 seat Belgrade Trade Union House. The seats were sold out weeks before the event.

In round 22, Tal easily defeated Smyslov.

Tal — Smyslov, Oct 18, 1959 (Rd 22) 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 a6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. f4 b5 9. Bf3 Bb7 10. a3 Qc7 11. Qe1 Be7 12. Kh1 Rb8 13. b3 O-O 14. Bb2 Rfe8 15. Qg3 Bf8 16. Rae1 e5 17. Nf5 Kh8 18. Qh4 exf4 19. Qxf4 Ne5 20. Re3 g6 21. Nh6 Bg7 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. exd5 f6 24. Be4 g5 25. Qf5 Bxh6 26. Qxf6+ Bg7 27. Qf5 Ng6 28. Rh3 Bxb2 29. Qxg6 Re7 30. Rh6 Rg8 31. Qf5 Bc8 32. Qf3 g4 33. Qd3 Be5 34. c4 bxc4 35. bxc4 Reg7 36. c5 dxc5 37. d6 Qa7 38. Bd5 Rd8 39. Qe4 Bd4 40. Qf4 Rgd7 41. Rf6 1-0

Smyslov blundered so bad against Tal that a Russian journalist sent a report to Moscow that Smyslov had won the game. The journalist later had to contact Moscow by telephone to admit his mistake.

Smyslov told a chess journalist, when asked what he thought of Tal's play, said, "I think he wins by tricks." Tal's tricks helped him win the Candidates, making him the challenger to the world championship match, and eventually the world champion.

In Round 24, Keres played brilliantly to defeat Tal. The game won the "best game" prize.

Tal — Keres, Oct 21, 1959 (Rd 24) 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 c5 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Bg5 Be6 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Na4 Bb6 12.Nxb6 axb6 13.Nd4 h6 14.Bf4 Qd7 15.a3 Bh3 16.Qd3 Rfe8 17.Rfe1 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Re4 19.Nf3 Rae8 20.Bd2 d4 21.e3 Qd5 22.exd4 Rxd4 23.Rxe8+ Nxe8 24.Qe2 Nd6 25.Be3 Rd3 26.Kg1 Nc4 27.Ne1 Rb3 28.Rc1 Nxe3 29.fxe3 Qe5 30.Ng2 Rxb2 31.Qd3 Qe6 32.Nf4 Rb3 33.Rc3 Rxc3 34.Qxc3 Qe4 35.Qb3 b5 36.Qxb5 Qxe3+ 37.Kf1 Qf3+ 38.Kg1 Qe3+ 39.Kf1 g5 40.Ne2 Ne5 41.Qxb7 Nd3 42.Qc8+ Kg7 43.Qf5 Qd2 44.Nd4 Qe1+ 45.Kg2 Qe3 46.Qd5 Qf2+ 47.Kh3 Qf1+ 48.Kg4 Nf2+ 49.Kf5 Qd3+ 50.Ke5 Ng4+ 51.Kd6 Qxa3+ 52.Kc7 Qe7+ 53.Kc8 Ne3 54.Qb5 Qe4 55.Qb2 Kg6 56.Qb6+ f6 57.Ne6 Nc4 58.Qa6 Ne5 59.Nc7 Qc2 60.Qd6 Qxh2 61.Nd5 Qf2 62.Kb7 Qxg3 63.Qxf6+ Kh5 64.Qe6 Ng4 65.Ne7 Qf3+ 66.Kc8 Kh4 67.Nf5+ Kh3 68.Kd8 h5 69.Qg6 Ne5 70.Qe6 Ng4 71.Qg6 Ne5 72.Qe6 Qd3+ 73.Nd4 Ng4 74.Qd5 Nf2 75.Kc8 h4 76.Qe5 Qe4 77.Qf6 Qf4 78.Nf5 Ne4 79.Qg6 Qg4 0-1

In Round 26, hometown favorite Gligoric beat Smyslov in only 18 moves.

Smyslov — Gligoric, Oct 25, 1959 (Rd 24) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Bg5 c5 5. dxc5 Na6 6. g3 Nxc5 7. Bg2 d6 8. Rc1 O-O 9. b4 Ne6 10. Bd2 a5 11. a3 axb4 12. axb4 Nd4 13. Nh3 Be6 14. Nd5 Nxd5 15. cxd5 Bd7 16. Rc3 Ra2 17. Qb1 Qa8 18. Rc1 Bf5 0-1

Over 2,000 spectators roared after Gligoric won. It was impossible for the other players to continue their games. The arbiter, Golombek, had to get Gligoric and Smyslov off the stage as fast as possible.

In the final round, Benko showed up with dark sunglasses when playing Tal, thinking that Tal was able to hypnotize his opponents. Tal was unfazed and forced an early draw ith perpetual check.

Tal — Benko, Belgrade, Oct 29, 1959 (Rd 28) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Be3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Na5 10.Qd2 Nxb3 11.axb3 Bd7 12.g4 Bc6 13.h4 h5 14.Bh6 Qb6 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.gxh5 e5 17.Nf5+ gxf5 18.Qg5+ Kh7 19.Qxf5+ Kg8 20.Qxf6 Qe3+ 21.Ne2 Kh7 22.Qf5+ Kh8 23.Qf6+ Kh7 24.Qf5+ 1/2-1/2

Tal defeated Fischer all four games. Tal's gestures, whispering to the other Soviets, and staring at Fischer infuriated Bobby, who complained to the arbiter, Golombek, but nothing was done. Just before their third game, Fischer went up to one of Tal's trainers and said, "If Tal doesn't behave himself, I am going to smash out all his front teeth." When Tal beat him in the 4th game, Fischer broke down and cried.

Tal and Petrosian agreed to play short draws against each other in all 4 games of theirs, as they were close friends. Petrosian defended his actions by saying "Grandmasters are not gladiators." Tal scored -1 against the three other Soviet players, but a +13 in his 16 games against the other players. The Soviets were all ordered to do everything in their power to irritate, wear down and defeat Fischer, according to released KGB documents.

During the tournament, most of the players analyzed their game on stage after completing the game. Fischer complained in writing that analysis was forbidden to avoid disturbing the other players. Fischer wanted the arbiter to immediately remove the chess pieces from the table after the game to prevent analysis, but that was never done. Fischer was right, but all the other players were guilty of analyzing their game at the table at the end of their game.

Smyslov was asked who his most dangerous opponent was. He replied, "In chess, as in life, one is one's own most dangerous opponent." Smyslov felt too much that the laws of probability were against him and he did not think he could become the Challenger for the 3rd time in a row.

Bobby Fischer, age 16, had a passionate interest in the Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) books on Tarzan and recounted the whole Tarzan series in general and "The Return of Tarzan" in detail to a writer who mentioned that he read some of the Tarzan books. Fischer also said that he read all the Sax Rohmer (1883-1959) books (Fun Manchu series) and was also studying hypnotism and handwriting analysis. Some of the Soviets began teasing Fischer, thinking he was unschooled and uncultured. They soon learned that Fischer had read other works such as Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and Voltaire. When Tal asked Fischer if he had ever gone to an opera, Fischer burst into the refrain from "The March of the Smugglers," from Bizet's Carmen. Fischer had attended a performance of the French opera with his mother and sister at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York just before his European trip. Fischer also possessed a book that told the stories of all the great operas.

Fischer had a minus score against only two of the seven other competitors. He went 0-4 against Tal and 1-3 against Petrosian.

Tal gave a simultaneous exhibition at both table tennis and chess, making his chess moves when the ball was out of play.

Tal won the Candidates Tournament with the score of 20 out of 28 (16 wins, 4 losses, and 8 draws). Keres scored 18.5, Petrosian scored 15.5, Smyslov scored 15, Gligoric and Fischer scored 12.5, Olafsson scored 10, and Benko scored 8 points.

At the closing reception on October 31, 1959, an 18-piece brass band played a variety of jazz songs. It was followed by an opera singer. The crowd also encouraged Smyslov to get up on the stage, which he did and he sang a Russian ballad.

At the closing ceremony, the prizes were announced. Tal only got $1,000 for his 20month effort, half of which was paid in rubles. Keres who took 2nd place, took home $667. Fischer and Gligoric only took home $200 for 2 months work, and Benko only took home $100 for last place.

Bent Larsen received $700 as Fischer's second. Larsen said that Fischer would win the next Candidates tournament. In 1962, Petrosian won the Candidates tournament and Fischer took 2nd.

The editors of the British magazine CHESS, after following Fischer's games, predicted that Fischer would be world chess champion in the 1970s. They were right.

Tal went on to win the World Chess Championship in 1960, which was played in Moscow.


BCM Quarterly, No. 3, 1960
CHESS, Nov 1959, p. 55
Fischer, Johannes, "The Candidates Tournaments 1959 and 1962," ChessBase News, Mar 13, 2018
Gligoric & Ragozin, "Kandidatenturnier fur Schachweltmeisterschaft," 1960
Golombek, 4th Candidates' Tournament, 1959, Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade, 1960
Harkness, "Tal Wins Right to Challenge Botvinnik for World Chess Title," Chess Life, Jan 5, 1960, p. 1
Horowitz, "Local Color at the Challengers Tournament," Chess Review, January 1960, p. 1-2
New York Times, Oct 31, 1959, p. 20
Tidskrift for Schack, Oct 1959, p. 229

Return to Main Page

Please report broken or duplicate links to the Webmaster.

Official Website
Copyleft 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 by William D. Wall
This site and all contents herein may be freely used, modified, and distributed on the condition that anything derived from them is bound by this same condition. Also we kindly ask that you include attribution and link to our page on your website. Thank you.

Bill Wall