(4) Rukavina, Josip - Tal, Mihall [A09]
Dubna, 1973

In this game Tal will show us how to use your pieces in harmony with each other and coordinate them so one will compliment the other. Watch how skillfully he uses his pawns to protect a piece and even protects the pawns from being taken. He uses Aron Nimzovich's techniques of prophylactics, (over protection) to protect his pieces over and over again in his games, using each piece to protect another through a chain of protection. Tal is a master at Nimzovich's definition of positional play. That is an energetic systematic application of prophylactic measures. He combines over-protection with centralization so that he will dominate the center and take control of it early in the opening. Watch how he handles his pawns in this game to quickly seize control of the center.

1.Nf3 c5 2.b3 d5 3.c4 d4 4.g3 Nc6 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bg2 e5 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.b4 cxb4 10.a3 a5
Notice how the black pawns are protected. The a4 pawn is protected by a rook., knight and the queen. The b4 pawn is protected by a knight, bishop and a pawn. The e5 pawn is protected by a knight. The d4 pawn is protected by a knight and a pawn. Do you think this over protection just happened by chance?

11.Ne1 Bg4 12.Nc2 Qd7 13.Re1 e4 14.dxe4 d3 15.Ne3 Bxe2
The black Bishop is protected by a pawn that is protected by the queen.

16.Qa4 Ng4 17.Ndf1 Bf6 18.Ra2 Bc3
Now the black bishop on c3 is protected by a pawn that is protected by a pawn that is protected by a rook and a knight.

19.Bd2 Qd4
Notice what Tal just did. He did not exchange bishops, instead he brought down his queen to protect the bishop and bring it into play into whites territory. You can tell who is winning here. Just count how many black pieces are in white's side of the board and how many white pieces are in black's side of the board,...none!

20.axb4 Bxd2 21.Rxd2 axb4 22.Qb3 Ra1 23.Rxa1 Qxa1
A beautiful combination by Tal.

24.Nxg4 Nd4
Tal is not interested in taking the knight he has bigger fish to fry.

25.Qb2 Nf3+
Do you think Tal planned this move a long time ago? Did you see it comming?

26.Kh1 Qe1 27.Nge3 Qxf2
Here white resigned because if white takes the bishop with his rook the black queen mates with g1. It white takes the knight with his bishop, the black bishop retakes with check and mate. If white moves his knight to g4 to attack the black queen, the queen moves to g1 checkmate. What a beautiful set up! Now you can see why this was a classic game. It could not have been planned any better. Now go back over this game to see if you can plan your conbinations with such exquisite precision. Look again at how Tal over protects his pawns and pieces. You should be trying to use prophylactics in your games to make sure that key squares are protected well. 0-1