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Anatoly Karpov vs Mark Taimanov
"Taimanov to Checkmate" (game of the day Dec-15-2013)
October Revolution 60th Anniversary (1977), Leningrad URS, rd 1, Jun-25
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1


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Given 16 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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sac: 38...Ng3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-24-03  mack: My god, it took me about twenty minutes to get this, I whipped the old board out and did a lot of hard staring... superb combination
Nov-24-03  talchess2003: Very original. Taimanov reminds me of Spassky and Fischer in that brilliances just leaped out of his imagination.
Nov-24-03  Dick Brain: I saw the winning shot instantly, but that is because I am fairly sure that I have solved this problem before (or one almost exactly like it). What may slow some people down in solving this is that winning practical combinations in problems rarely would have a rook retreat from the opponent's home rank. Usually it's the opposite.
Nov-24-03  cydmd: I think the closest we got to the winner line has been given by <aulero> when 38.Rb1 would have been changed to 38.Qe2. Then 38... Qe4 39.Qb5 Qa4 40.Qd3 Qxb3 and the white queen cannot be taken because of 41.Qxb3 Rxf1 mate.

But, what about 41.h3? Then, 41... Rxf1+ 42.Qxf1 (not 42.Kh2 Qf4+ 43.g3 Qf2 mate) Qxb3 44.Qa5 Qxd5 45.b7 Ne3 46.Qe2 Qxb7 47.Qxe3 and it seems to me Black could win the endgame.

Did I overlook something in my analysis?

Nov-24-03  SEVEN: What about after 38. Qe2 38. .....Qd2 theatening white's Queen? Of course not 39. Qxd2 Rxf1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: 38.Qe2 Qxd5, then if 39.Rb5 Nd4!, or 39.Rb2 Ne3 40.b7 Nxf1. After 38...Qxd5, it looks to me like Black is winning.
Nov-24-03  karnak64: Y'know, the thought of rook a1-a8-h8 would never come into my field of vision and therefore line of thought, which is why I'm a ... well, I'm an old fat bald guy using a pseudonym in a chess chat room ... and Taimanov is, well, Taimanov.

How does one acquire the ability to see such things?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: karna64, you're in good company overlooking the winning combination here. After all, Anatoly Karpov missed it too!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I thought Karpov's 6. Nb3 was a dubious move, putting the knight on a square with limited scope and blocking the potential b3. Better perhaps was 6. Nf5 as in the pretty white win in Sherzer vs I Polovodin, 1991 However, be forewarned that black found a good resource for a win against this move in Chandler vs D K Johansen, 1983 Still I think white gets better development, piece play and chances for an initiative with this move.

White might wish to consider the more popular 5. Nf3 as an improvement, with the database showing a white winning percentage of 53.1% versus only 25% wins for black. After 5...e6 6. Be2 white is into a main line sicilian taimanov variation that is OK for white.

Nov-25-03  aulero: <cydmd> I suppose you mean 38. Qe2 Qe4 39. Qb5 Qa4 40. h3 because 40. Qd3 Qxb3 41. h3 does not make sense.

Well, after 40. h3 I think that 40... Ng3+ wins immediately, while after 40.g3 or 40.g4 then 40... Ne3.

By the way, I agree that after 38. Qe2 then Qxd5 is also winning, but I think my line stronger.

Mar-03-04  Whitehat1963: The combination of black's 37th and 38th are so simple, so beautiful and so decisive!
Jan-28-05  aw1988: What a strange opening! Is this a transposition of the Kalashnikov, or a Kalash with hedgehog features.. or what exactly?
Jun-10-05  Everett: <Chessgames> Isn't Karpov black here? Is this right?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Everett> I checked Shredder 9's database, it also have Karpov as white. However, S9's database did not have move number 39, both white/black. The date given is June 25, 1977.
Jun-10-05  Everett: <WannaBe>

Well, it's good to see Taimanov taking it out on the best. Many only know him due to his drubbing in '71.

Jun-10-05  fgh: Very nice end. 38. ... Ng3+!!
Jun-10-05  Jamespawn: The beauty of chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: My copy of the best games in the Informants shows the game ending with Ng3+.
Jan-02-06  szunzein: In an old book written by Karpov and Gik this game ends with 39-.....Ra8, so, I'm affraid this is well annotated here. (brilliant!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: According to my copy of the best games from the first 64 Informants, the game ended with 38...Ng3+.
Apr-26-06  MorphyMatt: I thought Anatoli Karpov resigned after 38... ♘g3+!!
Apr-26-06  weev: The ending to this game shows you don't need to rush things. The threat of the promoting pawn means nothing when you have the opponents king trapped.
Dec-07-06  greenrook: I cannot see the reasoning for 27. Bf1

Why did Karpov not play bxc4?
There will be exchanges on a7 and c4 but I do not see an advantage for Black in these lines

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <I cannot see the reasoning for 27. Bf1. Why did Karpov not play 27. bxc4? >

According to analysis by Taimanov, if 27.bxc4?, then 27. … Rxa5 28.Bxa5 Qc5 29.Bxb6 Nf3+ 30.Kh1 Nxe1 31.Bxc5 Nxd3 –+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This game is justly famous for its brilliant Knight sacrifice (38. … Ng3+), sometimes referred to as the "Taimanov" sacrifice, and the planned follow-up with the Rook. It remains an interesting question at what point Black achieved a decisive advantage. In his book … Selected Games, Taimanov says of the position after 36. … Qd4: "It is now evident that Black's initiative has become irresistible." Fritz (7), however, still evaluates this position (after 36. … Qd4) as essentially equal (recommending that White play 37. Rb1 to defend the back rank). It is only after 37. b6?? that Fritz evaluates White’s position as lost.
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