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Mikhail Tal vs Viktor Korchnoi
Montpellier Candidates (1985), Montpellier FRA, rd 8, Oct-22
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Classical Variation (B63)  ·  1-0


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sac: 19.Nxf5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-03-05  Autoreparaturwerkbau: 19.Nxf5 is yet another of endless Tal-sacs and yet another irresistable one...
Mar-03-05  hjsukthankar: Not exactly a sac; if 20. ...Rb8 then 21. Re7, I think.
Mar-04-05  Autoreparaturwerkbau: <hjsukthankar> 19.Nxf5 is a sacrifice by my chess understanding. You may prove me the different, of course.
Mar-04-05  Lipsome: it's a sac :)
Mar-04-05  hjsukthankar: I'd call it a combination, but it's arguing over semantics and I agree that I appreciate the niceness of the move.
Mar-05-05  JohnTal: Great magic from the Magician from Riga - in 24 moves, the Q's are exchanged, Korchnoi's pawns are a mess and Mischa will come out ahead.

24...Nb5, 25 Rd5 ... Na7, 26 Rdd7 ...Bb8, 27 Rf7 and doubled rooks on the 7th rank coupled with passive pieces would cause Viktor to surrender.

Or 24 ...Nb5, 25 Rd5 ... Nd6, 26 Rc7 ... Rc7, 27 Rd6 ... Rb7, 28 Rh6 nets a pawn for Tal, leaving him with a 2 pawn majority - one on each side of the board.

At 2 pawns down, it was time for VK to stop his clock and go out for a nice meal.

Mar-06-05  Lipsome: yes, because you can't sac. in a combination.........
May-30-05  lentil: clearly, 18... b6 was an error, as it allowed the 7th-rank skewer. perhaps 18...Rd8 was better
Jul-12-05  lentil: actually, on further review, 18...Rb8 just allows the immediate 7-th rank skewer 19. Re7
Mar-01-06  Hesam7: Korchnoi is lost after 18... b6? Here is a possibility to put up a thougher resistance although it does not change the outcome:

21. Bxa8 Bxb3! 22. cxb3 Rxa8 23. Rd7 Rc8 24. Kb1 Bb8 25. Rc1 Rxc1 26. Kxc1 Nc6 27. Rb7 Be5 28. Rxb6 Nb4 29. Rb5 Bc7 30. Rxf5

click for larger view

Jun-13-06  talisman: 1st victory over korchnoi in bout 15 yrs.not like victor to resign so early though is it?
Jul-20-08  TheKingOfSpades: Nice Tal sac against conservative Korchnoi! He resigned early too. What's good!
Jul-27-09  kingfu: This is why Korchnoi and I play the French! I know that all the great players now play the Sicilian. Fischer and Kasparov played it almost exclusively. When I play the Sicilian , it should be called the Corleone Defense. I end up shot full of holes on the causeway!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <kingfu> LOL that's hilarious
May-08-11  Mr. President: I kind of like it, too.
Jun-26-11  DrMAL: A favorite from Tal's later years, a great video is at

18.g3 was one of the best moves for the position (among Nc5 or Be2) but perhaps it did provoke 18...b6 which was otherwise logical to prepare Bb7 and prevent black's Nc5.

The sac is absolutely brilliant, the kind Fischer was also known for, very complicated to see all the implications. Fabulous!

Aug-13-12  vikram2791: Viktor Korchnoi said this:' Tal's uncompromising style of play delights chess enthusiasts, and they are won over by his desire and ability to take risks and even bluff his way through. At the same time, Tal's skill in building up the game is inadequate and is often based on routine methods and routine assessments. I consider the masters of attack to be Alekhine, Keres and Spassky.' Maybe he's taken back his words after this game!
Aug-13-12  RookFile: Probably not. It's possible that Tal himself might have agreed with Korchnoi's comments. Imagine a match against a computer - a guy like Karpov would score might higher than Tal throwing a knight at the position because it mostly looks good.
Aug-13-12  Open Defence: the thing is Tal could play 'normally' he was probably too restless to do so...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: If Tal played a match against a computer he would lose every single game! Think about all the incorrect sacs!
Sep-23-13  talisman: <Zhbugnoimt> and Mickey Mantle swang too hard!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Zhbugnoimt> If Tal played a match against a computer he would lose every single game! Think about all the incorrect sacs!?>

Even Tal would agree with you. He said that " There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones, and mine."

And losing a match to a computer is no great sin these days. If the chess engine was running on halfway decent hardware every chess player who has ever lived on their best day would probably lose a match against today's computers. This could only be proven with current players, but you would probably notice that that there haven't been any top level GM vs. computer matches lately.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: <vikram2791> Korchnoi had Tal's number throughout their career. Korchnoi had some crisis of form at Montpellier and 18...b6? is a blunder, although not everybody would spot 19.Nxf5! and 20.Bd5!

Black should play ...Rb8 on move 17 or 18 to start freeing his queenside.

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