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Mark Taimanov vs Miguel Najdorf
Zurich Candidates (1953)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Classical System Neo-Classsical Line (E99)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Given 35 times; par: 56 [what's this?]

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sac: 34...Nxg2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 19 ...g3!
Feb-25-03  clemens: A wonderful game!
Incidentally, it also received a brilliancy price.
Feb-25-03  ughaibu: I like 28 b5.
Feb-25-03  kostich in time: This is yet another model game with Black in the KingsIndian...the attack after the simple pawn sac g3!!, flows like a river..its hard to see where Taimanov could have survived.
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: Black could have forced the win with 33. ... Rxf3! 34.gxf3 (34. Qe2 Ng3+ 35.Bxg3 Rxg3 threatens mate with ...Rh3+ and Qg1#) 34. ... Qg1+! 35.Bxg1 Rxg1+ 36.Kh2 Nxf3#

(analysis by Dmitri Tyomkin, En Passant #171, December 2001 "Surviving the King's Indian")

Feb-05-05  aw1988: Very nice, especially considering the KID was in the "stone age", you might say.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Great game by Najdorf, this is a model of how to conduct an attack in the KID. Probably White was too slow in the opening, see Korchnoi's games as White in this variation to see how it should be played. eg Korchnoi vs Xie Jun, 1995
Nov-12-06  Albertan: Taimanov could have also won this game earlier by playing:

34... Nxf3! (found by Junior 9) and the game could have concluded:

35. gxf3 Ng3+ 36. Bxg3 Qxg3
threatening ....Qg1#

37. Qxe3 Bxf1
threatening: 38...Bg2+ 39.Kg1 Bxf3+ 40.Kf1 Bxd1+ 41.Nf4 Rxf4+ 42.Qxf4 Qg1#

38. Nd4

((a)Worse is: 38. Nf2?? Qg1#)
((b)Worse is: 38. Rxf1?? Qh3+ 39.Rh2 the only move Qxf1+ 40. Qg1 Rxg1#) ((c)Worse is: 38. Ne1?? Be2 39. Rxe2 Qh3+ 40.Rh2 Qf1+ 41. Qg1 Rxg1#) ---

38... exd4 39. Nf4 dxe3 40. Rxf1 Rxf4 41. Rc8+ Rf8 42.Rxf8+ Kxf8 43. b4 Qh4# (43... Qh3#))

Nov-12-06  ForeverYoung: There was an earlier game, Najdorf-Gligoric' in which Gligoric blew white away with this line. Najdorf must have been so impressed he decided to use it against Taimanov.
Dec-02-06  Rajiv Herman Kramer: Two Sicilian giants playing the Kings indian, thats hilarious. Taimanov should have never played Rc2-c7.
Dec-02-06  euripides: Najdorf had been more or less the first victim of the Mar del Plata variation earlier that year:

Najdorf vs Gligoric, 1953 Whether Taimanov knew the line yet, I don't know, but he came to be seen as one of the great authorities on the White side - until his tribulations in 1970.

Jan-25-07  whatthefat: With the benefit of hindsight, I wonder whether 32.Rxd7 might have been a better - or at least more practical - option. The idea being to remove an attacking piece, while making g4 and c6 nice knight outposts. Probably it's still losing though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <whatthefat: With the benefit of hindsight, I wonder whether 32.Rxd7 might have been a better - or at least more practical - option.> I agree - the exchange sacrifice seems, essentially, the best idea for White in this position. Perhaps it would have been even a little better to prepare it with 32.Nf2 first, aiming for Nh3 after the sac.

Going over the game, it seems to me that a lot of White's troubles were caused by the very awkward Nb1-Qe1-Nd2 maneuver in moves 23-25. Much better would have been Nd1-Ne3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: In the 1952 USSR Championship, Taimanov had won against Bronstein and Aronin in this line:

Taimanov vs Bronstein, 1952

Taimanov vs Aronin, 1952

But, as Bronstein writes in his book on the Zurich Candidates' tournament, in the meantime Gligoric and other Yugoslav players had found ways to improve on black's play, as Najdorf learned the hard way in:

Najdorf vs Gligoric, 1953

Information traveled more slowly in those days, and Taimanov wasn't aware of this game when he met Najdorf in Zurich.

Mar-03-07  jmrulez2004: what happens next?
after 43.Rg5?
Mar-04-07  nescio: <jmrulez2004: what happens next? after 43.Rg5?>


Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 13 Nd3 was the most popular move then but is rarely played now as it is felt that the knight gets in the way on d3. Kasparov felt that 23 Nb1 was probably the losing move, recommending 23 Nd1..Bg5 24 Ne3 with an unclear game. Bronstein recommended 27 Nc4 trying to get rid of the dark squared bishop even at the cost of the exchange. After that it was a rout as whites queenside attack never got off the ground.
Aug-24-08  Zonszein: 40-.....Rf6 threatening....Qxh6+ isn't a faster way to win?
Apr-15-09  MarbleSkull: 43... Ne2 followed by 44... Bg3 also wins, doesn't it?
Nov-22-09  Gouvaneur: I love this game! It is one of the first Kings Indian games I have studied, and one of the most beautiful, too. And I think it changed my attitude towards Engines, who have a hard time realizing the awsomeness and deepness of Black's play. I especially like Black's b5, not allowing White to break out at all.
Apr-17-11  Corndog2: Without a doubt, this is the best game ever played with the KID (there are others, but this one is spectacular). I play risky openings like this, such as the Najdorf, semi slav (can be), and sometimes the KID. All are risky, but if one can land an attack like this, you would be respected for the rest of your chess career!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: After 33...Bh3!

click for larger view

David Bronstein: "What a picture! The queen's wing is by now completely deserted, while seven pieces assail the white king; now the square g2 is attacked four times, and there is obviously nothing left to defend it with: on there follows mate in three moves, and 34...R:f3 is threatened too."

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This is meant to be a model game for the d5 pawn structure according to:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

The game is a model seminal game for the d5 pawn chain which I have done a video previously here:

Dec-13-11  King Death: This was the game that caused White players of this variation to give up on 10.Be3. The line only really became popular again at the international level after this game: Korchnoi vs K Hulak, 1987.
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