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Mark Taimanov vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Taim the Tiger" (game of the day Dec-20-2014)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 20, Oct-06
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E58)  ·  1-0


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Given 34 times; par: 61 [what's this?]

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sac: 37.Rxg6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Chesschatology: A sacrifice is offered.
It is then either accepted or declined.

Therefore a declined sacrifice is still a sacrifice, in the same way that the queen's gambit declined is still a variation of the queen's gambit!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: The idea is to get a win -but some postitions have lead to unclear postitions that are impossble to evaluate - judgement is required (and calculation but not everything can be calculated) in such sacs - eg some by Tal and others and some by Kasparov were not clear -one exchange sac he made every GM knew about (in a tournament he was in) and he said he would play it again and he did a few rounds later - but no one could refute it -despite knowing it was coming and analysing it extensively -no one was able to with stand it - as Kasparov has/had such talent and also he understood the sac (its strategical and tactical implications ) but other sacrfices also only lead to positional advantages and only garner a win with careful play - some lead into positions where more active play is possible - more posiblities of a win - some postions havenotbeen evaluated -of course the initiator of the sac was endeavouring to win -but also to make interesting and complex play - or just beautiful play - in a position where the advantage was the sacrificer's -but sometimes that advantage is very hard to see and defences are found after the game - those are the true sacrifices - involving a degree of uncertainty;some are still unevaluated after thousands of hours of analysis
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chesschatology: <Richard Taylor>

"The idea is to get a win!"
Not necessarily. What about Petrosion's defensive sacrifice against Rehevsky which was designed to (and did)draw from a difficult position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: I got it, but it took a while. First, I tried to find ways to get rid of the knight (which was preventing Qg7#). It was only the 2nd time that I considered Rxg6+ that I saw the follow-up of h7+ and QxB+, with mate to follow after the king moves to f2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rocafella: <Chesschatology> Could you please provide a link to this game?
Jul-14-05  RonB52734: <patzer2> Granted. But imagine yourself describing a game to a friend who did not see it. The conversation might go like this:

You: "Tal had no pawns left on the board by move 40, and sacked his queen on move 52, yet held on to checkmate his opponent on move 60."

Your friend: "Ah, the difficult B+N v K checkmate?"

You: "No."

Your friend: "I see, then, perhaps the 'guillotine' checkmate with two rooks?"

You: "No, K+Q v K."

Your friend: "?"

Jul-14-05  Lipsome: BTW Silman is an IM
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Lipsome> Indeed Jeremy Silman is an International Master, in addition to being a highly respected Chess author, journalist and Teacher. His biography can be found at Thanks for the correction.
Jul-15-05  RonB52734: Also, Eskimos are said to have many words for "snow." The French have two words for "bakery," and the Americans have six for "couch." Shouldn't chess players have at least two words to distinguish among various types of sacrifice?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Shouldn't chess players have at least two words to distinguish among various types of sacrifice?> Maybe we already have them. Perhaps that's what Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) was trying to do when he distinguished between a "pseudo-sacrifice" (i.e. as part of a winning combination) and a "genuine sacrifice" (i.e. giving up material without a sure win) in his Book "The Art of Sacrifice in Chess" (1935).

Maybe some of our German speaking kibitzers, who have access to the late Austrian GM Spielman's book can tell us if there are separate German words for "pseudo-sacrifice" and "genuine sacrifice."

Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: <patzer2> That's "Scheinopfer" (subdivided in Stellungsopfer, Nutzopfer and Mattopfer) and "wirkliche Opfer". The expression <Scheinopfer> was used before Spielmann, but only to indicate simple combinational exchanges like 4... Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 (attacking Bc4 and Ne4) in the Two Knights Defence.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Thanks <sneaky pete>. However, I was wondering if you could verify my translation of those terms to English. I went to for help and found:

Opfer - Sacrifice

Scheinopfer - sham sacrifice

I also went to to an online translator at Based on its results, I assume:

wirkliche Opfer - a real sacrifice

Stellungsopfer - a positional sacrifice.

nutzopfer - a useful sacrifice

mattopfer - a weak sacrifice

Premium Chessgames Member
  euripides: <patzer> I think Mattopfer is a sacrifice to force mate and Nutzopfer may be a sacrifice to force material advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: <patzer2> The last 3 translations are not (quite) right, but I don't have an adequate English expression for each at hand.

With <Stellungsopfer> is meant: a sequence of moves, starting with a (sham) sacrifice, leading to an improved position for the first player after material balance has been restored.

"Nutz" means benefit or value. <Nutzopfer> implies winning (after some forced moves) sufficient material to compensate for the original sacrifice. In the present game 26.Bxd7 Qxh4 27.Bxe6+ .. 28.Bxd5 .. would qualify as <Nutzopfer>.

"Matt" means mate, so <Mattopfer> simply means: a sacrifice leading to forced mate, if accepted. Here after 24.Ba4 Qxa4? .. black would be mated, but he can still decline. After the second <Mattopfer> 37.Rxg6+ .. there is no escape.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <euripides> Thanks for your help in correcting my poor attempt at translating with a computer. Looks like your translations are accurate and consistent with those of <sneaky pete>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sneaky pete> Thanks for the translation help. So, with your explanations, I assume:

1. The Stellungsopfer (sacrifice leading to an improved position) is a subcategory or type of Scheinopfer (sham sacrifice).

2. The same is true of the Nutzopfer (sacrifice leading to increased material advantage) and the Mattopfer (sacrifice leading to mate). They start with or invovle a sham sacrifice, and are therefore a subcategory or type of Scheinopfer.

3. The wirkliche opfer (real or geunuine sacrifice) would always be separate from the other three classifications, since it doesn't involve or belong to the cateogy of "sham sacrifices."

Appreciate if you can let me know if I'm correct in these assumptions. Thanks again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  euripides: <patzer> Computer translation is always worth a try provided one is aiming for poetic or comic effects. The best of Babelfish is really quite sublime. Your programme was in a somewhat prosaic mood, however.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sneaky pete: <patzer2> See Game Collection: "The Art of Sacrifice in Chess" by R. Spielmann compiled by <mjk> to see the clear jargon used by the (unnamed) American translator.
May-14-09  WhiteRook48: 40 Kf2!!!
Oct-13-09  WhiteRook48: who needs the second rook anyway?
Jul-19-12  Memethecat: 24.Ba4 a great move, among many great moves.
Feb-17-13  shatranj7: 26. BxR deserves three exclams, considering that if 26...QxQ, then 27.BxB ch. K-R1. 28. BxQP, and now white has deadly passers, and will soon win the exchange of black's rook for bishop. Excuse the descriptive notation, but I'm trying to learn it, so I've been using it lately. Studying "My System."
Dec-20-14  kyg16: 40. Kf2!!! Beauty at its most.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: OK, I'll bite. What was wrong with 24...Bd7 ?
Dec-20-14  RookFile: I'm glad that no all of Petrosian's exchange sacs worked. Otherwise, the guy would have us thinking that a bishop was stronger than a rook.
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