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Mikhail Tal vs Igor V Platonov
USSR Championship (1968/69), Alma-Ata (Almaty) URS, rd 8, Jan-11
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B95)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A fascinating game that won a prize. It shows how hard Tal could be to beat. After 21.Bh5

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the most obvious move is
21...e5, forking the two pieces. But then white would play 22.Nd5 exd-or-f4 23.Qe1!.

So black played 21...Rxd4, and after 22.Rxd4 he could again play 22...e5, but this would now be met by 23.Rc4!.

So black played 22...Nxf4. White replied 23.Rxf4. Now black can't play the fork 23...e5 owing to 24.Rxf7!

Tal managed to get two connected passed pawns later, and at one point both players had two queens, but Platonov was always well ahead.

Nov-24-05  ughaibu: I dont like 36.c3 has white anything at that point or is it already lost?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think Tal was trying to avoid the exchange of queens.
Nov-24-05  ughaibu: I wonder if Tal thought he could still win at that point. 36.Rd3 Qe3 37.Re3 Rg4 38.Rh3 looks to me like a probable draw.
Apr-23-11  ughaibu: So, what do you think, would 36.Rd3 draw?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 'Tis a puzzle. Black can blockade and win the King side pawns in some variations, such as 36.Rd3,Qxe3; 37.Rxe3,Kf7; 38.Rg3,Kg6; 39.Rf3,Rh7; 40.Rc3,Bb7. 38.Rc3 is much more troublesome; 38...Rh8; 39.Rc7+,Kg6; 40.Rg7+,Kf5; 41.f7,Rf8; 42.Rg8,Rxf7; 43.Rxc8,Kxg5 sacrifices the Bishop to eliminate the passers, but it still doesn't look easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
At first glance, 36. Rd3 Qxe3 37. Rxe3 Kf7 38. Rg3 Kg6 39. Rf3 Rh7 looks to me like White is out of steam.
Apr-24-11  ughaibu: It looks (to me) like white can get the bishop with An Englishman's 38.Rc3 and in the above line 44.Rc6 looks okay, so black, if playing to win, would have to try 37...d4 for example: 37...d4 38.Rg3 e5 39.g6 Rg4
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>,<An Englishman> You're right, I missed winning back the piece with 38. Rc3 as in <An Englishman>'s line.

And on <ughaibu>'s 37...d4, maybe White can try 38. Re5 threatening Rc5.

But who said Black has to trade queens? How about simply 36. Rd3 d4. Then, say, 37. Qe1 Rh2 38. Qe4 Qc7 39. Qg6+ Kf8.

Apr-24-11  ughaibu: With the queens left on, I guess it's anybody's guess. In your line, instead of 39.Qg6, what's wrong with Rd4 threatening Rc4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
Right again, I missed your <Rd4> uncovering the queen's defense of c2. it means Black cannot play Rh2 as I suggested.

But, after 36. Rd3 d4 37. Qe1, I think either 37...Rg4 or ...Rf4 should be good enough.

Apr-25-11  ughaibu: There's also 37.Qg3 to think about. Anyway, it seems to me that Rd3 would've been better than c3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
Yes, 37. Qg3 is a lot better, and Black's situation is questionable.

I had thought White had to cover the first rank, but I had missed 36. Rd3 d4 37. Qg3 Rh1 38. g6 Qa5 39. f7+ Ke7 <40. f8=Q+ Kxf8 41. Qf3+> wins for White.

So Black probably does need to go for the queen trade, and I still don't see a win.

<Anyway, it seems to me that Rd3 would've been better than c3.> Agreed. Great find!

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 36.Rd3,Qxe3; 37.Rxe3,d4; 38.Re5 is interesting, but now the Rook can do nothing to support the King side pawns' advance. Therefore, 38...Rg4 and 38...Kf7 are now possible.

Fascinating position! Has anyone tested the R&2 vs. R&3 ending I suggested in my earlier post with the aid of the monsters of silicon?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <An Englishman>
If 36. Rd3 Qxe3 37. Rxe3 d4 38. Re5 Rg4 39. Rc5 Bd7 40. Rc7 Bb5 41. Rg7, and I haven't found a win for Black. Maybe you can do better?

Or, 36. Rd3 Qxe3 37. Rxe3 d4 38. Re5 Kf7 39. Rc5 Rh8 40. Rc7+ Kg6 41. Rg7+ Kf5 42. f7 Rf8 is similar to the earlier line you posted. White might continue 43. g6 Kf6 44. Rg8 Ke7 45. g7 Rxf7 46. Rxc8 Rxg7 47. Ra8, with a draw.

May-02-12  screwdriver: Platonov has to bypass taking the second queen just made by Tal on f8 in order to keep his overwhelming position. How many of us would just take the queen because we wouldn't want our opponent to have 2 queens opporating against us?
Jan-18-18  Grandma Sturleigh: <<offramp>: A fascinating game that won a prize.> For most pins in a single game, perhaps?
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