Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Mikhail Tal vs Lev Polugaevsky
USSR Championship (1959), Tbilisi URS, rd 3, Jan-13
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0


explore this opening
find similar games 31 more Tal/Polugaevsky games
sac: 15.Bxe6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-04  familyguy: what beautiful calculating by tal with the classic sac on e6
Dec-19-05  Eatman: I am a huge fan (and actually countryman) of Tal, but I doubt Tal saw all of this to the very end here, it was probably a rather intuitive sacrifice as many of Tal's (of his own admission) were.
Apr-09-06  nolanryan: According to Crafty, Tal missed a great sac opportunity: 12. Nf5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 12.Nf5 looks like a very good move. The idea is to take the bishop on e7 with the Nf5 or the rook e1 and then play Nd5+ winning the queen on a5.

This is not one of Polugaevsky's best Sicilians.

Nov-12-06  JohnNash: I also agree with nolanryan and off ramp

12. Nf5 exf5
13. exf5 Bxf5
14. Bxf6 gxf6
15. Nd5 (attacking the Qc7 abd Be7)....Qb8
16.Rxe7+ Kd8

White's pieces are now active, there is material balance, and now white has not much of worries.

Hey, I kinda like that Crafty thing, is it something you can shared through Rapidshare??

Mar-04-09  M.D. Wilson: What I find amazing is the fact that Tal's two wins against Polugaevsky in this database were 20 years apart (1959-1979). Incidently, these two years (1959 and 1979) were both memorable for Tal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Wouldn't 29...Bxf1 get black out of the mating net? If 30.Nf5+ Kh5 31.Ng7+ = (31.h4? Rg8 and black wins.) If 30.Nxe8 Rxe8 (30...Bxg2? 31.Nd6 wins) 31.Kxf1 and playing that endgame is better for black than the risk of a mating net. Am I missing something?
Jul-09-10  Catfriend: <Fusili> You're correct, 29..Bxf1 does get Black from the mating net. However, the endgame's nasty to defend, and I imagine Polugaevsky underestimated White's threats enough to hope to extricate himself out of this.
Sep-18-10  talisman: <M.D.Wilson> you are correct sir.
Jun-17-11  lost in space: one of the seldom wins of Tal vs. Polugajewski. There is only one more win from 1979; all the rest are 8 losses and a lot of draws. Sigh
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: <lost in space> Thanks. This was a surprise to me. I certainly think of Tal as a much greater player than Polugaevsky. It's surprising to see that Polugayevsky owned Tal. It's interesting that there were a few players whom Tal was helpless against throughout his career. Definitely Korchnoi and Polugayevsky. Does anybody else make that list? Maybe Keres qualifies - +3 against Tal.
Oct-19-16  Retireborn: <zydeco> There are a few other players (Lutikov, Nezhmetdinov, Nunn, and especially Seirawan) who had good records against Tal.
Oct-19-16  Pulo y Gata:
Nov-01-16  Howard: Keep in mind that Tal's track record starting in the mid-1960's was rather inconsistent due to health problems.

Granted, he did rise to #2 in the FIDE rankings on the January 1, 1980 list, but then his rating went down by over 100 points in 1980! Granted, his mother and brother both died that year, so that would have been a contributing factor I suspect.

Nov-01-16  Pulo y Gata: Torre's first win over Tal was in 1973. Granted that Torre did not reach as high as WCC but he was a formidable opponent to Champions and non-champions alike.Granted that Torre took care of his health to even post a formidable record with the most Olympiad appearances, even winning a medal in the 2016 edition, but one can hardly fault him for that...
Nov-01-16  raju17: 33....Rg6 was better
Feb-09-19  RKnight: <JohnNash> It's been a while since your post, but you missed a total crush for White in your line: 12. Nf5 exf5 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. Rxe7+ (if 14...KxR, 15. Nd5+ wins the Q), Kd8 15. Qxd6+ Ncd7 16. Rxd7+ Bxd7 17. Qxd7#.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Pearls from the USSR Championships.
by syracrophy
Sacrifice and Initiative (Sokolov)
by Friedeggsof
The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal
by newfiex
tal best games
by brager
52 games better than that other Tal game.
by ughaibu
Game 23
from Life and Games (Tal) by Qindarka
50 games better than that other Tal game.
by Retarf
Game 346
from Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 1 by Chessdreamer
USSR Championship 1959
by suenteus po 147
Game 31
from Veliki majstori saha 26 TALJ (Marovic) by Chessdreamer
Mikhail Tal's best games 1956-1961
by whatthefat
50 games better than that other Tal game.
by JoseTigranTalFischer
Game 23
from Life and Games (Tal) by isfsam
Mikhail Tal's Best Games
by KingG
dondiegodelavega's favorite games
by dondiegodelavega
50 games better than that other Tal game.
by CheckMateEndsTheGame
Game 82
from Modern Chess Brilliancies (Evans) by Qindarka
USSR Championship, Tbilisi 1959 Rd.3
from Mikhail Tal: Selected Games by wanabe2000
Game 23
from The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by Retarf
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation
from MKD's Sicilian Defense White Compiled by MKD by fredthebear
plus 19 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC