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

Mikhail Tal vs Lajos Portisch
"A Portisch of Call" (game of the day Feb-05-2009)
Varese Interzonal Playoff (1976), Varese ITA, rd 5, Oct-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  0-1


Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 3 times; par: 58 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 31 more Tal/Portisch games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Games that have been used in game collections will have a section at the bottom which shows collections which include it. For more information, see "What are Game Collections?" on our Help Page.

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


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-05-09  newzild: I can't believe that Portisch managed to win this game against Tal - it was just the sort of position Tal normally aims for (chaos across the board, a loose enemy king).
Feb-05-09  euripides: A quick look at the 'similar games' column suggests that when White has given up the dark-squared bishop, he shouldn't hand Black more black squares with 13.f5. I like the way Black's king sidles to safety along the black squares. e5 then becomes a pivot for Black's pieces.

Portisch was known for his thoroughness. I wonder if Tal played a slightly unusual line here to avoid a bombshell in one of the main lines.

Feb-05-09  M.D. Wilson: I like 40. Rf2.
Feb-05-09  euripides: ... the combination of Bxf6 and f5 is found in the Rauzer as in

Fischer vs Spassky, 1972

But there White has a knight on f3. Here Tal goes into callisthenic contortions to get a knight to g6 to challenge the beast on e5. Also, Qxb2 has weakened the dark squares further.

Feb-05-09  cydmd: <al wazir>, have you considered the move 41.Rd8+ ?

41... Rc8 42.Rxc8+ Bxc8 43.Qxf2 and the black rook is gone.

41... Bxc8 42.Nxf2 and the black rook is gone too (42... Rxf2 43.Rxc8+)

41... Ka7 42.Re1 and maybe the game is not over yet

Feb-05-09  tivrfoa: he could have played ...Qe5 in 39, couldn't he?
Feb-05-09  laskereshevsky: One could had waited from a player like Tal the breaking through move <21.♙c4>

in place of the timid <21.♘b3>..... isn't it?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looks like the "gambit" called the poison pawn is very complex and can go either way.

Strange-how white's attack seemed to die on the vine while black's came turtle-like,slow and steady.

I liked how blacked "castled in stages".

Feb-05-09  euripides: <lasker> Interesting. I guess after <21.c4> BLack can attack the knight with Bd8 and if 22.Nb3 then Nxc4 (if then 23.Bxc4 Rxc4 Black's queen still covers d6). Or if White tries the knight sac with 22.cxb5 Bxa5 23.bxa6+ Ka8 the queen looks a bit short of good squares e.g. 24.Qd4 Qc5.
Feb-05-09  laskereshevsky: <euripides> U R absolutly right, i dont think ♙c4 is totally sound...

but in other hand how many times Tal had shocked the opponents with obscures conseguence's moves?.... Expecial vs. classical and positional players like Portisch, or Glicoric for instance...

who know this game?!

Portisch vs Tal, 1964

Realizing that his just to be positionaly "squeezed" by Portisch, Tal goes to a rook sacrifice in change of...a doupled pawn!!. but after others "unsounds" sacrifices and moves the miracle came....

Portisch, looks to me absolutly confused by the crazy illogical Tal's play....

Of course the 1964's Tal had a much more "terrific" appeal, toward the opponents, then the 1976's ones...:)

Feb-05-09  TheChessGuy: An unusual opening choice from the usually positional Portisch. It definitely paid off!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Can anyone explain the pun?
Feb-05-09  Jim Bartle: "Port of call" is the term for a port where a ship docks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I wonder why white did not play Qxd6+ on move 29 or 30. These moves look as least as good as the text ones.

Black recognizes his king's vulnerability when he plays 31...Ka8.

Feb-05-09  WhiteRook48: to see Tal, master of chess, get zapped by a pin is unthinkable
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <cydmd: have you considered the move 41.Rd8+ ?>


Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Boo! I hate it when Tal loses
Feb-06-09  M.D. Wilson: When he lost, he usually lost well, if you know what I mean.
Feb-06-09  euripides: <Jim> wouldn't 29.Qxd6+ invite Black to get the B+Q battery a couple f moves earlier than he does ? e.g. <29.Qxd6+> Bc7 30.Qd1 Qe5 31.g3 Bb7 and BLack's threats look quite nasty.
Feb-06-09  euripides: ...I think the idea of 31...Ka8 is probably to allow Bb7 without falling into Nd7+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Euripides Jim wouldn't 29.Qxd6+ invite Black to get the B+Q battery a couple f moves earlier than he does ? e.g. <29.Qxd6+> Bc7 30.Qd1 Qe5 31.g3 Bb7 and BLack's threats look quite nasty.>

I looked at that threat but I'm not sure of the effect. If 29 Qxd6+ Bc7, white also has 30 Qd3. Now, if 30...Qe5 white has 31 g3 (below) or 31 Qh3.

click for larger view

The position is unclear to me at this point.

Feb-07-09  euripides: <Jim> yes, 30.Qd3 is clearly an improvement on my 30.Qd1. I'm not sure whether your diagram is better than what White gets in the game - Black can play a mixture of Rd8, Bb7 and h5 - but I agree it doesn't seem worse.
Jul-05-16  Howard: Just read the other day that Portisch could have forced mate in nine moves with 40...Qc3!! rather than 40...Qe5.

But, since the move he actually played prompted immediate resignation, it obviously didn't matter.

When I get time, I'll have to see if I can work out that nine-move mate.

Dec-16-16  Howard: Regarding that February, 2009 comment about the opening choice being unusual for a positional player like Portisch, that was quite correct! CL&R made the comment in its "Game of the Month" column in 1976 that this was the first time Portisch had ever played the Poisoned Pawn with Black.
Dec-16-16  Olavi: "A classical, positional plaer, he suddenly began playing very sharp variations of the Sicilian and gave a new impulse to his chess career, and prolonged his stay in the world elite."

Michalchishin, New in Chess 1/1998

search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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?]
The long diagonal
by Nimzophile
Sicilian Najdorf : Poison Pawn Variation.
by takchess
Game 338
from number 4 by Frodo7
February 5: A Portisch of Call
from Game of the Day 2009 by Phony Benoni
Portisch at his best. Bestuderen!
from Roemer's favorite games by Roemer
0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 3
by 0ZeR0
Sicilian Def: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn (B97) 0-1 Stockfish notes
from Sicilian Najdorf Nags Fredthebear by fredthebear
sleepyirv's favorite games
by sleepyirv
A2: Poisoned Pawn Accepted
from Sicilian: Najdorf, Poisoned Pawn Var.-Black wins by imsighked2
Game 41
from On My Great Predecessors 3 (Kasparov) by isfsam
The Sicilian Defense
by Timothy Glenn Forney
[Chapter 8] Poisoned Pawn Variation 13.Be2 and 9.Nb3
from How to Play the Najdorf Vol. 1 by maoam
Najdorf, Poisoned Pawn
by GoY
Art of War's favorite games 8
by Art of War
Game 41
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors Vol. 3 by Anatoly21
Sicilian Najdorf : Poison Pawn Variation.
by ISeth
[Chapter 8] Poisoned Pawn Variation 13.Be2 and 9.Nb3
from How to Play the Najdorf Vol. 1 by Patca63
Game six
from Interzonals 1976: play-off by capybara
Game 41
from On My Great Predecessors 3 (Kasparov) by Qindarka
My Great Predecessors by Garry Kasparov
by LionHeart40
plus 12 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