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Mikhail Tal vs Vasily Smyslov
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 22, Oct-18
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Scheveningen Variation (B84)  ·  1-0


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Given 11 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

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sac: 25.Qf5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-28-04  euripides: A remarkable attack by Tal. If the sacrifice is correct, it deserves to be as well known as the other famous game he took from Smyslov in the same tournament. Anyone know whether the sacrifice is justified ?
Sep-21-05  NakoSonorense: Well, according to my crappy version of Fritz, black is winning until move 40...Rd7. Rd7 is a blunder because 41.Qf8+ Rg8 42.Qxf8++. It's mate in two! I don't understand Tal's 41st move Rf6. Qf8+ is much simpler...

40...Qd7 gives black a 2.75 advantage, which is enough to win the game, I suppose.

Sep-21-05  who: you mean 42.Qxg8# - and yes it's amazing that tal and smyslov both missed it. Time control or a mistake in the score I guess.
Sep-21-05  ughaibu: Have either of you looked at the game? There is no 41....Rg8 available and why not take the queen anyway??
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: BTW, 40...Rd7 refers to what of both rooks? Could be the one in the second rank...
Sep-21-05  Resignation Trap: <penarol> You found the explanation: an ambiguous move! Smyslov actually played 40...Rdg7. No overlooked mate involved!
Sep-21-05  shortsight: ?? 40.. Rdg7 or 40.. Rgd7?
Sep-21-05  NakoSonorense: <who> Yes, I meant 42.Qxg8# Thanks for pointing that out. :)
Sep-22-05  who: <ughaibu> read Nako's post. He asked why not 41.Qf8+
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: If 41.Qf8 black takes the queen 41....Rf8 isn't that sufficient reason?
Sep-22-05  NakoSonorense: <ughaibu> both rooks are in the 7th rank. If 41.Qf8+, the queen cannot be taken.
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: Rooks are on d7 and d8 using sjkbase.
Sep-22-05  who: But we're on chessgames not sjkbase.
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: With sjkbase the pieces can be moved, I dont know why people use anything else.
Sep-22-05  peabody88: Check the alternate score for this game. There the move is 40... Rgd7.
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: You get the correct score with Misty Beach and sjkbase. My Chess and Chess Tutor have the wrong score.
Sep-22-05  who: o.k. I was just explaining that we weren't crazy for thinking Qf8+ wins, but of course you are right about the score as weird as Smyslov's move was, clearing the backrank just so Tal could backrank mate him and Tal deciding not to makes no sense at all.
Sep-22-05  sitzkrieg: Still dont know if now if sac was correct..
Sep-22-05  ughaibu: My apologies for suggesting you weren't looking at the game, it never occured to me that the same kibitzes could appear on two different versions.
Sep-22-05  Resignation Trap: Now that we've established that Smyslov actually played 40...Rgd7, let's look at the original post by <euripides> about the soundness of Tal's play.

According to contemporary comments, Tal "played like a pirate" against Smyslov in this tournament. I'm not quite sure what is meant by that. Perhaps he said "Arrgh, matey!" at the conclusion of his games?!

Tal's sacrificial line, starting with 24. Be4, <appears> to be sound in this case, but according to analysis by Smyslov, White did not follow up with the sharpest continuation.

Instead of the obvious 26. Qxf6+ (which Tal Played), White has at his disposal 26. Rh3! and if 26...Qg7 27. Qxf6 Rf8 28. Rxh6 Rxf6 29. Rfxf6. White's Rooks and Bishops dominate the board, giving him full compensation for the Queen, and a computer's evaluations will take wild swings in the first few seconds. Smyslov's further analysis gives 29...Bxd5 30. Rxh7+ Qxh7 31. Bxh7 Kxh7 32. Rxd6 Rf8 33. h3 Rf1+ 32. Kh2 Rf5 with some advantage to White.

I myself am not totally convinced in this last line and I believe Black should play 34...Be4 (instead of Smyslov's suggested 34...Rf5) 35. Bxe5 Rf2.

Oct-12-05  LIFE Master AJ: <RT> Will have to examine this with a computer, has anyone e-mailed CG to let them know the score might be wrong here?
Oct-12-05  aw1988: Someone - I forget whom - said something along the lines of this:

This was openly pirate-like play. Tal was not only on the edge of the abyss, but nearly fell into it. However, time trouble had its' effect, and Tal scored another win.

Oct-13-05  LIFE Master AJ: No way this game score could be correct. (If it was, Qf8+, and mate next move.)

Oct-13-05  sneaky pete: 40... Rd7 (ambiguous) is really 40... Rgd7? (better 40... Rdg8), not 40... Rdd7?? as the Java viewer shows. The <alternate score> is the right one.
Oct-15-05  LIFE Master AJ: Does anyone know of a book reference on this game?
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