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Freysteinn Thorbergsson vs Mikhail Tal
"More Tal Kombat" (game of the day Aug-02-2017)
Reykjavik (1964), Reykjavik ISL, rd 10, Jan-28
King's Indian Defense: Four Pawns Attack. Normal Attack (E77)  ·  0-1


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Given 32 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-13-04  who: 37.Bxg6 WHY?!
Aug-13-04  gollum70: Threat is 37.-Bg4+ 38.Ke4 f5 mate.

If 37.Bg3 Qe3 mate.

If 37.Bc1 Qg4+ 38.Kf2 Qg2+ 39.Ke1 Qg3+ 40.Ke2 Bg4+ 41.Kd2 Qe3 mate.

If 37.Bh6 g5!

Looks like a composition !

Aug-13-04  ughaibu: Hilarious game, great stuff.
Aug-17-04  who: <gollum70> all of your lines are convincing. Still 37.Bh6 g5 38.Bxh7+ Kh8 39.Bf8 and all the pieces get out (and if 39.Bxg5, white still gets two pawns for one piece not one pawn for 2) is better than what happened.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 1) 37. Bh6 Qg4+ 38. Kf2 Qh4+ & 39 ... Qxh6 is simplest, however Black also has 37. Bh6 f5! renewing the mate threat and now 38. Kf4? Qe3#, or 38. Qf2? Qg4#, or 38. Qe2? Bg4+, or 38. Qd2 Qg4+ 39. Kf2 Qg2+ 40. Ke1 Qg1+ 41. Ke2 Bg4#. White's best is probably 38. Bxf5 Bxf5 similar to the game.

2) 37. Bc1 is decisively answered by 37 ... Bg4+ 38. Ke4 f5+ 39. Kf4 g5+! 40. Kxg5 Bd1+ winning the Queen. Note 37. Bc1 Qg4+ 38. Kf2 Qg2+ 39. Ke1 Qg3+!? 40. Qf2 avoids mate, then 40 ... Qxd3 41. b3 with slim swindling chances.

Jun-09-09  ToTheDeath: Awesome speculative attack by Tal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Frank Boyd annotated the game:


Nov-29-14  SpiritedReposte: Tal's pieces just dance around the white king.
Nov-29-14  morfishine: The exchange sac combined with the swarming Knights reminds me of this Nez gem: Y Kotkov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1963

Diabolical attacks


Nov-29-14  sakredkow: Pawn sac, rook lift, a couple of exchange sacs, final piece sac, go home with another win. This game is so easy.
Aug-02-17  thegoldenband: OK, that pun got a chuckle out of me. Well done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I like the pun, too, although it's not very "game-specific".

I've never figured out how to play "guess the move" but I'm sure I'd get a negative 90% on this one. How does he ever see all that stuff?

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Actually, never enough Tal kombat.
Aug-02-17  takchess: nice pun agreed never enough Tal Kombat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: The promo for Guess the Move used to say, "Can you play like Tal?" Could anyone say "yes"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: I could say "Yes" to "Can you play like Tal's opponents?"
Aug-02-17  tamc1977: This is so 'nimzovichian' (if that's a word).
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I can play exactly like Tal: I grasp the pieces between my thumb and index finger using the same patented technique, but unfortunately they don't seem to end up in the same places on the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <ChessHigherCat><How does he ever see all that stuff?>

I wonder that frequently when I'm going over one of Tal's games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <catlover> He's one of the few chessplayers who's ever made me interested in reading his biography (along with Steinitz and Morphy), because he seems to have a sort of "parallel logic" that would give him a good sense of humor and make him a generally interesting person instead of your average wood-pusher (not to mention the fact that my grandmother came from Riga, too).

Does anybody happen to know of a good Tal biography (not limited to his actual games/technique) that's available as an e-book?

Aug-02-17  jrsanpedro: Hello!ChessHigherCat.The Life and Games of Mikhail Tahl, written by Tahl.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: < jrsanpedro: Hello!ChessHigherCat.The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, written by Tal.>

Thanks a lot, I just bought it on your recommendation, but I'm always a little skeptical of auto-lie-ographies, all the more so in this case since great chessplayers are generally great liars, too.

Would anybody recommend "The World Champions I Knew" by Genna Sosonko?

Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <ChessHigherCat> I have not read "The World Champions I Knew" but I have read Tal's autobiography that <jrsanpedro> recommended.

When you've read "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" let us know what you think of it (maybe on Tal's page here at

Aug-03-17  RandomVisitor: After 22...Rxe7 white has 23.f5! and an even game:

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Stockfish_17072711_x64_modern: <11 hours computer time>

<0.00/59 23.f5 g5 24.Ne1 Qe8> 25.Bd2 Nf6 26.Nf3 Ng4 27.Re1 Rxe1+ 28.Nxe1 f6 29.Nf3 Nhf2 30.b3 Qh5 31.h4 Nxd3 32.Qxd3 Ne5 33.Nxe5 dxe5 34.hxg5 Qh3+ 35.Kg1 Qg4 36.gxf6 Bxf5 37.Qf1 Qxg3+ 38.Qg2 Qxg2+ 39.Kxg2 Kf7 40.Kf3 Kxf6 41.c5 Bg6 42.c6 Bf7 43.Ke4 Bg6+ 44.Kf3

Aug-03-17  RandomVisitor: After 11...a6 why not sacrifice a pawn for a better game?

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Stockfish_17072711_x64_modern: <20 minutes computer time>

<+0.21/44 12.Nc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bxc3> 14.Rb1 Bg7 15.h3 Bf5 16.Bd3 Bxd3 17.Qxd3 Nd7 18.Qc2 Qe7 19.Re1 Qd8 20.Bd2 Re8 21.Qa4 Nf6 22.Ba5 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Qf8 24.Kh2 Re8 25.Rxe8 Qxe8 26.Qxe8+ Nxe8 27.g4 Kf8 28.Kg3 Ke7 29.Kf2 Bb2 30.Ke3 Bc1+ 31.Bd2 Bxd2+ 32.Nxd2 h6 33.a4 f5 34.gxf5 gxf5 35.Nf1 Kf6 36.Kf2 a5 37.Ne3 Kg6 38.Kf3 Nf6 39.h4

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