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Mikhail Tal vs Anatoly S Lutikov
"Elephant Man" (game of the day Aug-11-2005)
Tallinn (1964), 01
Elephant Gambit: Paulsen Countergambit (C40)  ·  1-0


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Given 300 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-01-12  The Last Straw: Got 53 points at Guess the Move.
Nov-27-12  benjaminpugh: What's wrong with a last move of 31. Ne4+? The black king is in check and has to move and can't threaten to take white's knight which is now protected by the bishop. Then, white's king can safely take black's knight, be up 5 pawns to three with two minor pieces against a rook. Should be an easy win but guess-the-move gave me a minus one.
Nov-27-12  parisattack: 31. Ne4, Ke5 if 32. Ka2: then g4. But white should still win.
Dec-03-13  Thorncastle: As for the question "what's wrong with 3... Qxd5?" - it's nothing else, I think, than losing the tempo: the White's answer is 4.Nc3 and the Black must flee with the Queen instead of drawing out less heavy staff. I've got 68 points in the game and the machine's comment was: "Good job! Tal would be proud!" Well, I'd be proud to sit over one chessboard with Tal, this guy is the combinative play legend, however subsequent analyses showed that many of his (victorious) sacrifices were wrong - but the magic of suggestion was perfectly right. The tension of game in real terms can be enormous, so Bobby Fischer once said that heavy weight boxers' fight is a piece of cake in comparison with the toughness of chess combat.
Dec-16-13  Othy: 79 on Guess-the-Move, though I consider this too high. ELO 2100. I've never reviewed many of Tal's games (completely against my style). I preferred 16.Bxe6, which seems to win in much simpler fashion than the game continuation. After that point I was not at all happy with the position and could not calculate to find solutions that seemed 100% satisfactory. The rest of the game was really frustrating as my calculations always seemed to fall short, but would land on the right move while saying "This is the ONLY possible thing that comes close!"

Looks like I will have to pick up "The Life & Games of Mikhail Tal" now and fill in this gap in my chess education.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Othy> Do so, you will enjoy the book. Not only for the games but for Tal's commentary.
Jan-12-14  LIFE Master AJ: This was "Guess The Move" a while back.

It starts off 14.Nxd5, QxQ/a3; 15.Nc7+, Ke7; 16.Rhe1! ... and gets even crazier after that.

Jan-12-14  BKITU: I wouldn't be surprised if Tal took his own Queen off the board, set it on fire, and used the smoldering remnant to light his cigarette before chuckling at his opponent that it would all be over soon.
Jan-12-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: After 14 Nxd5, I don't see any serious responses except 14 ... Qxa3 or 14 ... Bxd5.

14 Nxd5 Qxa3
15 Nc7+ Kf8
16 Nxe6+ and
17 bxa3

leaves White a piece ahead, and similarly after

15 .. Kc7
16 Bxe6+

14 Nxd5 Bxd5
15 R(h)e1 Qxe1
16 Rxe1+

doesn't give Black time for ... Bxc4, so he winds up down in material.

I imagine I'm missing some twists, however; this puzzle is looking too easy to me.

Jan-12-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Oh. Duh. I missed Ke7. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Perhaps too famous for a Sunday puzzle, but still fun to study.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: i wonder just how far ahead tal had actually calculated for this(!?)... truly amazing stuff
Jan-12-14  Amadori: After the smoke clears white is down in material. Is that the solution to the puzzle, or are we supposed to see the the black knight corral himself into a corner too?
Jan-12-14  FSR: I've seen this game in Tal's book. I know he did something amazing, I think 14.Nxd5! Qxa3 15.Nc7+ Ke7 16.Rhe1!?! What is going on in that position? Who knows? I just know that Tal won.
Jan-12-14  FSR: Houdini 3 says that 16.Rhe1 was weak, and that Lutikov could have equalized with 16...Qa5! Correct was 16.Bxe6! with large advantage to White; Black's best response is the sad 16...Qd6 immediately giving back the queen.
Jan-12-14  FSR: Surprising fact: in terms of their lifetime score against each other, Lutikov kicked Tal's ass (+5 =8 -2).
Jan-12-14  FSR: <vinidivici: ... whats wrong with 3...Qxd5 ?>

I still remember the offhand game Rhine-Richard Hong, Chicago 1975, which continued 4.Nc3 Qd8? 5.Nxe5 f6?? 6.Qh5+ Ke7? 7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.Nc4+ Kc5 9.d4+! Kb4 (9...Kxd4 10.Be3#; 9...Qxd4 10.Be3) 10.a3#. Obviously 4...Qa5 is much better, but after 5.d4 the game has transposed to a line of the Center Counter that is good for White. Opening Explorer Even better is 5.Bc4, as in H Suechting vs F Englund, 1906. Hmm, I see that Houdini 3 likes 4...Qe6 or 4...Qc5 better than my suggestion 4...Qa5, but in any case White has a serious advantage (+0.65 or greater). White has a big lead in development in an open position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Compared to yesterday, this was "easy"!

<14 Nxd5 ...>

14 ... Nxd5??
15 Bxe7

14 ... Bxd5?
15 Rhe1

<14 ... Qxa3>
<15 Nc7+! ...>

The king only has three squares to go to.

15 ... Kf8
16 Nxe6+ K anywhere
17 bxa3

15 ... Kf7
16 Bxe6+ Kg6
17 bxa3

<15 ... Ke7>
<16 Bxe6! ...>

White threatens 17 Re7+ Kf8 18 Rf7+ Kg8 19 Rxg6#, so black cannot play Qb4 or Qc5. And any rook move allows white to hold onto the piece advantage too easily.

<16 ... Qd6>
<17 Rxd6 Kxd6>
<18 Bf4+ Ke7>

Now at this point things become a little unclear for me. Should we play the complicated Re1 or simple Nxa8? I imagine that it is Re1 given this is Tal, but I have no idea where this is going...


Ahhhh!? Rhe1 on 16 rather than 19 ?! Hmmm, very like Tal and completely beyond me...

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: A bewildering array of canidates: Qxe7+, Nxd5, Bxd5, Bxf6, Rhe1. I only looked at the two that I thought were the most interesting

My first try was the rook sac (Bishop sac followed by an exchange sac)

(1) <14.Rhe1> This looked intriguing, but after <14...dxc4 15.Rxe6 Qxe6 16.Nb5 Qe7 17.Nd6+> I kept running into a dead ends

My second try was the more straight forward 14.Nxd5 (which is stronger than Bxd5 since the Knight eyes the c7 square with check)

(2) <14.Nxd5> This looked promising after <14...Qxa3 15.Nc7+ Ke7 16.Rhe1> At the cost of a Queen, White controls the center files and is poised to recover some material with a direct attack on the KIng

But after <16...Nd8> I was stymied for a forcing continuation:

click for larger view

PM: I see Black played 16...Qc5 (instead of my try 16...Nd8) and only now do I see that after 16...Nd8, White can net a piece with the simple 17.Nxe6 Nxe6 18.Rxe6+ Kf8 19.bxa3; So simple, I forgot the Black Queen was hanging!


Jan-12-14  mel gibson: The computer played the same move as the game 14 Nxd5.

However on move 25 it played 25.....fxg2 threatening a black Queen.

It ended in a draw at 124 moves.

Jan-12-14  mbvklc: I think this game used to be avaible for free in guess the move or even still is. So yea, after playing it I more or less remember the solution.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I thought this game looked familiar. I thought of playing 14.Bxd5, but oh well.
Jan-12-14  erniecohen: <gofer> Actually, the continuation Tal chose (16. ♖he1) looks cooked. White has nothing after 25...fxg2 26. ♖xc6+ ♔xb7.

Your line (16. ♗xe6 ♕d6 17. ♖xd6 ♔xd6 18. ♗f4+ ♔e7 19. ♖e1) looks like the way to go.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 14... dxc4 and 14... Qxa3 followed by ... fxg2.

White can take advantage of the black king position with 14.Nxd5, opening lines for the attack:

A) 14... Bxd5 15.Rhe1

A.1) 15... Ne5 16.Qxe7+ Kxe7 17.Rxe5+ Kd6 (17... Be6 18.Rxe6+ + - [2B+P vs N]; 17... Kf7 18.Bxd5+ Nxd5 19.Rexd5 fxg2 20.Rg1 + - [B+P]) 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Rexd5+ Kc6 20.g3 + - [B+2P].

A.2) 15... Be4 16.gxf3 Qxa3 17.bxa3 followed by fxe4 + - [2B+2P vs 2N].

B) 14... Qxa3 15.Nc7+

B.1) 15... Ke7 16.Bxe6 (16.Rhd1 Qa5 threatening Qxc7 and Qxg5+)

B.1.a) 16... Qa4(a5,b4,c5) 17.Rd7+ Kf8 18.Rf7+ Kg8 19.Rxf6#.

B.1.b) 16... Qd6 17.Rxd6 Kxd6 18.Bf4+ and White seems to have enough compensation for the exchange. For example 18... Ke7 19.Re1 Rd8 20.Nd5+ Nxd5 21.Bxd5+ and 22.Bxf3 +/ - [2B+2P vs R+N] and the white pieces are more active.

B.2) 15... Kf7 16.Bxe6+ Kg6 17.bxa3 Kxg5 18.Nxa8 Rxa8 19.gxf3 + - [T+B2+P vs 2N].

B.3) 15... Kf8 16.Nxe6+ Ke7 17.bxa3 fxg2 18.Nf4 + - [2B+2P vs N].

Jan-12-14  Patriot: White is up a piece. Black threatens 14...exd5.

I'm wondering why this is "insane", because simple chess should win. But I guess there is a top computer move here. I'm going with simple chess.

So why not 14.Qxe7+?

14...Nxe7 15.Bb5+ Kf7 16.Bxf6 fxg2 17.Rg1 gxf6

I don't think white has any problems here.

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