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Mikhail Tal vs Bent Larsen
"A Bent Pin" (game of the day Apr-28-10)
Tal - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1965)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Tal Variation (B82)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 98 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

Annotations by Iakov Damsky.

explore this opening
find similar games 38 more Tal/Larsen games
sac: 16.Nd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-03-10  Vonzi: Video on this game:
Aug-07-10  hstevens129: 21...Bxd5 22.Rxg7 Kf8 23.Qh5 with too many threats
or 23.Qg4 Be6 24.Re1 Qe8 25.Rxh7 Kg8
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: One of the finest puns! And a quality game.
Apr-04-11  redorc19: truthfully an unsound sac.
May-04-11  kingmundi: aw1988 posted a more complete quote of OMGP II, but I wanted to requote one particular line again. Kasparov OMGP II, p 450, gives several variations saying the knight sacrifice was unsound. There are 3 lines, but the third one is

3) 18. Rde1! (the most menacing) 18...Bd8 19. Qh3 Ne5! (but not 19...Bb6? 20. Bxg6! fxg6 21. Re7) 20. Qh6 Bb6! 21. fxe5 (21. Bxb6? Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Qxb6 23. h4 Bg4) 21...Bxd4 22. Re4! Bf2! (22...Qa7 23. Rh4 f5 24. exf6 Be3+ 25. Kb1 Rxf6! 26. Re1 Bf5 27. Rxe3 Rf7 28. Re1 Qf2, and in this variation by Burgess Black has the advantage: 29. Rc1 Bxd3 30. cxd3 Qd2 31. Rh3 Re8 32. Qh4 a5) 23. e6 (23. Rf1?! Qa7 24. e6 fxe6 25. dxe6 Bb7 26. Rxb4 Rae8 and wins) 23...fxe6 24. dxe6.

May-04-11  kingmundi: However, I wanted to point out that most computers actually suggest moving the other rook to the open file. 18. Rhe1 Bd8 19. Qh3 Ne5 20. Qh6 Bb6

And one crazy line leading to a draw is...
21. f5 gxf5 22. Bxb6 Ng4 23.
Bd4 Nxh6 24. gxh6 f6 25. Re7 Rf7 26. Re8+ Rf8 27. Re7 Rf7

And another is...
21. f5 gxf5 22. Bxb6 b3 23.
axb3 Ng4 24. Bd4 Nxh6 25. gxh6 f6 26. Re7 Rf7 27. Re8+ Rf8 28. Re7 Rf7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: I like it like that !!
Oct-02-11  Rook e2: Nd5 is a nice move on the board, but I doubt the '!' in the notation. Fritz' openingsbook gives Nd5 a '?'
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Tal taking advantage of the absolute pin on the ♖ on f8.
Mar-23-12  Jafar219: Nice game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <Rook e2> yep, but it him 20 years! <Jafar2129> understated?????
Aug-15-12  Manoloo: CruyffTurn: <sfairat: Not to brag or anything, but even as a much lower rated player I think there is no way Tal would win this game against me.> Sorry, but I'm peeing myself with laughter at this comment. This has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read, on any site, ever. Calm CruyffTurn, maybe sfairat is Magnus Carlsen... who knows??
Aug-19-12  Conrad93: It's amazing how accurate Tal was.

Most players could not have made this sacrifice work.

Aug-21-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Tal vs Larsen, 1965.
Your score: 75 (par = 58)


PS. Par is now 59.

Aug-23-13  Conrad93: Bent Larsen was a very strong chess player. One of the best.

If the sacrifice worked against him, it could work against anyone.

Feb-19-14  Reapaaa: 34. Bc5 is there to divert the queen away from g6 in the event of h6 after the check
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Comment on 16. ♘d5 from David Levy's book "Sacrifices in the Sicilian":

"Assessments of the merit of the sacrifice have varied between !? (Nikitin), ! (Shamkovitch) and !! (Chess Review). Three years after the game was played there was still some controversy over what should have been the correct result. Now it appears Tal's idea qualifies for half a point at the very least, but in a variation as complex as this it is necessary to take into consideration the immense practical difficulties facing the defending player."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: The assessments on the merits of a sacrifice are made in the calm serenity of a Sunday morning, not when the clock is ticking and the magician from Riga is staring you down. Oh yeah, no take backs and touch move is in effect.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: Larsen was a great tactical player himself. I'd can't quickly think of any non-world-champion better qualified to defend the position than he.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: <Cheapo by the Dozen><Larsen was a great tactical player himself. I'd can't quickly think of any non-world-champion better qualified to defend the position than he.> Very true, Larsen tends to be under appreciated because he didn't play in a WC match. He fought tenaciously in this game, worthy of a brilliancy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Cheapo by the Dozen....I'd can't quickly think of any non-world-champion better qualified to defend the position than (Larsen).>

Korchnoi would probably get a vote or three.

May-07-14  RookFile: Reshevsky.

Keres vs Reshevsky, 1953

Oct-04-14  Conrad93: The nice thing about humans is that the machine would never consider sacrificing material in order to complicate a position. Their focus on perfection is more of a flaw, rather than a gift.
Oct-09-14  N0B0DY: If you’re a competitive person and you commit yourself to something, you have no choice but to endure.
Oct-26-14  SpiritedReposte: Straight out of a fortune cookie with that one lol.
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