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Antonio Angel Medina Garcia vs Mikhail Tal
Palma de Mallorca (1966), Palma ESP, rd 11, Dec-10
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: I actually got it pretty quickly, but still it's very nice.

Given the material on the board, I had a hunch right away that this was a promotion tactic.

So trade the queens (37...Qxf3 38. Kxf3) and see what happens? 38...Ne3!! blocking the king's access to g2, thus ensuring the pawn safe passage to its coronation. Of course if the king takes the knight, then it's too far away to stop the pawn.

Sep-05-07  Fezzik: To <zb2cr> and all others who fall in the same category:

If you solve the puzzle because you remember it, you should give yourself EXTRA credit! You not only recognised a pattern but reinforced the learning.

SCORE!

Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I answered this one by parts. I saw that the exchange was definitely the first move. Then I saw that if white could deny the king g2-he would have trouble stopping the pawn. Then I saw that if white tries to approach via g1,that the pawn itself could stop him after h2. The pawn queens and white is lost.

Funny That Tal---he can even sac pieces in the ending!!

Sep-05-07  mworld: Looked more like a queen exchange than a sac to me :)
Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: It looks like this puzzle could have gone all the way back to move 33, where white had this position:


click for larger view

White eats the very tempting, but poisoned pawn: 33. Bxa5 (who among us wouldn't?)

After this the win is forced:
33...Qb1
34. Kf2 <nothing else> Qh1

35. Ke2 <necessary to make room for queen to interpose after ...Qxh2, otherwise promotion is simple> Qxh2+

36. Qf2 <if 36. Kd1, then ...Qh1+ 37. Be1 Qf3+ 38. Kc1 h2 39. Qc5! g6!! (avoiding perpetual: 39...h1=Q? 40. Qc8+ Kh7 41. Qf5+ g6 42. Qxf7+ =)> Qh1

37. Qf3 <needed to avoid ...Qe4+ and ...h2>, which takes us to the puzzle diagram, and the rest is history.

Sep-05-07  znprdx: what TALent...another classic Example of Knight superiority over Bishop
Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's solution Tal creates a winning passed pawn with 37...Qxf3+!, when 38...Ne3! will follow as a decoy sacrifice to block the King's attempt to chase down the h-file passer.
Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: When I look at Tal's games, I wind up asking myself the same question that I ask after studying Morphy. How did anybody ever beat this guy?
Sep-05-07  zb2cr: <playground player>,

In answer to your question, not many did beat him. He had to have an off day for anyone to take him--such as

Tal vs N Darsniek, 1950

or

his return match with Botvinnik, where he was supposedly in poor health.

Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: To be candid, I was knowing the answer long long ago, so I withdraw from solving it but anyway, a very instructive game with lots of good tactics.
Sep-05-07  lau7aro: What goes on after Bd2? Anyone?
Sep-05-07  greensfield: Brilliant puzzle! Talís a master at work.
Sep-05-07  MiCrooks: Actually, you can't really call Qf3 a blunder as it is the best move in the position!! Anything else allows h2 when you don't even get a piece in compensation for the new Queen.

The blunder occurred far earlier with Bxa5 back on move 33. White needed to keep the Bishop back to keep Black from getting in behind the White king. Qa4 looks best where White ends up trading off the Queen-side pawns leading to an easy draw with all of the pawns on one side, though even here with Q+N Tal would have had a slight advantage, but it should be a draw.

Sep-05-07  MiCrooks: Bd2 h2 and White is lost. You can't prevent Qg1 when Black gets a second Queen.
Sep-05-07  unferth: <YouRang: White eats the very tempting, but poisoned pawn: 33. Bxa5 (who among us wouldn't?)

After this the win is forced:
33...Qb1
34. Kf2 <nothing else> Qh1

35. Ke2 <necessary to make room for queen to interpose after ...Qxh2, otherwise promotion is simple> Qxh2+>

Is Ke2 really necessary? or can white survive with, say, Qc4 threatening a perpetual via Qc8, Qf5 etc.? if black eats at h2 with check, white's king can run to e1 & then to the queenside ... if black takes time to push the h pawn, he runs into the perpetual ... maybe? don't have a program to hand, or the time to look at it deeply just now.

Sep-05-07  znprdx: znprdx: <YouRang:> & <unferth:> PLEASE the verb is "captures" or "takes" but NEVER <eats> - unless you have a set of pieces made from chocolate (which some idiot actually put on the market) try to have some respect for this art: THANK-YOU
Sep-05-07  CapablancaFan: After I posted my comment earlier about this game I began thinking. I had seen the "type" of ending before, as it was not new to me, where a piece was sacrificed for the sake of promoting a pawn. I finally remembered the game! Capablanca did it to E G Sergeant with 37...Nxg2!! What's so funny is that Capa threatens to promote THE SAME H-PAWN in virtually the same place as Tal did! E G Sergeant vs Capablanca, 1935 This is a tactic every chess player needs to be aware of.
Sep-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <unferth> <Is Ke2 really necessary? or can white survive with, say, Qc4 threatening a perpetual via Qc8, Qf5 etc.? if black eats at h2 with check, white's king can run to e1 & then to the queenside >

Hi <unferth>. White can try 35. Qc4, but his demise is swifter: 35...Qxh2+ 36. Ke1 Qxg3+ 37. Kd2 Qg2+ <guards the knight with tempo> 38. Kd3 h2

White's perpetual won't happen because of the open g-file: 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Qf5+ Qg6! <and the pawn promotes (notice that the white queen is pinned)>

<znprdx> I don't see "eat" (as opposed to "take" or "capture") as being disrespectful to chess. Truthfully, I've never even heard such an objection before. Anyway, language is an art too, and somehow, using the word "eat" struck me as a poetic way to describe the taking of a "poisoned" pawn.

Sep-06-07  unferth: <YouRang: White can try 35. Qc4, but his demise is swifter: 35...Qxh2+ 36. Ke1 Qxg3+ 37. Kd2 Qg2+ <guards the knight with tempo> 38. Kd3 h2

White's perpetual won't happen because of the open g-file: 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Qf5+ Qg6! <and the pawn promotes (notice that the white queen is pinned)>

why 38 Kd3? 38 Kc1 h2 39 Qc8+ and the perpetual is still there, isn't it?--interposing with Qg6 is no longer a pin. (sorry I'm not looking at this deeply--end of the day & in a hurry to get out of the office again...)

Sep-06-07  paul1959: There is neither perpetual or escape to the queenside.

35. Qc4 Qxh2+
36 Ke1 Qxg3+
and if
37 Kd2 Qxf4+ exchanges Queens and the
h pawn is unstoppable.

Then White has to play:

37 Ke2 Nxf4+ and if Black cannot find a mate or queen exchange , the Knight can always go to g6 to block the perpetual.

Sep-06-07  SuperPatzer77: <Cu8sfan: Ne3 is the move that either deflects the Black King too far from the h-pawn or bars it from reaching the via g2.> Cu8sfan, you use the wrong color of the king. It should be White king. The correct statement is: "Ne3 is the move that either deflects the White King (not Black King) too far from the h-pawn or bars it from reaching the via g2." The correct one is the White King on f3 - not Black King on f3. By the way, Cu8sfan, I don't wanna insult your intelligence but you made a wrong observation of the color of a piece.
Sep-06-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <unferth> <why 38 Kd3? 38 Kc1 h2 39 Qc8+ and the perpetual is still there, isn't it?--interposing with Qg6 is no longer a pin. >

Well, firstly <paul1959> is right: after 37. Kd2, ...Qxf4+! gets the pawn promoted easily (pretty how the knight ends up blocking the bishop from guarding h2).

But even if 37...Qg2+ and 38. Kc1, as you suggest, we have 38...h2 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Qf5+ Kh6! and white has no more safe checks, and no way to stop the eventual ...h1=Q .

Sep-07-07  unferth: <paul1959> ah ... good point, thanks!
Sep-07-07  paul1959: Could White draw after 33 Qa4 Kh7?
Sep-08-07  paul1959: After 33 Qa4 Kh7 34 Qxa5 Qe4 ,
35 Qd2 looks forced.
Then Black has 35... Nc3! with the threat of Ne2+.
What could happen next is:

36 Qf2 Ne2+
37 Kf1 Nd4
38 Kg1 Nf3+
38 Kf1 Nxe1
39 Qxe1 Qg2 mate

Even if White does not take on a5 , it seems that Black will have an attack on the weak white squares around the White King. White should not have allowed the pawn to get on h3.

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