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Mikhail Tal vs Sejer Holm Petersen
"Sejer Later" (game of the day Aug-25-2011)
EUR-chT (Men) 4th (1970), Kapfenberg AUT, rd 4, May-13
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  1-0


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Given 21 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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sac: 26.Qe8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-25-11  APatzer: exciting finish !
Aug-25-11  sevenseaman: To me the Q sac looked somewhat blunt till I grasped the whole picture. A stunning insight even for the incomparable Tal! Not a resource in sight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Sejer on the other Side
Aug-25-11  BiteByBits: the key is that white's pieces are threatening mate and black's pieces are all uncoordinated and doesnt do much
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 23...Bxf3 would have spoiled the whole combination, but Holm obligingly played 23...Qh6 instead.
Aug-25-11  Elrathia Kingi: I saw this same combination earlier this morning in Victor Henkin's "1000 Checkmate Combinations." Nice to see the lead up moves!
Aug-25-11  Elrathia Kingi: <al wazir: 23...Bxf3 would have spoiled the whole combination, but Holm obligingly played 23...Qh6 instead.> 23...Bxf3 24.Nxf4 Bxe2 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26.Bxf8, so white wins the exchange and disrupts black's pawns, which should be an easily won endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: 'Sejer' is a scandinavian word meaning 'victory'. While not quite a Tal, he was a feared attacking player in Scandinavia, with a taste for complications.

S Holm vs Larsen, 1960

He was Danish champion in '65 and "Nordic" (=Scandinavian) in '75

In this game he tastes his own medicine. 26.Qe8!!, what a lovely move. It is extremely rare that a player not in check can not escape a backrank mate at any cost, but that is the case here.

Aug-25-11  coolchess1: Hats off to the great Tal! Only the great man could do magical stuff like this...What a player! Tal's games gives you so much joy to replay...

RIP master.

Aug-25-11  Sem: Not a ghost of an initiative for Black, he just trots behind his master.
Aug-25-11  twin phoenix: A lovely game! Tal at his best. took me 4 minutes to even understand the queen sac which was one of the prettiest i've seen.
Aug-25-11  howlwolf: al wazir, 23 Bxf3 Nxf4 24 Bxe2 Nxg6+ followed by Rxe2 would havee left Tal with a definite advantage where he should be able to win, just not brilliantly as in the game.
Aug-25-11  jussu: This must be the weirdest unpreventable mate in one ever :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: How about this one? A back rank mate by discovered check!!
Aug-25-11  DrMAL: French with Nf3 is typically focused on early K-side attack and in this unusual variation 11.b3 was consistent with that. But with 13.c4?! the obvious (only) move for equality was 13...Nf4 black's passive 13...Nce7 gave white a clear advantage. 15...Bc7 was better than 15...Bb8 and, while 17...Ng6 attempts to keep a defending piece near the king, 17...Nc6 was probably better with more active placement (preventing 18.c6!).

18...bxc6?! was poor, getting the badly placed bishop on b8 active via 18...Bf4 to counterattack was best. Tal's 20.Bd4! was strong but 21...Qf4? (instead of simply 21...Qxc6) was a losing blunder. 22.Bxf8 also easily wins. After 25...Bxc1? the finish was pretty indeed.

Aug-25-11  castledweller: I just gonna guess - but I think that Tal started thinking about a back rank mate around move # 19, when he forced Black's queen away for guarding the e8 square. his moves after that seem to center around eliminating that rook!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <jussu: This must be the weirdest unpreventable mate in one ever :D>

Indeed very strange, although it's actually mate in three since Black will be able to throw away his bishop with Be8 and his knight with Nf8 after White checks.

< kevin86: How about this one? A back rank mate by discovered check!!>

Yes, it's bizarre how Black has no way to prevent it, since his knight and queen are blocking his h and g pawns. He can't even throw his queen away with something like ...Qxh2+ followed by ...h6, since White has moved the pawn to h3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Just unbelievable. It took me a while to convince myself that mate is unavoidable. It's fairly obvious, really, but still I couldn't believe it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: What a way of fighting for the initiative! I am speechless (thank goodness not writeless). I see now why some people call him Tal the Magician. What imagination!!!
Aug-25-11  sozinattack: Most beautiful thing I saw today including some women.
Aug-25-11  Lil Swine: the magician from riga
Aug-26-11  lost in space: Very nice and especially a' la Tal
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <cd: I just gonna guess - but I think that Tal started thinking about a back rank mate around move # 19, when he forced Black's queen away for guarding the e8 square.>

I agree. I think Tal was happy to see 20...Bg4 instead of the obvious Bd7.

Aug-16-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Tal vs S Holm Petersen, 1970.
Your score: 53 (par = 47)


PS. Par is now 48.

Apr-21-17  clement41: Wow! I have never seen before such a back rank weakness combination. It is concrete chess: made possible because black's h6 and g6 pieces prevent from making any luft there. Tal had to check carefully that after ...Rxe8?? white indeed has a forced mate, else he's dead. So, a double-edged, from a practical standpoint
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