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Mikhail Tal vs Michael Francis Stean
"A Head of Stean" (game of the day Nov-01-2018)
Hastings (1973/74), Hastings ENG, rd 12, Jan-09
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-18-04  WMD: A good old-fashioned king hunt. 12...Ra5 is now considered the best antidote to this line.
Aug-12-04  Eric6312: Not true. 12...Ra5 13. Nd4 and then Qh3 and the sacrafice on e6.
Jan-18-07  ianD: Surely that should be 34.Ne2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <ianD: Surely that should be 34.Ne2#>

No, because black can play his loop-de-loop move.

Jan-18-07  chessworm: What is a loop-de-loop move?
Why is this not a checkmate?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <chessworm> Yes, it's mate. A classic example of the risks of posting your king on the eighth rank, especially while playing Mikhail Tal.

Jan-18-07  aldehyde: what if 22.....Ke8
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <what if 22....Ke8>

Good question. 23. Nb5 threatens 24. Nc7+...if then ...f6 24. Nd6+. Anyone see a defense? Or a better move for White?

Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Yes, 23.Nb5 must be the move. After 23...f5 Black's King gets no peace, for example: 24.Nd6+ Ke7 25.Ne4+ Ke8 26.Qb5+ Kf8 27.Qb4+ Ke8 28.Nd6+ Ke7 29.Qh4+ Kd7 30.Nxb7+ Kc7 31.Qe7+ Kb6 32.Qc5+ Ka6 33.Qa5+ Kxb7 34.Qb5+ Kc7 35.Rd7+ Kc8 36.Qc6+ and mate next move. The game continuation is more elegant.
Feb-27-10  jmboutiere: Rybka 3 has difficulties in considering
16....Be3 +0.00, than, in all variations, concludes advantage for white with at least + 0.90
Jun-25-12  Albion 1959: Oh yes. Vintage Tal !! Stean's king gets shot to pieces in a never ending crossfire of checks:
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Except the crossfire of checks did, in fact, end. In the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: White's queen's knight made two moves: Nb1-c3 and Nc3-e2#. Very odd.
Nov-01-18  scormus: I have long believed that playing the Najdorf aganst Tal is about the most dangerous thing you can do in chess.

I wondered what the engine would make of this game. 14 ... Bc5 appears to be a mistake, but is quite understandable to block the path from c4 to c7, and also get the DSB onto d4. It might have been possible for B to hold, but after the pawn exchange on e5 B is in trouble whether he plays 19 ... fxe5 as played or ... Qxe5.

After 24 ... f5 W wins by force, as demonstrately convincingly in the game. B could fight on after 24 .... Qe5 bringing the Q in to help the defense, but it would only prolong the agony as W can pick up p+B at will..

According to the silicon, 14 ... Be7 looks to maintain a balance position with objectively a slight advantage, but not easy to defend OTB. That's the bottom line here, the position is more difficult for B to defend than for W to attack .... especially when Tal is the attacker. He hardly made any inaccuracy in this line.

Nov-01-18  JustWoodshifting: Tal's positional perception and preparation were exceptional. I have a theory that most GM's prepare the 1st 15 or 16 moves of a particular opening. At about move 16 to 18, that's where a game is either won or lost. In this case, it was Stean's 18th move:

Analysis by Stockfish 141018 64:
Depth = 39:

1. = (0.00): 18...Kd7-e7 19.Qc4-b4+ Ke7-e8

2. +- (1.55): 18...Kd7-e8 19.Nb5-c7+ Ke8-f8 20.f4xe5 Kf8-g8

3. +- (3.66): 18...<Be3-d4> 19.f4xe5 Qb8xe5 20.Nb5xd4 Kd7-e8

4. +- (4.66): 18...Bb7-d5 19.Nc3xd5 e6xd5 20.Qc4xd5+ Kd7-e7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: To answer a question from a decade ago, yes Stockfish agrees that 23 NB5 is the rejoinder to 22 Ke8:

After 22 Ke8:

1) +4.90 (22 ply) 23.Nb5 Bd5 24.Nc7+ Kd7 25.Nxd5 exd5 26.Rxd5+ Ke8 27.Re5+ Qxe5 28.Qxe5+ Kd7 29.Qd5+ Ke7 30.b4 Rhc8 31.Qe4+ Kd6 32.Qxh7 Ra4 33.Qd3+ Ke7 34.Qe3+ Kf8 35.Qb3 Ra6 36.b5 Rg6 37.b6 Rb8 38.b7 Rxg2 39.Qd5 Rg6 40.c4

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