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Wolfgang Unzicker vs Mikhail Tal
Milan (1975), Milan ITA, rd 1, Aug-20
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  1-0


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Given 41 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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sac: 24.Rxf7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-06-06  Fezzik: I agree with User: c o r e that 24.Rxf7 was fairly obvious, but Unzicker's technique was beautiful. This game was familiar to me and yet I still mis-timed some of his tactical shots. This week, has created a great tribute to Unizicker. Thank you very much!
May-06-06  jperr75108: Pretty easy once I saw the weakness on the h1-a8 diagonal.
May-06-06  LIFE Master AJ: I got the first few moves, but missed the clever 29.QxP/h6. (Dire threats to the BK ... so no time to save the Rook.)
Nov-01-06  aazqua: Nice game with an electrifying finish. You can see that black just leaves too much up in the air.
Feb-04-12  Eduardo Bermudez: With the same yardstick you measure... Congrats Mr. Unziker !!
Jul-28-12  Mudphudder: I would say that Tal got finished off by almost Tal-like tactics.
Sep-17-18  Mayankk: Monday Queen sacs are back. And the world is a much happier place!

Weird to see Tal at the receiving end of such tactics. Even more weird to see that this was not an isolated blunder but rather a continuous stream of sparkling moves by Talís opponent.

The hunter got hunted instead. And in some style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I love Mondays!

32. Qxe5 Kxe5 (else: piece down) 33. Bf4+ and Black will win the queen. Piece up and no compensation for Black (he was anyhow down a few pawns). 1:0

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Mudphudder: Either Unzicker played a Tal-like game, or their names got switched.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Is there really just 1 right answer when white is already up 3 pawns?

But yay, nice to see that Monday puzzles are here (last Saturday had a Tuesday like puzzle).

1/1 this week.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's decisive mistake appears to be 18...g5?, allowing 19. Be3 ± to +- (+2.02 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 9).

While 18...g5? wins a pawn after 19. Be3 Nxe5, it decisively weakens Black's pawn structure and allows White too much active piece play as compensation for "winning" the pawn. Within a few moves, after 18...g5? 19. Be3! Nxe5 +-, Tal gets his pieces in active attacking positions for a clearly won position.

Instead of 18...g5?, Black could have held it level with 18...0-0 = or 18...a5 =.

Sep-17-18  Walter Glattke: Unzicker wins against Tal? That's interesting. 32.Qxe5+ Kxe5 33.Bf4+ Kd5 34.Bxc7 - Bishop and 3 pawns more for white. 32.-Kd7 33.Qxc7+ Kxc7 same result. White was three pawns ahead before the 32nd move, against Tal.
Sep-17-18  AlicesKnight: With 3 pawns plus almost anything will do in the long run, but Qxe5+ wins a bishop whether Black takes the Q or not. 31....Qc7 is astonishing for Tal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Queen sac Monday!
32.Q:e5 K:e5 33.Bf4+ Kf5 34.B:c7
Sep-17-18  et1: Easy, but a bit strange how the great Tal would be beaten like this. Isn't there anything better than Dc7 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Hmm. Its Monday. Where can I sac my Queen?

Ah.. e5! There it is.

Sep-17-18  sfm: The classic decision - grabbing material at a cost? Here the cost was too high, very beautifully demonstrated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The possibility 27...Kf8 (diagram below) makes for an interesting problem:

click for larger view

White to move and win (diagram above)?

Sep-17-18  zb2cr: 32. Qxe5+, Kxe5; 33. Bf4+ wins back the sacrificed Queen and White remains up by B+3P in a very simplified position. An easy win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Walter Glattke: Unzicker wins against Tal?> Thanks! I had forgotten this was a Tal defeat when I posted <Within a few moves, after 18...g5? 19. Be3! Nxe5 +-, Tal gets his pieces in active attacking positions for a clearly won position.>

In this case it was Unzicker refuting Tal's bad 18...g5? pawn grab with active piece play after 19. Be3! Nxe5 20. Ne4! ± to +- (+2.04 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 9) for the win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One could be forgiven for suspecting that the players were misattributed here and that Tal's hapless opponent was on the receiving end, as the Wizard of Riga meted out retribution for an incautious pawn snatch.
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  gawain: I enjoy a game like this one that provides more than one puzzle (of more than one degree of difficulty), depending where you slice into it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has three extra pawns.

Black threatens Qxc2.

I don't see anything quicker than 32.Qxe5+ Kxe5 33.Bf4+ winning a bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 24 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 18...0-0 19.Ne4 Nxe5 20.Qd4 f6 21.Bxe5 fxe5 22.Rxf8+ Bxf8 23.Qf2 a5 24.Rd1 Rb8 25.b3 Be7 26.Nc5 Rb5 27.Nd3 a4 28.Be4 axb3 29.cxb3 Ba6 30.Rf1 Bf6 31.Rd1 Be7 32.Rf1

2. = (0.07): 18...Rb8 19.Ne4 0-0 20.Qd4 c5 21.Qc3 c4 22.Rad1 Qb6+ 23.Rd4 Qxb2 24.Rxc4 a5 25.Rd1 Qxa2 26.Bf1 a4 27.Ra1 Qb2 28.Raxa4 Qxc3 29.Rxc3 Nb6 30.Rb3 Bb7 31.Rd4 Bxe4 32.Rxe4 Rfc8 33.Be3 Nd5 34.Rxb8 Rxb8 35.Bd4 Nb4 36.c3 Nc6

Sep-17-18  SpamIAm: Actually, <et1>, black is in a very bad way even without the final blunder. He is three pawns down without compensation. And trying to snatch a pawn back with 31...Bxb2 runs into 32.Qc5+ with more material loss. Perhaps Tal deliberately played 31...Qc7? as a way of giving Unzicker a glorious way to finish but that is just speculation. Or simply time trouble.
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