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Mikhail Tal vs Yrjo A Rantanen
"Rantanen Raving" (game of the day Aug-09-2005)
Keres Memorial (1979), Tallinn URS, rd 16, Mar-14
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0


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Given 25 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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sac: 24.Nf6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-14-12  sevenseaman: <Abdel Irada> Nice! The forcing first move leads to the Arabian mate.
Jun-14-12  LoveThatJoker: This puzzle is genius because it is a WC Tal puzzle!

<28. Bh8! Kxf7>

(28...Kxh8 29. Qxh7#; 28...Bh5 29. Qxh5 Kxh8 30. Qxh7#)

<29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Qg7#>


Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Was on wrong track for about 30 seconds until suddenly I saw it.
Jun-14-12 Astonishing key move. I'm proud to say I got it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Tal again! Has there ever been a greater sacrificer of pieces? Black can take choice of bishop or rook...and to be mated in one or two moves.
Jun-14-12  Marmot PFL: Was probably lucky (or maybe saw it before) but 28 Bh8 was the first move I thought of, and it seemed easy for a Thurs.
Jun-14-12  estrick: I love Tal!
His games give me more delight than anyone else.
Jun-14-12  poszvald: Good question if Nf6 is good or not.

If after Nf6 black is playing Bxd1, I think black would have won. After that Qh4 is working as well due to following:
.. h5
Qg5 gxf6
Qxf6+ Kg8 and I do not see continuation, and I do not see any other chances after Bxd1.

Other opinions?

Jun-14-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is down a rook, but three pieces are attacking a lightly defended black king, albeit in a very awkward arrangement, with the bishop interfering with a mate on h7 and the rook en prise. Black threatens 28... Kxf7, apparently ending all attacking prospects for white, and there is no way to protect the rook and no time to run, e.g. 28.Ra7(??) Rb7 and white is out of luck. This one stumped me for an unusually long time, given the relatively low number of options available. Anyway, I finally found the counter-intuitive key move (Bh8! - moving to the lowest mobility square available) and the rest was immediately clear. I guess that's one reason why we love chess - often the correct move does not fit conventional understanding of chess logic.
Jun-14-12  lzromeu: I saw Qxf6 too. Good but is not a winning move, neither brilliant
Jun-14-12  TheBish: Tal vs Y Rantanen, 1979

White to play (28.?) "Medium"

Well, this is another one I was familiar with, at least somewhat... I still had to solve it again! I knew I had seen it before (probably very well known, since it was Tal playing), but took a few seconds before I saw the winning idea. The winning move threatens checkmate.

28. Bh8!

The idea is to take on f6 with the queen, not the bishop. Now if 28...Kxf7 29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Qg7#.

28...h5 29. Qxf6 Qg4 30. Rg7+ followed by mate next move.

Jun-14-12  Kasputin: Hi <kasputine> - soon I'll introduce you to kaspoutine - he's a chess player from Quebec :-)
Jun-14-12  James D Flynn: Kasputine if 26… Qe6( instead of 26….Bxd1) 27.Bxg7+ Kg8 28.Ra7(or c7) Bxd1 29.Bxf6 threatens both Qxh7+ and Qg5+ with mate on g7 to follow, therefore Black must play 28….Re7 2Kasputine if 26… Qe6( instead of 26….Bxd1) 27.Bxg7+ Kg8 28.Ra7(or c7) Bxd1 29.Bxf6 threatens both Qxh7+ and Qg5+ with mate on g7 to follow, therefore Black must play 28….Re7 29.Rxe7 Qxe7 30.Bxf6 Qd7 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.Rf1 and I am sure , without further analysis that this is won for White. However I believe that the reply to 26.Bh6 is the critical position in answer to newzild’s question about 24 Nf6+. There are other possible answers like Rg8. I will come back to this after the Euro soccer games for the day finish.
Jun-14-12  vanytchouck: After a couple of minutes, i figured out 28. Bh8, but was following by 29. Qx ... h7 + ?? Ke6 30. Qf5+ Kd7 and the king's escaping (Qxf+ or Bxf6+). It takes another minute to realize that i could play Qxf6 + at once ;- D
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: 28 Bh8, perhaps? This creates a mate threat at h7. If Black captures the rook 28... Kxf7, then 29 Qxf6+ will do it.
Jun-14-12  David2009: Tal vs Y Rantanen, 1979 White 28?

I sometimes daydream that I am defending these puzzle positions in a simultaneous display. Following up this daydream, I wouold be mentally chalking up the win when Tal shatters my illusions with 28.Bh8!

I cannot see a defence: perhps Crafty End Game Trainer can help me. Time to check:
Puzzle position

click for larger view

Crafty EGT link:

The astounding robot postpones defeat for five whole moves!!

Hardly worth the bother of setting it up, really.

Jun-14-12  PeaceRequiresAnarchy: I got it, but probably only because I knew it was a puzzle. If it had started earlier I almost definitely would have missed it. Tal's knight sac is remarkable1
Jun-14-12  ruzon: <David2009: The astounding robot postpones defeat for five whole moves!!>

I managed it in 4: 28. Bh8 Qh3 29. gxh3 Bh5 30. Qxf6 Bxf7 31. Qg7#. What was your line?

Jun-14-12  Nullifidian: 28. ♗h8! starts a mate.

28... ♔xh8 is mate in one, 29. ♕xh7#
28... ♔xf7 is followed by 29. ♕xf7+ ♔g8 30. ♕g7#
28... ♙h6 29. ♖g7+ ♔f8/♔xh8 30. ♕xf6#/♕xh6#
All other Black moves that aren't mate in one lead to mate in four.

For example:
28... ♙h5
29. ♕xf6 ♕g4
30. ♖g7+ ♕xg7/♔xh8
31. ♕xg7#/♕h6#

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Rantanen was not a bad player when it came to sacrificial combinations:

Y Rantanen vs B Denman, 1972

But against the great Tal; he's obviously not in the same league.

Jun-15-12  sevenseaman: <David2009> <Five whole moves?> How come? <rozon>'s line is the shortest possible & foolproof. So mate in 4.

<28. Bh8 Qh3 29. gxh3 Bh5 30. Qxf6 Bxf7 31. Qg7#>

Jun-15-12  dragon player: Black's a rook up, but his king is in one of the most uncomfortable positions I've seen so far. But now you have to find a way to make your pieces cooperate:

28.Bh8! Kxf7

What else?

29.Qxh7+ Ke6

If 29...Ke8 30.Qg7#

30.Qf5+ Ke7
31.Bxf6+ Kf7
32.Bg5+ Kg7
33.Qf6+ Kg8

This doesn't seem to work. Lets look for something else.

This works:


How could I miss this??


Actually it's a quite easy puzzle.

Time to check.


Yes, indeed.


Dec-01-14  gmelfranco: magistral su juego !!!
May-18-15  notyetagm: Tal vs Y Rantanen, 1979

WOW! Tal was as tactical strong as a modern chess engine.

Sep-16-19  thom0909: Tactical problem aside, 17...c5 looks bad (was he worried about White playing c5?) and Bxd1 is just greedy at the wrong time.
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