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Mikhail Tal vs Andres Vooremaa
Keres Memorial (1979), Tallinn URS, rd 2, Feb-22
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Orthodox Defense (D37)  ·  1-0


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Given 6 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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sac: 34.Nxd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-25-11  vajeer: <RandomVisitor> Thanks for the analysis. I am not sure why Rybka prefers 37....Rxa4 in the first variation. Wouldn't Be7 give more chances to Black to hold?
Nov-25-11  RandomVisitor: <vajeer>Perhaps, but in a tactical situation it is not how the position looks in the present, but how the interacting power relations play out in the future:

34.Nxd5 <Bd8> 35.Qa4 Qxa4 36.Bxa4 exd5 37.Rxd5 <Be7> 38.Bb3 <Rybka4.1>

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19 +1.45 38. ... Nf7 39.Rf5 Ne6 40.Bc4 Rc6 41.a4 Bd8 42.Bxe6 Rxe6 43.Rxc5 Ra6 44.b3 Kf8 45.Kc2 Ke7 46.e4 g5 47.Kd3 Ke6 48.Rb5 Ra7 49.Ke3 Ra6 50.Bh2 Bb6+

19 +1.64 38. ... Rb6 39.Bxd6 Bxd6 40.Bc4 Ne6 41.Rf5 Bc7 42.Rxc5 Bh2 43.a4 Kf7 44.a5 Ke7 45.Rc8 Rb4 46.b3 Bd6 47.Kc2 Rb7 48.Ra8 Nc7 49.a6 Rxb3 50.Rg8 Ra3 51.Rxg7+ Kd8 52.Rg6 Kd7 53.Rxh6 Nxa6

19 +1.66 38. ... c4 39.Bxd6 Rxd6 40.Rxd6 Bxd6 41.Bxc4+ Kh7 42.Kc2 Kg6 43.b4 Nd7 44.Kc3 Be5+ 45.Kd2 Kf6 46.Bb3 Bd6 47.Kd3 g5 48.Ke4 Be7 49.Kd5 Bf8 50.Bd1 Nb6+ 51.Kd4 Bd6

Nov-25-11  RandomVisitor: After 34.Nxd5 exd5 35.Qxd5+ there is:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

20 +1.65 35. ... Kh8 36.Bb3 c4 37.Bxd6 Qxd5 38.Rxd5 Rxd6 39.Rxd6 Bxd6 40.Bxc4 Nd7 41.Kc2 Kh7 42.Bd3+ Kg8 43.Bf5 Nb6 44.Be6+ Kf8 45.b4 Ke7 46.Bb3 Nd7 47.Kc3 Be5+ 48.Kd3 Kd6 49.g3 Nc5+ 50.bxc5+

20 1.95 35. ... Nf7 36.Bb3 Re6 37.f4 Qc7 38.e4 Qc6 39.f5 Qxd5 40.Bxd5 Ra6 41.e5 Nh7 42.Bc4 Ra4 43.Bb5 Ra8 44.Kc2 Kf8 45.a4 Nhg5 46.Bf4 Nd8 47.Rd7 Ne4 48.Kd3

Nov-25-11  Marmot PFL: 34 Nxd5 doesn't seem to complicated for a Tal game, 34...Rxc6 35 Nxe7+ Kmove 36 Nxc6 Qmove 37 Rxd6 is strong, but I couldn't crack 34...ed5 35 Qxd5+ Kh8 36 Bb3 c4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: < alshatranji: To what extent did Tal actually "sacrifice" his Queen? ... Tal must have seen through Black's subsequent attempt to trap his queen, and decided to allow it. But would that be really a sacrifice, considering there doesn't seem to be an adequate alternative to 33. a3? I don't think so.>

<RandomVisitor> analyzed the immediate 33.Nxd5!? below. That might be better than Tal's 33.a3; it is at least a serious alternative.

Nov-25-11  cyclon: 34.Nxd5.
Nov-25-11  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes, <34...Bd8> is just too strong. Tal must've missed this move and been happy Black did too!

<35...Nf7> may actually be third best, but it keeps the Queens on. I spent quite a lot of time looking at <36.Bb3 c4>

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <morfishine: ... <34...Bd8> is just too strong. Tal must've missed this move and been happy Black did too!>

I really doubt that. I saw 34...Bd8 very quickly, and Tal probably saw at least 10 times as much as I did.

Nov-25-11  morfishine: <FSR> Hello! I get the feeling that 34...Bd8 was Black's best; Perhaps Tal was counting on Black not finding the best move(s) which is what happened.

This puzzle was very deep, very 'Tal-like' so to speak.

Nov-25-11  LIFE Master AJ: I went with 34.NxP/d5!

34...Bd8; might be Black's best defense, but White is just two Pawns up. I found the win in the game, White is eventually left with R+2B's (and maybe a few buttons) for the Black Queen.

The hardest line to work out (for me, anyway) was 34...exd5!? I spent a long time on this, I was sure that White should eventually regain all of his material (with interest), but that never happened in my analysis.

Here is the machine's analysis:

</= 34...exd5!? ('?!') 35.Qxd5+ Kh8; 36.Bb3! c4▢; 37.Bxd6 Qxd5; 38.Rxd5 Rxd6; 39.Rxd6 Bxd6; 40.Bxc4, (Fritz 12)

click for larger view

White has four Pawns for the Knight ... I think the win is easy, White just shoves his Q-side connected, Passed Pawns. Supported by the K+B, it will almost be impossible for Black to stop.

Nov-25-11  LIFE Master AJ: <RandomVisitor> Thanks for the analysis, sorry if I repeated lines that you already gave ...
Nov-25-11  sshhhh: Having seen the end of the game, I love the perversity of the whole Qa7-b7-a6-b7-c6 manoeuvre. Yes, it won a pawn (Qa7-b7-a6), but the last couple of moves seem almost taunting: "Yes, you can trap me, no I'm not going to do anything about it. I'll win anyway".
Nov-25-11  LIFE Master AJ: The best defense was:
>/= 34...Bd8! 35.Qa4▢ Qxa4; 36.Bxa4 exd5!; 37.Bb3 Bf6; 38.Bxd5+ Kh8; 39.Kc2, (Fritz 12)

click for larger view

White has three Pawns for the Knight, but the win is FAR from being a lock ... or anything like that.

Nov-25-11  morfishine: <LIFE Master AJ> Excellent posts! I think these are the final words on this position; at least for me they are.
Nov-25-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has the bishop pair vs N+B in an open position, but his queen is trapped. There appear to be two plausible avenues to get compensation, both of which appear to me to fall well short of equality if black defends correctly.

Candidate I.


A) 34... Rxc6?? 35.Nxe7+ K-moves 36.Nxc6 Q moves 37.Rxd6 is clearly winning for white. (R+2Bs vs Q)

B) 34... exd5? 35.Qxd5+ Kh8 36.Bb3 c4 37.Qxa5 Rxa5 38.Bxd6 Bxd6 39.Rxd6 cxb3 40.Rb6 and white gets 3 pawns for the knight with winning chances.

C) 34... Bd8! (white's queen remains trapped without apparent compensation) 35.Nf6+ Bxf6 36.Qf3 where white has only one pawn for a piece and the attack appears to have run dry.

C.1) 35.Qxa6 Qxa6 36.Nc3 Be7 looks safely winning.

Candidate II


A) 34... Nxg6?? 35.Qd7! at least gets the piece back e.g. Bd8? 36.Qxe6+ Kf8 37.Qxg6 with a big advantage.

A.1) 34... Qd8 35.Qxd8 Bxd8 36.Bxg6 with the 2Bs and a small advantage.

B) 34... Rxc6 35.Nxe7+ Kf7 36.Nxc6 Qb6 37.Ne5+ Ke7 and white does not appear to have sufficient compensation for the material deficit (R+B for Q).

C) 34... Bd8 35.Qxd6 (what else?) Rxd6 36.Bxd6 Nxg6 37.Bxg6 Bc7 38.b4 cb 39.Bxb4 Qb6 and black can now force the exchange of the DSBs with 40... Bd6 and the black queen should prevail in the endgame.

Maybe I'm missing something, but this looks like a spoiler. Is this an unsound Tal attack that worked? Time for review...

Nov-25-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: The game defense was weak. The posts of Rybka analysis by <RandomVisitor> clarify the 34...Bd8 lines substantially and it's interesting that white keeps an edge.
Nov-25-11  ajile: <<LIFE Master AJ: The best defense was: >/= 34...Bd8! 35.Qa4 Qxa4; 36.Bxa4 exd5!; 37.Bb3 Bf6; 38.Bxd5+ Kh8; 39.Kc2, (Fritz 12)>>

But 37.Rxd5 is stronger for White than 37.Bb3.

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 32-bit : 22 ply

1. (0.74): 4.Rxd5 Rxa4 5.Bxd6 Ne6 6.Bxc5 Ra5

click for larger view

7.Rd6 Rxc5 8.Rxe6 Kf7 9.Re4 Rd5 10.Kc2 Rc5+ 11.Kb3 Rc1 12.a4 Ra1 13.Rd4 Bf6

2. (0.61): 4.Bb3 Bf6 5.Bxd5+ Kh8 6.Kc2 g5 7.Bxd6 Rxd6 8.a4 Kg7 9.Rd3 Ra6 10.b3 Ra7 11.Bc6 c4 12.bxc4 Ne6 13.Rd5 Be7 14.Rd7 Rxd7 15.Bxd7 Nc5 16.Bc6 Bf6 17.g3

White has 4 pawns for the minor piece.

Nov-25-11  BOSTER: <PV> <in tactical situations it is not how the position looks in the present>. What else can determine the result of the game?

In spite of that the Rybka evaluation (<RV>) about +0.3 between <33.Nxd5> and 33.a3 Ra6 <34.Nxd5>, I guess that for human variant with 34.Nxd5 looks more attractive. The difference is that after <33.Nxd5> the queens are still on the board,and this gives black more chances for a draw. After <34.Nxd5> with best defense for black 34...Bd8 the game continues without queens and pawn a3 gives white good chance fighting for win.

Nov-25-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: I got off to a bad start by not considering white's extra pawn!

Play the puzzle position against Crafty EGT from the following link:

Nov-26-11  LIFE Master AJ: Fritz considers 34...RxQ/c6 to be an error. (The red light comes on and the evaluations change drastically ... increasing in a dramatic fashion ... in White's favor.)

+ 0.61 after 34.NxP/d5!

and + 7.26 after 34...RxQ/c6?

Nov-26-11  JoergWalter: that is simple arithmetic dear LifeMaster:

with 34.Nxd5 Rxc6 it is white winning 2 pawns, a rook, a bishop and a knight for the queen.

Nov-26-11  King Death: <LIFE Master AJ: Fritz considers 34...RxQ/c6 to be an error. (The red light comes on and the evaluations change drastically ... increasing in a dramatic fashion ... in White's favor.) + 0.61 after 34.NxP/d5!

and + 7.26 after 34...RxQ/c6?>

I'm just an old retired human who doesn't have an engine and isn't even a <Life Master> and I can see that! This was what I couldn't understand: the line Black played is obviously very bad for him, but a strong master played right into it? Maybe this was time trouble, because Black had other tries like 34...Bd8, as others have mentioned.

Why do you waste our time regurgitating what Fritzie tells you and is as plain as plain can be? Go back to your engine, tell yourself how great you are and tell the world after that (for the 100th time today).

Nov-26-11  morfishine: <ajile> Very nice post! Between what you and <Life Master Aj> have provided, I think we can conclude that Tal was right all along, and no doubt, planned this far in advance
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <King Death> <JoergWalter> I haven't seen A.J. say anything insulting or self-congratulatory lately. Absent something of that nature, I would try to be as civil to him as you would to anyone else.

34...Rxc6 was obviously a lemon, so it's strange that Vooremaa played it. As you (King Death) say, maybe he was in time pressure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White certainly looked in trouble with the queen trapped-instead he ends AHEAD in material-a rook,two pieces,and three pawns to be exact.
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