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Mikhail Tal vs Valery I Zilberstein
USSR Championship (1972), Baku URS, rd 8, Nov-27
Modern Defense: King Pawn Fianchetto (B06)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: This game is very interestingly annotated in Tal's My Life and Games. Reading it, I got the sense that, faced with Black's provocative opening, Tal couldn't help himself -- he had to sacrifice a pawn!
Jan-09-13  Novirasputin: It seems I just purchased the original scoresheet of this game for 190 bucks on ebay (it will be framed as a gift for somebody but i need to get a good picture of Zilberstein as well as Tal). It makes my day to know it was in Tal's book, and that he sacked something.
Jan-09-13  IndigoViolet: If it hadn't been used before (Speelman vs Sheriff El Assiouti, 1992) I'd have nominated the title <I shot the sheriff>.
Jan-10-13  Shams: It's not clear to me where the sheriff is hiding on this page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: My best guess is it's a reference to The Car, directed by Elliott Silverstein.
Jan-11-13  IndigoViolet: A pun requiring explication is another reason why I didn't submit it for public approval.

Unless greatly mistaken, Zilberstein was the cattle-rustling, sorry, chess-hustling Sheriff of New York's Central Park from Fred Waitzkin's <Searching for Bobby Fischer>. He's supposed to have beaten Tal back in the Soviet Union.

Jan-12-13  Shams: <IndigoViolet> I believe you are thinking of this player: Josif Israel Zilber

Didn't know he was called "the sheriff". Where I'm from, that nickname is reserved for one of the worst closers in the history of the local MLB team.

Jan-12-13  IndigoViolet: Ach so! The third and final reason for not submitting the pun with this game. Mea culpa.

Perhaps I should have checked Zilberstein's record on first. Although there is a hiatus between 1983 and 1988, it does seem unlikely that Zilber would disappear from Central Park only to emigrate back to the USSR.

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