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Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Ironed Logician" (game of the day Mar-22-2011)
Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1961), Moscow URS, rd 8, Mar-31
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation. Botvinnik-Carls Defense (B12)  ·  1-0



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Given 64 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-28-11  DrMAL: Curious about what black could do, I stuck this on Rybka 4.1 after 26.Rc2 and got the following evaluation:

[+1.87] d=21 26...b6 27.Ra2 Bc5 28.g3 h5 29.Ra6 Re4 30.Nb3 Rb4 31.Nfd4 Kc7 32.Ra7+ Kd8 (line truncated here)

Seems black's best plan was to first try and close the game with b6 and Bc5, then move the king back to the center.

Sep-28-11  SugarDom: If i'm not mistaken, i submitted this pun...
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Were they having pun contests in 1961?
May-09-12  SamAtoms1980: Put it all together:

29.Nd7+ Bxd7 30.cxd7 Rd8 31.Rc8+ Rxc8 32.Ra8+!! Kxa8 33.dxc8=Q+ and wins;

29.Nd7+ Kc7 30.b6+ followed by 31.cxb7 and wins.

White's weak back rank means that he has to execute precisely.

May-09-12  Dr. J: I might get 7/7 this week. It's helpful knowing the answers in advance.
May-09-12  El Trueno: Well the solution is c7 then black must take the pawn with his rook and after that Ra2.. ;)
May-09-12  El Trueno: Well my solution wasn't used.. But I think it would take out black's bishop at least
May-09-12  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy" White to play 29.?
White is a pawn short and has a Knight for a Bishop.

It will be an interesting check by the Knight:


<if...Bxd7 30.cxd7 Rxc2 31.d8=Q+ Rc8 32.Qd6+ Rc7 33.b6 and Rook falls>
Other line is:

29.Nd7+ Kc7
30.b6+ Kd8
31.cxb7 Rxc2
32.b8=Q+ Kxd7
33.Qa7+ Kc6
34.Qc7+ Kb5
Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I've seen this position before, and as I recall White wins with some sort of forced mate on a8 - but I can't remember it or figure it out. (I looked at 29.c7+ Rxc7 30.Rca2 Rc5 31.b6 Ra4!) So I'm going with the "dual" 29.Nd7+! Kc7 (29...Bxd7 30.cxd7 Rd8 31.Rc8+! Rxc8 32.Ra8+ Kxa8 33.dxc8(Q)+ Ka7 34.Qc5+ and 35.Qxd4 wins) 30.b6+ Kd6 31.cxb7 Rd8 32.Rc8 (even better than 32.b8(Q)) and wins.
May-09-12  sevenseaman: An extra P! To do what?

First thoughts: Tal was all guts, leaving the door open to a back rank mate so late. Whatever plan he has in mind, it has to be a decisive one.

<29. Nd7+> looks to be a spanner in Black's works. If he tries to use the B to take this N, <30. cxd7> (gives Black the chance to grab the c2 R but...) he has to contend with the killing c8=Q+.

Black will have to play 30...Rd8 and the game slips through his quaking fingers thus;

<31. Rc8+ Rxc8 32. Ra8+> and Tal gets his Q. 1-0.

To illustrate;

32...Kxa8 33. dxc8Q+ ka7 34. Qc5+ b6 35. Qxd4 and no hurdle to a remorseless win.

Resignation time?

Hmmm...Botvinnik was a super GM, so I'll wager on <29. Nd7+> 1-0.

He could possibly be having a lazy day, so latest by <31. Rc8+>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: So much for my memory - the solution is just 29.Nd7+.
May-09-12  sevenseaman: Well <FSR> I too find an old comment of mine in the game. (It is well nigh impossible that a game of this stature would have escaped me). But as long as I do not remember I'll give it a shot.

So what is "Ironed Logician"? Your pun?

May-09-12  Abdel Irada: Too many cooks?

There are two apparent winning lines here: the one that was presumably actually played and a less spectacular alternative, although the latter leads to an exchange-up ending that is theoretically trivial but may present some hurdles in practice.

1) 29. ♘d7+, ♗xd7 (29. ...♔c7?; 30. b6+, ♔ moves; 31. cxb7 ); 30. cxd7, ♖d8 (30. ...♖xc2?; 31. d8=♕+ ); 31. ♖c8+, ♖xc8; 32. ♖a8+, ♔xa8 (32. ...♔c7?; 33. dxc8=♕+ ); 33. c8=♕+

2) 29. c7+, ♖xc7; 30. ♖ca2, ♖c8 (the best of several rook moves); 31. ♖a8+ (not 31. b6?, ♖a4!, when black holds thanks to the back-rank mate threat), ♔c7; 32. ♖c1+, ♖c4; 33. ♖xc8+, ♔xc8; 34. ♘xc4, dxc4; 35. ♖xc4+ ±

Mind you, I've gotten a total of two hours' sleep over the past two days, so I may have missed something. If I have, I hope someone will point it out to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <sevenseaman: ... Not my pun. Botvinnik was the "Iron Logician," but here Tal "ironed" (flattened) him.
May-09-12  gofer: Part of me want to remove my back-rank mate threats with <29 g3> my position seems really pretty good, but I think that that will allow black to wriggle out of a losing position <29 ... bxc6>, so we have to find something that is forcing and continues to check the king if we decide that Ra1 must come into play!

<29 Nd7+ ...>

29 ... Bxd7
30 cxd7 ...

30 ... Rc4
31 Rxc4 dxc4
32 Ra8+

30 ... Rd8/Rf8/Rg8/Rh8
31 Rc8+ Rxc8
32 Ra8+

<29 ... Kc7>
<30 b6+ Kd6>
<31 cxb7 ...>

31 ... Rd8 32 Rc8

<31 ... Rb8>
<32 Nxb8>

Black can resign <33 Nd7> is coming whatever happens and from there <34 b8=Q> is unavoidable.

May-09-12  morfishine: <29.Nd7+>
May-09-12  ferrabraz: I prefer 29. ...Bd7 30. cd7 Rd8 31. b6! Rd7 (31...Rb4 32 Ra8 and 33 Rc8) 32. Rca2 and 33. Ra8 # (the Rook on d7 takes an escape square)
May-09-12  lost in space: After 29. Nd7+ I see no defence for Black
May-09-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a N for B+P, but black's doubled extra pawn is meaningless and white's advanced pawns are dangerous, supported by active white pieces that are putting the BK under lethal pressure. The first forcing move I looked at was


and it works well:

A) 29... Bxd7 30.cxd7 Rd8 (Rxc2 31.d8=Q+ Rc8 32.Ra8+! etc) 31.Rc8+! Rxc8 32.Ra8+ Kxa8 33.dxc8=Q+ Ka7 34.Qc5+ 1-0

B) 29... Kc7 30.b6+ kd6 (or Kd8) 31.cxb7 Rxc2 (Rd8 32.b8=Q wins) 32.b8=Q+ Ke7 (Kxd7 33.Ra7+) 33.Ne5 wins.

The other forcing move of interest is flawed: 29.c7+? Rxc7 30.Rca2 Rc5 31.b6 Ra4!32.Rxa4 Bxa4 and the back rank problem costs white a vital tempo. Time for review...

May-09-12  mistreaver: Hmm, i hate this puzzles in so-called simple positions. My first thought was something like this:
29 Ne7+ Kc7 [...Bxe7 30.pxe7 wins]
30 b6+ Ke6
and now i couldn't find any promising continuations (seeing as cxb7 is answered by Rb8).

Then another line drew my atention:
29.b6 (to block black's king escape square) 29... Rxc6 30 Ra2.

I thought this should work, but i missed Ra6.
Now i returned to my first line, and i realized that b8 is defended with white knight.Therefore i would have played the line:

29 Ne7+ Kc7
30 b6+ Ke6
31 cxb7..
Let's check and see whether i got it.

May-09-12  mistreaver: Ah, glad i got it, i meant Nd7+ naturally
May-09-12  sevenseaman: <gofer: Part of me want to remove my back-rank mate threats with <29 g3> my position seems really pretty good, but I think that that will allow black to wriggle out of a losing position>

The difference between a good player and a slightly less so; one hangs the noose and the other hangs in the noose.

Dont you think that it is a strong hint that if Tal is leaving himself prone to a back rank mate, he must have a watertight plan in which the other player never gets a look in, nada tempo. Check, check, check ... it gotta go; and it did.

Mikhail Tal was a shark who ate up opposition for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

He is on top of the list of my favorites, remorseless. Fischer could have come close but he lost time on 'organizational' niceties. (A WC should never have to be tied down in 'office work'.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <29. Nd7+> and that's it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Abdel: 2) 29. c7+, xc7; 30. ca2, c8 (the best of several rook moves); 31. a8+ (not 31. b6?, a4!, when black holds thanks to the back-rank mate threat), c7; 32. c1+, c4; 33. xc8+, xc8; 34. xc4, dxc4; 35. xc4+ ±

Mind you, I've gotten a total of two hours' sleep over the past two days, so I may have missed something. If I have, I hope someone will point it out to me.>

A little easier win in that line is 29. c7+ Rxc7 30. Rca2 Rc8 31. Ra8+ Kc7 <32. b6+> Kxb6 33. Rxc8

May-09-12  Memethecat: 29Nd7+ Bxd7 (29...Kc7 30b6+ Kd8 31cxb7 Rxc2 32b8=Q+ should be enough)

30cxd7 Rxc2 (30...Rd8 31Rc8+ Rxc8 32Ra8+ Kxa8 33dxc8=Q+ Ka7 34Qc5+ K~ 35Qxd4)

31d8=Q+ Rc8 32Ra8+ Kxa8 33Qxc8+ Ka7 34Qc5+ K~ 35Qxd4

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