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Mikhail Tal vs Miguel Najdorf
"Promises Kept" (game of the day Jun-02-2018)
Leipzig Olympiad Final-A (1960), Leipzig GDR, rd 6, Nov-02
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation (B80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-13-02  refutor: Interesting anecdote about this game from "Chess to Enjoy" by Andrew Soltis, Chess Life, October 2000

"A few hours before the USSR-Argentina match in the finals of the 1960 Olympiad team tournament, Mikhail Tal was eating his lunch and musing about his game with Miguel Najdorf. Tal had drawn with Najdorf in 12 moves with the Black pieces in the preliminaries, but this time the Latvian was due to have White. While Tal and his second, Alexander Koblentz, were eating at the Astoria Hotel, Najdorf stopped by their table, smiled at the then-world champion - and dared him to try to be Mikhail Tal that afternoon. "I'll accept all your sacrifices," Najdorf said, according to Koblentz. "Remember, I fought successfully with Capablanca and Alekhine!" "I will be bound to sacrifice," Tal replied. "I hope you keep your promise." "

And this gem was the result :)

Dec-13-02  Vilkacis: He asked for it!
Jan-14-04  Benjamin Lau: This game is actually rather funny after you read the anecdote as Najdorf does NOT accept all of Tal's sacrifices (i.e. Najdorf wisely declines to bite after 22. Bf6) and Tal doesn't really give the poor guy a choice to decline earlier sacs either with forcing moves like 21. Rxe4! I guess the two were just joking, or maybe meant "unclear sacrifices," as opposed to "if you take my bishop, then you die sacs." Lol, an interesting game.
May-17-04  chessdr: I hate when these guys resign and I don't see why. Do you think they often resign "on intuition"?

Anyway, after much calculation, this is the closest I can get:

I. 26. ... Qg5, after which there is the interesting 27. Nxf7! Then: (A) 27. ... Kxf7, 28. Qxh7+ Kf8, 29. Bd6+ Re7, 30. f6 Bxd4+ (best of a bad lot), 31. Kh1 Bxf6, 32. Bxe7+ Ke8, 33. Bxf6 Qc5 (stops mate), 34. Qg8+ picks up the rook as well. (B) 27. ... Qg8, 28. Qh6+ Ke7, 29. Qd6+ and mates.

II. 26. ... Qc6, 27. Qh5 (I think) and then:
(A) 27. ... Qd7 (or Qb7) 28. Bd6+ and even I can figure out the checkmates, (B) 27. ... Rd7, 28. f6 Rb7, 29. Qg5 Ke8, 30. Qg8+ Kd7, 31. Qxf7+ Kd8, 32. Qg8+ and white comes out a piece up after 32. ... Qe8 33. f7, or 32. ... Kd7, 33. Qxa8. (C) 27. ... Ke7, and I still haven't solved for a win. White has all kinds of threats after 28. Qxf7+ or 28. Nxf7+ or 28. Qg5+ or 28. f6+ but I still don't know how to finish. Maybe 27. Qh5 is wrong, but then what is right?

I bet Najdorf resigned on intuition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <chessdr> Tal's 100 Best Games gives 26...♕c6; 27.♕g3 ♕xh6; 28.♗d6+ ♖e7; 29.♗xe7+ ♔xe7; 30.♕e5+ and wherever the King moves a Queen check at d5 or h8 will pick up the a8 Rook.
May-17-04  Jim Bartle: Having read a fair amount about both players, the pre-game banter isn't surprising. Tal and Najdorf may be the two most personally popular players ever.
May-18-04  chessdr: Thanks Benzol, 27. Qg3 looks strong and simple. Besides your line, after 27. ... Ke7, 28. Qg7, and who can hold out against Tal in a position like that?
Nov-29-09  jmboutiere: 26.f5 + 2.24 Rybka 3
26...Qg5.27.Bd6 Re7 28.Be7 Ke7 29 f6 Ke8 30. Nf7 Kf7 31 Qd7 K g8 32. f7 + 14.8 Rybka 3
26...Qc6 27.Qh5 Qc4 28.Bd6 Rd6 29.Rd1 Bd4 30.Kh1 f6 31.b3 Qd5 32. Rd4 Qb3 33.Qg4 + 9.55
Aug-13-12  Francium: I suppose 24. ... Rxe5 and Najdorf could go on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Benzol: <chessdr> Tal's 100 Best Games gives 26...♕c6; 27.♕g3 ♕xh6; 28.♗d6+ ♖e7; 29.♗xe7+ ♔xe7; 30.♕e5+ and wherever the King moves a Queen check at d5 or h8 will pick up the a8 Rook.>

Stockfish reveals that 27.Qg3 is a blunder that would have allowed Najdorf to turn the game around with 27....Rxe5 28.Qxe5 f6!. The engine thinks 27.Qh5 Qc4 28.Bd6+ Re7 29.Rd1 is winning, but its favorite move is 27.Kh1.

In <chessdr>'s line after 26....Qc6 27.Qh5 Ke7, the engine favorite is 28.Nxf7 Kd7 29.f6. Not so easy for a human (even Tal!) to find. Maybe Najdorf should have played a little longer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < refutor: Interesting anecdote about this game from "Chess to Enjoy" by Andrew Soltis, Chess Life, October 2000

... Najdorf said, according to Koblentz. "Remember, I fought successfully with Capablanca and Alekhine!" "I will be bound to sacrifice," Tal replied. "I hope you keep your promise." "

And this gem was the result :) >

Thank you, <refutor> for this interesting anecdote!

Jun-02-18  reti: I think Bobby Fischer was more to the point to Najdorf: "I will beat you in less than 20 moves." Or was it Tal? I do not remember now.
Jun-02-18  cormier: 1. e4 Notes by Stockfish 8 v270317 (minimum 60s/ply) 1... c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cd4 4. Nd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be3 a6 7. f4 b5 8. Qf3 Bb7 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. O-O Be7 11. a3 O-O better is 11...Rc8 12.Rad1 Rxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Bd2 O-O 15.Rde1 Nc5 = -0.38 (32 ply) 12. Qh3 = +0.18 (32 ply) after 12.Rad1 Nc5 13.g4 g6 14.g5 Nfd7 15.Be2 e5 16.fxe5 dxe5 12... Qc7 13. Rae1 Nc5 14. Bf2 d5? 14...Rfe8 15.Kh1 Rad8 16.Nb3 Nfd7 17.Qg3 e5 18.Be3 Bf6 = -0.35 (30 ply) 15. ed5 + / = +0.70 (34 ply)
Jun-02-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4

23.Ne7+ Kh8 24.Nxc6 gxf6 25.Qd7 Kg7 26.Nxa7 Rfd8 27.Qg4+ Kf8 28.Nc6 Rd6 29.Rc1 Re8 30.Kf2 Rd5 31.Qh4 Kg7 32.Ke3 Rd6 33.f5 Rd5 34.Rc5 Rd7 35.Qg4+ Kh8 36.d5 Rb7 37.d6 Rd7 38.Qf4 Rg8 39.g4 Kg7 40.Kxe4 Rc8 41.Rc1 a5 42.Kd5 a4 43.Qd4 + - (12.73) Depth: 20

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Tal makes it seem so effortless!
Jun-02-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4

16...exd5 17.Nf5 Rfe8 18.Rxe7 Rxe7 19.Qg3 Ne8 20.Nxe7+ Qxe7 21.Re1 Qd6 22.Ne2 Nf6 23.Nd4 Bc8 24.f5 Qxg3 25.Bxg3 Bd7 26.Kf2 Re8 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 28.Ke3 f6 29.Be1 Kf7 30.Bb4 g6 31.fxg6+ hxg6 32.h3 g5 33.g4 + / = (0.63) Depth: 25

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: hey, a deal's a deal!
Jun-02-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4: d 25 dpa done

1. = / + (-0.31): 14...h6 15.Nb3 Rad8(T) 16.Re3 Kh8 17.Ree1 Rg8 18.Nxc5 dxc5 19.e5 Nd5 20.Nxd5 Bxd5 21.Be2 c4 22.Rd1 Qc6 23.Bh5 f6 24.Qg3 Be4 25.Bf3 fxe5 26.fxe5 Rxd1 27.Rxd1 Rf8 28.Bxe4 Qxe4 29.Rd7 Bg5 30.Bc5

2. = / + (-0.31): 14...Rad8 15.Nb3 h6

Nov-03-19  Ricosupercapo: Miguel Najdorf was known to be a teller of tall tales. This seems to be borne out regarding his boast to Tal about "having battled successfully against Alyekhin and Capablanca". This database does not contain any game between Najdorf and Alyekhin, and only one between Najdorf and Capablanca. And that game was an encounter that by Najdorf's own admission he was rather lucky in saving. If you look at that game in this database you will find Najdorf's own background story.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Ricosupercapo> <This database does not contain any game between Najdorf and Alyekhin>

See Alekhine vs Makarczyk / Najdorf, 1935

Aug-16-22  MarianoFreyre: Amazing game. I love That Bh4 and Rxe4� Bf6��

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