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Lev Polugaevsky vs Mikhail Tal
"Beat Noire" (game of the day Jul-08-2021)
Riga Interzonal (1979), Riga URS, rd 2, Sep-06
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  0-1



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Given 12 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Rdf3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-10-14  Petrosianic: <keypusher>: <Well, maybe. This game was his first win over Polugaevsky in 20 years. Polu had beaten him five times in between. Seems like Polugaevsky was just a bad matchup for him, as Korchnoi was.>

Yes, and if you look at their lifetime records, it's +8-2=25 for Polugaevsky. I actually like Tal, (everybody likes Tal), he's one of my favorite players. But like Fischer, he seems to attract a certain class of fanbase that makes excuses for ALL his defeats.

Feb-27-19  Antonin1957: Well, while playing this one through I was able to predict 24...Nd3.
Apr-14-19  siggemannen: Wasn't something like 12.Nh3 better? To protect f2 and free up the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <siggemannen>
12. Nf3 is to cover the d4 square. Black's position looks great after 12. Nh3 Nc6, but I don't have any precise calculations of it ;-)
Jul-13-19  areknames: I was fascinated by this game when I first came across it and I still am almost 40 years on.
Nov-09-19  Albion 1959: Only the second win for Tal against Polugaevsky. His first one was in 1959 and had to wait 29 years for his second one! Only Tal could play a game like this. Carlsen couldn't do this, nor could Fischer! All done on pure intuition and some calculation. Move 17.Nb5?? was bad, he had to challenge the knight on d3 by Ne1. It means giving back the pawn, but in return white gets some piece play. After Tal's 17th move Qxc4! The attack is too strong, from which there was no escape:
Mar-12-21  carpovius: In any googol variations 20...Nxf2 is the winning move. Magic as it is!
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Looking at 21. Rxf2 again, stockfish gives 21. ...Rxf2+ 22. Rxf2+ Kxf2 23. Rf8+, and the only way white avoids mate is giving up a knight with 23...Nf5.

A big weakness in white's position is the bishop still sitting on c1, preventing the queen's rook from protecting the first rank.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The point of the pun appears to be that Polugaevsky was Tal's "b?te noir", with a lifetie score of +8 -2 =22 against the "Black Beast."

so perhapds Tal vs Polugaevsky, 1959 would have been a better choice of games, though it's hard to argue with this one.

Jun-23-21  shishio71: This game is absolute madness... I LOVE IT
Jun-23-21  Schwartz: Maybe just 10.Qb3, it makes sense on initial impression; transitioning abstractly. I wonder why Lev Polugaevsky chose another way, is the endgame analyzable?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Why, Tal, why?! Why couldn't you have taken better care of yourself?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: This opening is a mess. Just look at the position after move 13. I don't think I'd want to play either side of the board, although I have a tall preference for black's position - despite being down materially (couldn't pass up the pun!). Black has a somewhat ready made pawn attack on the kingside - which is exactly what Tal did. Black's king is in a safer position and is not in the way of his rook. Black has that knight posted up on d6 which is a killer.
Jun-23-21  paavoh: Thanks <PB> for pointing the other game out, that would have been an equally good choice. And you were correct about "bete noire".
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: he beat his bete.
Jun-23-21  Ironmanth: Onslaught! Thanks, chessgames! Y'all stay safe out there today, and have a great Summer.
Jun-23-21  dhotts: Amazing how Tal found most all of the best moves during this complicated attack after 19...g4. Often times one can start an attack only to "not" make one important move and end up losing. Tal's 22...Qa4 was a critical move that is hard to find in such a complex position. Once it is played, it makes complete sense, but difficult to spot.
Jul-08-21  Brenin: We're captive on the carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look
Behind, from where we came
And go round and round and round, in the circle game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Folks, if you're not happy with the repeated GOTDs, I suggest you post a note at User: If you don't do that, they many not even be aware there is a problem and it will never get fixed.
Jul-08-21  areknames: AFAIC this magnificent game could be GOTD every day of the year, and well done to <paavoh> for a delightfully droll pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: "Beat Noire?" But Noire *won*.

Maybe it should have been "bet Noire."

Jul-08-21  vermapulak: It takes "20 Years" for Tal to win over Polugaevsky after his first win on 1959.
Jul-08-21  Ironmanth: Misha always threw heavy stuff, and often got away with it! RIP, GM Tal. Y'all stay safe out there today, and play often, well, and fairly.
Jul-08-21  siggemannen: Isn't bete noire something like a nemesis you always lose against. In that case at least the pun makes sense (not that the pun is all that great)
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <siggemannen: Isn't bete noire something like a nemesis you always lose against....>

Indeed it is.

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