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Leonid Stein vs Mikhail Tal
"Thus Spoke Zakharovich" (game of the day Aug-01-2022)
3rd Soviet Team Cup (1961), Moscow URS, rd 3, Dec-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0



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Given 17 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-22-13  vasja: Why not 30 Rxc5 ?
Aug-29-13  Conrad93: Vasja, nothing is wrong with 30. Rxc5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The fur was flying in this game. This game was called "a violent Sicilian" Is there any other kind? (Obviously I mean the opening and not the ethnic group)
Mar-16-14  Conrad93: Make this GOTD please.
Jan-06-15  Sally Simpson: HI morfishine,

"Stein plays like Tal in this game: every move answered smoothly and crisply."

Because an 'astonished' Stein was following Tal's analysis which he had recommended when noting up a previous game. Tal had simply forgotten his own notes and walked into his own sacricial analysis!

'The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal." (page 230)

Tal does not mention the original game but it was possibly this game, played a year earlier, that Tal added notes to suggesting the continuation that Stein played in analysis.

Tal vs M Johansson Sr, 1960

or it may have been:

Tal vs A Kolarov, 1957

When Tal states in 'Life and Games' that the sac on move 10 may not be correct with best play. He may have noted up other variations in some Russian magazine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally Simpson> From the book <Leonid Stein> by Gufeld and Lazarev (Moscow 1980), it may have been Ivkov vs Petrosian, 1961, which was a short, possibly prearranged draw. Afterwards, says the book, Keres demonstrated that Black could have refuted the attack played in that game with 14....b4. Tal's key recommendation in the line played in this game, the recommendation he forgot, was 14.Qg4. I'm pretty sure Stein was on his own after 14....0-0-0, so credit to him for a very pretty attack.
Mar-24-15  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

Possibly a wee bit of trepidation going on in Stein's mind as he was getting closer to move 14 and trying to figure what improvement Tal up his sleeve,

Meanwhile on the other side of the board Tal is possibly thinking:

"Hmmm....I think I've seen this somewhere before....never mind, I'll look it up after the game."

Aug-27-15  Ulhumbrus: After 17 Nd5!! ed 18 ed threatens the triple fork Nc6 attacking simultaneously the three targets Black's queen on a5, Black's rook on d8 and Black's bishop on e7. Black is able to move only one of these pieces with his reply
Mar-23-18  Retireborn: Convekta and Russbase both put this game in December 1961, as part of the final of the USSR team cup in Moscow; the top boards were effectively a 6-player rr between Geller, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Stein, Petrosian, and Tal.

Stein was playing for "Avangard" and Tal for "Daugava". I must admit I have never understood what these Soviet team names (Trud, Burevestnik, Spartak etc) actually represent. Well, apart from Geller (Soviet Army) of course.

Jun-04-20  carpovius: <Retireborn> Avangard - Vanguard, Daugava - a river in Latvia, Trud - Labor, Burevestnik - Petrel, Spartak - Spartacus, CSKA - Central Sport Club of Soviet Army etc.
Jun-04-20  Retireborn: <carpovius> Thanks. I knew somebody would tell me, if I just waited a couple of years :)
Mar-10-21  Whitehat1963: Excellent and super sharp tactical melee!
Oct-29-21  Chesgambit: 10.Bd5!! Tal missed this move
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: If I were Tal I would have been strongly tempted to play 13...e5 14. Qxf6 exd4 15. Qxh8 dxc3 16. bxc3 Nxe4. (If 17. f3, then 17...O-O-O, and now not 18. fxe4 because of Bh6+).

Especially if I were Tal.

Aug-01-22  newzild: <al wazir> If you were Tal, you might have been tempted to avoid 13...e5 14. Qxf6 exd4 15. e5! d5 16. e6
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Some discussion above about 30. Rxc5

Computer actually recommends Nd8+.

click for larger view

White to move

1) +8.49 (41 ply) 30.Nd8+ Ka7 31.Rxc5 dxc5 32.Nc6+ Kb7 33.Qc3 cxd4 34.Nxd4 Rbxd5 35.Qxb2+ Kc8 36.Qc3+ Rc7 37.Qh3+ Kd8 38.Qf3 Rd6 39.Qf4 Rcd7 40.c3 f5 41.Kc2 h6 42.Qxf5 Rb7 43.Qe4 Rc7 44.Qa8+ Rc8 45.Qb7 Rc7 46.Qe4 Rg6 47.Qf5 Ke7 48.Qe5+ Kd8 49.h4 Kd7 50.Kd3 Kc8 51.Qe8+ Kb7 52.Qd8 Rb6 53.Kc2 Rc8 54.Qd5+ Ka7 55.Qxf7+ Rb7 56.Qe6 Rf8 57.Qe3 Kb8 58.Kd3 Rb6 59.Ne6 Rxe6 60.Qxe6

2) +8.49 (40 ply) 30.Rxc5 dxc5 31.Qc3 cxd4 32.Nxd4 Rbxd5 33.Qxb2+ Kc8 34.Qc3+ Rc7 35.Qh3+ Rcd7 36.Nb3 a5 37.Nxa5 Kc7 38.Qc3+ Kb6 39.Qb4+ Kc7 40.Nc4 Rd1+ 41.Kb2 h6 42.Qc5+ Kb8 43.Qf8+ Ka7 44.Na5 R1d5 45.Qc8 Kb6 46.Nc4+ Ka7 47.Qc6 Rd1 48.Na5 Kb8 49.Qxf6 R1d5 50.Qb6+ Kc8 51.Qa6+ Kb8 52.c4 Rd2+ 53.Kc3 Kc7 54.Qxh6 R2d3+ 55.Kb4 R3d6

3) +7.86 (40 ply) 30.Qa3 Qxa3 31.Rxa3 a5 32.Rxa5 Rxa5 33.Nxa5+ Kb6 34.Nb3 Re7 35.Kxb2 Re5 36.Rf4 Rxd5 37.Rxf6 Kc6 38.Rxf7 Rh5 39.h3 Rd5 40.Kc3 Rd1 41.g3 h5 42.Rf5 d5 43.Rf6+ Kd7 44.Nd4 Ke7 45.Rf4 Kd6 46.h4 Kc5 47.Nb3+ Kd6 48.Rf5 Rf1 49.Nd4 Rg1 50.Rxh5 Rg2 51.Rh6+ Kd7 52.Nf5 Rxf2 53.Rd6+ Kc7

Aug-01-22  goodevans: <Chesgambit: 10.Bd5!! Tal missed this move>

SF's annotation is equally abrupt with <... better is 10.Bd5 ⩲ +0.66 (22 ply)> as if this move needs no further explanation. In fact 10.Bd5 b4 11.Bxa8 bxc3 is pretty complicated but is now known to theory (e.g. Giri vs V Gashimov, 2012) with the results actually favouring Black just slightly.

As for the rest of the game, brilliant.

Aug-01-22  Viking707: Tal may have been a hard drinker, but far worse for his health was his chain smoking. In the end, I believe his health problems kept him from consistently playing the highest level of chess he was capable of.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Today's pun means I'm going to have to park - permanently, one hopes - <Thus Smoke Harriet Houska> for H Hunt vs J Houska, 1999.
Aug-01-22  Shangri La: Slow Monday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Who's Zakharovich?
Aug-01-22  goodevans: <FSR> From the start of his biography:

"Leonid Stein

(born Nov-12-1934, died Jul-04-1973, 38 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality Russia)

Leonid Zakharovich Stein was born in (the) Ukraine..."

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Thanks, <goodevans>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 17...exd5 seems to be a bit too cooperative. Why not 17...Bf8 at first?
Aug-01-22  Open Defence: < Honza Cervenka: 17...exd5 seems to be a bit too cooperative. Why not 17...Bf8 at first?> the engine annotated PGN also suggests 17...Bf8

I tried to make 17...Rdg8 work...

but after

18.Qh5 I dont think Black has anything better than 18...exd5 which is followed by 19.Qxd5+ Kc8 20.Nf5 (if 20.Qxf7 then 20..Bf8)

And now

20...Qc7 21.Qxf7 Re8

When I think White is better but not as better as in the game, still I doubt Tal would like a position like this

click for larger view

I am tempted to say Black can hold...but it would take someone like Korchnoi instead of Tal?

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