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Mikhail Tal vs Alexey Suetin
"Not Bad for a Dead Man!" (game of the day May-25-2008)
Goglidze Memorial (1969), Tbilisi, rd 11, Dec-30
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 31 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-25-08  newzild: This is a pretty routine game - even Ne6 is immediately obvious - until Tal sacs the queen. Then it's: "Hey, what the ..." Nice stuff, Mikail.
May-25-08  deadlysin: puzzle and a game of the day
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I remember calculating this combination/attack almost completely when it was the very very difficult problem of the day... I "saw" the mate using the Bs and the Q sac etc

but I got this opening mixed up in my mind just today when someone played the Taimanov (OTB) and I tried to play Bd3 trying to remember Tal's moves as I played it, but I went badly wrong - so many transpositions after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 etc - now I see it was in a Kan, not a Taimanov where Tal palyed it ...

May-25-08  Gameoverziggy: Isn't it a Taimanov when there is an early Qc7. Normally like a6 than Qc7
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Just looking at their games in print, I can't shake the thought that somehow certain players, like Tal and Morphy, had the ability to mesmerize their opponents. We can say "Suetin shoulda seen it comin'," but he didn't. How was Tal able to mystify his opponents? Wish I could!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Tal? Sac'ning the Q? Say it ain't so!!
May-25-08  DarthStapler: Amazing, added to my collection
May-25-08  Judah: Odd, from's post on the first page here it seems like this was already a game of the day with this pun?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great sacrifice revisited...thanks
Dec-21-08  Crocomule: 16. f5 "now begins a decisive attack, by helping the opponent to obtain an excellent 'central' defender, and - by planning in advance its elimination." MT
Jun-02-11  BishopofBlunder: I wonder how long Suetin looked at the position after 20.Qxe5 before recapturing. He had to know something was up.
May-22-12  Mudphudder: Damn...I'm a HUGE Tal fan and I don't know why I never came across this game.
Mar-11-13  copablanco: According to Fischer "He is always on the look-out
for some spectacular sacrifice.He is not so much interested in who has the better game, or in the essential soundness of his own games, but in finding that one shot, that dramatic breakthrough that will give him the win."
Sep-09-14  SpiritedReposte: <Suetin' Bullets>
Nov-27-14  gmelfranco: guao otra vez el sacrificio me sacÒ del cuadro epa!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: The majority of Tal's sacrifices were sound, despite what his detractors would have us believe. What had to be visualized was 20.Qxe5 dxe5 21.ef7+ Kd7 22.Bf5+ Kc6 23.Be4+ Nd5 24.Rxd5

click for larger view

White controls the d-file leaving the Black King fatally penned in; The only safe square for the Black King is <c7> currently occupied by the Black Queen.


Nov-27-14  Petrosianic: Why do you think that anyone who considers a Tal sacrifice unsound is a detractor? And when you say "majority", could you give a number? 60%? 75%? One game doesn't prove the statement.

Actually, although quite a few of Tal's sacrifices were unsound, a better word to describe them would be "speculative". Maybe sound, maybe not. But the question hadn't been settled at the time it was played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Petrosianic> Considering your statement <Actually, although quite a few of Tal's sacrifices were unsound> Care to be more precise regarding the phrase "quite a few"? No doubt, this ends up being in the minority, so ironically, I thank you for supporting my argument
Jul-06-15  RookFile: Different people may feel differently about this, but I think ...Bf6 and ...Bxc3 was a mistake from black. It's kind of nice to have a piece with black that can help defend the dark squares. My viewpoint is that you put the bishop on e7 and leave it there.
Nov-16-15  jerseybob: This whole system of playing the king knight to e7 works best when white allows the swap of knights and black moves the remaining knight to c6. With 7.Nb3! Tal announces he's having none of that, so black has to play 7..Ng6. But with 11.Qh5! Tal puts his finger on the main weakness: the queen can't be driven away. 12..Bc3 isn't a good move, but what a mess black's position is in, and all because of his "subtle" moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TerryMills: What would happen after 21 ..Kd7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <TerryMills> See the post by <who> on <Apr-22-05> above, which starts 21...Kd7 22. Bf5++ Kc6 23. Be4+ and White soon picks up most of Black's pieces.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <playground player: Just looking at their games in print, I can't shake the thought that somehow certain players, like Tal and Morphy, had the ability to mesmerize their opponents. We can say "Suetin shoulda seen it comin'," but he didn't. How was Tal able to mystify his opponents? Wish I could!>

There's a passage about that in Russian Silhouettes (although the author Sosonko says he doesn't believe it himself):

<When I [Sosonko] asked Kortchnoi about the secret of Tal's play, he retorted: "Well, you know, don't you? Once in a restaurant Tal said to me, 'If you want, I will look at that waiter and he will come up to us.'" Paul Benko thought similarly when he put on dark glasses in the 1959 candidates tournament as an inadequate defense against Tal's piercing eyes>.

I confess I have a hard time interpreting the phrase <I will look at that waiter and he will come up to us>. At first I thought, "So what, isn't that what waiters are supposed to do when you look at them?", but on further reflection I think it must mean:

1) "I will look at the back of his head or when he is absorbed in doing something else and I'll <will him> to come over here", or else, and this is possible but less likely:

2) Service was so bad in Soviet restaurants that waiters would usually run away as soon as they saw you looking at them, but they exceptionally obeyed Tal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: An early GOTD.

Tal had a remarkable positional sense to complement his tactical genius. He gets a nice versatile set-up with attacking chances right out of the opening.

<Actually, although quite a few of Tal's sacrifices were unsound, a better word to describe them would be "speculative". Maybe sound, maybe not. But the question hadn't been settled at the time it was played.>

You often hear the term "murky" regarding Tal brilliancies.

Sep-23-18  jabinjikanza: Tal great chess tactician
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