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Mikhail Tal vs Leonov
"Know It Tal" (game of the day Nov-02-2010)
Riga (1949), Riga URS
Caro-Kann Defense: Exchange Variation (B13)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-17-05  Chopin: What a beautiful mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Sacriflex: Now here is a perfect example of classic sacriflexive activity. After the artificial 21....Be8 Tal was so ready to sacrifice he was about to pop. In a position like this it's not a question of IF but WHERE.> This is aslightly distorted view of thegaem - this is a fairly standard attacking method - Karpov coulda dn probably would have carried out such an attack in the same way - there is no 'wanting to sacrifice' -although that is great stuff - it is a fact that this is a thematic procedure for opening up the King-side to attack. This wasn't a very profound game that a strong club plalyer couldn't have played having studied a book on King-side attacks.

Of course Tal was great tactician and a great player - no doubt of that.

Jan-22-06  SniperOnG7: <Petrocephalon>'s point was fantastic. I myself was wondering why on earth Tal retreated the rook and if so why play it in the first place also.

The prelude to the all out kingside assault was 12. Ne5 as it prevents Black's counterplay down the e-file after e6-e5 and incarcerates Black's bishop. Im speaking the obvious but I was wondering why Leonov did not play 12...Nd7 with the followup of 13...f6 (eg after 13. f4) and threatening 14...e5. I reckon this would have been a better plan as it releases all black's pieces. In addtion, i think Leonov had the time to do this as White's remaining pieces were not developed yet.

Mar-13-06  Knight13: Too much for the f6 square.
Mar-25-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: A very instructive game on how to exploit the 'weak square'.
Apr-11-06  dakgootje: Very nice played by Tal, especially if you look at how young he still was at the time
May-24-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: Wow,you're right he was 13 yo!
Jul-25-06  Hannibal: Was 5...h6 necessary for black? What's the idea behind that move?

by the way, beutiful knight's Tal movements: b1-->a3-->c2-->e3-->g4-->Nf6+!!

Dec-22-06  Nikita Smirnov: I have a question.What was Leonovs first name?
Dec-22-06  Albertan: <Nikita Smirnov: I have a question.What was Leonovs first name?>

Hi Nikita, I believe Lenov's first name is Alexei. According to my research he went on to become a cosmonaut in the Soviet Space Program, and was the first astronaut to walk in space (on March 8,1965)

"A decade later Leonov was part of the first joint-nation space project, Apollo-Soyuz in July 1975. He and crewmate Valeriy Kubasovin docked Soyuz 19 to Apollo 18, the U.S. craft manned by Vance Brand, Deke Slayton, and Thomas P. Stafford. Leonov was named Hero of the Soviet Union upon his return. He later served as commander of the cosmonaut team (1976-82) and deputy director of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. At present Leonov chairs an investment corporation in Moscow. He is also regarded as an accomplished artist and his work has been exhibited and published." (source:

Dec-22-06  Nikita Smirnov: Thanks for your help my friend.
Dec-26-06  Albertan: <Nikita Smirnov: Thanks for your help my friend.>

Your welcome my friend I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.

Dec-31-06  Nikita Smirnov: Same to you!
Oct-29-07  Zorts: What happens if 23.gxf6? Is that better for black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Tal's 19. Rf6! is a nice obstruction move. However, is it a forced win?
Jun-30-08  hpavlo: It's interesting, that an interview that I've just read with Tal says this game took place in 1948, not 1949... I've had trouble finding the game because of that, as a matter of fact.
Oct-17-08  ForeverYoung: The position after 18 ... Qe8 would make an excellent exercise in practicing Kotov's tree of analysis. I was looking at this position the other day (I just started playing through The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal) and shuffled the wood after 19 Rf6! It confirmed what others have posted here about Black being right to decline the rook offer.
May-07-09  MikedaSnipe: I found this game and worked out the tactics for an hour before I finally found every winning line. Tal is just ridiculous. Even when I error checked with a computer it took it about 30 seconds to calculate that the rook shouldn't be taken (couldn't see Bxh7+)
Jun-25-09  smalldreams: Tal is always fun to watch. I love how the queen's knight takes five moves and marches all the way to the other side of the board just to commit a strategically important suicide.
Jun-29-09  KASTILOWSKY: That combinational motif its called Alekhine Block
Sep-25-09  twoinchgroup: This is aslightly distorted view of thegaem - this is a fairly standard attacking method - Karpov coulda dn probably would have carried out such an attack in the same way - there is no 'wanting to sacrifice' -although that is great stuff - it is a fact that this is a thematic procedure for opening up the King-side to attack. This wasn't a very profound game that a strong club plalyer couldn't have played having studied a book on King-side attacks.

Richard you are exactly right...Vucovic's the Art of Attack in Chess is just such a book that would tell you that the position (white pawn on e5 and etc) is ripe for an attack against blacks weakest point the g7 square. The WAY Tal proceeded betrayed his brilliance even at such a young age.

Sep-28-09  tivrfoa: <Hannibal: ... by the way, beautiful knight's Tal movements> that's exactly what I would say. He played a3, so he could reach f6. Fantastic!!!
Jul-14-10  JIRKA KADLEC: 19. Rf6!! gxf6 20. Bxh7! ( 20.exf6? Nxf6 21.Qxh6 Ne4 22.Bxe4 f5!).
Jul-16-10  Damianx: So sweet i had to watch 3 times
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: In "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal," he says

<My first serious tournament was the Riga Youth Championship. At that time I had a fourth category rating,... It was a pretty low rating, but according to some unofficial data I was considered to be a promising player, and I was allowed into the Championship.>

He started the tournament 3/3, including this game.

<... Incidentally, it was one of my first three starting wins which first appeared in print, in the All-Union youth magazine "Zatyeynik.">

He calls 19.Rf6! "An impeding sacrifice, by which White prevents 28...P-B4, while threatening 29...RxRP." (The book doesn't give the complete score, so the move numbering is an error.)

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