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Bukhuti Gurgenidze vs Mikhail Tal
"Don't Talk Buk to Me" (game of the day Aug-18-2013)
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 18, Feb-16
Benoni Defense: Classical Variation. Czerniak Defense (A78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <aaronv1> As <Boomie> notes above, 14.Bxg4 Bxg4 15.Nc4 was stronger, when White maintains some advantage, though I don't believe that it's quite so great as his note suggests.

The curious thing about this game is how Gurgenidze appeared to have his sense of danger let him down; I don't believe any strong master today would have let the black steed remain at g4 for one moment, though the final outcome of Black's attack can hardly be foreseen.

Oct-08-11  King Sacrificer: Come on guys.
How can Gurgenidze know Nxf2 would bring so much trouble in the end? Black had a reasonable defensive position there and he must have thought he can cope with the sac. This game is annotated by Josh Waitzkin in Chessmaster. Big respect to Tal after watching it.
I wonder if anyone can dare to make that sac against h3 today.
Dec-15-11  mooseheadchris: Amazing. But, I'm sure that Tal saw the 13-move win when he played 14... Nxf2!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Sasi173: What is the winning line after 28.Kd1??>

In <Advanced Chess Tactics>, by Psakhis, Lev, Quality Chess UK Ltd. ©2011, at page 21, GM Psakhis writes of the final position: “Black has various ways of winning; if he wants to have a little fun, he can go in for <28.Kd1 Rxe3 29.Rxe3 Qg1+ 30.Re1 Qf2 31.Kc1 Bb3 32.Qc3 Qxe1+ 33.Bxe1 Rd1#>."

Jun-26-12  reisanibal: A real masterpiece by Tal. A wonderful attack. This game should definitely be on Tal's notable games.
Oct-20-12  DrGridlock: Komodo gives a significant advantage to white after 14 Bxg4 (the easiest way to get rid of black's intrusive knight):

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit (depth=21):

1. ² (0.70): 14.Bxg4 Bxg4 15.Nc4 Qf6 16.Be3 Rad8 17.Qd2 Qe7 18.Bf4 f6 19.f3 Bc8 20.Nb5 Nxb5 21.axb5 Qc7 22.Re3 Qe7 23.Rea3 Rd7 24.Bh6 Qf7 25.Bxg7 Qxg7 26.Qf4 Red8 27.Qe3 Qf7 28.Qh6

Chasing (14 h3) instead of capturing (14 Bxg4) the knight leads to an advantage for Black:

click for larger view

1. ³ (-0.33): 14...Nxf2 15.Nf3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Nxe4 17.Bd3 Nf6 18.Rxe8+ Nfxe8 19.Bg5 f6 20.Bxg6 hxg6 21.Qxg6+ Ng7 22.Bxf6 Qf8 23.Re1 Bxh3 24.Bxg7 Qxg7 25.Qxg7+ Kxg7 26.Re7+ Kf6 27.Rxc7 Rg8 28.Ne1 Bf5 29.Rxa7 Ke5 30.Rf7

White's best defense is not to take black's knight after its intrusion to f2, but to regroup his pieces for a kingside defense (line given above). The king capture on f2 leads to the disastrous game continuation, which Komodo evaluates at black's move 15 as:

click for larger view

1. (-1.52): 15...Bd4+ 16.Kf1 Qh4 17.Nd1 Bxh3 18.Bf3 Bg4 19.Ne3 Bxe3 20.Rxe3 Nxd5 21.Re1 Nf4 22.Qc3 d5 23.Qe3 Qh2 24.Qg1 Qg3 25.Bxg4 Qxg4 26.Qf2

In response to the earlier question asking where White went wrong, it was a combination of playing 14 h3 (instead of Bxg4) and 15 Kxf2 (instead of Nf3).

Oct-21-12  DrGridlock: <King Sacrificer: Come on guys. How can Gurgenidze know Nxf2 would bring so much trouble in the end?>

It's called positional analysis - a useful skill for chessplayers.

Oct-23-12  Mimchi1: Tal's killer instinct is truly highlighted in this game. I can just imagine him puffing a cigarette as he plays ...Nxf2. And the man could write as well! A true badass.
Apr-10-13  EvanTheTerrible: This will surely be game of the day in the future.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: That guy went down the gurgler.
Aug-18-13  morfishine: Tal wrote a book "Play Like Tal" thats no longer in print. Its just as well since I'll never play like Tal


Aug-18-13  Sem: There's no playing against this. Hein Donner always felt relieved after having resigned to Tal.
Aug-18-13  Travis Bickle: The genius surgical maneuvers of The great Mikhail Tal!!
Aug-18-13  Dr Lados Mangrov: Unbelievable stuff fromTal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mate will come very quickly-by rook and queen.
Apr-17-14  Balmo: For my part, I think Tal only went with the Knight sacrifice after spotting that he would have the powerful Qxh3! on move 17. Once you see that far you don't have to calculate much further - Black has clear compensation for the piece. It's amazing how Black's pieces come to life, culminating in the inclusion of his last piece by means of 24...Nxd5!
Nov-26-14  MindCtrol9: There is no other player whose games are so enjoyable.Tal even being a heavy smoker and a drinker, these habits which are bad for the brain, they were not enough to destroy his geniability.His health was not good, but Tal's spirit to create unforgettable long range combinations, was one in millions.He was World Champion only one year in 1960, but his games are always fresh and beautiful and instructives.Tal never die, he was born to live forever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: alcohol and snuff (according to his biography ) were bad advisers , but his genius shine in the century XXI
Apr-30-16  Aleksej: Please tell me why not 26.Nxd5
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Aleksej: Please tell me why not 26.Nxd5>

Because of 26-Qh1+ or Qg1+ mate.Perhaps you overlooked that the bishop covers f2?

Apr-30-16  Aleksej: Thank you moronovich!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "It was the invention of this plan by Nezhmetdinov (--> Y Sakharov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1957 ) which inspired Tal to use the Modern Benoni. As we know now this is often a slightly dubious way of developing, but in this game it worked well. The main problem is that the knight takes two moves to get to c7, where it has little infl uence over the important squares in the centre. Generally speaking, it is more often better placed at d7."

Endre Vegh, starting out: modern benoni

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Losing move, 10.Nd2. Why remove the knight guard??
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Joshka: Losing move, 10.Nd2. Why remove the knight guard??> Nf3-d2-c4 is an absolute standard idea in positions like this, allowing f2-f4 and either f4-f5 or e4-e5, preventing ...Nh5 or ...Ng4, and cutting out Black's idea of ...Bg4 and Bxf3, strengthening Black's hold on e5 and the long black diagonal.

I don't know if 10.Nd2 is "book" in this particular position or not, but it's Stockfish's first choice, at least at 29 ply. To call it the losing move is, with all due respect, bonkers.

As <Boomie> and <DrGridlock> have already pointed out, from here:

click for larger view

White could have gotten a clear advantage with 14.Bxg4 Bxg4 15.Nc4.

Feb-21-20  asiduodiego: <Joshka> 10 Nd2 was not the losing move. It's just a realignment, The real losing move was 14 h3?. White failed to notice the great initiative gained by the knight sacrifice. 13 Bxg4! was the right move. Is unintuitive, but then, Black attack is over, and the thing continues to be just a battle for Queenside space.
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