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Mikhail Tal vs Alexander Tolush
"Slipped Him a Mickey" (game of the day Jan-04-2021)
USSR Championship (1958), Riga URS, rd 1, Jan-??
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System (E53)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 3 more Tal/Tolush games
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-19-04  Shubes82: looked at Nc6 first. Couldnt follow it through. Knew it was stong because it threatened the queen and the knight on e7. Couldnt see a sure win though. Followed Nxf5 all the way. What after 28) Bxf7 though?? 28)...Rxf7 is obvioulsy a loss because of 29)Re8+. So that leaves 28)...Kh8. Now the white bishop is pinned and the black queen has control of the long dark diagonal and also threatens a back rank mate. Maybe 29)Qh5 or g5 looks plausible too. Any thoughts on how it would finish from that point?
Nov-19-04  Shubes82: Per my last comment, do you think Tal saw this line and chose Nc6 because he wanted a quick kill?
Nov-19-04  Shubes82: I think that its great you play chess for beauty, but i feel your contradict yourself. A winning position is a win, plain and simple. I think the statement chess should be "played for beauty" is trite and i couldnt disagree with it more. Chess should be played to win, as Bobby Fischer conveyed best. Beauty and art are biproducts of a desire to play the best game of chess possible. My opinion is that youve watched Searching for Bobby Fischer one too many times. Nxf5 is a strong play, and everyone who saw it should pat themesleves on the back. We should continue to play our mundane chess, because it looks like we'll have many wins to come. Best if luck on your chess beauty, delterp.
Nov-19-04  drukenknight: I think you misunderstand the context in which that phrase is used, Shubee.

THe old US player, Santasiere was of that opinion. That you had to play moves for beauty and/or creativity. At least as white. He abhorred the thought of memorized lines.

Because he was playing chess by a theory, an algroithm in his own head. That says "dont do just what it says to do, play what you know to be the best move always."

YOu have to understand at what pt. in the game we are talking about. Sant. woudl probably laugh in your face if you suggest he play Damiano def. or BUdapest. He's not crazy.

But there are times in the game when you KNOW that you have the guy beat, because he obviously has missted it, but you can play a pretty good move, or you can really calculate it out, and you come to find...the move that looks pretty good would probably beat this guy but..and the move I calculate really doesnt win that I can see....

say he has 2 minutes left on his clock, you are up say R for N and you have a pretty good attacking going on his K. And there is one little thing you sort of overlooked but the guy is a dingaling he's never gonna see it in amillion years, and he's so worried about losing that rook pawn he will do something desperate on the a file to stave off mate and w/ 2 minutes left, he wont be able to calculate the stunner move.

SO what do you do?

YOu see. He is talking about a concept like that. The idea of playing in theory and playing "over the board." I.e. practical.

Nov-19-04  drcdwil: <aw1988> Sorry if I overreacted. And it only took me 3.2 seconds to do so! <tpstar> yeah, I have boys ages 8,6,5 and 2. And I do like hearing of their modest (so far) accomplishments. Only the 5 year old is interested in chess.
Nov-19-04  Skylark: I was looking at 25. Nxf5 Nxf5 26. Bxd5 as the win. ie

26. ... any move other than h4 or Kf8
27. Qxf7+ Kh8
28. Qf6#

26. ... Kf8
27. Qxf7#

26. ... h4
27. Qxf7+ Kh8
28. Qf6+ Kh7
29. Qxf5+

When white wins the knight with check, and checkmate or a huge loss of material can't really be avoided.

I guess I was barking up the wrong tree though. :(

Nov-19-04  erikcu: Yeah I spent some time on it. giving up the black queen is just as bad. It just drags the game out longer.
Nov-19-04  Shubes82: Two things...

In response to Skylark, I believe youre evaluation was a little narrow. 26)...Rf8 takes care of the threat on f7 momentarily. White still comes out a piece up, but there is no forced mate yet. Also did anyone look at the rest of the game to see where black went wrong? Would anyone else give 22)...f5 a ?! notation? I feel as though it was a fruitless attack on the queen and gave access to the crucial dark central e5 square, where it cannot be attacked by the bishop. It is also two knight moves from attack and cannot be defended by another pawn. Anyone else agree with this?

Nov-19-04  pkjohn146: <drcdwil> I suppose now would be a bad time to tell you I solved it in 1.3 seconds? Hah-gotcha, just kidding. <aw1988> good for you, keep at it! Sounds like somebody is really upset because they didn't figure it out as fast. Oh well. The other puzzles this week were, for me, easier than this one. I got the first couple of moves, but that was about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: <Shubes82>
In an earlier post, another kibitzer commented:
<23.Qxf5 Re8 24.Qb1 Nf4 -- is that the motive behind 22..f5? (And if white declines the pawn, as in the game, it screens h7 against a bishop-queen battery)>
Nov-19-04  crafty: 28. ... ♕xb2 29. ♕xb2 ♔e8 30. ♕h8+ ♔d7 31. ♕xa8 ♗xf5 32. ♕d5+ ♔c7 33. ♖e7+ ♗d7 34. ♕xd7+ ♔b8 35. ♖e8#   (eval Mat07; depth 10 ply; 10M nodes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Meanwhile, many years later (I got it! In, lessee, about 29,433 hours ... or 105,958,808.23 seconds, to be precise. How's Kasparov doing as champion these days?)

Winning method aside, this game features one of the most beautiful unheard melodies of all time: a combination entirely in the notes, never actually played. But Tal had it all worked out.

If Tolush had grabbed the b-pawn with 19...Nxb4 (depending how deep you look, you might think there's enough counterplay to get away with it, between pins, deflections and mate threats. But here's the game position after 19.Be5 ...

click for larger view

... and off we go ...

19 ... Nxb4
20.Qxb4 Bxf3
21.Re1 Bb7
22.Bxf6 Qc6
23.Bxf7+ Kh8

[23...Kxf7 24.Qe7+ is mate in 3]

24.Bxg7+ Kxg7
25.Bd5 Qxd5

["with an irresistible attack" - Tal]

26 ... Kf6 [others are even worse]
27.Qh4+ Kg6

[Black can struggle on hopelessly after 27...Qg5 28.Re6+! winning the Queen]

28.Qxh7+ Kf6
29.Qg7+ Kf5
30.g4+ Kf4
31.Qf6+ Kxg4
32.Rg7+ Kh5
33.Rh7+ Kg4

Exquisite. Of course 34.Rh4# is also quite strong.

Jan-10-10  msmith5: Nice game by Tal; he seems to drum an attack out of nowhere starting on about move 18.

Where do you think Tolush went wrong?

My thoughts were:
1) Perhaps passing up the option to trade queens on move 13?

2) Perhaps 17...Bb7? I want to play 17...Be6 here, and now either 18. Ng5 Qd6
18. Qe5 Qc7
18. Rd1 Nc7
All three of which appear to hold, and I can't find a way for white to rip open black's kingside.

Sep-06-16  zydeco: <msmith5> I think black really should have tried harder to bring the bishop to e6 for a solid defensive position.

17....Be6 18.Ng5 Qd7 (Qd6) 19.Nxe6 Qxe6 20.Qxe6 fxe6 and black may have to suffer a little in the endgame but should be able to draw.

19...Qb5 forces a decisive position. 19....h6 instead keeps white's knight from g5 and looks pretty safe.

Tolush probably saw that after 20....gxf6 the position would be very sharp; he trusted in his own tactical ability, but just lost to Tal in the ensuing dogfight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Brian Watson> <20..Nxf6 fails to 21.Qe7>

Well, I don't see it. 20...Nxf6 21.Qe7 Bd5 and where is white's win?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Everyone used to call Mikhail Tal "Mickey", hence the pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <offramp: Everyone used to call Mikhail Tal "Mickey", hence the pun.>

Yesterday evening I laughed on the idea of having a Polugaevsky action figure, but now I want a Mickey.

Jan-04-21  Brenin: 19 ... gxf6 was a terrible blunder. Did Tolush miss 19 ... Nxf6 20 Qe7 Bd5, which seems to give Black a reasonable position?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Black must have feared Q-e7 after 20...Nxf6. But, the busted pawns look awful after the move played. I think tolush needed a drink...
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: There is no doubt in my mind that <Kazimirovich> is the best middle name in the history of the world. How did he ever lose?
Jan-04-21  Chrisfostersongs: 25. Nc6!! OUCH!!
Jan-04-21  Whitehat1963: To me, this is mind-bogglingly complicated. How Tal sees his way clearly through the fog is just astonishing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Brenin I’m glad you said that, I don’t see why gxf6 makes any sense at all.

Computer ranks 20 ... Nxf6 at 0.46; gxf6 ranks at 4.18.

Jan-04-21  RandomVisitor: After 19.Be5:

click for larger view


<46/60 06:25 +0.24 19...Ne7> 20.Qe3 Rd8 21.Rxd8 Qxd8 22.h3 Ng6 23.Bg3 Qe7 24.Qxe7 Nxe7 25.Nd4 Kf8 26.Bb8 a6 27.b5 axb5 28.Nxb5 Bd5 29.Bc2 Be4

44/68 02:38 +0.13 19...Ne7 20.Bxf6 Bxf3 21.gxf3 gxf6 22.Qc3 Qc6 23.Qxc6 Nxc6 24.Rd7 Ne5 25.Rb7 Nxf3+ 26.Kg2 Ng5 27.f4 Ne6 28.f5 Nd4 29.Bxf7+ Kf8

Jan-04-21  RandomVisitor: A final look after 19.Be5:

click for larger view


<62/88 1:29:55 +0.21 19...Ne7 20.Nd4 Bd5> 21.Bxd5 Nfxd5 22.b5 Ng6 23.Bg3 Qxe1+ 24.Rxe1 f6 25.Nc6 Kf7 26.Ra1 Ke6 27.Nd4+ Ke7 28.Kf1 Ngf4 29.Bxf4 Nxf4

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