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Eduard Gufeld vs Mikhail Tal
USSR Championship (1959), Tbilisi URS, rd 11, Jan-27
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Bayreuth Variation (C77)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-09-20  saturn2: White clears material away and has a won ending 33. Qxg6+ Qxg6 34. Ne7+ Kg7 35. Nxg6 Kxg6 36. Rf- 3 followed by Rf5
Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Tricky, Black goes mate or loses their Queen.
Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight and two pawns for a rook.

White has Qxg6+ and Ne7+. White achieves a won ending after 33.Qxg6+ Qxg6 34.Ne7+ Kg7 35.Nxg6 Kxg6 36.Rf3 followed by Rf5.

Quicker is 33.Ne7+:

A) 33... Qxe7 34.Qxg6+ Qg7 (34... Kf8 35.Rh8#) 35.Qe6+ Qf7 (35... Kf8 36.Rf3+ and mate soon) 36.Rh8+ wins.

B) 33... Kg7 34.Nxg6

B.1) 34... Qxg6 35.Qd7+

B.1.a) 35... Kf6 36.Rf3+ Kg5 37.Rg3+ wins.

B.1.b) 35... Kf8 36.Rh8+ wins.

B.1.c) 35... Kg8 36.Rg3 wins.

B.1.d) 35... Qf7 36.Rh7+ wins.

B.2) 34... Qxb3 35.Nxe5+ and mate soon. For example, 35... Kf6 36.Rh6+ Kxe6 37.Qg7+ Kf4 38.Qf6+ Kg4 39.Rh4#.

B.3) 34... Qxf2 35.Nxe5+ Kf6(8) 36.Rf3+ wins.

C) 33... Kf8 34.Nxg6+ wins.

Nov-09-20  Brenin: I saw 33 Qxg6+, leading to a R & P endgame 2P up, and stopped there. I should have remembered that CG doesn't do won endgames on Mondays. The position after 29 ... Qf7 would make a good puzzle (but not for a Monday!).
Nov-09-20  morfishine: Black is lost
Nov-09-20  TheaN: Ugh messing up a Monday isn't a good start of the week, although, I'd argue the entire solution is not Monday material. I actually opted for the sub-optimal line 33.Qxg6+ (in Monday style!) Qxg6 34.Ne7+ ± to +-, simplifying to a won ending as some have already stated.

I did look at <33.Ne7+> but couldn't find a clear win at first glance after either <33....Kg7> nor 33....Qxe7. The latter looks wrong and is wrong after 34.Qxg6+ Qg7 (Kf8 35.Rh8#) 35.Qe6+ Qf7 (Kf8 36.Rf3+ +-) 36.Rh8+ +-.

The former is just as wrong after <34.Nxg6 Qxg6> what Tal played is an attempt at a swindle, more or less <35.Qd7+ Qf7> as 35....Kf6 36.Rf3+ Kg5 37.Rg3+ +-, 35....Kf8 36.Rh8+ +- and 35....Kg8 37.Rg3 +- all win at least queen for rook also. <36.Rh8+ Kg7 37.Rh7+ +->. Happy Monday everyone.

Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I actually chose 36.♕f5+ (instead of ♕g6+) but it wins all the same & mates quickly!
Nov-09-20  mel gibson: Very easy -
Stockfish 12 says mate in 32:

33. Ne7+

(33. Ne7+ (♘f5-e7+ ♔g8-g7 ♘e7xg6 ♕f7xg6 ♕g4-d7+ ♕g6-f7 ♕d7-c6 ♖a8-h8 ♖h3-g3+ ♔g7-h7 ♕c6-c1 ♕f7-g7 ♖g3xg7+ ♔h7xg7 ♕c1xc7+ ♔g7-f6 ♕c7-d6+ ♔f6-f7 ♕d6-d7+ ♔f7-f8 ♕d7-d8+ ♔f8-g7 ♕d8-e7+ ♔g7-h6 ♕e7-e6+ ♔h6-h7 ♕e6xe5 ♖h8-a8 ♕e5-f5+ ♔h7-h6 ♕f5-e6+ ♔h6-h7 ♕e6-d7+ ♔h7-h8 e4-e5 ♖a8-g8 e5-e6 ♖g8-g1+ ♔b1-a2 ♖g1-g8 f2-f4 ♖g8-a8+ ♔a2-b1 ♖a8-g8 e6-e7 ♖g8-g1+ ♔b1-a2 ♖g1-g8 f4-f5 ♖g8-a8+ ♔a2-b1 ♖a8-g8 e7-e8♕ ♖g8xe8 ♕d7xe8+ ♔h8-g7 ♕e8-g6+ ♔g7-f8 f5-f6 b5-b4 ♕g6-g7+ ♔f8-e8 ♕g7-e7+) +M32/52 616)

Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: Seems like the pun for this game could be On Golden Pawn. The final move is indeed, an object of beauty.
Nov-09-20  zb2cr: Lot more short lines to investigate than the typical Monday.
Nov-09-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: Must be said that even if Black tried another road: 36...♔e7 37. ♕g7+ ♔d6 (♔d8 or ♔e8, 38.♖a8+ ♕g8 39.♖xg8#) 38. ♕d7+ ♔c5 or ♔xe5 39.d4+ wins the ♕ also. Even with 34...♕xg6 35. ♕h4 ♔f7 36. ♖g3 ♕f6 37. ♕h7+ , then 37...♔e8 38. ♖g8+ ♕f8 39. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 40. ♕h8+ ♔f7 41.♕xa8, while 37...♔e6 38. ♖g6 c6 39. ♖xf6+ ♔xf6 40. ♕h6+ ♔e7 41. ♕xc6. Therefore, Tal could stop the clock early. Nice move d4+! by Gufeld! I already knew this game.
Nov-09-20  DrGridlock: <I actually opted for the sub-optimal line 33.Qxg6+ (in Monday style!) Qxg6 34.Ne7+ ± to +-, simplifying to a won ending as some have already stated.>

That's the big question - how "easily" won is the ending in the 33 Qxg6 line?

After:
33 Qxg6 Qxg6
34 Nxe7 Kg7
35 Nxg6 Kxg6
36 Rf3 b4

Eduard Gufeld - Mikhail Tal 1-0, USSR Championship 1959


click for larger view

white's king has some work to do before becoming active enough for white to advance his pawns. There's some work to do, but it's still a white win (though not as directly as in the Ne7 line).

Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <TheaN: Ugh messing up a Monday isn't a good start of the week …>

This is not at-all a Monday-strength puzzle in my opinion; more like Wednesday.

The first move is easy enough to spot, but if Black had replied 34. … Qxg6 (instead of the tricky 34. … Qb3, a move choice that suggests to me that Tal was trying to exploit Gufeld’s zeitnot (although I do not actually know what the clock situations were), the winning attacking continuation with 35. Qd7+ goes well beyond Monday-level depth.

After a hypothetical 34. … Qxg6, White could have gone into a superior endgame by exchanging queens, but that would by no means have been clearly winning, so it does not constitute an alternative solution. The attack in this line starting with 35. Qd7+ is clearly winning, but, as stated above, goes well beyond Monday-level depth.

Nov-09-20  DrGridlock: <but that would by no means have been clearly winning, so it does not constitute an alternative solution.>

I guess it depends on how you define "clearly."
Computer (Fat Fritz) evals for the position I gave above are +5.5 for White. At the grandmaster level, White will probably win that position 99 times out of 100.

Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Far no ne7 no?
Nov-09-20  erniecohen: <DrGridlock> Actually, your position is very very winning, because the black ♔ is cut off from the pawns and the White ♔ is not. This will soon be K+R+3P vs K+R.
Nov-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I acknowledge, <DrGridlock:>, that there is a credible argument to be made for your line as an alternative solution. The rook endgame certainly should be winning for White, but there is still work to be done over a considerable number of moves.

In the line starting with 33. Ne7+ Kg7 34. Nxg6 Qxg6, with the continuation 35. Qd7+, White will force mate or win queen for rook within a few moves; but even that fastest winning line is well beyond typical Monday-level depth, which was my main point.

Nov-09-20  Lambda: You don't need to be a GM to guarantee winning that endgame. I can beat Stockfish from there. The rook on f5 is a monster.
Nov-09-20  TheaN: <DrGridlock; erniecohen> after 36.Rf3 sure, I believe White is clearly winning, but I stopped after 34.Ne7+. I probably would have seen and played Rf3 over the board, but I didn't spot it on the fly.

Grid, I disagree with that flat out +5 assessment; both lines in this game are as won; that said, the superior line probably gives White more chances to slip up. Evaluations are not a correct measure of conversion by themselves, even though there's a relation.

Perfect example of this is comparing a near full-pawn endgame with a piece up to middle game swashbuckling. On low ply, the former will be +3 though the chances of a mess up are incredibly slim. In the midst of the latter, #5 can easily turn into -10.

<Pelirgroso> the fact that it isn't Monday material doesn't change that fact I botched up a Monday due to being sloppy :>

Nov-09-20  devere: <This is not at-all a Monday-strength puzzle in my opinion; more like Wednesday.>

Correct.

Nov-09-20  morfishine: <Peligroso Patzer> On your comment: < After a hypothetical 34. … Qxg6, White could have gone into a superior endgame by exchanging queens, but that would by no means have been clearly winning, so it does not constitute an alternative solution> Wrong

2 pawns up at this level is "clearly winning" so it constitutes an alternative solution. Condensed, Black's e-pawn is weak and will be lost. White has a material and positional advantage

Can't get anymore "clearly winning" than that

Nov-10-20  DrGridlock: <morfishine> "2 pawns up" is not the measure of white's advantage. His material advantage is indeed two pawns, but most engines will evaluate the position as +5 or +6 for white. The additional "3 pawns" of positional advantage are what pushes the end-game into the "clearly winning" category.
Nov-10-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Lambda: You don't need to be a GM to guarantee winning that endgame. I can beat Stockfish from there....>

As could I.

All the same, I prefer Gufeld's actual continuation, as it will force the bereft black monarch to face ruination.

As to all the debate over White's winning advantage, any competent player will evaluate the position cited as clearly won for him; I do not need a string of computer analyses which culminate in +4.49 or +5.23 or whatever. These should be utilised as guides, not relied upon without critical thought.

Nov-11-20  morfishine: <DrGridlock> Thank you!

I felt the 'positional' aspect of this game is one component that makes it clearly winning, much appreciated! I admire your posts

Nov-12-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I, too, went for the sub-optimal 33 Qxg6+.
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