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Mikhail Tal vs Erwin Nievergelt
"You'll Nievergelt Me!" (game of the day Oct-05-2010)
Zuerich (1959), Zuerich SUI, rd 5, May-24
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer Variation. Traditional Vartiation (B63)  ·  1-0



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Given 6 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-21-09  TheBish: Tal vs E Nievergelt, 1959

White to play (34?) "Difficult" (3 stars)

White is down a bishop for two pawns, but he has the move and a weakened king to attack -- plus Black's rook on a4 is seriously out of play, and the one on h8 is the only thing preventing mate in two (starting with Rxc8+). With this in mind, combined with the fact the Black is threatening to trade queens, leads me to...

34. Qh6! The rook is attacked and must move or be defended (by 34...Qd4), since it can't capture the queen (34...Rxh6? 35. Rxc8+ Qb8 36. Rcxb8+ Ka7 37. R3xb7 mate).

A) 34...Qd4? 35. Rxc8+ Rxc8 36. Qxa6+ Qa7 37. Qxc8+ Qb8 38. Qxb8 mate. So the rook must move!

B) 34...Rd8 (similar are Re8 and Rg8) 35. Bxa6 Bd7 (or 35...Bxa6 36. Rxa6, winning the queen, or 35...Qd7 36. Bxc8 Rxc8 37. Ra6+ Qa7 38. Qc6#, and 35...Qg1+ 36. Ka2 doesn't help matters) 36. Bb5!, threatening both Bxa4 and Ra6, winning the queen. Of course, Black can't play 36...Bxc6?? 37. Bxc6+, winning the queen. Black can try is 36...Qg1+ 37. Ka2 Rd4, but White goes 38. Ra6+ Kb7 39. Bxd7+ with a crushing attack. White comes out on top!

Mar-21-09  Stormbringer: This has been a bad week for me, I didn't even get Monday's puzzle because I didn't see the bishop move three in to cut off the escape of the King.

Actually, for most of this week I saw or at least considered the first two moves. Not so for this puzzle... and I even said to myself "hmm... a Tal game, might be a flashy Queen sac in there somewhere". In fact so badly did I fail at this one that even if the final position had been given as a puzzle I couldn't have figured it out. Given 37 Bxc8 it has taken me this long to figure out the response to 37 ... Rxc8.

So here's how I now think it would play out:
38 Ra6+ Rxa6
39 Qxa6+ Qa7
40 Qxc8+ Qb8
41 Qxb8 #

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <lostgalaxy: Hi, when and where can I see the official solution? I'm new here, tks.>

Welcome! Sorry I didn't spot your question sooner or I would have answered it straight away.

There is no official solution to these puzzles. The "truth" unfolds as we all chew over the variations, argue, chat and generally build on each others' analysis. Someone will spot a possible defence and then someone else will find an answer to it, and so on.

Most of us treat these puzzles in two ways. First, we try and solve in "human mode" as we would over the board. Then some of us will fire up chess engines to dig a little deeper.

In the simpler puzzles, say Monday to Wednesday, the puzzles are fairly easy. Then the best line is usually the one that was played in the game. Sometimes, the best line is a move that one of the players missed, but that is quite rare. Either way, it nearly always comes out in the kibitzing.

When we get to the end of the week, the positions get progressively harder all the way to sunday's insane level. Then the variations become seriously complicated.

I liken chessgames puzzles to a fine meal. The starter is the puzzle position, trying to work out what you would play in a game. Some folk spend over an hour on this, others limit themselves to a few minutes, cos that is what they would allocate in a game.

Then you have the main course, which is watching the kibitzing unfold.

Finally, you get the dessert, which is playing over the full game from start to finish.

But no official solutions anywhere, and probably all the better for it.

Mar-27-09  patzer2: For the Friday, March 20, 2009 puzzle solution, Tal exploits White's weak King position by way of a combination which begins with the decoy/deflection Queen sacrifice offer 34. Qh6!

Tal's Queen maneuver makes Black's Rook on h8 an overworked piece, tied to the protection of the Bishop on c8 it cannot stop the Queen from dominating the sixth rank and now has no safe place to hide on the 8th rank.

Here's my computer checked breakout:

<34. Qh6! Rd8>

If 34... Rg8, then White is winning after 35. Rxa6 Bxa6 36. Bxa6 Qg1+ 37. Ka2 Qc5 38. Bb7+ Kb8 39. Bc6+ Ka7 40. Qf6 Rf8 41. Bxa4 e3 42. Bc6 e2 43. Qf5 Rb8 44. Qd7+ Ka6 45. Rxb8 Qc4+ 46. Rb3 Qxb3+ 47. cxb3 .

If 34... Re8, then White wins with 35. Rxa6 Bxa6 36. Qc6+ Bb7 37. Qxe8+ .

<35. Bxa6 Bd2 36. Qf6 Qd7 37. Bxc8> 1-0

Black resigns in lieu of 37...Rxc8 38. Ra6+ Rxa6 39. Qxa6+ Qa7 40. Qxc8+ Qb8 41. Qxb8#.

Apr-06-09  LIFE Master AJ: <Once> Nice comments!!!
Apr-13-09  True2theGame: Tal was the immortal King of attack, arguably the most fierce tactician to ever push a pawn. No matter how many of his games I study, my thinking doesnt elevate to his realm...
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 7..h6 accepting the doubled Rauzer pawns right from the start is rarely played anymore. 20 Nd5!? led to no advantage for White but did complicate the game. 25..Qc5? would have been answered by 26 Nxe5!..dxe 27 Rc3.

Tal after 26 Rc3!?:

"After 26 Nxd8..Qxd8 White has no attack and Black would have the better position. Therefore I decided to sacrifice a piece. Because of the sacrifice I was criticized considerably, and heard "It was incorrect..Tal was lucky..It was a bluff..Tal was dead lost" - but I did not see at what point I was dead lost; and concerning other accusations of the wise critics, I console myself with pleasure that the chess fan, the spectator, are happy only when the grandmaster risks, rather than just pushes wood."

Evans criticized 28..Ra4? recommending 28..Qe7.

Jul-19-09  butilikefur: The following combination <36. Qd6 Rxd6 37. Rxc8+ Qb8 38. Rcxb8+ Ka7 39. Be2 Rd7 40. Bb4 Kxb8 41. Bxd7+> does not work as Black can play 36...Qg1+
Oct-05-10  SuperPatzer77: Black resigns in lieu of 37...Rxc8, 38. Ra6+ Qa7!? (only move), 39. Rxa7+ Rxa7, 40. Qb6! e3, 41. d6!! e2 42. d7! (threatening to attack the Black Rook at c8) e1=Q+, 43. Ka2 Qe8 (only move), 44. dxe8=Q Rxe8, 45. Qc6+ (mates in next move) 1-0


Oct-05-10  whiteshark: <You'll Nievergelt Me!> He'll Nievergelt anywhere.
Oct-05-10  Albertan: According to the official bulletin both players were in time trouble by move 29 of this game.
Oct-05-10  Blunderdome: So much love for this pun.
Oct-05-10  Travis Bickle: <whiteshark: <You'll Nievergelt Me!> He'll Nievergelt anywhere.> He'll Nievergelt better either!
Oct-05-10  kevin86: Another fine win for Tal...what else iz nu?
Oct-05-10  whiteshark: <Travis Bickle> Dude! Nievergelt lost again! :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Accept The Tal Piece Sacrifice at your own risk!
Oct-05-10  apexin: how come i havent seen this game before?
great game, goes straight into my collection.i especially like 24.Nc6
Oct-05-10  rapidcitychess: Confession time: I thought this was one of my worst puns ever. Luckily the game was so good that they couldn't pass it up.

Or they are just taking pity on me.

Oct-05-10  Riverbeast: Tal was just too sexy for his hat
Premium Chessgames Member <rapidcitychess> This pun was a darling in our submission list for months, one of the first puns to be added and always lingering in the top 10 list. Thank you for it. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, please see our Pun Submission Page.
Oct-05-10  Pygeum Lycopene: Move 19)Qe1 might have put anyone watching the game (and not rated near 2700) asleep but boy it is some sleeper move. seperating the men from the boys. i'm not sure but guessing from the reply 19)...Rg4 seems black didn't see move 20 coming. For that matter 23, 24, or 25 either.
Oct-05-10  rapidcitychess: <> Thank you! Now I'm all excited, and I'm going to find another game! :-)
Jan-07-18  ColdSong: Another admirable game from Mr Tal.
Jun-14-19  amadeus: Great game, great pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Ok pun, not great. Seems to me it should be a Nievergelt win.
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