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Roman Toran Albero vs Mikhail Tal
"Toran Two" (game of the day Jun-07-2010)
EUR-chT (Men) 2nd (1961), Oberhausen FRG, rd 1, Jun-21
English Opening: King's English Variation. Reversed Sicilian (A21)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 46 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-20-08  hedgeh0g: "Tal isn't interested in a draw." hahahaha
May-20-08  ChessYouGood: Tal doesn't concern himself with bland concepts like material.
Oct-18-08  whitebeach: I disagree slightly with part of the final annotation of the game, since after 26. Kh4 there is no need (and therefore no exclamation mark) for 26 . . . Rd3, which would allow white to soldier hopelessly on for a while by sacking the queen for the rook. Instead, 26 . . . g5+ leads quickly to mate whether white plays 27. Kxg5 Nxf7+ or 27. Kh5 Bg4x.
Jul-23-09  DarthStapler: Owned
Jul-23-09  dhotts: I have looked at 22.Rf1 instead of 24.Rd1 and White seems to survive/win. Can anyone prove otherwise?
Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Why did Tal have to leave us so soon? And why did he have to be so ill when he was here?
Jun-07-10  Suji: <Good Evening: Why did Tal have to leave us so soon? And why did he have to be so ill when he was here?>

Agreed. Tal was a sacrificial genius, and his games are very entertaining to replay.

Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Interesting. The annotations make it sound as if 26. Kg2 Rf2+ is crushing for black - "Albero resigns, as Kg2 runs into Rf2+"

But I think we need to look a little deeper. Let's look at what happens when all the exchanges have been completed and the dust has settled: 26. Kg2 Rf2+ 27. Qxf2 Bxf2 28. Kxf2 Nxf7


click for larger view

Black has a small advantage in material - knight, bishop and pawn for a rook. But what's that to a warrior? It's a mere scratch, a flesh-wound, a graze. Duellists used to talk about being pinked in the shoulder, a delightful phrase. Surely we could fight on from here? Had Tal been given the white pieces, I am sure he would have continued. After all, a rook is a mighty beast when let loose amongst enemy pawns.

The problem for white is not so much the material but that his rook doesn't have much to do. Rooks need open lines, files and ranks that they can rampage along. They hate blocked positions, where spiteful pawns and bishops nick at them along invisible (to a rook at least) diagonals.

In the position after all the exchanges, the rook finds no files or ranks to dominate. The black knight will sink into the outpost on e5 and together with the bishop on f5, will threaten much mischief and forkery. And that will close down the open files and deny the rook his fun.

26...Rf2+ doesn't kill white, but it puts him into a cheerless late middlegame/ early endgame where black will have all the fun. A Tal playing white may have played on, and scraped something, but then there was only one Tal.

So <drukenknight>, you may have been chemically imbalanced when you first said it, but I can appreciate your point of view that 26...Rf2+ is not the finishing blow that the annotations suggested. White could play on, although to misquote a rather dodgy scene from a rather dodgy movie: "This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this."

Jun-07-10  Starf1re: dhotts: After 22) Rf1 Rybka evaluates the position as -1 for black. However, I think you are right in saying White could have survived. After the Q sac the eval is dead even for several moves. I think the improvement needed though was 20) Qf4
Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looked good for a draw,but Tal's escape is unique: a queen sac.
Jun-07-10  ounos: <Once>, the position after 28. ...Nxf7 is completely and utterly hopeless. It would be a joke to carry on playing /that/!
Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <ounos> Grim, yes, but hopeless? I don't think so.

It's only a week since we had a series of puzzle of the day stalemates when one side had a large material superiority but the other player managed to extract a draw.

I would say that Rook vs knight, bishop and pawn is probably won for the side with the extra material in, oh, more than 90% of games. A pessimist would say that those stats justify resigning. An optimist would point to the 10% of exceptions and play on.

And in the entire history of chess, I don't think anyone has ever won or drawn a game by resigning...

And besides I wanted to be kind to <drukenknight> :-)

Jun-07-10  fernandojaume: Only 22.Rf1 get players well
Jun-07-10  scormus: <hopeless?> I suppose it depends on your point of view. Cheerless, sure.

Paraphrasing <Once> its serious but not hopeless

Paraphrasing <ounos> its hopeless but not serious

Jun-07-10  Marmot PFL: 22 Rf1 Bg4 23 Qc2 Re3 is still very bad for white. or 23 Qe4 Rd2+ 24 Kh1 Nf3 25 Qxf3 (Rxf3 Rd1+ leads to mate) Bxf3+ Rxf3 Rxb2 with 2 extra pawns and large positional edge.
Jun-07-10  laskereshevsky: Tal took the night on f7, declaring war on the white player shouting: <"TORA! TORA! TORA(N)!...">
Jun-07-10  cjgone: If Tal didn't sac his queen, why does Rybka 2.2n draw the game with a 3-fold repition if black moves his king instead? Is there a reason why?
Jun-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <cjgone: If Tal didn't sac his queen, why does Rybka 2.2n draw the game with a 3-fold repetition if black moves his king instead? Is there a reason why?>


click for larger view

Black is a piece ahead, having just captured a bishop on e3. White cannot recapture with Qxe3 due to the reply ...Bxd4, so he would have no choice but to try for a draw.

Jun-08-10  ounos: 22. Rf1 (perhaps Re3 23. Qd1) looks interesting. Hmm.
Jun-08-10  ounos: By the way, this position:


click for larger view

is so easy a 2100 player could repeatedly win again and again and again, even if White was Kasparov. There is no way White can stop 3 rampaging pieces coupled with an unstoppable passed pawn. There is no time to organize any substantial counterplay (that Black couldn't easily parry anyway).

Jun-08-10  Catfriend: <ounos: There is no way White can stop 3 rampaging pieces> What really scares in your post is the hidden power of the <invisible piece> :)

Seriously though, I agree. I just can't imagine any line with Black playing decently that gives White any chance - what could he attack?, anyway? Even such dirty tricks as sacrificing the rook for a piece+pawn couldn't possible work, given the pawns at both wings.

Jun-08-10  Marmot PFL: <ounos> I played it out against the computer, taking about 10-15 seconds a move, and queened a pawn on move 56. Easy just to bring the king over and advance the pawn majority.
Jun-08-10  ounos: <Marmot PFL>, how many pieces did you use? 2 or 3? :)
Sep-14-11  TheRavenPK: <Once, ounos,..> Isn't for White 26..Rf2+ 27.Qxf2 Bxf2 28.Bd5 Bb6 29.Bxg2 even better? I would continue this way even if I played Tal and my rating was still 1000 :)
Sep-22-11  dzhafner: In his book, "life and games",
Tal suggests 11 NCxe4 for white and says he would have continued with 11...Nc6

Something like

12 Nxf6 ... Bxf6
13 Be5+ ... Kg7

and then Tal suggests 14 Nf7.

But what if white tries 14 Be6?

...Re8 (to avoid the knight fork)
15. d5 and now black must be careful.

15 ...Nd4
Bxc8 ...Qxc8
Rxf6 ...Kxf6
Qxd4 with checkmate soon after.

15 ...Ne5
Bxc8 ...Qxc8
Ne6+ ...Kf7
Bg5 ...Nd7
Rxf6 ...Nxf6
Qf3 and the pinned knight is lost.

So as early as 15 Black needs to put the c6 knight somewhere other than the center.

15... Ne7 loses the queen to 16 Nf7
15...Na5 and white can immediately aim for mate with Bxc8 ...Qxc8 Rxf6 and if ...Kxf6 Qd4+ with mate.

Which leads me to question Black's opening strategy of 11 ...Nc6

Would you mind helping me to find the flaws in the analysis?

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