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Mikhail Tal vs Wolfgang Unzicker
Stockholm (1960/61), Stockholm SWE, rd 3, Dec-31
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-28-12  sevenseaman: Its a standard tactical situation these days, thanks to masters like Tal.

23. Bd2 puts Black Q in a quandary with his Q.(23...Qa4 24. Bb3). (The style looks un-Tal like who rarely sacs opponent's Qs).

let us allow Black to put up some resistance;

23. Bd2 b4▢ 24. Bxf7+ Kxf7▢ 25. Qb3+ Kf8▢ 26. Ng5 1-0

(26...Nd5 27. exd5 Bxg5 28. Bxb4+ puts paid to all prevarication).

Jul-28-12  sevenseaman: <Sneaky>'s Puzzle from a Russian web site. (Assuming White to play)

1. Rh7+ Kxh7 2. Bf5+ Kg8 (orh8) 3. Bxe4 1-0.

Jul-28-12  diagonalley: 26. Ng5 Nd5
27. exd5 Nc5?!
28. R6xc5 Bxc5
29. Rxc5 Qxc5
30. Bxb4
... appears also to be winning... that's some lookahead!
Jul-28-12  LoveThatJoker: Tal = Chess Genius

<23. Bd2!>

A) 23...b4 24. Bxf7+ Kxf7 (24...else 25. Bxe8 ) 25. Qb3+ Nd5 [25...Kf8 26. Ng5 Nd5 (26...Bxg5 27. Bxb4+ ) 27. Ne6+ ; 25...Kg6 26. Nh4+ Kh5 27. Qf3+ Kh4 28. Qg3+ Kh5 29. Qg5#] 26. exd5 Bf6 [26...Bc5 27. Ng5+ Kf8 (27...Kg8 28. d6+ ) 28. d6 ] 27. Bxb4 White is up two pawns and has the better position

B) 23...Qa4 24. Bb3! Qxe4 25. Bxf7+ Kf8 (25...Kxf7?? 26. Ng5+ and 27. Nxe4 ) 26. Bxe8 Rxe8 White has won the exchange and at the very least can win the a6-pawn immediately as well.

C) 23...Bb4 24. Bxf7+ Kxf7 (24...else 25. Bxe8 White is up the exchange and can still play for more) 25. Qb3+ Nd5 (25...Kf8/...Ke7 26. Bxb4+ ; 25...Kg6 26. Nh4+ Kh5 27. Qf3+ Kxh4 28. Qg3+ Kh5 29. Qg5#) 26. Qxd5+ Kf8/...Ke7 27. Ng5


Jul-28-12  Abdel Irada: <Feint left, go right>

One first observes that White's aggressively placed pieces invite one to the attack, but Black's position is reasonably solid, so that a direct, single-minded attack on the king will fail.

However, one also notes two other pertinent facts: Black's queen is a bit insecure on a5, and the bishop on g5 actually impedes one's assault on f7. Combine these ideas, and you soon realize that the key is 23. ♗d2!.

Here Black has three replies. Let's examine them.

(1) 23. ...♗b4?; 24. ♗xf7†, ♔xf7 (if ...♔h8, White simply gobbles the rook on e8); 25. ♕b3† and

(1.1) 25. ...♔f8/♔e7; 26. ♗xb4† , winning the queen and the game, or

(1.2) 25. ...♘d5/♖e6; 26. ♕xd5†/♕xe6† , and Black has only delayed facing his central dilemma, or

(1.3) 25. ...♔g6; 26. ♘h4†, ♔h5; 27. ♕f3†, ♔xh4; 28. ♕g3†, ♔h5; 29. ♕g5#.

(2) 23. ...♕a4?; 24. ♗b3, ♕xe4; 25. ♗xf7† . White wins the exchange because 25. ...♔xf7? loses the queen to 26. ♘g5†.

(3) 23. ...b4. This is relatively the best, but still loses at least the exchange: 24. ♗xf7†!, ♔xf7 (or give up pawn and exchange and resign at leisure); 25. ♕b3† and

(3.1) 25. ...♔g6?; 26. ♘h4† leads to mate as in variation 1.3, or

(3.2) 25. ...♔f8; 26. ♘g5 (threatens ♕f7#), ♘d5 ▢; 27. ♘e6†, ♔g8; 28. ♘xd8 . Also crushing is the simple 28. exd5, when White is already ahead on material, has a strong attack on an exposed king, threatens the rook on d8, and retains the d5-d6 push to clear the diagonal for smothered-mate tactics.

Jul-28-12  Abdel Irada: Apparently Unzicker read the handwriting on the wall and resigned without making Tal prove the strength of his combination — thereby depriving millions of chessplayers of an instructive tactical demonstration.
Jul-28-12  hedgeh0g: I'd seen this game before and remembered the first move, but forgot how to respond to the ...b4 defence.

Now I know :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I see 23.Bd2 Bb4? 24.Bxf7+! Kxf7 25.Qb3+, but 23...b4 looks like a harder nut to crack. I also see that 23.Bxf6 Nxf6? 24.Bxf7+! Kxf7 25.Nxe5+ and 26.Qb3 looks strong, but the ugly 23...Bxf6 seems playable. So I don't see the win.


Heh - I was on the right track, but I didn't see the secondary point of 23.Bd2! - that it vacates the g5 square for the knight. Very nice. I wonder how many seconds Tal took to see such things - or was it instantaneous?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Amazing game - how come my pieces don't coordinate like this?
Jul-28-12  xthred: I correctly identified the f pawn as the weak link and that the Black Queen was out if squares. But couldn't figure out how to attack.
Jul-28-12  morfishine: <23.Bd2>
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <FSR: Amazing game - how come my pieces don't coordinate like this?>

Perhaps some pieces are more TALented !?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <moronovich> Har har!
Jul-28-12  Patriot: There are several strong ideas here: 1) trap the queen on a5; 2) play Bxf7+ and invade with the queen on d5 (if Bxf6) or b3.

I couldn't find a way to trap the queen and I'm not really sure how to make Bxf7+ work. It would be nice to play 23.Bxf7+ Kxf7 and move the DS-bishop with tempo to allow Ng5+ to take place. The problem seems to be Qa4 which inhibits Qb3+. Let's just look at a few sequences:

23.Bxf7+ Kxf7 24.Qb3+ Kf8

Now I'd like to move the bishop with tempo to get Ng5 in.

25.Bd2 Qa4 26.Qe6? Bb4 doesn't look good for white. And 26.Ng5 Qxb3 27.axb3 Kg8 looks hopeless.

25.Bxf6 Bxf6 26.Rxf6+ gxf6 doesn't look right either.

How about trapping the queen?

23.Bd2 Bb4 and so much for that...

23.b4 Bxb4 and so much for that...

I'm not sure what the answer is.

Jul-28-12  Patriot: Ok, so 23.Bd2 Bb4 24.Bxf7+ etc. I had a lot of difficulty with this puzzle.
Jul-28-12  goldenbear: I got this in about 5 seconds, which is very unusual for me. I think this was easier than most Wednesdays.
Jul-28-12  hellopolgar: very hard problem, this would be rated at least 2000 on chesstempo blitz.
Jul-28-12  OneArmedScissor: I had seen this game a long time ago, and remember that white had to play Bxf7, but forgot why exactly :P
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A natural bishop conclusion g5 back to d2 ie threaten it he in capture, queen alive b4 hasten in his demise it rise in b4 or evacuate in queen to a4 then g5 re enter riff i see game it her on a4 bb3 qxe4 ng5 wins the pawn it yeah in pitching b4 time in look it queen in almost little feint difficult to garner ko jack it the box in all it down to first d2 in dig it is to free g5 i shape up for general inceed it the point in see bd2 remonstrate as far as i got in torn it lights favour in trapped am either in b4 camp or a4 i call t dilemma in exactly it hop in blind foresight badge in spotting bd2 as tardy it WUMT him bless in chiefly it Wind Up Minstrel Tidbit.
Jul-28-12  David2009: Tal vs Unzicker, 1961 White 23?

Missed it completely. Puzzle position:

click for larger view

with link to Crafty End Game Trainer:

After 23.Bd2 the alert robot replies 23...Qa4! and if 24.Qxa4 bxa4 25.Rxa6?! then 25...Nxd5 26.exd5 e4 with good counter-play. The game might continue 27.Nd4 Nc5 28.Ra7 Rxd5 29.Be3 Bf6 30.Ra5 Rxd4 31.Raxc5 Rd8 32.Rb5 Rb8 33.Rxb8 Rxb8 34.b3 axb3 35.axb3 Be5 to reach

click for larger view

This ending should be drawn, but in practice Black's central majority gives threats. I drifted into a lost position first time round after 36.b4 f5 37.Bc5 Kf7 38.Rd1? (38.f3! breaks up the Black pawns and draws after 38...e3 39.Bxe3 etc.) 38...Ke6 39.g3 h6 40.Kg2 g5 and White is struggling - try it!

Back to the puzzle - is there a win to be found against Crafty EGT?

Premium Chessgames Member
  bharat123: A TALL game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I am sure I'm not the only one who looked for some fireworks around the King. And I knew that Ng5 was going to be part of the attack. After seeing the game, the clearance move Bd2 is so obvious I feel bad to have missed it. I think the general principle of a defender wanting to exchange pieces should have led me away from the various attempts of Bxf7 and Bxf6.
Jul-28-12  MrSpock: <David2009>
23. Bd2 Qa4
24. Bb3 Qxe4
25. Ng5 Qd3
26. Nxf7 Kf8
and White wins.
Jul-28-12  Marmot PFL: From Tal I was expecting something more complicated. This was just straightforward exploitation of mistakes.
Jul-28-12  bischopper: it is of second level for to break pieces to take and to put behind...
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