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Mikhail Tal vs Anatoly S Lutikov
"Elephant Man" (game of the day Aug-11-2005)
Tallinn (1964), 01
Elephant Gambit: Paulsen Countergambit (C40)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <vinidivici: ... whats wrong with 3...Qxd5 ?>

I still remember the offhand game Rhine-Richard Hong, Chicago 1975, which continued 4.Nc3 Qd8? 5.Nxe5 f6?? 6.Qh5+ Ke7? 7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.Nc4+ Kc5 9.d4+! Kb4 (9...Kxd4 10.Be3#; 9...Qxd4 10.Be3) 10.a3#. Obviously 4...Qa5 is much better, but after 5.d4 the game has transposed to a line of the Center Counter that is good for White. Opening Explorer Even better is 5.Bc4, as in H Suechting vs F Englund, 1906. Hmm, I see that Houdini 3 likes 4...Qe6 or 4...Qc5 better than my suggestion 4...Qa5, but in any case White has a serious advantage (+0.65 or greater). White has a big lead in development in an open position.

Jan-12-14  gofer: Compared to yesterday, this was "easy"!

<14 Nxd5 ...>

14 ... Nxd5??
15 Bxe7

14 ... Bxd5?
15 Rhe1

<14 ... Qxa3>
<15 Nc7+! ...>

The king only has three squares to go to.

15 ... Kf8
16 Nxe6+ K anywhere
17 bxa3

15 ... Kf7
16 Bxe6+ Kg6
17 bxa3

<15 ... Ke7>
<16 Bxe6! ...>

White threatens 17 Re7+ Kf8 18 Rf7+ Kg8 19 Rxg6#, so black cannot play Qb4 or Qc5. And any rook move allows white to hold onto the piece advantage too easily.

<16 ... Qd6>
<17 Rxd6 Kxd6>
<18 Bf4+ Ke7>

Now at this point things become a little unclear for me. Should we play the complicated Re1 or simple Nxa8? I imagine that it is Re1 given this is Tal, but I have no idea where this is going...


Ahhhh!? Rhe1 on 16 rather than 19 ?! Hmmm, very like Tal and completely beyond me...

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: A bewildering array of canidates: Qxe7+, Nxd5, Bxd5, Bxf6, Rhe1. I only looked at the two that I thought were the most interesting

My first try was the rook sac (Bishop sac followed by an exchange sac)

(1) <14.Rhe1> This looked intriguing, but after <14...dxc4 15.Rxe6 Qxe6 16.Nb5 Qe7 17.Nd6+> I kept running into a dead ends

My second try was the more straight forward 14.Nxd5 (which is stronger than Bxd5 since the Knight eyes the c7 square with check)

(2) <14.Nxd5> This looked promising after <14...Qxa3 15.Nc7+ Ke7 16.Rhe1> At the cost of a Queen, White controls the center files and is poised to recover some material with a direct attack on the KIng

But after <16...Nd8> I was stymied for a forcing continuation:

click for larger view

PM: I see Black played 16...Qc5 (instead of my try 16...Nd8) and only now do I see that after 16...Nd8, White can net a piece with the simple 17.Nxe6 Nxe6 18.Rxe6+ Kf8 19.bxa3; So simple, I forgot the Black Queen was hanging!


Jan-12-14  mel gibson: The computer played the same move as the game 14 Nxd5.

However on move 25 it played 25.....fxg2 threatening a black Queen.

It ended in a draw at 124 moves.

Jan-12-14  mbvklc: I think this game used to be avaible for free in guess the move or even still is. So yea, after playing it I more or less remember the solution.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I thought this game looked familiar. I thought of playing 14.Bxd5, but oh well.
Jan-12-14  erniecohen: <gofer> Actually, the continuation Tal chose (16. ♖he1) looks cooked. White has nothing after 25...fxg2 26. ♖xc6+ ♔xb7.

Your line (16. ♗xe6 ♕d6 17. ♖xd6 ♔xd6 18. ♗f4+ ♔e7 19. ♖e1) looks like the way to go.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 14... dxc4 and 14... Qxa3 followed by ... fxg2.

White can take advantage of the black king position with 14.Nxd5, opening lines for the attack:

A) 14... Bxd5 15.Rhe1

A.1) 15... Ne5 16.Qxe7+ Kxe7 17.Rxe5+ Kd6 (17... Be6 18.Rxe6+ + - [2B+P vs N]; 17... Kf7 18.Bxd5+ Nxd5 19.Rexd5 fxg2 20.Rg1 + - [B+P]) 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Rexd5+ Kc6 20.g3 + - [B+2P].

A.2) 15... Be4 16.gxf3 Qxa3 17.bxa3 followed by fxe4 + - [2B+2P vs 2N].

B) 14... Qxa3 15.Nc7+

B.1) 15... Ke7 16.Bxe6 (16.Rhd1 Qa5 threatening Qxc7 and Qxg5+)

B.1.a) 16... Qa4(a5,b4,c5) 17.Rd7+ Kf8 18.Rf7+ Kg8 19.Rxf6#.

B.1.b) 16... Qd6 17.Rxd6 Kxd6 18.Bf4+ and White seems to have enough compensation for the exchange. For example 18... Ke7 19.Re1 Rd8 20.Nd5+ Nxd5 21.Bxd5+ and 22.Bxf3 +/ - [2B+2P vs R+N] and the white pieces are more active.

B.2) 15... Kf7 16.Bxe6+ Kg6 17.bxa3 Kxg5 18.Nxa8 Rxa8 19.gxf3 + - [T+B2+P vs 2N].

B.3) 15... Kf8 16.Nxe6+ Ke7 17.bxa3 fxg2 18.Nf4 + - [2B+2P vs N].

Jan-12-14  Patriot: White is up a piece. Black threatens 14...exd5.

I'm wondering why this is "insane", because simple chess should win. But I guess there is a top computer move here. I'm going with simple chess.

So why not 14.Qxe7+?

14...Nxe7 15.Bb5+ Kf7 16.Bxf6 fxg2 17.Rg1 gxf6

I don't think white has any problems here.

Jan-12-14  Patriot: Wow, how in the world did I miscount pieces here? Funny...Oh well.
Jan-12-14  PJs Studio: 16...Qa5 certainly looks better than Qc5
Jan-12-14  BOSTER: Many players like Guess the Move training tool. It will be more fan and more useful if <CG > «bring» a clock ,for ex. 10 cek. for move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's a little after 20:00 in England on a Sunday evening. And that means only a little while to wait until the latest episode of Sherlock. And that got me thinking about the nature of clues...

Usually when we look at a POTD, our eyes pick up on the trial of breadcrumbs, the dog that didn't bark in the night, the tell-tale indentation on the side of a typist's thumb.

Or in chess terms, it's a Monday so look for a queen sacrifice.

Or ... he has a stalemated king ... look for ways to check, check, check until dead.

Or ... his queen is a long way from home ... look for trapping moves.

Today's clue is slightly unusual. It isn't on the board. It isn't the day of the week (well, okay, maybe just a little). It's the name of the player we are sitting alongside.

Tal! The stormy petrel of chess combinations, the Napoleon of the sacrifice.

So we put on our best deerstalker hat, smoke three pipes of finest tobacco and ... ahem ... get a little naughty with non-prescription medicines.

In other words, what is the most Tal-like move in the position? And that means a queen sacrifice. How about 14. Nad5 Qxa3 15. Nc7+

click for larger view

Is this sound? Who cares! It's Tal. And when we are treading in the footsteps of Tal we don't worry about little details like that. We just trust that we will either find crushing moves or our opponent will crumple.

Now if you will excuse me, I have an appointment at 221b Baker Street. If we hail a hansom cab we can be there just in time. The game is afoot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kdogphs: first try!!!
Jan-12-14  RandomVisitor: After 16.Rhe1 <Rybka4.1>

<[+0.00] d=22 16...Qa5> 17.Rxe6+ Kf8 18.Bf4 b5 19.Bb3 Rd8 20.Rxc6 Rxd1+ 21.Kxd1 Ke7 22.gxf3 Rd8+ 23.Ke2 Nh5 24.Bg5+ Kd7 25.Rc5 Rf8 26.Ne6 Re8 27.Re5 Qc7 28.Re3 Qb6 29.Kf1 Kc8 30.Rc3+ Kb8 31.Be3 Qd6

Jan-12-14  MountainMatt: Un^&@#ing real
Jan-13-14  scormus: <In other words, what is the most Tal-like move in the position?>

I was more thinking of the introduction "My dear Hastings" ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Sprightly combinative effort by Tal against a player who gave him a great deal of trouble throughout their encounters.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR: Houdini 3 says that 16.Rhe1 was weak, and that Lutikov could have equalized with 16...Qa5! Correct was 16.Bxe6! with large advantage to White; Black's best response is the sad 16...Qd6 immediately giving back the queen.>

Cafferty mentions 16....Qa5 in his annotations--do not have the supporting analysis to hand just now.

Apr-25-15  mikealando: The two fellas were drinking buddies:
"Colleagues, friends, drinking companions. Lengthy drinking sessions. Merriment, exchanges of views, and conversations, the content of which was impossible to remember on the following murky morning. He [Lutikov] possessed a rare constitution, and in his younger days he could calmly down a litre of vodka in an evening, or perhaps even more. In such a state he would become heavy, and the evening could end anywhere and at any unearthly hour. An extract from the militia records of those years. 'Citizen A.S. Lutikov in a state of extreme alcoholic intoxication was found dragging on his bag another citizen, who later was found to be M.N. Tal.'..... - Excerpt from 'The Reliable Past' by Edward Sosonko (Published 2003 by New In Chess)
Apr-25-15  mikealando: What a game. Tal the magnificent.
Sep-15-17  Toribio3: I think Lutikov wanted to surprise GM Tal because the opening he devised was not even played in regular tournaments.
Sep-16-17  kereru: Can't even imagine the mentality of someone who would play 16.Rhe1!! In awe.
May-05-19  Travis Bickle: Tal was beyond Genius! 1120 wins!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Strategsson: This game was analyzed by Yasser Seirawan:
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