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Mikhail Tal vs Robert Wade
Palma de Mallorca (1966), Palma ESP, rd 1, Nov-27
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B77)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Given 25 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-08-05  misguidedaggression: As soon as I saw the position, I said this has to be a Yugoslav dragon. And then I said: I have to sac a rook on h7 to open up h6 for the queen. I just felt that white had to be winning, so I didn't even calculate any further. I never would have seen 23.f4! It appears to stop Qe5 and Qg5 and exploit the fact that black has no plan of attack. I'm not sure but I think black is in zugzwang here.
Oct-08-05  Boomie: He played the Dragon against Tal. Bwa ha ha ha.
Oct-08-05  snowie1: I agree <sneaky> f4 and e6 and e5 are not dynamic moves...see my earlier post.
Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: The first move was pretty obvious, finding the continuation was wad made this a Saturday puzzle.
Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 22...e5 23. Nf5 (23. g5 Be8 24. Qxh7+ Kf8 25. Qh8+ Ke7 26. Qf6+ Kd7) Bxf5 24. gxf5 Rb8+ 25. Kc1 Qd8 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27. Qh8+ Ke7. Then what??
Oct-08-05  Deep Urkel: woah!!
Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: f4 was the stumbling block--in its own unique, quiet little way, this is one of Tal's greatest moves.
Oct-08-05  Averageguy: I got it up to 22.e6 but didn't get 23.f4. Actually, I looked at 23.g5 and thought that wins. Can someone tell me why it doesn't?
Oct-08-05  HelaNubo: 21.Rxh7 is not unsound, but I could find no winning line after 22....Qe5!(instead of 22...e6?). E.g.: 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24. f4 Qg7. The position after 22...Qe5 seems even to me, and Fritz agrees;-)
Oct-08-05  Koster: I picked 21. Rxh7 too, knowing Tal, but I'm not sure it wins. 22...Qe5 seems to lead to a playable ending for black. As usual though Tal's opponent misses the best defense.
Oct-08-05  RdpC: White's plan is to take the knight,
23. Qxh7+ Kf6 24. Qh8+ Ke7.
And if white has the possibility to check with Queen on f6 and then push the rook to h8 it will be mate. 23. Qxh7+ Kf6 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qf6+ Kf8 26. Rh8#
So white needs to push the g pawn to control f6 and support the Queen. But if 23. g5, then black could take with the Queen removing white's only piece to control f6. Or black could also move the queen to e5 and control the black diagonal down to h8 and prevents white's Queen check. That is why I guess is 23. f4, to give support to g5, and to avoid the black Queen on e5. So after 23. f4 e5 whites finally moves 24. g4 Be8. Be8 give black's king an espape through d7. But 25. Ne6! A move you can see if you have been working the previous plan. Worked for me.
Oct-08-05  EmperorAtahualpa: What a great combination! I saw the two first moves only..

<Boomie> You've got admire his courage though. :)

Oct-08-05  NotABanker: Since it was Tal, it had to be Rxh7. <Koster> - I agree with you - Qe5 seems playable.
Oct-08-05  mdz: Despite great Tal's best effort, Black can still draw after 22... Qe5 23. Qxh7+ Kf8 24. f4 Qg7 25. Qh4 e5 26. fxe5 Qxe5 27. Ka1 Re8
Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: oh yes, the 22...Qe5! is a great defense.
Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: When I see Tal at this site,I look for a sacrifice-and i'm usually right.

The final move forces black to lose e6 as an escape square for the king and the rook and queen then round him up.

Oct-08-05  aginis: i'm a little bit out of order but here go a few comments 22...♕e5 23.♕xh7+ ♔f8 24.♕h8+ ♕xh8 25.♖xh8+ ♔g7 26.♖xc8 ♗xc8 27.♘c6 the c4 is weak and will also likely fall.

<Al Wazir>
22...e5 23.g5! ♗e8 24.♘e6 ♖b8+ 25.♔c1 fe (25...♕a3+ 26.♔d2 fe 27.♕xh7+ etc.) 26.♕xh7+ ♔f8 27.♕h8+ ♔e7 28.♖h7+ ♔d8 (28...♗f7 29.♕f6+ ♔d7 30.♕xf7+ ♔c6 ♕xa7 ) 29.♕f6+ ♔c8 30.♕xe6+ ♔d8 31.♕e7+ ♔c8 32.♕xe8+ ♕d8 33.♕c6+ ♕c7 34.♕xc7#

<Averageguy> 23.g5 ♕xg5

<RDPC> is entirely correct 23.f4 threatens 24.g5!

Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <aginis: i'm a little bit out of order but here go a few comments 22...Qe5 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Qxh8 25.Rxh8+ Kg7 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Nc6 the c4 is weak and will also likely fall. the c4 is weak and will also likely fall.> I looked at these endgames long and hard -- with and without f4 intermezzo -- they favor Black!! Here is a sample line:

<22...Qe5 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Qxh8 25.Rxh8+ Kg7 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Nc6> Kf6 28.Nxa7 Bd7! 29.Ka3 Ke5 30.Kb4 Kf4 ... and game is probably beyond saving for White.

Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <aginis>: Yes, you're right, 24. Ne6 wins for white after 22...e5 23. g5 Be8, even with the zwischenzug 24...Rb8+. But it seems black did have a viable defense in 22...Qe5.
Oct-08-05  aginis: <gypsy> 22...Qe5 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Qxh8 25.Rxh8+ Kg7 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Nc6 28.Nxa7 Bd7 28.Kc1 Ke5 29.Kd2 is possible however you may be correct. going straight for the "c" pawn is probably better. 27.Ka3 e6 28.Kb4 d5 29.ed ed 30.Kc5 Be6 31.Nxe6 fe 32.Kd6 Kf6 33.f4

its just an example but i don't see any way to defend the crucial "c" pawn

Oct-08-05  aginis: i also considered 23...g5 as a defense but that fails to 24.f5 exf5 25.Nxf5! Bxf5 (25...Qe5 26.Qxh7+ Kf8 27.Qh8+ Qxh8 28.Rxh8#) 26.exf5 Qe5 27.Qxh7+ Kf8 28.Qh8+
Oct-08-05  Fezzik: This is just a great sac by Tal! I didn't think it worked because I didn't see how to stop the King from escaping. Tal showed no fear for his own king's safety and correctly showed that Black couldn't withstand the combined forces of White's pawns and Knight.

It feels as though there might be some Fritzy defense. But looking at the comments made by some of the others and the play of Robert Wade, I'm pretty convinced that the Rh7 sac is sound. Great job Tal (and Chessgames for showing us this one)!

Oct-08-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <aginis: ... but i don't see any way to defend the crucial "c" pawn> In some variations the pawn need not be protected, in some it can be protected by Be6, and in some it is protected indirectly via the skewer to a2 (Kxc4 Be6+ K~ Bxa2).

< 22...Qe5 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8+ Qxh8 25.Rxh8+ Kg7 26.Rxc8 Bxc8 27.Nc6 28.Nxa7 Bd7 28.Kc1 Ke5 29.Kd2 is possible however you may be correctgoing straight for the "c" pawn is probably better.> As you say, Kb2-c1-d2-... lets White play a grim defense. But the white knight is not an equal match for the black bishop here and, I think, the defense will ultimately not be successful.

<going straight for the "c" pawn is probably better. 27.Ka3 e6 28.Kb4 d5 29.ed ed 30.Kc5 Be6 31.Nxe6 fe 32.Kd6 Kf6 33.f4 > In this variation, 27...e5 looks significantly more promissing than 27...e6. Best however, seems to be 27...Bd7!, which after 28.Nxa7 Ke5 30.Kb4 Kf4 ... transposes to the variation I gave earlier.

Oct-08-05  child of my tears: Oh my god 25.Ne6!! The first 2 moves (22 and 23) were obvious, but if you saw white's 25th without playing through on a board you are a strong player.
Aug-24-11  joshuap: After 24. g4!, there's not really anything black can do.
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