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Mikhail Tal vs Gosta Stoltz
cr tx (1959) (correspondence)
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Classical Variation (B63)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-08-04  patzer2: Tal's calculation of the complications following the winning 20. Nxa4! is amazing. How many Master's would have seen ahead to calculate 27. Qd3! would stop a potential Black mating attack? It is a beautiful defensive and attacking move combined into one, which immediately squashes Black's counterattack and forces resignation by simplification to a won material advantage. Now while 27. Qd3! may seem obvious after Black's 26...Ka1, it was not so easy to see after 19...e5. Yet, I think Tal, genius extraordinaire that he was, saw that and more before playing 20. Nxa4!

I think Short indicated that Tal was the only player who could beat Fischer regularly at blitz. He was indeed one of the greatest Chess tacticians and attacking strategists.

Feb-09-04  ughaibu: Patzer2: Stein regularly beat Fischer at blitz.
Feb-09-04  bumpmobile: So what happens after 27...QxQ?
Feb-09-04  Catfriend: what's bad with 15..f:g6? 16.h5?
Feb-09-04  patzer2: 28. <bumpmobile> After 27...QxQ(d3), Fritz 8 indicates White wins with 28. Rxd3 Rc2 29. Kb1 Re2 30. Bg4 Rg2 31. Bf3 Rg3 32. Bb6 Rd7 33. Bf2 Rxf3 (+1.81 @ 16 depth & 734kN/s).

White continues with 34. Rxf3 and with a piece and the exchange up has more than enough for the win.

Note: This line is worth studying for learning "trapped man" tactic Tal would have used to force the win of the exchange after 27...QxQ.

Feb-09-04  patzer2: <Catfriend> See Short vs A Muir, 2004 for what happens after 15...fxg6 16. h5. GM Short's play in that decisive win looks convincing to me. If Tal's game here is any indicator, Black is hurting whether he declines or accepts the double pawn sacrifice offer.
Feb-09-04  MoonlitKnight: <Tal and blitz> It is well known that Tal became unofficial world blitz champion in 1988. However, he was an even better blitz player in his prime. For example, in a strong international tournament in Riga in 1959 (which Spassky and Mikenas won), he managed to win the blitz competition with a score of 16,5/17. He would have rocked ICC, had he still been alive.
Feb-09-04  patzer2: Instead of resigning, I think Black should have continued playing with 27...Rc2+!? with practical chances to swindle a draw in an extremely complicated position. Although Fritz 8 calculates a win for White, I'm thinking that if there is a win here, it will be difficult for a human player to find over the board. Also, I suspect Fritz 8 may be underestimating the potential of Black's extra pawns in the ending. There are lots of traps for and opportunites for both sides to go wrong. I figure Stoltz didn't see that possibility, or just didn't want to endure the torture of trying to squeeze a half a point in such a complicated position against Tal.

In any event, I've provided a line of move-by-move deep analysis with Fritz 8 of a result below which Fritz shows as a win. However, there appears to be plenty of opportunity for White to go wrong and draw even in this "won position."

After 27...Rc2+!?, Fritz 8 analyzed best play as 28. QxQ(c3) Rxc3 29. Bb6 Re8 30. Kb2 Rg3 31. f5 Bd7 32. Bc7 33. f6 Bxh3 34. fxe7+ Kxe7 35. Nc4 Rb3+ 36. Ka1 Rc3 37. Bxd6+ Kf3 38. Nb6 Be6 39. Rc2+ Kg5 40. Rg1+ Kh6 41. Bxe5 Ra3+ 42. Kb1 Ba2+ 43. Rxb2 Rb3+ 44. Bb2+ Rxb6 45. Ka1 g5 <not 45...Rxe5? 46. Bc1+! g5 47. Rxg5 > 46. Bc1 Re5 47. Rd2! <not 47. Re2?! Rb4! giving Black counterchances> 47...Rb4 <not 47...Rxe5? 48. Rdg2! > 48. Rd6+ Kxh5 49. Bd2 Re7 <not 49...Rxe5? 50. Bg7 (50...g5?? 51. Rh1+ Kg5 52. Bh6+ Kf5 Rh5#)> 50. Rxa6 Reb7 51. Bf6 h6 52. Rh1+ Kg4 53. Rxa4 R5b6 54. Rf1 Kg3 55. Ra2 Re6 56. e5 Rh7 57. Ra3+ Kg4 58. Rb3 (+2.50 @ 15/63 depth & 769kN/s)

I'll do another deep analysis on this position laster to see if it really is a win, or just an over-estimation of the winning potential of the extra Bishop. I think it is a win, but I'm far from certain at this point.

Feb-09-04  patzer2: After simmering two hours, Fritz 8 has finally analyzed this position to about 19 depth and seems to have found a sure White win.

Continuing from the above analysis, Fritz 8 gives 58. Rb3 Ra6+ 59. Kb2 Rc6 60. Rf2 Kh5 61. Re2 Kg6 62. Rc3 Rhc7 63. e6 Rxc3 64. Bxc3 Re7 65. Bb4 Re8 66. Kc3 (+2.50 @ 18/71 depth & 808kN/s).

A followup deep analysis continues 66. Kc3 Kf6 67. e7 g4 68. Rh2 Kf5 69. Kd4 g3 70. Rg2 h5 71. Rxg3 h4 72. Rf3+ Ke6 73. Rf4 h3 (+4.50 @ 19/88 depth & 854kN/s).

To demonstrate the obvious White win, play could continue 74. Re4+ Kd7 75. Rh4 Rb8 76. Ba3 Ra8 77. Rxh3 Ke7 78. Re3+ Kd7 79. Ke5 Rxa3 80. Rxa3 (+6.97 @ 18/72 depth & 862kN/s).

So, it does seem that Tal did indeed have a won game ater 20. Nxa4! in which this Chess genius apparently saw the winning possibilities in this complex position. Wow! Tal's play and depth of calculation is indeed impressive!

Sep-28-11  thegoodanarchist: Stoltz tried to hang with Tal tactically and could not. Who could?

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