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Vladimir B Tukmakov vs Mikhail Tal
USSR Championship (1969), Moscow URS, rd 16, Sep-30
Benoni Defense: Classical Variation. Czerniak Defense Tal Line (A77)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-15-03  ughaibu: Tal's 16....f5 in this game is very impressive.
Feb-19-04  Brian Watson: yeah, since he had to see the pawn fork and it's refutation by ..Bd5+ and ..Qg7. very cool.
Feb-20-04  drukenknight: ugi: what is the response to 17 f4?
Feb-20-04  ughaibu: How about Nc4?
Feb-20-04  drukenknight: umm what then about...Bxh5?
Feb-20-04  ughaibu: Na5...
Feb-20-04  drukenknight: ...Qb6 this is really f'ed-up for sure
Feb-20-04  ughaibu: I just take your queen.......
Feb-20-04  drukenknight: oh hold on, what if Qa4? I'm trying to post some other stuff so....
Feb-20-04  ughaibu: I take the bishop, if you take the knight I swap queens then take the pawn with the rook (19.Qa4 h5 20.Qa5 Qa5 21.Ra5 Re4).
Aug-09-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 22...Qg7 is a great move, saving the forked pieces.
Aug-09-05  weirdoid: Um, what is going on? Is it so hopeless already that there is no point in continuing the play? After, say, 29. Be2 Qf5 30. Nf2 Rf8 etc. sure it looks severe - but isn't there still a way to continue for a few moves? Or, is it considered better to "escape" that perdition by resigning early instead?
Sep-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Perhaps something along the lines of 29.Be2 Bb5 30.Bd1 Rf8. Fantastic game.
Sep-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Here is a variation for humor value only: 29.Rf1 Nxc4 30.bxc4 Qf5 (pinning against b1 & threatening Qh3+) 31.Ng3 Qxb1 32.Rxb1 Rxb1 33.Ne2 R1b2 34.Qa5 Be3
Sep-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: And to the unbelievers who object "but white could play 33.f4", unto you I say: 33..R8b2 34.Qa5 Rg1+ 35.Kf3 Rc3+ 36.Ke4 Re1+ 37.Bxe1 Re3#.
Oct-26-07  Lucena: Did Tukmakov run out of time or something? Surely there was still some play left in this position...or am I missing something? Lucena
Oct-26-07  zev22407: To "Lucena" If 29)B-e2 B-b5
or 29)R-f1 Nxc4 30)b3xc4 Q-f5 with double attack.
29)f4 Q-f5 threatening Q-h3+
Sep-18-08  computer chess guy: I think this is my favorite Tal game. Tal leaves his attacked Knight hanging for seven moves before moving it, only to then offer it again as a sac. This game shows why they called him "The Magician".
Sep-18-08  parisattack: <This game shows why they called him "The Magician".> Yessir! A spectacular game by Misha...what an incredible genius. Aside from his combinational abilities I love how he get open lines early, makes the pieces work to maximum strength -even when they are en prise for seven moves!
Jun-19-09  ToTheDeath: Nice game. The way the Black pieces stood en prise for several moves to the pawn attack is reminiscent of Korchnoi vs Kasparov, 1982.

If 23.gxf5 gxf5+ 24.Kh1 Kh8! with the brutal threat of 25...Rg8.

And if 24.gxh5 gxh5+ 25.Kh1 Bh3 winning.

27.b3?? is a bad oversight but White is already under some significant pressure. 27.h3 is probably the best chance to hold it together.

Apr-20-10  DrGridlock: Fun with Tal, and fun with computers!

It’s interesting to compare Tal’s analysis of this game (from “The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal”) with Rybka analysis of the game.

Tal ‘s comments suggest that from about White’s move 13 (which he gives a “?”) onward, he is playing a superior position. To White’s move 13, Tal comments, “This queen move is clearly bad. White tries to prevent the move b5, but does so uneconomically.” To White’s move 18 g4, Tal comments, “practically forced.” To Black’s move 21 Bd4+, Tal comments, “Black spent some considerable time on this apparently natural continuation, since in the first instance the piece was sacrificed on general considerations! Black assumed that his attack, in which all his pieces are taking part, should be irresistible, and in analyzing the move 17 Bxf5, did not try to find a concrete solution.” After White’s 23 Nc3, Tal writes, “Evidently the strongest continuation, allowing White to hold the position for the moment. But now Black can quietly move his attacked pieces back, maintaining (at no cost!) all the advantages of his position.” After Black’s 25 … Nf6, Tal writes, “The excitement has died down. Material is equal, but White’s position is compromised on both flanks.”

An interesting position is reached after Black’s 22 … Qg7. According to Rybka, White has three good continuations in a position that slightly favors Black.


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1. ³ (-0.27): 23.Qa5 Rb4 24.Qxa6 Bc8 25.Qc6 Rf8 26.Ra4 Qe5 27.Rxb4 cxb4 28.Ba6 Nf6 29.Bd3 Bd7

2. ³ (-0.28): 23.Nc3 Rb4 24.Bxa6 Bd7 25.Ne2 Nf6 26.Bc4 Be5 27.Nc3 Qe7 28.Bg5 Reb8 29.Rf2 Bxc3

3. ³ (-0.28): 23.Bxa6 Qe5 24.Bc4 Nf4+ 25.Bxf4 Qxf4 26.gxf5 Be5 27.Rh1 Qg5+ 28.Kf1 Qxf5 29.Kg2 Rb4

4. ³ (-0.30): 23.Qa4 Bd7 24.Qa5 Rb4 25.Qxa6 Bc8 26.Qc6 Rf8 27.Ra4 Qe5 28.Rxb4 cxb4 29.Ba6 Nf6

5. ³ (-0.36): 23.Kh1 Bc8 24.Qa5 Rb8 25.Bxa6 Ra8 26.Qb5 Nf6 27.Bf4 Qf7 28.Bxc8 Rxa1 29.Be6

Each of these lines involves White taking Black’s a-pawn, either with White’s queen after driving off Black’s rook, or with White’s bishop, supported by the Queen. These lines contradict Tal’s comment, “maintaining (at no cost!) all the advantages of his position.” The cost to Black should have been the a-pawn, after which White’s material advantage roughly balances Black’s positional advantage. In the game, White plays his knight to c3, and instead of following Rybka’s line with 23 … Rb4, Tal plays his bishop to d7. This allows White an opportunity to completely equalize:


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1. = (0.00): 24.Ne2 Rb4 25.Qxa6 Bxb2 26.Ra2 Bxc1 27.Rxc1 Qe5 28.gxh5 Qg5+

2. ³ (-0.28): 24.Bd2 Qf6 25.Rae1 Rxe1 26.Bxe1 Nf4+ 27.Kh1 Qe7 28.Bg3 Qf8 29.Bxa6 Be5 30.Bc4 Rb4

It’s interesting to analyze the reason Ne2 tactically “works.” Both Black’s bishop (on f5) and knight (on h5) are attacked by White’s pawn (on g4). Tal observes that, “White cannot capture the knight – 24 g4xh5 g6xh5+; 25 Kh1 Bh3.” The discovered check from the queen down the g file, along with a mate threat after moving the bishop to h3 “saves” the bishop and knight from capture. Once the knight arrives at e2, it threatens the bishop on d4, and also makes itself available to block a check on the g-file with Ng3 – activating the threat of the pawn capture of f5 or h5. In response to those threats, Black is compelled to seek exchanges of pieces, with a resulting level position.

Apr-20-10  DrGridlock: White’s 26’th move is reported in Tal’s book as “KR-B1” which contradicts the gamescore as reported in the database. The move in the database (Rfe1) is a better move, so it’s plausible to accept it as correct, and Tal’s book as in error. In either case, 27 b3 is a catastrophic error which decides an otherwise level game.


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1. ³ (-0.35): 27.h3 Rf8 28.f4 Rfb8 29.Re2 h5 30.g5 Ne8 31.b3 Nc7 32.Rh1 Bxc3

2. ³ (-0.42): 27.Ne2 Be5 28.Bc3 Bb5 29.Rbd1 Bxc4 30.Qxc4 Bxc3 31.bxc3 Rb2

8. (-1.64): 27.b3 Nxg4 28.Ne2 Ne3+ 29.Bxe3 Bxe3 30.Ng3 Qf4 31.Qc2 Qh6 32.Kh1 Rf8 33.Qg2 Qf4

The position after Black’s 22 … Qg7 is “deliciously complex.” It’s great fun to try to work out “over the board,” but almost impossible to find the best continuations without the aid of a computer. Tal’s assessment that, “[Black’s] … attack … should be irresistible” is incorrect. White has considerably more defensive resources than Tal’s annotations indicate. It is not until White’s blunder on move 27 b3 that the game is decided for Black.

Apr-21-10  Eduardo Leon: I prefer 13.♘c4. And the natural place for the white queen is c2, not b3.
Apr-21-10  Sacsacmate: <DrGridlock> Thank you for very interesting posts ! If one uses comp to analyse Tal's games, then one invariably is able to find chinks in Tal's plans. But very few could withstand constant pressure during the game...Had he been healthy we would have seen many more jewels from him...sadly it was not to be.

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