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Mikhail Tal vs Jan Timman
Skopje Olympiad Final-A (1972), Skopje YUG, rd 3, Sep-29
Zukertort Opening: Kingside Fianchetto (A04)  ·  1-0



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Given 33 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-06-09  JG27Pyth: Aas: <Actually g5 is even more losing, after 19. Rxg5>

You're right. Rxg5 is brutal. Yick.

Mar-06-09  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult):

Tal vs Timman, 1972 (18.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down a P. The Black Kg8 has 3 legal moves. The White Bb3 is on the same diagonal as Kg8, with the Black Nd5 and Be6 obscuring. The White Re1 pins Ne5 to Be6, which is loose. The White Ra1 can reload Re1. The White Bh6 and Qh4 are challenging Bg7 for control of the dark squares around Kg8. The White Nf3 and Ng3 are near the Black K-position, but require activation. The White Kg8 is secure from checks. The Black Pe7 keeps Qc7 from defensive duties, so White might be able to develop a local superiority around the Black Kg8.

Candidates (18.): Rxe5

18.Rxe5 fxe5 [else, drop a N]

Note, now: (1) Black cannot feasibly drop a minor piece without compensation; and (2) if Black plays …Bxh6, it just accelerates the entry of Qh4 in the combination below.

19.Ng5 (threatening 20.Nxe6 and 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Qxh7+ etc.)

Black can protect Be6:

(1) 19…Qd7 [or Qd6] 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 [else, drop Bg7]

21.Qxh7+ Kf6 [Kf8 22.Qh8+ Bg8 23.Qh6#] 22.Ne4#

Black can move Be6:

(2) 19…Bf7 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Qxf7#

(3) 19…Bf5 20.Nxf5 gxf5 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Ne6+ forks Qc7 and Kg7

(Better continuations might be possible.)

(4) 19…Bd7 [or Bc8] 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Qxh7+ Kf6 [Kf8 22.Qf7#] 22.N3e4+ Kf5

23.g4+ Kf4

The Black Kf4 is stalemated, so White just needs a check.

24.Qh4 (threatening 25.Qg3#)

Black cannot avoid an eventual Qh4-g3#.

Everything but the game continuation, as usual.

Mar-06-09  cydmd: I think the key move after 20... Qd7 is 21.Qg4 threatening to win the exchange. If the black rook escapes, the black queen gets no defense, and more one pin comes in with 22.Rd1. Black's position is messy and IMHO hopeless.
Mar-06-09  cyclon: So it goes.
Mar-06-09  Samagonka: OK, Rxe5 was one of my 2 candidate moves to start a combination. I give myself a pat for that but that's as far as I could go today. This time I decided to give up before my brain gets jammed!

Mar-06-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: This looks like a fairly routine, technical exchange sacrifice, to give white's knight access to g5:

18.Rxe5 fxe5 19.Ng5 (19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ng5 Bg8 looks safe for black) and now:

A. 19...Bf7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Qxh7+ Kf6 22.N5e4#
B. 19...Qd7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 (or Kf6 22.N5e4#) 22.Qh6+ Kg8 23.Qxg6+ Kf8 24.Nxe6+ wins C. 19...Bxh6 20.Qxh6 Qd7 (Bf7 21.Qxh7 and mate next or Nf6 21.Nxd6 are even faster) 21.Qxh7+ is identical to variation B D. 19...Bf6 20.Nxe6 Qd6 (or Qd7) 21.Qg4 with material advantage, a tempo (black must move his Rd8), and an ongoing K-side attack, with white Nb3, Ra1, and h-pawn poised to join the fray.

With a Tal game, I'm looking for more fireworks, so I must be missing something important. Time to check it out.

Mar-06-09  johnlspouge: < <agb2002> wrote: Just joined the club of those who missed 19... Bf6. The only explanation I can find is [snip] that we only considered defending it directly (19... Bf6 is some kind of indirect defense) or moving it. >

Hola, <agb2002>. Some time ago, <JG23Pyth> and I tried to formulate a list of general defensive tactics. (Actually, I think I tried to formulate the list and he then criticized me mercilessly ;>)

The list was, as I recall it, something like: (1) counterattack; (2) capture the attacker; (3) interpose; (4) reinforce the attacked piece; or (5) move the attacked piece. We missed today's category of defense: (2A) immobilize the attacker (with a pin). Defense (2A) is uncommon: witness that today, many of us groaned when we saw the game variation.

Mar-06-09  kevin86: Sometimes Tal is like a loan shark. He has big wads of pieces waiting for you with a smile. If you take them,you will be forever paying and paying... In the form of more pieces or even a checkmate.
Mar-06-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Oops - I had the right idea, but variation A in my initial post contains a visualization error of a common type. Obviously, 22.♘5e4 is not mate, but my defective brain was maintaining the bishop on e6 instead of f7. Having reached that position over the board, I'm sure that I would have quickly spotted that 22.♘3e4+ (instead of ♘5e4) ♔f4 23.♕xf7+ leads to a quick mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This is a two-part puzzle. The first part is to find the moves that weaken black’s position. These are the text moves 18 Rxe5 through 20 Nxe6, the point where black resigns.

The second part, which <al wazir> is asking, is show me the moves that prove white wins material in the position after 20 Nxe6. He suggests 20…Qd7 is good for black.

I looked at the position after 20…Qc8. The point is that it takes quite a while for white to secure material gain after either 20…Qd7 or 20…Qc8.

I found for example, after 20…Qc8, then 21 Qg4 Rd6 22 c4 Qxe6 23 Qxe6+ Rxe6 24 cxd5 cxd5 25 Bxd5 (pinning the rook), is where white finally gets the edge.

click for larger view

Another variation is after 20…Qc8, then 21 Qg4 Rd6 22 c4 <Nf4 23 c5 Rd5 24 Nxf4 exf4 25 Qxf4 Bxd2 26 Rd1 Bf6 27 Bxd5+ cxd5.>

click for larger view

These are just two representative positions.

Mar-06-09  Wilson: martinZH, I came up with a similar line and I don't see a counter for it. Note that in your line when he plays 23. ... Kf8 you have 24. NxB#

My line went 18. Rxe5 fxe5 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Ng5 Kf7 (Kf6 also leads to checkmate & h5 leads to ) 21. Qxh7+ Kf6 (because Kf8 leads to mate with bxN) 22. N3e4+ Kh5 and say Qh4 will lead to mate although it looks like there are a few methods here.

Can anyone see a counter of this?

Mar-06-09  dzechiel: <Wilson: My line went 18. Rxe5 fxe5 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Ng5 Kf7 ...

Can anyone see a counter of this?>

I think 20...Bg8 might be viable for black. That's the move that caused me to give up on this line.

Mar-06-09  Sololoy: I got the solution by accident (almost): I was thinking about 18.Nxe5 fxe5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7. Then I got confused and thougth I had two knights able to reach g5 (?) so that 20. Ng5 would attack both e6 and h7. But Be6-g1 would solve black problems. When I saw my mistake it gave me the solution: a).- You don't have two knigts to reach g5, you must take with the rook. b).- Don't take the bishop on g7 before Ng5 in order to avoid Bg8 (the Black King is still there). c).- The treat Bxg7 followed by Qxh7 can only be sttoped by Bf6 and then... d).- Nxe6 BxQ followed by NxQ and NxN would leave White down but... The Black Knigth is pinned to the King!!!

First time I see a whole continuation!

Mar-06-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <<martinZH> wrote Good morning everybody... I came up with this after about 5 minutes

18. Rxe5 fxe5
19. hxg7 kxg7
20. Ng5 Kf6
21. N3e5+ Kg7
22. Qxh7+ Kf8
23. Qh8+ Bg8
24. Nh7+ Kf7
25. Neg5#

I am not really sure that this is a possible solution, but after 18. Rxe5 it all looks quite forced.>

The flaw is pointed out in <Dzechiel's> initial post as well as mine. Black can simply play 20...Bg8, protecting both the bishop and the pawn on h7. I actually looked further into this line, trying 21.Bxd5 (hoping for Rxd5 22.Qxh7+ Bxh7 23.Ne6+ Kf6 24.Nxc7 winning the exchange back). But black simply plays 21.cxd5, leaving white an exchange down with nothing to show for it.

In short, I think your analytical approach is correct, in that you examine forcing moves first, but you should be suspicious of moves like Bxg7 that exchange down ("release the tension") too early and actually increase the options available to the defender.

Remember that white is down an exchange after 18.Nxe5 and must play very accurately to realize his advantage

Mar-06-09  zb2cr: Found the game line; unlike some, I did consider 19. ... Bf6. My belief was that after 20. Nxe6, Bxh4; 21. Nxc7, Bxg3; 22. Nxe8, Rxe8; 23. Bxd5+, cxd5; 24. fxg3 White is up by B vs. P.

I did not consider the moves 20. ... Qd7 or 20. ... Qc8, though, as pointed out by <al wazir> and further examined by <JimfromProvidence>.

Mar-06-09  chessya11: Easy, 18. Qxg7 mate.

I just wish it were a legal move.

Mar-06-09  AnalyzeThis: Looks like a good old fashioned Tal butt whoopin'!
Mar-06-09  WhiteRook48: Tal Tales
Mar-06-09  Oliveira: Hey, what was the puzzle of yesterday?
Mar-06-09  YouRang: A bit late in the day, but here goes:

White seems to have a lot of force around the area of black's K. But with my Q on the h-file, the most promising idea is to get my knight to g5 to bolster my queen's pressure on h7, and then clear away my bishop on h6 to expose Ph7.

Before I can do that, there's the little matter of the f6 pawn preventing Ng5. But that pawn is overworked (guarding Ne5 as well as g5), so:

18.Rxe5 fxe6 <recapture or lose piece, but it allows...> 19.Ng5 <threat: 20.Bxg7 followed by 21.Qxh7+ ~#. The knight is also hitting the (surprisingly) unguarded bishop on e6.>

So black faces the unhappy choice of saving one bishop or the other, but not both. The best I can see is that white ends up with 2 bishops for a rook.

Mar-07-09  TheBish: Tal vs Timman, 1972

White to move (18.?) "Difficult"

18. Rxe5! fxe5 19. Ng5 is crushing...but you have to see that 19...Bf6 20. Nxe6! Bxh4 21. Nxc7 wins, since the knight on d5 is now pinned!

if 18...g5 19. Rxg5! is similar, since 19...fxg5 20. Nxg5 is forced.

Very esthetically pleasing.

Mar-15-09  patzer2: For the Friday March 6, 2009 puzzle solution, Tal initiates an attack with 18. Rxe5!! to decisively weaken and undermine the Black castled position.

After 18. Rxe5! fxe5 19. Ng5! White's attack is overwhelming. Black has nothing better than 19...Bf6, which leaves white a clear piece up after 20. Nxe6 .

If Black tries to save the threatened Bishop on e6, he gets mated or loses decisive material. Here's a few lines to prove the point:

19... Bf7 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qxh7+ Kf6 22. N3e4+ Kf5 23. Qxf7+ Nf6 24. Be6+ Kf4 25. g3#;

19... Bf5 20. Nxf5 gxf5 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Qxh7+ Kf6 23. Qh6#

19... Bc8 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qxh7+ Kf6 22. N5e4+ Ke6 23. Qxg6+ Kd7 24. Nc5#;

19... Qd7 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Qh8+ Bg8 23. Qh6#;

19... Rd6 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Qh8+ Bg8 23. Qh6#.

Dec-18-09  ColdSong: Really annoying game for young Timman:opening and...mate attack.Don't know exactly where things went wrong in this kind of Pirc.Probably black failed to prepare and play cleanly...f6 somewhere.5.Bc4 and 6.Qe2 seem to give an easy edge,12.Re1! allows mobilisation in "spanish" style,15.Qe4!ends it with 17.Bh6,and black immediately collapse with 17...Ne5.An advice of good Pirc player should be required here.
Jan-14-13  andrewjsacks: The Tal of 1972 was not far from the Tal of 1960, before health problems got to him.
Mar-09-22  Whitehat1963: Oops!
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