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Mikhail Tal vs Orest Averkin
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 17, Oct-26
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-02-05  notyetagm: Beautiful discovery by Tal, 70 ♘d5!. The <double threat> created by this move is 71 ♖xc4 and 71 ♘e7# and there is no satisfactory defense.

The move 70 ♘d5! is an excellent example of the tactical motif of <moving the masking knight out of the way of the line piece so that it threatens the enemy king NEXT MOVE>.

Mar-02-05  Stonewaller2: Here's my logical thought process for today's shot:

Major premise: Tal to move and win.
Minor premise: Tal's ♘ is pinned.
Conclusion: Ergo, move the ♘, QED.

Mar-02-05  drfelton: For once, I saw something immediately, but only because (a) the problem said White can win; (b) it's Tal; and (c) Black's King is so close to being trapped, that it seems there must be *some* way of taking advantage of it, even if it was hard(er) to find than it ultimately was.

I wonder how the game ended, though. You would think any strong player (which I'm certainly not) would see this move before s/he commits to playing 69.Rxa4.

Clearly, Averkin was either short of time, exhausted, or suffered a moment of chess blindness. But, after he played 69...Rc4, I wonder whether Tal moved his Knight immediately, or sat up suddenly, not quite believing that the move had been made.

It's a clever resource, in any case.

Mar-02-05  hintza: Is this some kind of Tal week by any chance? (I hope so!) He seems to have been featuring with great frequency so far this week in the "game of the day" and the tactical puzzles.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I noticed two unusual tactics by Tal:tripling the majors on the hopelessly blocked c-file at move 29;effectively "uncastling" the king on move 38.Also,there are 13 pieces on the board at move seventy-making the ending look and feel as a middle game.

Then Tal sets a twopenny trap that his opponent falls headlong into.

A sparkling double-attack finale!

Mar-02-05  pawnwolf: Abracadabra... The Magician
of Riga strikes again.
Mar-02-05  yoozum: Yep, I immediately saw this. Quite an easy Wednesday puzzle, isn't it? Interesting how 2/3 of the last games were Tal's.
Mar-02-05  hintza: <Interesting how 2/3 of the last games were Tal's> My thoughts exactly (see my earlier post). I for one wouldn't be complaining if we had a Tal puzzle every day! :-)
Mar-02-05  yoozum: Yeah, I would also love to have Tal week. I definitely don't know enough about his games and this would probably be the best way to find out.
Mar-02-05  klausewitz: Like EyesofBlue I missed this one completely...
Mar-02-05  iron maiden: Maybe for the week of his birthday or something. There's certainly no shortage of potential tactical puzzles in his games.
Mar-02-05  Shah Mat: i solved this puzzle before they invented the internet.
Mar-02-05  hintza: <There's certainly no shortage of potential tactical puzzles in his games> "Understatement of the week" awarded to <iron maiden>! :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Tal was b. Nov. 9th 1936, Riga, Latvia.
d. June 28, 1992, Moscow, Russia.
Mar-02-05  beenthere240: It took me a bit to see that black pulls the knight back to e6 on move 67 because of the threat of 68. Rh8 (68....Kg6 and white's king pentrates). So black's a pawn must fall and his game collapses. Averkin was lost anyway.
Mar-02-05  sinthetiq: the knight is great!
Mar-02-05  Bobsterman3000: Wow, so many Tal wins shown as "game of the day" lately. How did he get so good at chess all of a sudden?


Mar-02-05  aw1988: Well, he was a world champion, so surely he did not get good at chess only in 1973...
Mar-02-05  eyalbd: This reminds me the game Alekhine vs Tartakower, 1930

Same point: a mate by a Knight at the middle of the board

May-11-07  howtobeatyourdad: 70. Nd5! ct art number 295
Jan-22-11  k.khalil: I regretably didn't see this knight manouvre to d5 before the deadly blow Ne7#
Sep-29-14  RookFile: The final position is very cute.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was only through Tal's victory in this final-round game that he escaped relegation to the nether regions and was allowed to play in USSR Championship (1974), in which he finished equal first!
Feb-04-17  Xeroxx: Ne7# sweet.
Dec-28-18  ndg2: Saw this at the training page "discovered attacks" over at

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