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Mikhail Tal vs Petar Mejic
3rd Liberation Tournament (1974), Novi Sad YUG, Oct-??
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Mackenzie Variation (C77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-17-05  raydot: Good old Tal. Maybe one of the weirdest end game pawn structures I've ever seen, that's for sure.
Oct-07-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Rook takes the knight ... and is poisoned. The end.
Oct-07-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: I guess Black didn't foresee the fork at d7. Because if you see that, you surely can work it out all the way to loss of pawns.

Actually losing a piece ... saved time. :)

Oct-07-19  SamAtoms1980: Among numerous other things, Mikhail Tal was once quoted as saying: "There are two kinds of sacrifices, sound ones, and mine."

This isn't even a sacrifice -- White just boots the black knight with impunity. Even the earlier exchange sac isn't really because White gets it back with a fork one move later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The black rook is overburdened with the defense of the back rank and the knight. Therefore, 24.Rxd6 wins a piece.
Oct-07-19  Caissas Clown: Tal the Mejician.
Oct-07-19  saturn2: 24. Rxd6 and black cannot retake
Oct-07-19  zb2cr: The Rook is overworked: it's tied to the Black back rank to prevent mate. Therefore 24. Rxd6 simply wins a piece.
Oct-07-19  Nov8: No comment????
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Caissas Clown> thank you for this pun, I am plagiarizin it, and submitting for the GOTD. Thank you again.
Oct-07-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: The immortal Mikhail Tal played of course 24. Rxd6! and was a piece up, because poor Petar Mejic could not recapture the rook with 24.-,Rxd6 due to 25. Qe8#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: What? Not a Queen sac?!
Oct-07-19  Walter Glattke: Must one be Tal to play 24.Rxd6 here!? No Stockfisch necessary today.
Oct-07-19  1stboard: What , neither side had time to provide a flight square for its King ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Game Collection: 610_Back rank mating tactics
Oct-07-19  TheaN: Rook noms knight. If rook noms rook, queen noms king #cookiemonstermondaypuzzle.

Interestingly Black's in it after 21.Nf3 (+1 which probably is just one of the c-pawns) but goes astray then... 21....Rd8 is a very logical move because it pretty much forces White to 'correct' Black's pawns with 22.Nxb6, were it not for the double attack on b6 and e8 after 22....cxb6 23.Qe3 +-. Black will have to give up b6, but loses instantly after 23....Qf5 (not entirely sure what Black intended with this move as it doesn't defend either the knight, rook or b6) 24.Rxd6 +-.

Oct-07-19  beenthere240: Remarkable the Tal found the rook sac.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: The vulnerable back rank costs Black a piece. 23...Qf5 was an awful move but Black is lost anyway. White threatens both Rxd6 and Qxb6. If 23...Qc5 (the only move to defend against both threats) then 24 Qe7!

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: <SamAtoms>: From the exchange sac to the end of the game is one combination, not two. Visually the fork doesn't work because Black can move the queen away with a mate threat, and when White defends against that he can move the rook or else leave it to return the exchange while straightening out his pawns. Strategically it works because Black's extrication procedure takes his queen out of the picture and leaves his rook, knight, and pawns to defend one another as well as the weak back rank. It's that overload, induced by the exchange sac, that wins the game, as <gawain> points out.
Oct-07-19  Pedro Fernandez: Neither 23...Qc5 nor 23...Qg6 save the black my great <Chris>. Greetings!
Oct-07-19  Diana Fernanda: Here the team of chess the olimpiada all time: Tal, Fischer, Liren and I,.
Oct-07-19  patzer2: Black's game takes a turn for the worse with 12...dxe5? 13. Bxe5 ± (+1.23 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 12...d5 13. c4 c5 = (0.00 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10) holds it level.

In the opening, instead of 7...0-0 =, our Opening Explorer indicates the second player has had much more success with 7...b5 ⩱, as in Black's wins in M Vyparina vs A Mastrovasilis, 2013 and S Wafa vs Kosteniuk, 2015.

P.S.: The most interesting and instructive attacking move from my perspective is 23. Qe3! +- (+3.25 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10). If 23...h6, then 24. Qxb6 Rd7 25. Rxd6 Rxd6 26. Qb8+ +- (+7.55 @ 29 ply, Stockfish 10) picks off the Black Rook with a Queen fork.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Caissas Clown> "Tal The Mejician" is a really good pun.

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