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Mikhail Tal vs Janos Flesch
"A Pound of Flesch" (game of the day May-21-2014)
Lvov (1981), Lvov URS, rd 9, Jun-??
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Modern Variation Kasparov Attack (B17)  ·  1-0



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Given 30 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-02-06  Jim Bartle: You'd think players would have learned it's a bad idea to waste time sending a knight to capture a rook on a1 or h1 (or a8, h8).
Dec-21-06  Kwesi: <A Pound of Flesch>
Aug-15-07  Whitehat1963: Flesch and The Devil!
Mar-15-11  hedgeh0g: What I admire about Tal is his ability to come up with unorthodox ideas to launch powerful attacks. 16.Qd3!? is a move most players wouldn't even consider as it walks into the reflex Nb4. However, Tal saw further and realised that the Nd5 was well-placed enough to warrant giving up his light-squared bishop and the exchange in return for some kingside complications. Objectively speaking, I'm not sure how good Qd3 was, but it certainly created some practical problems for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oginschile: The Flesch is willing?
Mar-16-11  Catfriend: What I find delightful about the attack is the quiet 22.h3 - the storm is over for a brief moment, and Tal takes a moment for a modest-looking little pawn-push. The kings gets an outlet in case of a back-rank check, the strong g4 is prepared, and most importantly - the power of the Black Queen is reduced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: "The Way of All Flesch"
May-21-14  ThumbTack: The position was even before 25..Rac8. How quickly it fell apart after that move! 25..Bxa2 looks to be a much better choice.
May-21-14  kereru: I like how Tal just takes his time preparing the attack... but Flesch was ok until 29...Kh7??
May-21-14  dTal: And this is 21 years after he was a world champion!
May-21-14  jimzak: I think 21 Bxg5 hg 22.Nf6+ followed by Qg5 is OK
May-21-14  Castleinthesky: This must be "National GOTD" week, all of the games have been great (but this is only Wednesday) Tal got more than his pound as he made white pay for leaving his black bishop unprotected.
May-21-14  Strelets: Never heard of the Kasparov Attack. I've always associated him more with 5.Ng5!?, as he played in games against Karpov (Amsterdam 1988, Linares 1992), Kamsky (Linares 1994), and Anand (Linares 1998). He also played the Advance, as Karpov found out in this bloodcurdling game: Kasparov vs Karpov, 2001
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The poor black queen: all dressed up and no place to go...

Tal pounds Flesh!

Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Well, continuation appears to be:--
32... Qg7
33. Qe4; Kh8
34. QxRd3; Qf6
35. Qd8; Kh7
36. Qg7+ # (1-0)
But <jimzak>, ya u r rght, 21. Bxg5; hxg5
22. Nf6; Kh8
23. Qxg5; Be6
24. Qh6+ # (1-0)
cold have proved a quick fix.
Anyway 20...g5 was good to me, King appears to be ok in the fractured castle. 21. e6 was excellent as that plugged the diagonal along Bc8-g4. But 24...Qg6; a NO NO; a Queen is useless in such situations, no space for freeway. Instead he could have used his Rook along Rd8-Rd3-Rh3 for opening White King's castle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I can't think of any player whose games are as enjoyable to watch as Tal's.
May-21-14  gars: <playground player>: try Nezhmetdinov and you'll enjoy his games a lot!
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <gars> Oh, yes! Nezhmetdinov is up there with the best: very enjoyable games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A remarkable bit of Tal magic. After 29...Kh7, black probably thought he was doing quite well.

click for larger view

Material is level, the black king looks safe (ish) and white has a rim-dim knight - two coconuts shy of a full horsey. Black might even dream forbidden dreams of winning an endgame duel with his better pawns and bishop against the aforementioned supermarket "beef" pie-to-be.

But Tal has spotted a subtle weakness. The loose black rook is fragile. All (!) white needs to do is to defect the black queen and then Qe4 will fork the black king and rook.

A little bit of fancy hoofwork by the knight brings us to here (after 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. Nd5+ Kh7 32. Ne7

click for larger view

The black queen has to stomp away which would then allow Qe4+ winning the rook.

Now that's what I call magic.

May-21-14  goodevans: What follows <31...Kf8>?
May-21-14  Riverbeast: <What follows 31...Kf8>?

Looks like 32. Qh8+ Qg8 33. Qxh6+ Qg7

Now if white trades queens black is equal or better...He's winning his pawn back and white still has weak pawns

So I'm pretty sure Tal would have tried 34. Rxe6 fxe6 35. Qxe6

After 34. Rxe6 black would also have the option of going for the (probably drawn) rook endgame with 34...Qxh6 35. Rxh6 Rxd5

So it looks like black might be okay after 31...Kf8 (unless I'm missing something)

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:


click for larger view

Preparing to defend the knight with a future


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May-22-14  Nerwal: <What follows <31...Kf8>>

32. ♕b8+ ♔g7 33. ♘e7 ♕h7 34. ♕e5+ ♔f8 35. ♘f5 ♗xf5 36. gxf5 ♔g8 37. f6 ♕g6 38. ♕e8+ ♔h7 39. ♖e7 (given by Gallagher in his Tal book)

The prosaic 32. c4 ♖xh3 33. ♕h8+ ♕g8 34. ♕f6 Δ ♖xe6 seems also winning.

Sep-30-14  Poisonpawns:

In French

Jun-16-18  CountryGirl: This game is a masterclass in attack and defence. Tal's set-up is supposed to be theoretically fine for black, but as Tal showed many times, it can be difficult to defend against white's initiative. Stockfish labels black's 13th and 17th as errors, and his 29th was the blunder that lost. But you'd only find some of its later defences if you, too, were a computer!
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