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Mikhail Tal vs Johann Hjartarson
"Broken Hjarted" (game of the day Apr-05-2018)
Reykjavik (1987), Reykjavik ISL, rd 2, Feb-20
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C97)  ·  1-0



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Given 73 times; par: 57 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-17-09  einneu: For me, the most amazing move of all time, along with Spasky's Nc6 against Averbah. The first impression is that Tal got crazy, picked randomly a piece and left it somewhere randomly again.I'd love to see Hjartarson's face after Rc5.
Jun-17-09  prinsallan: Cool, I move away from checkmate and Tal sticks it to the man!
Jun-17-09  TiTi: 36. Rc5 isn't a sac enough to mention?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A lethal combination of long distance and short distance fighting. The white queen controls a diagonal, the white rook controls a rank and two knights grab the squares in between. A great game.

I quite like the pun. Black was poised to deliver a mate of his own, but just didn't have the time to do it. So, broken hjarted indeed.

Jun-17-09  solskytz: A great pun!! I really appreciated it. It's not easy to create a pun to such an anti-musical name as 'Hjarterson"... very well done.

Some of the 11-20 place entries are clearly wittier than some of the 1-10 place winners... but of course this is to be expected :-)

Jun-17-09  ughaibu: Where are the entries listed?
Jun-17-09  SloVice: <ughaibu: Where are the entries listed?> At the risk of shameless self-promotion, winning entries can be found here:

Game Collection: Get Thee to a Punnery!

Jun-17-09  ughaibu: Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A very appropriate pun as the loser waited with baited breath to mate,only to rudely interrupted by mate on his own king.

A didderent type of attack for Tal-bo sacrifices!

Jun-17-09  lzromeu: I think blacks make a great mistake in move 41.

He could keep a knight or a rook, but prefer Ra1, this move was completely unsound, and initiate a serie of broken-hearts that result in death...

Jun-17-09  njchess: A great game between, at the time, a rising star and one of the games all time greats. Black's 35. ... Kxg7?! represents a forgivable slip since recapturing with either knight leaves them with little if any scope. Moreover, it would have been extremely difficult to have foreseen Tal's brilliant move of 36. Rc5!!.

The 1987 Reykjavik included a strong field in which Tal finished second behind Nigel Short who started the tournament by going 6/6! Sadly, Tal would leave us in 1992.

Jun-17-09  jsheedy: 40...Qa1, 41. Qxa1, Rxa1, 42. Nxd7 seems like black's best chance, but white is 2 pawns up and the c7 knight is at risk. But not 40...Kh6?, 41. Nf7#.
Jun-17-09  redsoxnation: Another Tal gem. If he had stayed healthy after 1961, we would probably have many more beauties like this one.
Jun-17-09  WhiteRook48: clever attacks
Jun-17-09  SatelliteDan: Did Botvinik do something different to regain World Championship re-match? And if so, what?
Jun-17-09  uaregg: 36. Rc5!! is just a kickass move. Beautiful
Jun-17-09  JG27Pyth: From 36 to the end, just completely amazing. What a crazy gift he had!
Oct-11-09  waustad: <satellite>For one thing, he was healthier than Tal.
Nov-08-09  Dravus: White's Rook on c1, there from move 30 to 35, then three moves later is suddenly at b8 till the end of the game. The rook's move from c1 to b8 was sort of like that Superman episode where he had to will himself through a steel wall (not a normal superpower).

Check out rock permeability by Tal's Rook at 35, 38.

Nov-16-09  abstract: Tal used to ride the horses well :).. rest in peace great master..
Nov-16-09  abstract: I bet that Ruy lopez himself never expected that the spanish opening will yield to such a beauty.. Tal and fischer are the only extraordinary players in chess history.. others are merely calculators
Jan-20-10  elohah: I'm not gonna WRITE yoooo some
Chess notes,

cause you asked for some, cause you
need them.

I'm not gonna write you...some
Chess notes...

Jan-20-10  elohah: I found something here... hee hee
Jan-20-10  elohah: 'There are some interesting variations
here' - Bobby - in the middle of
some rapidly iucinerating library
Let's baby-step thru them:

19 !!

On move 37, Black appears to stick
White with a diagonal pin. Emm's gives
the alternative line of first 37...
Bxc6 38 dxc6 Nc7 (and what about just
38...Qxc6--? There is evidently some
'talk-up' compensation here) 39 Ra5?
(my mark, channging his exclam on this
to a question mark), saying:
'a) 39...Qxd3 40 Rxa8 Nxa8 41 Qa1 Nc7
42 Qa7 and White regains the piece
with a winning position.'
'b) 39...Qxc6! (my mark) 40 Nxe5
(I've also removed the exclam here)
dxe5 41 Qxe5+ Nf6 42 Rc5, winning
the c7-knight.'
Emm's doesn't give 41...Kg8, but
42 Rc5 Qd7 43 Bc4+ wins here as well.

He also doesn't give 41...Kh6!, when
White doesn't get his piece back,
since 42 Rc5 Qd7 hits the loose KB,
and there's no saving check this time, so that White remains down a piece. He can get a third pawn, but
that's as good as it gets.

Jan-20-10  elohah: Any alternatives to 39 Ra5?

I have discovered 39 Rd5!!, which at
first looks as if it fails to
39...Qa1+. But then 40 Qxa1 Rxa1+
41 Kh2 Nxd5 42 exd5, and these pawns
will win!

42...Ra8 (box; 42...Nf6? 43 c7 Ra8
44 Ba6!) 43 Ba6!! (the only move
that wins; 43 b5 is too slow. Black
must be forced to lose a tempo.)
43...Rxa6 44 b5 (box) Ra8 (box)
(44...Ra1/a5 - 45 c7! wins) 45 b6!
(box; 45 c7? Nf6 46 b6 Ne8 47 b7
Nxc7!) 45...Nf6 46 b7! - the final
tempo gain; Black loses!

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