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Mikhail Tal vs Robert Forbis
"Forbis Better or Worse" (game of the day Jul-26-2004)
National Open (1988), Chicago, IL USA, Mar-??
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Yugoslav Attack Sosonko Variation (B77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-18-11  sevenseaman: < Sastre> Thats right of course. I wasn't paying to much attention to small detail. White has to take precaution that Black Q does not turn up on the 'g' file.
Aug-31-13  rforbis: It's hard to believe that game happened 25 years ago, my 15 minutes of fame! Tal was quite a character, had a hip flask and a wicked grin. Never had so much fun losing a game.

Robert Forbis

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <tga: According to Seirawan and Silman, Tal's opponent was "Forbis" and is referred to as "he" in the notes, indicating a male player.>

Twould appear you are correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <rforbis>. What a brilliant first post! I was just playing the game over thinking "Wow, that's a great idea against Tal...get rid of his bishops. What can he do without them? Trouble is he's lost his knights and they're great defenders - cover both coloured squares at the same time. What a pity we'll never know what NN felt about being on the receiving end of this...". And here you are! Very glad you had fun, and I hope you stay around at
Sep-01-13  rforbis: Many moons ago, I played in the same San Diego chess club as Silman, he beat me in another interesting Dragon when I was a boy. Later, I moved to Chicago, and was there in 1988 when Tal toured the US.

Just after the Tal game, I was going to Russia and spoke with Eric Schiller, who helped introduce me to Yuri Averbach. I showed him this game, and he must have passed it on to either Seirawan or Silman, who graciously included it in their book on chess tactics. My name was spelled correctly in the first edition, but changed to "Forbes" in the 2nd, so some thought Cathy Forbes was the victim here. Seemed like it was time to set the record straight.

After this, it was all correspondence chess for me.....

Sep-02-13  Mudphudder: Mr. Forbis, great to know that there are still people out there who have witnessed in person some of our late chess geniuses...esp someone as great as Tal. Do you remember who else played in this tournament? Did Tal win the tournament?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Mudphudder>: Here is a page for the 1988 National Open:
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Vintage Tal - 24. Nd5! wins brilliantly, and 28. Qg7+!! finishes brilliantly.

Nice to see comments by the player, then someday it should be updated to "Forbis Better Or Worse" please.

Aug-08-16  clement41: Dazzling tactical fireworks by the magician from Riga!
Aug-08-16  morfishine: People complain that Morphy beat so many NN's and drone on asking why he's immortalized while doing so

Meanwhile, Tal dispatches another sap, and the kbitzer's blabber on about how brilliant the attack was, dazzling, incredible, fire works, and course we can't leave out the "magician from Riga", blah, blah, blah, etc...



Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <keypusher> Try to keep it clean here. This is a family website not your local gin bar
Aug-09-16  Isilimela: Not anything like as spectacular but I missed a similar type of checkmate in this position (you will need a login to view):

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <ThomYorke: Hi ppl! What would be the problem of 18) ... e5 ? Because white´s queen looks like pinned.>

Well, the Queen (or rather Knight on d4) seems to be pinned but in fact it is not. If 18...e5, then 19.Nd5! and now white is simply threatening not only 20.Nxb6 but also 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.hxg6 fxg6 22.Rxh7+ Kxh7 23.Rh1+ with mate in next move. Black is forced to play 19...Qd8 but then after 20.Nf3 white is clearly better.

Aug-09-16  morfishine: Thank you <thegoodanarchist> for trying to keep our resident moron <keypusher> in check

I registered yet another complaint against this cro-magnon sub-human <keypusher>, who always forgets there are actual people that may read his diatribes, drivel, vitriol and/or sputum

best always, morf"


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <morfishine> < this cro-magnon sub-human>

Dude, really. That's like calling somebody a <tiny short person>. Only dumber, because Cro-Magnons <are> human.

And <diatribes, drivel, vitriol and/or sputum>? It's like you tried to swallow a thesaurus but coughed up a page.

Here's a page of creative insults. Most of them probably wouldn't get past the filter on this site, but maybe you can study them and raise your level.

Aug-10-16  morfishine: <keypusher> How thick is your skull? Are you really Cro-Magnon?

Its really tiring to have to take your pathetic username off ignore just so I can delete your useless posts. I told you before, but I guess I have to repeat it again and again: If you do not like my posts or opinion: JUST PUT ME ON IGNORE


and if something really offends your shallow conscience, just follow the "blow the whistle" link

Jeezuz to peezuz, you are a real dummkopf


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <morfishine>. But what if I don't want to put you on ignore? What if I prefer pointing out what an utter idiot you are?

If you don't people to draw attention to your idiocy, you have two choices: you can beg them to put you on ignore, or <you can stop being an idiot>.

Only one of those is within your control.

Feb-24-17  ISeth: Compare ACHILEES with TAL . Just go ahead run, fight, make your Opponents feel afraid and try for Victory and it will come .
Dec-03-20  Kajuara: 24...Qxd5 25.Qg5+Kh826.h6Rg827.Qf6+ and white won
Mar-14-21  Gaito: It would be interesting and enlightening to have a thorough computer analysis of the flashy move 24. Nd5 (diagram), and compare its merits with the alternative 24.h6 which is the move chosen by the best computer engines (SF13 and LcZero).

click for larger view

Stockfish 13 (depth 40) plays 24...Rfc8 and gives a computer evaluation of 0.00 (equality). On the other hand, engine LcZero prefers the move 24...h6 and assigns to it an evaluation of -0.02 (equality). In the actual game Black played 24.Rfe8??, a move that all chess engines consider to be a terrible blunder that loses offhand.

Let us review a possible continuation with the moves that the computer consider to be best for both sides (SF13 vs. SF13, depth 36).

24...Rfc8 25.Qg5+ Kh8 26.Qf6+ and according to the engine White has nothing better than a draw by perpetual check.

If White should not accept the draw, then he would lose, e.g. 25.Ne7+ Kf8 26.Rd1 Qf2 27.c4 Be6! 28.Rxd6 Qf1+ 29.Kd2 Qxg2+ 30.Kc3 Qg3+ 31.Kc2 Qg7, and Black's extra rook guarantees him an easy win (diagram)

click for larger view

(Computer evaluation: -6.10)

Mar-14-21  Gaito: The other possibility is 24...h6 (the suggestion of LcZero, which is almost as strong as AlphaZero)(diagram)

click for larger view

(LcZero vs. LcZero. Hardware: RTX 2080 GPU).
25.Qxh6 Qxd5 26.Rf3 f6 27.Qg6+ and again White has nothing better than a draw by perpetual. Should White decline the draw, then he would lose quickly, for example: 27.Rg3+ Kf7 28.Rg7+ Ke8 (diagram)

click for larger view

White has a lost position (computer evaluation: -20.95)

Mar-14-21  Gaito: After seeing the above analysis, it readily becomes clear why the move 24..Rfe8?? was a fatal blunder: the rook is depriving his own king of the flight square e8 which is a vital square for the getaway of the king. Therefore, either 24...Rfc8 or 24...h6 would have saved the day for Black.
Mar-15-21  Gaito: Concerning the position depicted in the following diagram, some comments would be in order

click for larger view

White previously sacrificed a rook for a promising attack. He has perpetual check at this moment if he wants. Of course, there is no immediate mate with 24.h6 on account of the reply 24...Qg4. Therefore, White played the flashy sacrifice 24.Nd5. The knight of course is taboo, obviously if it were captured, Black's queen would be diverted from the defense of g7, and in addition 25.Ne7 mate is now threatened.

Is 24.Nd5 good enough to win?

If not, then what is White's best move from the diagram? The computer gives the answer to both questions: The move 24.Nd5? is only good enough for a draw. But White has good chances to win after the correct continuation 24.h6! Qg4¡õ 25.Rf3 Rfc8 (or else 25...Bc6 26.Rh3! Bxg2 27.Rh5! ¦¤ Rg5+ and wins) 26.Ne2 Kf8 (¦¤ 27...Rxc2+! 28.Kxc2 Qxb2+, etc.) 27.c3 Rc6 28.Rg3 d5 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qxe5+ Re6 31.fxe6 Qxe6 32.Qf4 Qd6 33.Qh4+ Kf8 34.Qg5 Re8 35.Qg8+ Ke7 36.Re3+ Be6 37.Qxh7, and White has a winning advantage (diagram)

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Fantastic game with thorn pawns. I blogged about it here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Fine post with graphics! Thank you kingscrusher!
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