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Mikhail Tal vs Anatoly Karpov
"Pulling a Rabbit out of the Hat" (game of the day Jan-07-2010)
SWIFT Blitz (1987) (blitz), Brussels BEL, Apr-26
Caro-Kann Defense: Accelerated Panov Attack. Modern Variation (B10)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-24-10  thewanderingpen: 44 Points Out Of Par 48. Not my day I guess.

Anyway, got many of the crucial moves for this game. I loved how Tal, just like in the Tal-Larsen, 1965, created another invincible barrier that splits the Black camp into 2. BUT this time, with an exchange sacrifice at e6.

It's also worth noting that when the tension at the center seemed to reach a stalemate...and there is no way to breakthrough, Tal unearthed a timely h2-h4-h5 to shatter the Black pawns in front of the King.

The battering ram - the h-pawn, opened diagonals for the White bishops that proved to be fatal for the Black King which is protected only by the g7-Bishop and f8-Rook.

Aug-14-10  sevenseaman: <shakespeare> 22. Nf6 is brilliant.
Aug-16-10  abstract: 'some sacrifices are sound, the rest are mine' Mikhail Tal.. 24.Ng3! :S
Oct-24-10  redorc19: the sac is brilliant. To all those who say that it isn't or it is not sound, forget it! The game is surrounded around it. This game wouldn't have been famous if the sac didn't occur, so analyzing it is totally counter-productive!!!
Oct-24-10  redorc19: the sac(s) are brilliant. To all those who say that the aren't or aren't sound, forget it! The game is surrounded around them. This game wouldn't have been famous if the sacs didn't occur, so analyzing it is totally counter-productive!!!
Nov-17-10  Ghuzultyy: Great sacrifices by Tal loved Ng3!!
Dec-30-10  hongb: niceee sacrifice i agree to shakespeare's 22. Nf6!!
Jul-14-11  Lovuschka: What a shame that Tal died only a few years later because of his kidneys. This game demonstrates how he even at 50 was able to beat the world's leading players. Not only that! In 1988 Tal became world blitz champion and from 1958 to 1982 he got 82 of 101 points on games at chess olympiads.
Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Tal wrote in his autobiography something like the following, which is paraphrased: "Minutes at the chess board and years of analysis are not quite the same."

Of course not all of his tactics hold up to scrutiny, but in blitz there's not much time for that.

Nov-09-11  obsesschess: Tal again makes a great player like Karpov look ordinary. Be6 was almost goading Tal into an exchange sac?
Nov-09-11  DrMAL: <Richard Taylor: But it is certainly a lively game, if not "great", as Rxe6 is a pretty obvious idea.> Your profile humbly states, "I am not a very highly rated player" and in reading such a post one can only agree. <AnalyzeThis: This game is just ridiculously brilliant.> Most appropriate, people with reasonable knowledge of chess find themselves in awe.
Nov-09-11  DrMAL: Game was even more fascinating when analyzing with computer, play was indeed very accurate for any time control even for such top players. Only questionable move in opening was 6...Nxc3 (instead of ignoring with 6...Nc6) this was natural move that seems to keep tempo but it gave Tal slight edge with 7.bxc3 because of pawn structure after 7...g6 8.d4 Bg7 was played. From there, every move until move 17 was computed as basically best (could be tie) by computer. 17.Nd2 Kh8 18.Ne4 was creative maneuver that computer would not have picked. It takes awhile for it to compute advantage for white after 18...Qc7 (best).

Can you guess move where Karpov got into trouble? Computer could not for awhile, and then when it did, move it chose for awhile longer was also mistake, wow! Think Tal. Think counter-intuitive. Continuing plan logically as Karpov did with 20...exd4 was first real error in game, 20...h6 playing on K-side and weakening K position computes as best. Houdini picked 20...Qb6 for awhile but this is also mistake. After 21.h5! continuing plan 21...Qb6 computes as best, and 21...gxh5 was decisive mistake where, as someone pointed out above, 22.Nf6!! instantly wins because black does not have time to save R and also prevent mate, this is extremely tricky move very unlikely to be found OTB in normal time control. With 22.Qxd5 chosen, 22...Rf8 was forced, same for 23.Bc2 Qe5 and for 24.Ng3 Qxe1+ with finally some choice on move 25 but very sharp attack Karpov missed elusive 25...Bh6 move and 25...h6 to try and kick B lost.

Notice how much material Tal went down 24.Ng3!? gave away second rook. For someone to do this intuitively goes beyond magician into genie, especially since 24...Qxe1+ is check giving black chance to breathe after K moves. Amazing game for normal time control, fact that it was blitz makes it even more awesome.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAL!

Nov-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Dr Mal> yes, some games I like to enjoy without dissecting with the Si, but this one is so interesting the analysis leaves me even more impressed.

12 ... Be6 looks so ugly, Karpov must have expected 13 Rxe6 - for Tal it would have almost been a reflex. So he surely thought he could defend it. Despite the apparant imbalance the engine confirms the game to be remarkably even, right up to 21 ... gxh5?? I can only think he overlooked 22 Nf6! and "correctly" expected 23 Qxh5, only to go wrong again.

Even for Karpov, there are limits to what he could see in a blitz game.

The way I read it, Tal won because it was the sort of game in which he was completely at home ... and because in such a game any mistakes by B would be much less forgiving than mistakes by W

Nov-09-11  DrMAL: <scormus> Well, Be6 in front of pawns occurs sometimes in other openings; for example in Bf4 version of Grünfeld (Opening Explorer). Here, true, B sticks out like sore thumb in front of R but assessing whether straight sac R for B is worth it or not is very complicated, on move 14 white has several good moves and black generally has several good responses for each. Such a sac so early in game with so many options is basically intuitive, impossible for human to calculate even with all the time in the world. In blitz game one would more likely play it but either way I don't think Karpov "expected" it but of course he considered it.

In terms of 22.Nf6 maybe I did not make clear that, once one starts looking at it, calculating what happens is not difficult, this is not where "trickiness" was, I sometimes (often?) have difficulty finding proper words. It is just that 22.Qxh5 is so much clearly "thing to do" (at least to me, and evidently to Tal also) that tricky part is to NOT do this, step back, and find better move, especially in blitz. Like avoiding error of recapture 24...cxd4 in Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999. In both cases, computer does not care it can compute a zillion things as long as it has time and, since it has no intuition (or vision for that matter), it does not get tricked by what it sees.

Finally, I do not mean to be contradictive but I really cannot agree with final statement mistakes by one side much less forgiving than mistakes by the other. Double edged is just that, it requires both sides to be accurate. If variation is forgiving on one side but not the other, it is not double edged or sharp, it is simply bad variation (for the side where small mistake counts a lot more)!

Nov-09-11  peter ramus: 24. Qxh7 KxQ

25. Nf6 mate

Mm?

Nov-10-11  peter ramus: Um...never mind,
Nov-10-11  gaatab: 24:nf6!! was much stronger than ng3 as played.
Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <DrMAL: <Richard Taylor: But it is certainly a lively game, if not "great", as Rxe6 is a pretty obvious idea.> Your profile humbly states, "I am not a very highly rated player" and in reading such a post one can only agree. <AnalyzeThis: This game is just ridiculously brilliant.> Most appropriate, people with reasonable knowledge of chess find themselves in awe.>

Come on Mal baby this is real coffee house stuff!! I would have found all this if I was asleep and drunk!

Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Your profile says nothing so I can only assume you are a genius!! Or a wanker!!
Nov-11-11  DrMAL: <Richard Taylor> Don't worry about competition, no one other than you is wanker claiming to be genius with statement like <I would have found all this if I was asleep and drunk!> However, as stated in previous post no one buys your genius part, all one can possibly conclude is you are wanker nothing else.
Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I don't often agree with <Richard Taylor> but this strikes me as pretty much a coffee house game.
Nov-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Okay, it was blitz. That explains a lot. I know POTD are a little divorced from reality since they are de facto telling you some important shot is on the board, but if you set this position up 13. ? It wouldn't be much more than a Wednesday/Thursday.
Nov-12-11  AnalyzeThis: Actually, Rxe6 doesn't win the game, it just gives white chances. Karpov wasn't lost until later.
Nov-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < DrMAL: <Richard Taylor> Don't worry about competition, no one other than you is wanker claiming to be genius with statement like <I would have found all this if I was asleep and drunk!> However, as stated in previous post no one buys your genius part, all one can possibly conclude is you are wanker nothing else. >

Well, seeing your comments here, which were directed at YOU, to whit, that you we either a genius or a wanker, it is clear you are, sadly, a resident of the latter category.

The sac on e6 is a well known motif. I admire many of Tal's games (I have done since 1961) but this is, while ingenious, not one of his best.

Karpov played some wonderful attacking games when he needed to. There is no need to belabour this game...study some of Karpov's great games.

In so doing DrMal (Doctor Bad?!!!) might become less of a moron!!

Nov-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: Tal vs A Kolarov, 1970
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