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Mikhail Tal vs Tigran V Petrosian
"Breakfast of Champions" (game of the day Apr-13-2007)
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 15, Oct-23
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Smyslov Variation Main Line (B17)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Marmot PFL : "Mother Night" has a chess playing character, a Russian agent alias George Kraft who encounters the protagonist in NYC after WWII.> Also, Vonnegut wrote a short story that is completely about chess, called "All the King's Horses".

The plot summary: an Army Colonel and his family and troops are captured. He is forced to play a game of chess with a Chinese officer, using the captives are human pieces. But there is a grisly catch: every piece who is captured will be executed immediately. He reaches a moral dilemma when he discovers a sacrifice that leads rapidly to victory, but the piece he must sacrifice is his own son.

Showtime produced a mini-movie based on the story in 1991.

Apr-13-07  Duque Roquero: What if 28. Rgg1?
Apr-13-07  jmi: <Duque Roquero:What if 28. Rgg1?>

28. ♖gg1 and ...♖c7 is crushing:-

If 29. ♕a4 ♕xa4 30. bxa4 ♖xc2 with ....♖xa4 and ....♗b2# to follow quickly - White will quickly run out of checks after ♘xf6+ ♔h8

If 29. ♕f1 ♖xc2 with ....♗b2# to follow

Apr-13-07  panthercat: <Duque Roquero> 28. Rgg1 loses by force to 28. ...Bb2+ 29. Kxb2 a1=Q+ 30. Rxa1 Qxa1#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: What about 24. Nxe6

I haven't worked out all the lines. Anybody see a good response on black's part?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Make that 23. Nxe6 ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: From now on I'm playing 4..Nd7 instead of the routine 4..Bf5.
Apr-13-07  dabearsrock1010: VONNEGUT DIED!? That's horrible news. Breakfast of Champions is one of my favorite books. Cats Cradle is good too. That sucks though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I also liked B of C and as <Themofro> points out he was at Dresden and wrote Slaughter House 5 which was thus based on it - it is comparable for it's time and being a modern classic to "Catch 22" etc

My use of "and so on" is borrowed from Vonnegut. Lol.

Apr-14-07  talisman: <Richard Taylor> i believe Vonnegut said once that BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS> was a birthday present to himself...a way of putting everything that had gone before behind him.must have stayed on the bestseller list forever in the mid-seventies.seemed like you saw that bookcover everywhere.charlie rose has some good interviews.he will be missed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It's a sad news that author Vonnegut 'BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS' left for his heavenly abode. Tal is the most aggressive chess player & Petrosian the most defensive player in the History of Chess. After defending his position so well, Petrosian gives a knock punch to Tal which leaves him defenseless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <<talisman>: <Richard Taylor> i believe Vonnegut said once that BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS> was a birthday present to himself> I agree - I read the book not to many years ago. Great writing. Insightful.
Apr-17-07  ForeverYoung: Keres had some interesting things to say about this game: He rated 13 0-0-0 as dubious. He goes on to explain that this game was played toward the end of the tournament when Tal needed points. He adds that "... But in order to get the kind of position he wants, Tal is giving his rival considerable odds ... " He indicates in his annotations to the game as 20 Rdg1 being the losing move and gives 20 c3! as white's best chance backed up with some complex analysis which would be too lengthy to reproduce here. This is from "Power Chess, Great Grandmaster Battles From Russia" published by David McKay company inc.
Mar-23-09  Andrijadj: Tal labeled this game as his worst defeat ever...
Jun-22-09  totololo: The book title make reference to "Breakfast at Tiffany" - a famous movie at that time....
Oct-15-09  hedgeh0g: <What about 23. Nxe6

I haven't worked out all the lines. Anybody see a good response on black's part?>

I think Black would play ...a1=Q+ 24.Rxa1 Bxe6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Position after 14...Nxa4:

click for larger view

Fritz evaluates it as -0.3 or so. Petrosian handles the rest pretty straightforwardly. Strategically speaking, a4 followed by 0-0-0 can be risky business, I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: After this loss, Tal played 93 unbeaten games until losing in Tal vs N K Ivanov, 1974
Sep-09-14  ColeTrane: where are the rants on Celine..?
Apr-16-18  anjumskhan: Petrosian played it to perfection. Every single move had a purpose and forced Tal to react. Tacticians like Tal want some time wasting poor moves from opposition to cash in on, and when they didn't get any they are confused.
Jun-01-20  carpovius: <Vonnegut passed yesterday. So the title is probably just a reference to him. Towards the end of the book, if I remember, a waitress says "Breakfast of Champions" every time she serves a martini. Maybe Tal and Petrosian liked their Vodka Martinis?>

Yes! Vodka-Martini is a typical Russian breakfast.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <anjumskhan> No Petrosian went wrong somewhere and had to rely on a mistake by Tal

At move 23, White has c3 equalising:

Mikhail Tal - Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian 0-1 15.0, USSR Championship 1973

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. = (0.00): 20...Bxc3 21.Qd3 Bb2+ 22.Kb1 g6 23.Nd2 Nbd7 24.Bd6 Nb6

2. = (0.00): 20...a2 21.Kb2 Bxc3+ 22.Kxc3 Nxc4 23.Qxc4 Nd5+ 24.Kb2 f6 25.Rhg1 fxg5 26.Rxg5 Qxg5 27.Nxg5 Rxf2+ 28.Ka1 Ne3 29.Qc3 Nc2+ 30.Kb2 a1B+ 31.Rxa1 Nxa1+ 32.Kb1 Rf1+ 33.Kb2

3. = (0.00): 20...Nxc4 21.Qxc4 a2 22.Kb2 Nd5 23.cxb4 f6 24.Bxf6 Qxf6 25.Rhg1 b5 26.Qc5 Bb7 27.Ka1 Rac8 28.Qxb5 Qe7 29.Ne5 Nxb4 30.Nxe6 Nc2+ 31.Kxa2 Nb4+ 32.Ka3 Qxe6

At move 17, Petrosian's most accurate seems to be Nfd5

Mikhail Tal - Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian 0-1 15.0, USSR Championship 1973

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. -+ (-3.03): 17...Nfd5 18.gxh6 a3 19.Rhg1 axb2+ 20.Kd2 g6 21.Bb3 Nd7 22.h7+ Kxh7 23.c3 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Be7 25.Qd3 Kg7 26.Bxd5 exd5 27.Nf4 Qb6 28.Nd4 Rh8 29.Rb1 Rxh2

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <kingscrusher: <anjumskhan> No Petrosian went wrong somewhere and had to rely on a mistake by Tal

At move 23, White has c3 equalising:>

That seems awfully harsh. This was an incredible tactically complicated fight - to expect perfection is not realistic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <plang> Their decisive encounters are in short supply, so we may as well analyse their decisive encounters to try and find the truth as far as possible:

" Classical games: Tigran V Petrosian beat Mikhail Tal 5 to 4, with 35 draws. Including rapid/exhibition games: Tigran V P
Petrosian tied Mikhail Tal 5 to 5, with 36 draws. "

Intuitivey to me, it did also look very scary for Petrosian in terms of the g-file. I have analysed this game in the past on Youtube and didn't pick up on this resource before:

I will put my updated analysis in a lichess blog soon

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I blogged about my updated analysis here:

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