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Mikhail Tal vs Lajos Portisch
"Taleportischion" (game of the day Jun-01-2014)
Tal - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1965), Bled YUG, rd 2, Jun-28
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack (B10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-10-07  Tomlinsky: Annotations by Tal from the absolutely superb book 'The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal'...

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 Nd7 7.d4 Ngf6 8.Bd3 Nxe4 9.Qxe4 e6 10.O-O Be7 11.c3 Nf6 12.Qh4

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'After 12.Qe2 White has a slight, but indisputable, positional advantage. I wished to lure the knight onto d5 from where it is unable to take up the good defensive post f8. However, this is achieved at the cost of several tempi and Black has time to stabilise the position.'

12...Nd5 13.Qg4 Bf6 (13...O-O 14. Bh6 Bf6 15.Qe4 )

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14.Re1 (14.Qe4 Ne7 'White's initiative would soon evaporate.')

14... Qb6 (14...O-O 15.Bh6 Re8 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Bc1)

'At this point 'correct' was the reserved 15 a3, with the hope of exploiting the famous pair of bishops in a protracted struggle. Before the match we had noticed that the Hungarian Grandmaster has an excellent feel for the most subtle strategic nuances but reacts less confidently to sudden tactical turns. This, and also the fact that the black king has stood with impunity in the centre of the board for 14 moves, provoked the following reaction.'

15.c4 Nb4 (On 15...Ne7 I was planning 16.d5 cxd5 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Qa4+ at any rate preventing Black from castling.)

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16. Rxe6+ fxe6 17. Qxe6+ Kf8

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Tal wrote that he spent most of his time considering 17...Be7 and discovered 18.Bg6+! (18.Bg5? Qc7 19.Re1 Nxd3 20.Bxe7 Qd7) 18...Kd8 (18...hxg6? 19.Bg5 Qc7 20.Re1 Qd7 21.Qxg6+ ) 19.Bf5 Qxd4 (19...Qc7? 20.Bf4 Qc8 21. Qe4 ) 20.Bf4 'This position greatly appealed to me...')

18. Bf4 Rd8 19. c5 Nxd3 20.cxb6!? (20. Bh6 Qxb2 (20... Qc7 21. Qxf6+ Kg8 22. Bxg7 Qxg7 23. Qxd8+ Kf7 24.Qc7+ Kf6 25.Qd6+ Kf5 (25...Kf7 26.Rd1) 26.g4+ Ke4) 21.Qxf6+ Ke8 22.Qe6+ Kf8 23. Qf6+ )

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20...Nxf4 21.Qg4 Nd5 22.bxa7 Ke7 (22...g6 23.Re1 Kg7 24.a8=Q Rxa8 25.Qd7+ Kh6 26. Qxb7 Bxd4 27. Qxc6 Rhf8 28. Re2 )

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23.b4! Ra8 24.Re1+ Kd6 25.b5 Rxa7 26.Re6+ Kc7 27.Rxf6 1-0

Oct-02-09  WhiteRook48: Tal is a genius!
Jun-12-10  ForeverYoung: Players like Tal inspire me!
Dec-23-11  palagalaako: Hmmm..why did Black resign after the 27th move of white?is it because white will be up 2 pawns in the endgame (like if 27 ... gxf6 28 Qg7+ and forking)?or am i missing something here.. 0.o
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <palagalaako> After 27...gxf6 (Black's best) 28.Qg7+ Kd6 29.Qxh8 White will have Q+6P vs. R+N+4P, a winning advantage. True, Black can capture White's Pa2 but after 29...Rxa2 30.bxc6 bxc6 31.Qxh7 it's Q+4P vs. R+N+2P, still a winning advantage. Note that in particular that Black is probably unable to stop White's h-pawn from queening.

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Dec-23-11  palagalaako: Oh yeah! Thanks for that continuation.. Hmm, that really is an overwhelming advantage, plus i think Tal plays the endgames really good after looking at Nikitin vs Tal (1959)..could you suggest any more sacrificial games like this one?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: OK. I freely admit I thought I had seen every possible Tal pun. I was wrong. Don't know how much I like this one, but it is ingenious.

Sort of like the game. You'd think that Tal couldn't possibly surprise anyone any more, and off he goes again. And in a Candidates Match of all places.

Jun-01-14  Mudphudder: Geezus Christmas. By move 18 this game already looks over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: A dreadful pun. But they're the best kind.
Jun-01-14  RookFile: What a wonderful game by Tal. I was unfamiliar with this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What was wrong with 19...Qa5 ?
Jun-01-14  Catfriend: <al wazir> The threat is 20. Re1, with the idea of Bd6+ and Qe8#. Seems winning.
Jun-01-14  morfishine: Wickedly powerful game. Speaking of Teleportation or Telekinesis, its not hard to imagine Tal glaring at the board on move 16, when the rook moves on its own, slowly at first while almost toppling over, then suddenly it shoots forward landing on <e6> causing the Black pawn to shift backwards onto <e7>

After all, we can't expect telekinesis to also place the captured pawn back in the box


Jun-01-14  kereru: After 17...Kd8 white just has to take the draw.

17...Kf8!?, which more or less commits to saccing the queen, was a brave move by Portisch, but it backfired. Had Portisch not bravely avoided the draw, nobody would be singing Tal's praises. They'd be criticising him for forcing a draw in a slightly better position before the game had even really started.

Jun-01-14  thegoodanarchist: A most excellent pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Catfriend: The threat is 20. Re1, with the idea of Bd6+ and Qe8#. Seems winning.> Yes, that works. Thanks.
Jun-02-14  kevin86: Then there is the story of a man who tried to teleport himself to a baseball game and became an infield fly. OUCH!
Jun-04-14  thegoodanarchist: <kevin86: Then there is the story of a man who tried to teleport himself to a baseball game and became an infield fly. OUCH!>

Groan! But still appreciated :)

Jul-14-14  DanielBryant: According to The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, Tal was taken aback by Portisch's choice of the Caro-Kann here, admitting he had not even considered the possibility in preparations.
Feb-28-15  Whitehat1963: Typical of Tal. Relentless, powerful, punishing attack.
Dec-17-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: There are so many games in which black goes wrong by playing Qb6.

Compare Euwe v Fischer, 1957

and Alekhine v Lasker, Z├╝rich 1934

Dec-17-16  RookFile: Black's setup is similar to the Fort Knox defense in the French Defense. Black has had some success in trading off a couple of minor pieces to lighten his defensive task. A good move is 13.... g6, even though it weakens the dark squares. Black is even willing to trade off the dark squared bishops because of his previous success in swapping off minor pieces.

For example:

13.... g6 14. Bh6 Bf8 15. Bxf8 Kxf8

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Black is ok here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Splendid speculative sacrifice on e6. Here the three pieces (RBN) can never coordinate against the White Queen.

Tal must have been an incredibly fearsome opponent OTB.

Apr-16-18  anjumskhan: To me the point of BXNf3 was to play e5 as strongly as possible but alas that didn't happen. Black's subsequent play contradict his own opening ideas.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Tal was surprised by Portisch "blatantly copying Botvinnk," so avoided the usual lines.

"And you can see how it turned out. "

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