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Lajos Portisch vs Mikhail Tal
Moscow (1967), Moscow URS, rd 15, Jun-11
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Lesser Simagin (Spassky) (E62)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-15-07  zb2cr: Took me about 2 minutes of staring at the
puzzle to see it. <Mkrk17> ably summed up the tactical features which I saw, and which eventually led me to see the proper approach.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, Portisch begins a trapped piece combination with the obstruction sacrifice 16. b6!, so that after 16...Qxb6 17. Qc3 the Knight is trapped by the overloading of White's Queen and Bishop (two against one) on the under-protected Knight (protected only by the lonely Queen).
Nov-15-07  outsider: glad got it in one minute. must admit that saw the knight issue immediately, but it took a bit to see the way of exploiting it. the most horrible thing is that if i did not know the value of 2,5 stars, i would never have seen b6+ qc3
Nov-15-07  Marvol: This one I got a lot faster than the previous two. Here it was SO obvious there was no mate, I just immediately stared at that knight astray on a5. Then is was pretty easy. I am very disappointed that <while the Tal Memorial is being played> you chose a puzzle that has Tal losing. Desecration! Heresy! Booooooo ;)

Nov-15-07  SickedChess: was easy to find 1. b6 i got in ten seconds!
Nov-15-07  znprdx: Well I was about to give up - it wasn't even a Tal combination - but seeing b6 was a pure delight - there is no way to save the errant knight! The cutest line is ...16.c4 17.Qc3 (not Qa3 ...c3) This is the kind fluke opening trap which probably occurs more often than we realize - well worth looking for.
Nov-15-07  awfulhangover: Must be very easy for a thursday puzzle?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Not with an awful hangover.
Nov-15-07  alshatranji: 16. b6 was one of the first moves to come to mind, but initially I thought of it as a distraction, a way to force the black queen away from the king's side. But soon it became clear that there is really nothing there, and I started thiking what if I attack the knight: it's isolated and has no place to retreat to. At once b6 presented itself as the only way to stop black from protercting the knight. Pretty straighforward.
Nov-15-07  micartouse: Sorry to have missed this. I saw the trapped knight and even considered 16. b6 but couldn't put 2 and 2 together. It looks like a form of blocking. If a pawn can be used to protect a piece and you can put an enemy piece in front of the pawn ... very pretty and simple.
Nov-15-07  SickedChess: maybe 17..Nc6 giving horse for two pawns was better than 17..Qb5? but still black is hopeless
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: <sickedchess> Giving horse? Sounds like something rated NC 17.

The black knight is lost-"good-bye old paint,I'm leaving Cheyenne."

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It's very surprising to see the former World Champion & a Master of Attack losing his Knight at the edge of the board where he shouldn't have played. Well, that is Chess. Guys, I shall be missing you all as my "Avari Chess Academy" organises "All India Zoroastrian Chess Championship 2007" on 18th Nov.'07 exclusively meant for Parsi boys & girls, men & women of my community. Til then Good-Bye!
Nov-15-07  zealouspawn: my thought process was about the same as alsh's. b6 was pretty nice, while I found it in a minute or two I probably wouldn't have otb.
Nov-15-07  Fezzik: All these people are saying how surprised they were that Tal lost a piece.

If you take a look at his alternatives you may see that he probably thought he was getting compensation in the form of pawns and *some* counterplay.

His position was already terrible as early as move 13, and probably even earlier.

Nov-15-07  ruzon: I think 12. ... b6 is better than 12. ... Nh5, especially considering that Tal lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I concur with the statements of <An Englishman> and <al wazir>. 15… a6 instead of …b6 was awful. I also did not understand 12… Nh5. 12… Ne8 would have avoided the pin by white’s bishop at g5 as well as allowed the knight to be in position to assist in black’s queenside defense.

Finally, instead of the line followed in the puzzle after move 17 Qc3, <al wazir’s> line would have avoided the situation played out in the game where the doomed doubled-pawn was left hanging at b5 after the forced queen exchange.

Nov-15-07  TheaN: 4/4

16.b6 initiates a nice combination.
16....Qxb6 doesn't lose the Knight immediately, 17.Qc3 does win it, though. I think that the pawn play afterwards is not a necessary thing to see: Tal doesn't really have anything to play for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Not that it was a bad move, but instead of 7...Bf5 the alternative 7...a6 as in Ponomariov vs Kasimdzhanov, 2007 is worth considering here.
Nov-15-07  babakova: First looked at Qc3 but then black plays b6 so my amazing brain suggested b6 for white at once instead.
Jan-17-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES!
Jan-17-11  notyetagm: Portisch vs Tal, 1967

16 ?

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16 b5-b6! <obstruction>

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16 ... ♕d8xb6 17 ♕d3-c3 <trapped piece: a5-knight>

click for larger view

<patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, Portisch begins a trapped piece combination with the obstruction sacrifice 16. b6!, so that after 16...Qxb6 17. Qc3 the Knight is trapped by the overloading of White's Queen and Bishop (two against one) on the under-protected Knight (protected only by the lonely Queen).>



Jan-23-16  JimNorCal: "The good Homer nods". One moment of inattention...
Apr-04-17  Eduardo Bermudez: Was there ever any other player who could lay claim to having beaten Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Keres in the same tournament?
Apr-05-17  ughaibu: No, but there weren't many tournaments in which all four played.
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