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Mikhail Tal vs Mark Taimanov
"Taimanov to Win" (game of the day Jul-07-2011)
2nd Soviet Team Cup (1954), Riga URS, rd 8, Sep-12
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation General (C16)  ·  0-1



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Given 23 times; par: 88 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-13-08  Marmot PFL: Only queen checks need be considered -
Qf1+ Kc2 and white is OK

Qd1+ Qd2 Qb1+ Qc2 defends

this leaves Qf5+ Kc4 (Kd2 Nf1+) Qb1 d5 cd5+ Kc5 Qb6+ winning the queen

Aug-13-08  johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: [snip] I'm not sure why it took me so long to see 53...Qb1. [snip] >

I enjoy your posts because we solve the puzzles very differently. I gather you do not consider your board vision a strength ;>)

Given your ability to synthesize, however, the following observation might be useful. Many CG puzzles demonstrate that, although checks yield instant gratification, the threat of mate-in-1 (which also forces an opponent to drop everything) is often more effective.

With all the major piece mates I have (rather pointlessly) calculated to completion, it was natural to push the White K toward the Black K and Ps for a mating net, suggesting 52...Qf5+ 53.Kc4. Explicit recognition of the nearly equal merits of mate-in-1 threats vs. checks then made 53...Qb1 readily visible.

Aug-13-08  Vollmer: Wow , Tal was lost from about move 25 . Is this Taimanov's best effort or what . Hats off to Mr. T . I am amazed .
Aug-13-08  TheaN: <Official according to whom, Thea? :D>

Sidenote: TheaN is a nickname as whole; it is not the Thea N. combination which is logical: now don't go there asking me WHERE the nick cam from.

Answer: Direct link does not appear with the brackets: click the top of the list; usage point six in the article.

Not really official.

And in such a way, that the FIDE seems to apply the computerized signs, which I wasn't aware of: Appendix E13

...or the above article must not have come from the official rules but it seems that it does. I have to admit that in true writing †/‡ look more natural, but on the computer +/# do. It's weird, though, but I've actually been using the Daggers for quite some time now not knowing they are stylistic symbols. I like them, as they show some correlation (the double dagger only has one dash extra), where the + and # do not.

Aug-13-08  dzechiel: I have some really old chess books that use "ch." to indicate check.

Some just old chess books that use the dagger for check.

But all recent books seem to conform to the PGN standard and use '+' for check and '#' for mate.

Aug-13-08  TheaN: I believe that the official idea was that '†' was indeed a sign of the deceased, so they related it to checking of the King in chess (although that's weird as it should be checkmate in that way), of course, ‡ was a logical followup: the deadliest of deceased :), so the last check... in some way.

<But all recent books seem to conform to the PGN standard>

The PGN standard is corrected for computer play, computer analysis, computer notation and computer storage: I don't know if the FIDE really ever 'corrected' † and ‡ (correction for some maybe).

For as far as I know, † and ‡ ARE accepted in official play. But I'm actually not sure. As long as the notation is clear enough it should not be a true problem: I guess it's preference.

I never understood why stalemate never got a sign. I suggest $. Gotta love confusion: Be2$...

Aug-13-08  YouRang: <johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: [snip] I'm not sure why it took me so long to see 53...Qb1. [snip] > I enjoy your posts because we solve the puzzles very differently. I gather you do not consider your board vision a strength ;>) >

Well, on Monday I was having board vision difficulties, but that was because I went down a less efficient (i.e. longer) path.

Today, I don't think my problem was board vision, but rather my mental chess engine was pruning too quickly. I probably glanced at 53...Qb1, but noticed that it wasn't check, so I assumed that white would have time to respond effectively.

What bothers me even more is that I had previously noticed that the white king would be vulnerable to mate on c4 via ...Qb5#. So I already had all the pieces of the puzzle (and by that I mean *both* pieces) right in front of me, but it took me a long time to realize that I could put them together. :-(

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For those interested in the shortest route to mate from the final position, here's a breakout:

Mikhail Tal - Mark Taimanov

click for larger view

White to move, after 53...Qb1:

1. (-#3): 54.Bd8+ Kd7 55.d5 Qb5+ 56.Kd4 Qxd5#
2. (-#2): 54.d5 Qb5+ 55. Kd5 Qxd5#
3. (-#1): 54.Qxg3 Qb5#
4. (-#1): 54.Qf3 Qb5#
5. (-#1): 54.Bf6 Qb5#
6. (-#1): 54.Kc5 Qb5#

Aug-13-08  johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: [snip] I probably glanced at 53...Qb1, but noticed that it wasn't check, so I assumed that white would have time to respond effectively. [snip] >

This is of course why it is worth pointing out the strength of mate-in-1 threats. It took me many CG puzzles to realize their immediacy.

Jul-07-11  nisarg1: What does the title mean?
Jul-07-11  Ratt Boy: <nisarg1>: Good question. It probably is a pun based on "Time to win."

Not one of the best puns I've ever seen. Butt I salute all pun attempts, even (especially) the lamest, most stretched.

Like many Americans of my vintage, I began paying attention to international chess ca. 1970--the beginning of Bobby's run. So my impression of Taimanov is heavily skewed by his disaster against an immutable force. It's nice to see this excellent game by him against a top grandmaster at the top of his game, to give me a greater appreciation of Taimanov.

Jul-07-11  TheRavenPK: According to this database, next 8 games ended +5 -0 =3 in Tal's favor. Just saying.
Jul-07-11  Tigranny: Doesn't the pun give out too much of a clue to see who won the game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think the pun is "time enough to win". Not a roll on the floor belly-laugh, to be sure. But worth a little sardonic smile, perhaps.

And as with today's POTD, we see the power of a queen and knight in close proximity to the enemy king. Mates and forks at every turn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Tal's career was far too short-even then,he had many brilliant wins (and losses,for that matter)
Jul-07-11  DrMAL: <Ratt Boy: It's nice to see this excellent game by him against a top grandmaster at the top of his game> HUH? Tal was 17 during this Soviet Team Championship event. His game against Averbakh during this tournament was his first victory over a GM! Yes Tal did become WC only six years later...the youngest in history until Kasparov edged him by a few months 25 years after. In 1954 Tal was most certainly NOT "a top GM at the top of his game" he was not even a GM yet LOL.
Jul-07-11  SketchQuark: For those discussing the pun above, its also worth noting the name of the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: good to see this fine game. Tal might not have been the force he went on to be, but this was a great performance by Taimanov to force Tal's play back on himself. I have the same thoughts as <Ratt Boy>

<Once> I had a feeling you'd pick up on the Q+N theme

Very nice pun too

Jul-07-11  DrMAL: <scormus> Agreed it is a fine game indeed. Taimanov was already one of the top Soviet GMs at that time. Did not mean to "pick on" <Ratt Boy> it's just that Tal was still a teenager.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Besides the cool final position where it appears Tal has walked into a forced mate, the thing that struck me were the three sets of pseudo-sacrifices to win a pawn:

33.Nxd5 Qxd5 34.Rxc4

Followed immediately by:

35...Rxc2 Qxc2 36.Qxc4

As if Taimanov is saying, "Yeah, well two can play that game!"

But then there was another:


Taimanov played hard-to-get:

39...Kc7 40.Rb7+

"Okay, I'll play your game one more time"

40...Kxb7 41.Qb2+ Qb5 42.Qxa1


Shredder says 52.Qe3 was the blunder, resulting in the forced mate or a royal fork, 53...Nf1.

Jul-07-11  DrMAL: Analyzing this game, 7.Bxa6 is preferred because even though black's "bad" bishop is exchanged, in recapturing 7...Na6 the knight is poorly placed. 7.Bd3 is creative but removes white's advantage which 9.Bxa6 does not reinstate.

Castling long was risky because of the open b-file and pawn already on b6. 20.Ra3 was better because it sticks to white's plan, while 20.f4 unnecessarily weakens white's king position.

From here on Tal gets fully distracted into incorrectly playing on the kingside. 23.g4 was an obvious mistake and with 25.Bh4 (instead of, say, 25.Qd3) black has a clear initiative which Taimanov takes.

After 26.Bg5 another mistake, 27...Na5 starts a maneuver to c4 an excellent plan. 30...Ra2 immediately was stronger starting a decisive combination sooner but no matter, after 32.Kf2 another mistake 32...Ra2 works just as well. White's sac here 33.Nxd5 was a tactical blunder, 33.Bf4 was much better but Tal's game is already losing.

However, 33...Qxd5 was a counter-blunder, giving black some chance. After 33...exd5 34.Qxf5 Na3 35.RR1b2 Rxb2 36.Rxb2 Qxc3 37.Rb3 Qxd4+ white can resign.

Now black's sac 34...Rxc2 instead of 34...Rg8 was another big mistake, black gets only a one pawn advantage with nothing better in position. After 36...c6 the position is still quite complicated and Tal makes yet another mistake in 37.Qc2 instead of 37.Bd2 to protect the pawn on c3.

But again Taimanov misses a win with simply 37...Nxd4 (38.Qd2 Nb5) and goes for a slower plan giving Tal more chance. Here 38.Qb3 was obviously best but Tal once again makes a mistake with 38.Rb2 and it is eventually decisive (38...Ra1 instead of 38...b5 was yet another mistake, this post is getting quite long that way).

Despite all the mistakes, the game is interesting due to its complexity and lessons learned. Tal had a very good plan early on, but was not consistent (got distracted) and then bungled up the ensuing complications several times. Well, he WAS only 17 and, from his book indicated he was extremely nervous during this big event!

Jul-07-11  pericles of athens: DrMAL - fritz gives 23. g4 -0.21, down three-tenths from black's 22nd move (about +0.10).
Jul-07-11  DrMAL: <pericles of athens> Good point, Fritz's evaluation makes some sense as 23.g4 opening the g-file is double-edged. My comment was based on white needing some prophylaxis (e.g. 23.Ng4) because of earlier distraction away from the queenside but adding more risk on the kingside is not a fine plan, cheers.
Jul-07-11  WhiteRook48: very nice tactics by both sides, but if white played something other than 52 Qe3?? it probably would still be a fight.
Jul-07-11  waustad: Time enough to win!
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