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Mikhail Tal vs Georgy Lisitsin
"A Strong Piece" (game of the day Jan-15-2011)
USSR Championship (1956), Leningrad URS , rd 11, Jan-28
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Levenfish Variation (B71)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Black probably wished he had a dark-squared bishop once Tal started marching his King up the board.
Jun-10-12  shaikriyaz: prey becomes predator!
Nov-20-14  Castleinthesky: This game is Game 2 in Irving Chernev's The Most Instructive Games Ever Played
Dec-20-14  Howard: It's not only Game 2, but it turns out that Lisitsin was also in Game 3 ! He lost that one too.
Feb-09-16  Timi Timov: That 16...Qb6 , lol... Lisitsin was afraid of Tal' s tactics capacity
Feb-09-16  Timi Timov: 17... Qb6*
Feb-09-16  RookFile: Lisitsin played a good game in defeat.
Nov-19-16  clement41: A classic yet effective and pretty king march by Tal! I liked the tactical defense 17...Qb6!? because it's psychologically strong, kindof ignoring white's threat and going ahead with his own agenda instead
Mar-15-17  Toribio3: In this game, Tal played like Petrosian!
Feb-27-18  Howard: But, exactly where did Black go wrong in this game?

As much as I've always liked Chernev's MIGOCEP, he's rather negligent in that book as far as explaining just where the loser went wrong. This game is no exception !

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Full game analysis requested, check back in a few hours.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Analysis complete. =))
Mar-02-18  Howard: And the computer concludes.....?
Mar-13-18  Howard: So, exactly where did Black go wrong ?

Chernev hardly gives a clue !

Mar-13-18  Retireborn: 28...Bxd3 29.cxd3 Nf5+ 30.Kc5 Re6 should draw comfortably, I think.

Also more active rook moves like 29...Re1 or 35...Rh2. Black seems not to be lost until he exchanges knights on move 38.

Oct-16-18  Howard: As reluctant as I am to criticize Chernev's classic work TMIGOCEP, this game is an excellent example of how biased Chernev could be in his annotations.

A reading of his notes to this game (Game #2, in fact) gives one the impression that Tal played superbly in the endgame, and thus deserved to win. But the computer seems to believe that Tal actually was at a disadvantage for a good part of the game!

Too bad Chernev doesn't acknowledge this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is possible that I was not as strong a player as Chernev, but on playing through this game, the 'inexorable' path to victory is far from clear; as noted by <Howard>, it seems the young Tal was at pains to keep from being at a clear disadvantage for much of this struggle.
Nov-22-18  jonjoseph: The black pawns allowed Tal an easier pathway up the board.They obstructed black`s rook and against one bishop there was plenty of freedom to move. Nothing creative seemed to come from black on the King`s journey and when the knight shifted across I thought the whole king effort was being used as a distraction to drag the knight away .A remarkable sight to see the king descending on the a file pawn like an Exocet missile. A clear sense of humour shown by Tal in this game .
Nov-22-18  jonjoseph: Black`s move 38 seemed to throw the towel in.
Feb-03-19  Hailelmo: Howard, there are more things to consider than a computers evaluation, such as how clement said, ...Qb6 can give a psychological advantage. Also highly depends on the chess engine, and also depends on the ideas that can come out of moves, for example when playing sicilian dragon, you often find ...a6 as a move to attempt to wrongfoot the opponent by opening up lines associated with the najdorf...
Feb-03-19  ughaibu: In any case, Chernev was in no position to acknowledge how any computer assessed the position, at any point in this game.

Apologies for the many anys.

Aug-04-20  talhal20: White king is roaming all around the board and picking enemy pawns.This may be novelty for a computer engine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A game featured in both "Simple Chess" by Stean and the "Most instructive games of chess" by Chernev
Jan-31-21  Torodeboro: uper thematic game with a kingwalk. Nowadays probably the Short-Timman game would also be included as a showcase that even in the middlegame a king could penetrate offensively and safely when the structure is closed and the player controls a colourcomplex. Today's game of Foreest - Grandelius where the white king ended on h6 as well is also interesting in that regard.

I love white's moves f5 and Kd2-Kc3-Kd4. At some point white is even two pawns behind, but he he more less plays with an extra piece.

Oct-18-21  Tacotopia: 22...gxf5 is a notable moment in the game, where Black accepts Tal's pawn (positional sacrifice). I just went through this game from the Chernev book. Here I thought a bit for what I would have played as Black and much prefer 22...Rfe8 immediately. In the game Tal disputes Black's control of the open e-file after the sacrifice. Even though the engine likes the text move slightly better I think it's easier for Black to maintain the advantage with immediately doubling rooks. I think a likely continuation is 23.g4 Ng3 and here there are lots of complications and White has to choose between Rf2, Rf3, Rf4, and Rg1. If, for example 24.Rf4 Ne2+ 25.Bxe2 Rxe2 and Black maintains a clear advantage with his control of the e-file and very active rook on the 2nd rank. If 24.Rf3 Re3 and Black is clearly better. 24.Rf2 is probably the best continuation for White, but it's complicated after ...h5.
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