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Abram Khasin vs Mikhail Tal
USSR Championship (1956), Leningrad URS , rd 2, Jan-12
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  0-1



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Given 19 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-06-04  quovadis: here white could have won this game by 28.Qg3! and if 28... g6 or 28...Ne6 29.BxR and easy win ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: I think you mean 26. Qg5! and the double attack on g7 & d2 wins material = 26 ... g6/f6/Ne6 27. Qxd2. Good pick-up!
Jul-06-04  quovadis: Of course 26.Qg5! wins also ,but even later,I mean instead of (28.Qf2 as played in the game) , white play 28.Qg3! and could still win the game
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <quovadis> My apologies, now I get what you meant. After 27 ... Rxd5?! White can break the pin while threatening Mate in Two with 28. Qg3! like you said, and now Black loses a Rook after 28 ... g6/f6/Ne6/Ng6/Qe5 29. Bxd5 (28 ... Qxe4? 29. Rxg7+). Fascinating missed tactics since USSR Championships are typically high quality tournaments starring super-prepared GMs. Great job!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Tal's attempted exploitation of a pin to win a "poisoned pawn" with 27...Rxd5?? was an error, as White could have won as noted by <quovadis> and <tpstar>.

However, Tal makes no mistake in taking advantage of White's blunder 31. Rxf7?? (White should have played 31. Qc2 instead) with 31...Nxd6!, which sets up 32...Re1! for an unbreakable winning pin.

I think Tal visualized the potential for this combination when he played 30...Nc5!, which wins at least a pawn after 31. Qc2 Nxd3 32. Qxd3 Re2.

Tal could have won after White's futile 33. Qd5 with 33...Qe6! or 33...kh8!, but 33...Qxf7! works just fine.

Feb-18-05  hcg: after 28. Qg3 black doesnt loose immediately, cause of 28... Qf6!. (Rxf6 Rd1). Maybe: 29: Rf4 Rg5 30. Rxf6 Rxg3 31. Rxf7 Re3 or something similar.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: I used this game for a puzzle set (PIN 3 = BACK RANK) because after 32. Qf3 it's a tense position with both sides teetering on the brink. 32 ... Re1! is fairly obvious, then after 33. Qd5 the startling retort is 33 ... Qxf7! 34. Qxf7+ Kh8 and Black regains the Queen due to the back rank mate motif. Yet my student suggested 33 ... Qe6 instead:

click for larger view

Now 34. Qxd3 Qxf7; 34. Qf3 Rxf1+ 35. Qxf1 Qxf7; 34. Qb7 Rxf1+ 35. Rxf1 Qe1! 36. Qf7+ (36. Kg1? Qxf1+!) Kh8 and Black again regains the Queen through the upcoming pin on e1. Unless someone finds a hole, 33 ... Qe6 is an alternate solution to the game continuation, as noted by <patzer2> above.

Jun-12-06  PolishPentium: Would someone be willing to explain why White is unable to simply play RxQ on his 33rd move? Doesn't the removal of the nasty Black Q mean that White has enough defensive resources at the back? Looking at both the N check on f2 or the R check on f1, the White Q seems to be able to hold things. Or does it get overburdened? If so, how?? Thanks, folks...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <PolishPentium> If 33. Rxe7 then 33 ... Rxf1+ 34. Qxf1 Rxe7:

click for larger view

Here White doesn't have time to prevent 35 ... Re1 pinning the Queen (35. Qxd3? Re1+ mates) so Black regains the Queen and remains a Knight up.

Dec-17-06  syracrophy: The faith is just the same after the desesperated 35.♕xe8+ ♖xe8 and black's still up a whole ♘, with winning endgame
Jan-17-09  pbernh: 'quovadis: here white could have won this game by 28.Qg3! and if 28... g6 or 28...Ne6 29.BxR and easy win ... '

Why would black answer with any of the moves suggested (g6/f6/Ne6/Ng6/Qe5). Isn't it more simple to just reply 28...Re5 or 28...Rg5? Why hang the rook?

Jul-14-09  Hannibal: Same as <pbernh>. If 28.♕g3 then 28...♖e5 and black is winning.
Jan-15-12  backrank: 28. Qg3 ist just as bad as 28. Qf2, the move actually played. 28. Qg3 doesn't threat anything on g7. Likewise, 26. Qg5 can be answered by R8e2, with an overwhelming position for Black.

My only explanation for <quovadis'> and <tpstar>'s comments is a wrong game score, with a rook on g4 instead of b4. This could have happened quite easily, since in descriptive notation, White's 25th move will read RN4 (or RKt4) in either case (Peter Clarke's book, however, wisely has RQKt4). Probably there had initially been a wrong game score on, which was corrected later (after the above comments had already been made!). However, it appears to be quite sure that White's 25th move was actually Rb4, since there is no other sensible way to defend the b-pawn. And so, to the pleasure of us all, Tal hasn't overlooked anything here :)

Jan-28-20  Gaito: This game is deeply annotated by Mikhail Tal in his fascinating book "The Life & Games of Mikhail Tal". To be sure, White's 25th move was Rb4 (and not Rg4?) Hence, the first four comments (by quovadis and tpstar) should be deleted, as they are commenting on the wrong position.
May-05-20  carpovius: Pure beauty
Feb-23-22  Cibator: P H Clarke criticises Black's 26th, giving ... Ng6 as an improvement with the possible continuation 27.Bxg6 hxg6 28.Qh3 Rxd5 29.Rh4 f6 and " ... the heavy piece ending is very favourable for Black".

In reply to Tal's actual 26. ... Qe7, White missed the opportunity to draw with 27.Qf4 Re2 28.Qf3 Rd2 29.Qf4, etc (attempts to avoid the repetition backfire).

Feb-23-22  Cibator: Note the rival "Alekhine's Cannons" after White's 30th. It's the Black cavalry that tips the balance.
Oct-26-22  tonsillolith: <33...Qxf7!> is a nice move, with a pleasing conclusion <36...Re1>.

The knight on <d3> is killer.

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