Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Mikhail Tal vs Dieter Keller
"Keller Wails" (game of the day Feb-16-2011)
Zuerich (1959), Zuerich SUI, rd 7, May-27
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik Variation (D44)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 54 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 2,926 more games of Tal
sac: 14.dxe6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-16-11  obsesschess: Tal's attacking ability is phenomenal and in a world of its own. He plays so many counter-intuitive moves that pay off.

Scrolling through his games, he seems compelled to sacrifice material to achieve complexity which he knows the opponent can't manage. But to my amateur eye, they just look like losing positions. He had a uncanny grasp of the truth of the position.

Feb-16-11  GlennOliver: Marvellously awful pun today. : )
Feb-16-11  desiobu: The magician! Dazzling play.
Feb-16-11  kevin86: A lot of gobbling in this one. White laughs last.

BTW,There are two positions-Speaker of the House and town crier. I think John Boehner picked the wrong one.

Feb-16-11  twin phoenix: Thanks for posting <Ray Keene> makes me feel better about trying to emulate those great players too. Unfortunatly, i had to go over this game several times before i could understand all the sacks. I still find playing in 'the style of Tal' extremely difficult. I love sharp tactics as in Tal's and Morphys games but in my own games i resemble Capa (if capa were drunk and completly off his rocker!) Slow dogmatic play waiting for my opponent to make a mistake. How can i get more fire into my game like Tal? Whenever i study Morphy's games i have a tendency towards unsound sacks...
Feb-16-11  Bryan14: Plz can someone explain why not 25.RXe4 ?
Feb-16-11  mastermind7994: Bryan14, 26.♘d4+ would follow and if 26...♔a7 27.♘xc6# or 26...♔c7 27.♕xc6# or 26...♔c8 27.♕xc6+ ♕c7 28.♕xa8+ ♔d7 29.♕xe4 winning. Crazy game by the way.
Feb-16-11  Phony Benoni: <Bryan14> Do you mean <25...Rxe4> in this position, after White had captured a bishop on e4?

click for larger view

If so, I think the answer is 26.Nd4+, with a big threat to the knight on c6. The point of White's Rxe4 was to eliminate the bishop protecting that square, and 25...Rxe4 does not restore that protection.

After 25...Rxe4 26.Nd4+, black gets mated quickly after 26...Ka7 27.Nxc6#, 26...Kc7 27.Qxc6#, and loses too much material after 26...Kc8 27.Qxc6+ Qc7 28.Qxa8+ and and 29.Qxe4.

That leaves an interposition to 26.Nd4+, but either 26...Bb4 or 26...Bb6 allow 27.Qxc6+ again. That leaves 26...Nb4, which can be answered by 27.Qd7+ Qc7 28.Qd5+, and my lunch break is over. I'm sure our able team of analysts will find even better lines.

Feb-16-11  goodevans: <mastermind7994: Bryan14, 26.Nd4+ would follow and if 26...>

What if <25 ... Rxe4 26 Nd4+ Nb4>? I can't find a convicing win after that.

Feb-16-11  goodevans: <Phony Benoni: ... That leaves 26...Nb4, which can be answered by 27.Qd7+ Qc7 28.Qd5+>

Seems you and I posted roughly simultaeously. As far as I can see <25 ... Rxe4 26 Nd4+ Nb4 27 Qd7+ Qc7 28 Qd5+> leads to a roughly equal position, e.g. <28 ... Ka7 29 Qxe4 Qxe7 30 Qxe7 Bxe7 31 cxb4 Rc8>.

Feb-16-11  estrick: A dazzling game, that's way above my pay grade, sayeth the Tal wannabe.
Feb-16-11  Ferro: I'd like to see a game "Tal vs Uri Geller". Perhaps exist. Thank you
Feb-16-11  WhiteRook48: I'd never be able to play a game this brilliant
Feb-16-11  David2009: <goodevans: I would have played 28 ... Rxe7 [snip] 29 Qd5 looks quite nasty. 29 ... Ba7 looks forced (else 30 Rb6) and white's attack continues. Nevertheless I feel 28 ... Rxe7 holds out better that 28 ... Re5 as played.> You are right. Here's the position with Black to play (28...?)

click for larger view

Playing on Fritz 6/ Crafty EGT, the game continues 28...Rxe7 29.Qd5 Re5! (prevents Rb6) 30.Qxc4 Rb8 31.Rxb8 Nxb8 32.Kg2 Kc6 33.h4 Re6 34.Qd3 h6 35.Qf3+ Kc7 36.Qf4+ Kb7 37.Qxh6 Re2 38.Qh5 Rxf2+ 39.Kh3 Kc6 40.Qxf7 and White gradually grinds Black down -

click for larger view

the weak Pawn at a6 ties the N down too much. Nevertheless this lasts longer than the game.

Craft EGT's own first choice is 28...Nxe7! and this time the Fritz 6/Crafty EGT battle ends in a draw: 28...Nxe7 29.Rb7+ Kxb7 30.Qb1+ Ka7 31.Qxe4 Rd8 32.Qxh7 Rd1+ 33.Kg2 Rd2 34.Qxf7 Rxf2+ 35.Kh3 Ra2 36.Qxf6 Rxa5 37.Qe6 Ra3 38.Qxc4 Kb6 39.Qd3 a5 40.Kg4 Nc6 41.Qd2 a4 42.h4 Rb3 43.h5 a3 44.h6 Rb2 45.Qc1 Rf2 46.Kh3 Ne5 47.h7 Nf7 48.Qb1+ Kc7 49.Qb5 Kd6 50.Qb8+ Ke6 51.Qb3+ Kd6 52.Qxf7 Rxf7 53.h8Q Rf2 54.Qd8+ Kc6 55.g4 a2 56.Qa8+ Kb5 57.g5 Rd2 58.g6 Bf8 59.c4+ Kxc4 60.g7 Bxg7 61.Qg8+ Kb4 62.Qxg7 draw

click for larger view

The key difference with the first ending is that Black creates a passed Pawn which gives very active counter play. The EGT is not afraid of using its four pieces to co-ordinate the advance of this Pawn. Meanwhile, in both endings White makes full use of the powers of the Queen to shepherd passed Pawns.

Crafty EGT links (A) just before White plays 28 Qd1 (B) if Black had played 28 Rxe7!? In both positions you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

Feb-16-11  Phony Benoni: <goodevans> Having read the previous kibitzes and fed the position to my Bozo 0.5 computer, I'm inclined to think Keller preferred 25...Qxe4 to 25...Rxe4 as a winning attempt. After the latter move, White can at least force a perpetual:

click for larger view

<26.Nd4+ Nb4! 27.Qc6+ Kb8> (27...Ka7 28.Qd7+ and mate next move) <29.Rxb4+ Bxb4>

click for larger view

Now White has a perpetual check starting with 30.Qe8+. The Black king can't go to a7 without getting mated, and after 30...Kb7/Kc7 31.Qc6+ he must go back to b8. 30.Qb6+ should also do the trick, as Black should avoid 30...Kc8 31.Qc6+ Qc7 32.Qxe4, threatening 33.Qxa8 and 33.e8Q+).

On the other hand, 25...Qxe4 keeps winning chances alive for Black despite losing the queen. His fatal mistake came later, with 28...Re5.

However, I think we can cut Keller some slack. He had to have a headache at this point.

Feb-16-11  Raginmund: The Magician... Unbelieveble...

Tal posted a point to the post computer analisis era: A Tal's game, only have to be analised in its context... I mean, the day that the game has been played... Posterior analisis, it doesn't worth at all.

Tal only played better than his opponent, that's all

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: So who the heck was Dieter Keller?

He defeated the 16-year-old Fischer at the same tournament where this game against Tal was played: Fischer vs D Keller, 1959.

If he had managed to get the full point in his game against Tal, he could have been remembered as the "2400" who defeated two future world champions in the same event, or possibly as the Swiss Dr. Jonathan Penrose.

Feb-17-11  jojoman: I wonder if such a memorable game could be played nowadays, but I doubt it.

The era of chess engines requires scientifical thought, and it's difficult if not impossible for the new young players, studying with the help of computers, to mature their style towards Tal-similar games.

Jul-31-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Tal vs D Keller, 1959.
Your score: 52 (par = 49)


Apr-12-13  whiteshark: Excerpt from a recent book review (on <The Magic Tactics of Mikhail Tal>, by Karsten Müller and Raymund Stolze, New In Chess 2012, Figurine Algebraic Notation, Paperback) by Michael McGuerty on :

"It will not surprise some that Hübner's effort, analysis of the game Tal vs D Keller, 1959, runs forty-seven pages in length! <He notes that the game was recommended to him by Tal himself as one of his most interesting. <>> Robert Huebner writes that his intention is to <"cast a little light"> on Tal's playing style and that <"the discussion of this game could fill a whole book. Here we had to limit ourselves to a few modest suggestions."> These suggestions can have analytical notes as deep as A252222. Hübner also incorporates prior analysis from Bouwmeester, Kasparov, Tal, Timman, Unzicker, and Withuis, as well as from private analytical sessions from training events."

Sep-17-15  KarimReed: Lots of new analysis in "The Magic of Youth" from 2014. 19. Qe8+ just wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It would be great fun to watch this game live online with commentary of Sergei Shipov or Emil Sutovsky.

<19. Qe8+ just wins.> Yes, but it is not obvious at first glance. You must see that after 19.Qe8+ Qd8 20.exf7 black has no time to play 20...Rg7 due to 21.Ne6!, and 20...Bxf7 21.Qxf7 Rg7 22.Qxc4+ gives white winning attack with material advantage. And even more difficult is to figure out that after 19.Qe8+ Kb7 20.bxc3 black has no continuation allowing him to consolidate his defense. Of course, engine sees what to play after 20...Nc6 but for human in OTB game with limited time it is very hard task.

I think that black deserves some credit here as well for inventive play though I don't understand why he played 23...Be4?? setting his Bishop under a pin instead of natural and actually winning 23...Qg5.

Nov-15-16  clement41: What to say except thank you Mr Tal for blessing us with these marvellous sacrifices! Super-impressive play, maybe not 100% accurate but so strong practically speaking.
Feb-27-19  GFTSP: Tal sacs and sacs and sacs and somehow at the conclusion , ends up ahead material......Tal is a genius!!!!
Dec-07-19  ggallin: What is wrong with tal playing 7. E5?
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 6)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
from muayad ali's favorite games by muayad ali
Massive sacrificing and bizarre, unequal exchanges.
from Madness! by Buxtaber
Very Complecated
from TheWhiteRider's favorite games by TheWhiteRider
Wild Games
by williscreek
Master of Chaos
from Honza Cervenka's favorite games3 by Honza Cervenka
cm3jss' favorite games
by cm3jss
Tal gives up rook-forces more in return
from Russian World Champions by kevin86
from Defensive Combinations by patzer2
Crazy Attacks
by OneArmedScissor
Double Check
from shr0pshire's favorite games by shr0pshire
tal 7
from great attack games by emilio martinez
My favorites
by radu stancu
29. Rb7+!
from Deflection (Removing the Guard) by patzer2
Tough one to comprehend
from Tal Attacks by prashla
MorphyMatt's favorite games
by MorphyMatt
The game that Tal himself would not annotate
from Great games by (past, present and future) WC's by Marvol
Too complicated for Tal.
from EinZweiDrei's favorite games by EinZweiDrei
Move 29 White to play
from's most interesting chess puzzles by ahmadov
too complicated for Tal himself to annotate
from miniatures by auldoxon
mynameisrandy's favorite games
by mynameisrandy
plus 171 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC