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Mikhail Tal vs Lev Aronin
"Enter the Dragon" (game of the day Feb-17-2010)
USSR Championship (1962), Yerevan URS , rd 9, Dec-03
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1



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Given 35 times; par: 55 [what's this?]

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Feb-17-10  drleper: Looks like Tal had a rough time plying his trade against Aronin: Tal vs Aronin, 1954

Made a game of it with the kingside pawns though, good viewing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This Time,Tal is victim of a vicious,effective king side thrust.

Mate is inescapable.

Feb-17-10  patzer2: I suppose one could argue that based on computer analysis 23. Rxf7!? is unsound. Yet even for the tactical genius Tal I think it was a true sacrifice, with unclear complications (at least in this OTB contest). For example, after Aronin's 23...Nf4!?, instead of 24. g3? Tal could have maintained a small but clear plus after 24. Rxf8+ Rxf8 25. Bc6 (+0.66 @ 17 depth, Fritz 10, 2-cpu).

However, it would appear 23...Nc5! might have technically been an improvement for Aronin, giving Black a clear advantage. Looking at it move-by-move with Fritz 10, after 23...Nc5! 24. Rxf8+ Rxf8 25. Qb5 Ncd3 26. Bd4 Nc2 27. Bxa7 Nxa1 28. Qd5+ Kh8 29. Qxd3 Qc1+ 30. Bg1 Nc2 31. Qd2 Qxd2 32. Nxd2 Bxe5 (-1.12 @ 20 depth, 2-cpu) the position remains a bit unclear because of two potential White passers, but Black with the exchange up and a potential passer of his own holds a strong advantage.

The decisive blunders appears to be 24. g3?, even though Tal could have put up more resistance with 26. Nxc8 instead of 26. gxf4? Qxf4! . However, even after 26. Nxc8 White is still lost after 26...Nfd3! 27. Bd4

[27. Nxe7+ Kh8 28. Bd4 Nc2 29. Bb5 Qh5 30. Bxa7 Ne3 31. Qb7 (31. Bxe3 Qf3+ 32. Kg1 Qxe3+ 33. Kh1 Nf2+ 34. Kg2 Qf3+ 35. Kf1 Ng4+ 36. Ke1 Qf2+ 37. Kd1 Ne3+ 38. Kc1 Qc2#) 31... Nf2+ 32. Kg1 Nfg4 33. Qh1 Qxe5 34. Rb1 Qxb5 ]

27... Nc2 28. Bb5 Qh5 29. Bxa7 Nf2+ 30. Kg1 Ng4 31. h4 Nxa1 32. Be2 Qxe5 33. Nxe7+ Kh8 34. Nxg6+ hxg6 35. Qxg4 Nc2 (-4.31 @ 16 depth, 2-cpu).

Feb-17-10  weisyschwarz: Lev iathan
Feb-17-10  patzer2: The follow-up 27...Qe4+! is a clever but complicated alternative to Aronin's 27...Qf3+ :

27...Qe4+! 28. Kg1 Qe3+ 29. Kh1 (29. Kg2 Rf2+ 30. Kg1 Rd2+ 31. Kh1 Qf3+ 32. Kg1 Qg2#) 29... Nd3 30. Qd5+ e6! (not 30... Kh8? 31. Bd4 Nf2+ 32. Kg1 Nh3+ 33. Kh1 Nf2+ 34. Kg1 Nh3+ 35. Kh1 Nf2+ =) 31. Bd4 Nf2+ 32. Kg1 Qf4 33. Qg2 Qxd4 (Fritz 10, -15.73 @ 15 depth).

Feb-17-10  whatthefat: This looks like Tal doing his best Larsen impersonation.
Feb-17-10  Chessmensch: <patzer2> Fritz 12 thinks 24. g3 is fine [=(0.00)], in fact, just half a point below its preferred move of 24. Rxf8+. Why do you regard it to be a decisive blunder?
Feb-17-10  Landman: I also misread it as Aronian - an unlikely opponent for Tal. I wonder which player has had the largest age gap between different opponents?

For example, Andre Lilienthal has played opponents born in 1865 [Mieses vs Lilienthal, 1930 ] and 1951 [Karpov vs Lilienthal, 1967 ]. Much later games are also plausible - chessbase ran a 2003 picture of Lilienthal with Ponomariov (born 1986):

Feb-17-10  whatthefat: Aronian vs. Tal, now that would produce some fantastic chess.
Feb-17-10  patzer2: <Chessmensch> I was basing my evaluation of 24. g3? more on the fact that 24. Rxf8+ was Tal's last chance to save winning or decent drawing chances.

It's obvious to me that 26. gxf4 and 26. Nxc8 are lost for White. So the improvement has to come earlier, and 25. Nd6+ is also lost. I suppose White might try 25. Rf1 Kg8 26. gxf4 Qh5! 27. Bc1 Rcd8 but that appears to be on the version of losing also.

I'd be interesting in seeing a posting of Fritz 12's 24. g3 = (0.00) line. With Fritz 10 the best I can find for White is -1.30 in the 24. g3 Kxf7 25. Rf1 Kg8 26. gxf4 Qh5! 27. Bc1 Rcd8 line given here. You might want to let Fritz run to at least 20 depth, as you might get some deceptive (0.00) equalizing lines at lower ply.

P.S.: Note that I am doing a deep move-by-move search in these lines and not just relying on the initial evaluation at the beginning of the position (i.e. 24. g3).

Feb-17-10  whatthefat: <patzer2: You might want to let Fritz run to at least 20 depth, as you might get some deceptive (0.00) equalizing lines at lower ply.>

An evaluation of exactly 0.00 is often a red-flag in these sorts of positions.

Feb-17-10  topi: c'on guys!! Aronian was not born yet!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Unusual career for a dragon bishop ... 5...Bg7, 34...Bh6 and 37...Bf4, with unstoppable mate threats. Meanwhile the black queen buzzes around like a bee on speed - presumably to gain time on the clock?
Feb-18-10  JonathanJ: <> no new game of the day today?
Feb-18-10  zev22407: To JonathanJ "someone is sleeping on gourd!"
Feb-18-10  tsvanerp: you mean something like this? I rather sleep on a pillow
Feb-18-10  AccDrag: "Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open" ?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Either this is the same GOTD you ran yesterday, or Tal was at a point in his life where he had trouble learning from experience, and maybe some short-term memory loss.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's the same game. Maybe they were dissatisfied with yesterday's discussion and are giving us another chance.
Feb-18-10  Bobwhoosta: It was a good enough movie to be a pun for two consecutive days, and I maybe a good enough game as well...
Premium Chessgames Member
  gah: There were certain players against whom Tal had a negative score even in the late 1950s, when he was advancing to the World Champioship: Boleslavsky, Keres, Korchnoi... and Aronin. His 1957 game against Aronin, in the Soviet Championship which he went on to win, was a tremendous fighting draw, included by Wolfgang Heidenfeld in his 1968 book on the greatest draws of all time.
Feb-18-10  WhiteRook48: this was the GOTD of yesterday
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <mysql: Lev Aronin or Levon Aronian?>

Different players entirely. I was just playing over a game Smyslov-Aronin from one of the USSR champs. Aronin was born in 1920.

This is a good game by Aronin

Feb-26-17  Saniyat24: Even when he loses, Tal has some magic up his sleeves...!
Jun-04-20  carpovius: Tal had at least 4 checks before to be mated. In a blitz game it can work to survive. Can somebody find more than four before die?
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