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Mikhail Tal vs Theodor Ghitescu
"In Soviet Russia, Bishop Takes Pawn" (game of the day Mar-14-2012)
Asztalos Memorial (1963), Miskolc HUN, rd 4, Jul-??
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Smyslov Defense (C93)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 2 more Tal/T Ghitescu games
sac: 19.Bxc5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's a double bishop sacrifice - 19. Bxc5 and 35. Bxg6+. It's rare to do that, separated by so many moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Its a little bit of everything. Great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Tal's games are magical.
Mar-14-12  wareopening: <And of course I've missed the profundity the pun, unless it goes beyond chess and has a political overtone.>

<All of Smirnoff's original "In Soviet Russia" jokes made use of formulaic wordplay that carried Orwellian undertones>

What comes between a Political Overtone and an Orwellian Undertone?

Mar-14-12  Qxf7: @ hehateme: In Soviet Russia, the pun recalls you!
Mar-14-12  paavoh: Pun explained - many thanks!
Mar-14-12  Garech: Great game from Tal; even with the best defensive moves white has full compensation for the piece and the monster pawn centre is ominous. For example black can try 20...Kg8:

click for larger view

where one line line goes 21.f4 Bg7 22.Nxd7 Nxd7 23.d6 Nd6 24.e5 Qh4!?

click for larger view

and white retains the initiative with 25.Be4! E.g. Rac8 26.Bxc6 Rxc6 27.Qd5 Rb6 (Rec8? e6!) 28.Ne4

click for larger view

and it's very difficult for black to obtain any active play without giving back the piece and leaving white with a powerful passed pawn. As always, amazing positional judgement from Tal.

I take it the pun is esoteric, but I like it all the same. Cheers,


Mar-14-12  hedgeh0g: In capitalist Britain, bank robs you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Crazy game, where Tal ends up ahead two pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: According to some sources, Tal's inspiration for this game came from one of Bronstein's games:

Bronstein vs E Rojahn, 1956

Mar-14-12  kevin86: It's like the joke about the person so smart that he can follow you in a revolving door and come out first.

Tal sacs two bishops and ends a pawn ahead!

Mar-14-12  kevin86: White threatens the bishop and a fork at e6;black will lose EVEN more material.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Why does it always seem like Tal has a reserve of extra pieces that nobody else has?
Mar-14-12  srag: <Sacrificial King> Thank you! I like the jokes a lot.
Mar-14-12  srag: <kamalanta> is right. In "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal" Tal himself states that 19) Bxc5 was Bronstein's idea and quotes the 1956 game against Rojahn.
Mar-14-12  ajile: I ran 2 engine match games from 19..dxc5 with 10 minutes per side and Black won one and drew the other.

Rybka 3 vs Rybka 3

So it appears Black has resources. But over the board in a tournament situation this piece sac gives good practical chances.

In both games Rybka played ..Kg8 followed by ..Bg7 after the sac was accepted.

I tried copying the games to text file but it's a mess of moves mixed in with evals.


1...dxc5 2.Nxe5 Kg8 3.c4 Both last book move 3...Bg7 -0.24/11 17 4.Rad1 0.05/10 17 Qb6 -0.11/13 16 5.Nf3 0.01/13 0 Rad8 -0.13/13 20 6.e5 0.05/14 0 Nh7 -0.11/12 7 7.Bd3 0.08/13 1:19 Nf8 (Rb8) -0.27/14 0 8.Ne4 (a3) 0.00/11 7 8...Bc8 -0.10/13 17 9.Nd6 (Qe3) 0.00/13 0 9...Rxd6 -0.12/14 30 10.exd6 0.00/16 0 Qxd6 -0.12/16 1:13 11.cxb5 -0.11/15 0 axb5 -0.12/16 1:01 12.Bxb5 -0.11/17 0 Rd8 -0.32/15 52 13.Re3 (Bc6) -0.17/16 0 13...Nf5 -0.33/13 12 14.Re2 (Re8) -0.18/15 31 14...Bb7

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <sevenseaman: Its rare to see Tal playing with so much patience.>

You've been reading my mind? I was just about to post exactly the same thing ;)

<Garech> Yes, a tremendous game by Tal, beautifully conceived and executed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: At the time of this game Tal was watching The Outer Limits and it affected his mood...
Mar-15-12  lostgalaxy: I think Tal was trying to play like his pal Petrosian.

You know Petrosian played like Tal sometimes.

Mar-15-12  King Death: < lostgalaxy: I think Tal was trying to play like his pal Petrosian. You know Petrosian played like Tal sometimes.>

There's no surprise in this, top grandmasters are skilled in all phases of the game.

Mar-15-12  LoveThatJoker: What a great game from Tal. Phenomenal chess once again.

<lostgalaxy> I agree: Tal and Petrosian would sometimes play like each other.


Aug-11-12  Abdel Irada: <playground player: Why does it always seem like Tal has a reserve of extra pieces that nobody else has?>

Tal had an active account with the Transtemporal Bank of Moscow, and withdrew pieces from the future as needed.

Mar-16-14  Strelets: Very good game, full of tactical-positional subtleties. The only problem is that Miskolc is in Hungary...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada: Tal had an active account with the Transtemporal Bank of Moscow....>

We should all be so lucky!

Dec-03-14  MindCtrol9: 40.Qxg7+ Kxg7 41.Ne6+ is an easy win, too.
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