Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Mikhail Tal vs David Bronstein
USSR Championship (1964/65), Kiev URS, rd 1, Dec-26
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  0-1



Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 39 more Tal/Bronstein games
sac: 44...Kf2 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 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-15-03  drukenknight: Here's a nice winawer w/ lots of recurring themas. See how many patterns you can see in this game that you see in the other winawers.

For instance in this game and the petrosian game blacks N hits the Q on the 11th move. There's another rampaging h pawn in this game but this time it's whites. Bronstein shows the a/b pawns in action when they hit the R, something that in the other game black failed to do.

THere's another poison pawn here, this time on g7. These poison pawns can be any of the knight pawns actually.

Feb-15-03  drukenknight: what do people think of 25 Qa4+ Bd7 26 Bf4?
Feb-17-03  mdorothy: I really like the idea of the line you gave. The only problem is that because of that idea I think black would play 25...Kd8 in reply instead. Or maybe even Ke7.
Feb-17-03  mdorothy: Ok, I've heard a lot of talk about poison pawns, but I never really quite figured out what theyre talking about... could someone please explain this possibly vital idea to me?
Feb-18-03  kostich in time: A "poison pawn" is any pawn that it is risky to take.The classic example is the b2 pawn in the Najdorf Sicilian..though Portisch, Fischer ,and Kasparov usually got away with taking it.
Feb-18-03  corbinamman: Addressing drukenknight's tactical idea, I think White loses, or at least comes out neutralized, after 26...Qg2, as in 26.Bf4 Qg2 27.Qe4 Kd8 28.g3 Nxf4 29.Qxf4. That's just one possible line. It's a complicated position after Qg2.
Feb-20-03  drunknight II: back to the winawer: okay i have an improvment on the line I give above. The reason I think the check is important is that white is behind in material and the way to offset that is to attack the K. Both sides have 3 connected pawns, but black has a passed pawn; + 1/2 pt. However much you value a passed pawn, whatever number you want to give it, black has one and white does not, therefore black has some minor advantage in material.

Look at the way Tal plays it, Re1 does attack the K but only indirectly, this move does not lead to anything because blacks Q and B are well placed. then Tal moves Rb5 and this loses time.

Heres the improved line: 23 Qa5+ Bd7 26 Qe4 Qxe4 (what else?) 27 fxe4 Bh3 28 Rf2 Ne7 29 Nxc3

and now white has taken the passed pawn, game must be close to equality

Feb-20-03  drunknight II: sorry that should be 25 Qa5+ above. This laptop is killling me!
Feb-20-03  drunknight II: at the end of the game: how is it that Tal is lost? Someone else needs to explain this to me.
Feb-20-03  ughaibu: Has he got any sensible moves?
Feb-20-03  drunknight II: Rh4+ then push the a pawn until something happens I guess. He doesnot appear to be out of moves.

is he out of time?

Feb-20-03  Spitecheck: Most likely the position was adjourned, and after analysing if for awhile he saw his position as futile. I think you would play it on if the clock's were still ticking but in the long term the material deficit should count for something.


Feb-20-03  ughaibu: Rh4 Ke3 a4 f4 then bring the rook over and capture the a-pawn? It looks like they just passed the time control and the game was resigned during the adjournment.
Feb-21-03  Cyphelium: Winning this position as black looks pretty easy, especially if you are a GM who gets some time to analyse it. Continuing would be a waste of time.

Ke3-Kf2 and pawns will fall....

Feb-21-03  drunknight II: well I am glad that you are confident that he will win. How will black win if he is not able to queen a pawn? with a lone B and K vs K it is impossible.

That inability of the lone B to win the game should be enuf to make one think seriously about the position and whether he can hold a draw. If everything else is swapped off, black would not have enuf to win.

How about at least showing us a few moves....?

Feb-21-03  corbinamman: I'm not saying white has no recourse, but if he follows your prescribed strategy, here are the lines I see. Rh4 Ke3 a4 Kf2 a5 Rg3+ Kh2 Rxg2+ Kh3 Bxf3 a6 Bg4+ Rxg4 fxg4+ Kh4 Kf3 0-1. (if a7 Kf4 a8Q (or Kh5) Rh2#)
(if Kg5 Ra2 and the gpawn eventually queens)
Feb-21-03  drunknight II: Umm, I appreciate your effort corbi. I am always skeptical of proposed winning lines that are more than 4 or 5 moves. Not trying to put you down here, but there is nothing that jumps out at me in the final position that tells me tal is messed up.

Well instead of moving pieces around right off lets think about this problem. I like to think about a position in general terms ahead or behind in material, etc.

Okay where is tal in terms of strategy? He is AHEAD in material! Right? He has three connected pawns that equals blacks B plus he has passed pawn. I count it as 1/2 pt. but you can call it any sort of fractional value.

As long as you dont count isolated or doubled pawns as material. DK say: they count as 0.

OKay Tal is ahead in material he needs to at least try to exchange.

So what the hell am I doing by starting off w/ the check? Duh. My bad.

Hmmm let me see; what if we start w/ 42 Rxf5? this will drop a pawn but it also creates a second passsed pawn. a net result of minus -1/2. Hmmm.

Like I said, I think its better to always think each move out in terms of the overall strategy of material vs attack. This may lead to a better result before we bash out 8 or 9 moves right off the bat.

Okay I have to do drive back to Maryland now. I will have to take it up later tonight.

Think about what I said, and I bet you will come up with a save here for Tal before I get back home. Just using the logic of chess.

Hey corbi, what do you think of that 25 Qa5+ line now?

Anyhow thanks for the feedback, it is always nice to see some response and I will check back later. bye

Feb-21-03  corbinamman: I think we can agree on this: In response to your proposed 42 Rxf5, Be6 wins.

I appreciate your comments, but my reason for seeking concrete lines was in response to your request that someone show you some moves. I also think looking at specific lines is a worthwhile exercise when studying games. It is the best way to discover the subtleties of any position.

3rd, in response to your more abstract assessment of the position in terms of material and strategy, it seems odd to be counting up pawns when black is in mid attack, white's king is trapped on the h file, and his only piece has no viable moves. White has nothing to do but wait for Black to move in and overwhelm his f and g pawns. White can't sneak out by walking underneath his pawns, because Kg1 is met with Bxf3. Trying Kh4 with the idea of forcing a rook exchange also loses. So what is White to do?

Feb-21-03  drukenknight: Hmm, yes I like concrete lines too. I didnt really have time to read your previous analysis I only had time to try to think out one move in advance.

maybe he blew it on the 40th move. PUtting the R back over on the k side does not seem to help much if at all. What if 40 Ra4+?

I am not willing to conceded that Be6 wins, but it might. I cant finish this tonight but I will get to it.

Feb-22-03  corbinamman: I think 32 Qb2 is strange. White needs to keep the pressure focused on the pinned bishop with 32 Qe3. IMO his opportunities in this game have to o with the king being uncastled and poorly defended.
Feb-22-03  drukenknight: Yes, hmmmm. 32 Bb2 might make more sense. If he wants to start making big moves with the Q then maybe 32 Qa7 (or even b6) Just exchanging queens on the back row would favor white, no?

Yeah Okay I agree you on that, Corbi. But gee he couldnt have lost the game that far back, could he? There must be a blunder made after that.

You know I am not convinced the R for B sack is a forced loss, but it looks so depressing to play as white I am loathe to try to work that one out.

In the later stages of the game I thought white was going to push those K side pawns forward, at least get them working together up there. The thing is the K will have to move forward, before he gets too much more exposed, but that doesnt seem that big a problem.

I thought playing e.g f4 at some stage in the second half would be the way to start to move the pawns.

Looking back on the game, look at 28 h6, a simple spite toss at the Queen. POsitionally it turned out bad for white as the Q moves to a little better spot and the pawn becomes lost. I like pawns on the 6th rank too but both sides h pawns cannot do anything at the moment.

What if 28 Nf4? this puts immediate pressure on both the N protecting b6 as well as the B on the e file.

Also 34 Bd2 puts more pressure on the N, blocks the d file from the Q and then maybe get the a pawn rolling.

Feb-23-03  corbinamman: Problem with 32 Bb2 is Rxh6. Problem with the R for B sack is that it also doubles the pawns on the f file and strands them from the hapless king still stuck on the h file. This of course makes them much easier to scoop up. 28 Nf4 makes no sense to me. It gives away a piece without getting the passed c pawn out of the deal as Tal did in the game.
Feb-23-03  corbinamman: drukenknight: this game runs almost exactly like the other we've been studying...but they play it out a little more. check it out.
Feb-23-03  drukenknight: Corbi: on 28 Nf4 Nxf4 29 Rxb6 and now blacks K is exposed to the Q/R, his K is trapped in the open w/ no protection on the right flankl. there should be a mating attack in there. I assume you want to take with the N from your post.

on 32 Bb2 okay, but then white trades B for N and then tries to exchange queens on b6. HE has passed pawn and better connected pawns.

Feb-23-03  drukenknight: Hey thanks. THis is how the game finishes after the intermission, it's got to be.

Hey check this out Corbi, you've been debating with me the merits of Bb2 and your argument is that it gives up the h pawn. HEre we are at a latter stage of the game and Tal's mistake looks like trying to hold onto the h pawn.

But you always have to give up something to get something, is giving up the h pawn a good trade in order to move the a pawn? I have to believe it...

I guess you and Tal think alike!!!

The reasoning behind giving up the h pawn w/ Bb2 is that, Tal has a meterial adavantage due to passed pawn and 2 connected pawns. It seems he has the defensive side of things secured and his way to winning is pushing the a pawn.

search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  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.

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?]
7...cxd4 < Qa5! < Ng6
from Challenger Bronstein by Gottschalk
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Var (C18) 0-1
from DB told secrets to FTB by fredthebear
No new comments for almost six years
from FRENCH !!! by Nietzowitsch
Round 1, Game #2
from USSR Championship 1964/65 by Phony Benoni
The French
by Zhbugnoimt
Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General
from All Time Greats Play the French w/Black & Win by JoseTigranTalFischer
Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General
from All Time Greats Play the French w/Black & Win by JMRG1
Ideas In The French Defense
by oao2102
from Freshly Made Pipin' Hot Winawers on a Bun by fredthebear
Mil y Una Partidas 1960-1974
by K9Empress
Bronstein in Bronze
by chocobonbon
7...cxd4 8.Bd3 Qa5 9.Ne2 Ng6 10.h4 Nc6 11.h5 Ncxe5 12.Qxd4
from 97_C18/19_Positional Variation 7.Qg4 0-0 | other by whiteshark

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 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC