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Mikhail Tal vs Jan Hein Donner
Hoogovens (1973), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-23
English Opening: Symmetrical. Four Knights Variation (A35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-02-04  Marnoff Mirlony: Nice attacking game.
Dec-06-04  Milo: More a defensive game, isn't it? Tal's fantastic idea, it seems to me, is that the knight can be saved after Nxa8, without allowing black to mate him in the meantime.
May-15-06  JordanKwiatek: Wow Mikhail never fails to impress!!! I think its fair to call this both a nice attacking effort, as well as defensive. Tal doesnt "buy" the e5 and 13.0-0-0 is an extremly aggressive move that in effect is like calling Donners' "all in". Final position looks like mates all over the board for black-Donner probably prepared hard for this game(he lost all 4 of their encounters and this was his last effort), but Tal was to fantastic and miniturizes him, all with over the board analysis.
May-15-06  nescio: <JordanKwiatek: Tal was to fantastic and miniturizes him, all with over the board analysis.>

Nevertheless I have the feeling that Donner could have earned his first draw with Tal by the possibility of 20...Bc5 (instead of 20...Qe3+) threatening Be3 mate. 21.Qxd5+ Kc8 22.Kc1 Be3+ 23.Kb2 Qxe2+ loses and 21.Kc1 Ba3+ 22.Kd2 Bc5 is an immediate draw. If my memory does not play tricks this was the only game in the tournament that Tal went for complications. He reached first place like Smyslov used to do: drawing with the favourites and defeating the weaker players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Tal was to fantastic and miniturizes him, all with over the board analysis.> Nonsense, Donner was gigantic before and after this game.

Dec-12-11  King Death: I've looked over what <nescio> says in his post and I agree with him. Black lost his way in this complex position. It wouldn't surprise me if Donner's flag was hanging near the end of this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: IIRC, Cafferty cites <nescio>'s variations as giving Donner that drawing chance, which he may well have found if not for his time shortage.
Jan-15-13  RookFile: The whole game seems like one giant trap, sprung by Tal.
Aug-05-13  sneaky pete: Tal gives the drawing line 20... Bc5 in his notes in the tournament bulletin. He also indicates that (instead of 18.Qc4 ..) he might have played 18.Rxd5 Qxd5 19.exd6 Qa2+ 20.Kd3 Bf5+ 21.Kd4 ..

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"Despite the extravagant position of the white King I see no concrete possibilities for black and white still has an extra oiece."

Jul-06-20  Ratt Boy: Blitzin' Donner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: 20...Qe3 puts White in the driving seat

Here is the concrete stuff for 20...Bc5 which seem to indicate with best (super-human play!) that Black in theory would have been winning:

Mikhail Tal - Jan Hein Donner 1-0 7.0, Hoogovens Wijk aan Zee NED 1973

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Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. -+ (-2.63): 21.Kc1 Ba3+ 22.Kd2 Be6 23.Rhf1 Qc5 24.Qxc5 Bxc5 25.Bc4 Kc8 26.Rf3 g5 27.g3 Kb8 28.Kc1 Ba3+ 29.Kb1 Ne3 30.Bxe6 Nxd1 31.Rxf7 Kxa8 32.Kc2 Ne3+ 33.Kb3 Bc5 34.Bd7 Rf8 35.Rxh7 g4 36.e6

2. -+ (-5.16): 21.Qxd5+ Kc8 22.Nb6+ Bxb6 23.Qf3 Be3+ 24.Qxe3 Rd8+ 25.Qd4 Rxd4+ 26.cxd4 Bg4 27.Rc1+ Kb8 28.Rhe1 Qxd4+ 29.Bd3 Be6 30.Re4 Qd5 31.Ke3 a6 32.Bc4 Qc6 33.Kd4 Qb6+ 34.Kd3 Bf5 35.Rf1 Bxe4+ 36.Kxe4

3. -+ (-8.61): 21.Rc1 Qe3+ 22.Kd1 Qxe5 23.Ke1 Ne3 24.Qh4+ Kc8 25.Qg3 Re8 26.Qxe5 Rxe5 27.g4 Bg6 28.Rg1 Nc2+ 29.Rxc2 Bxg1 30.Rb2 Be3 31.Nb6+ Bxb6 32.Rxb6 axb6 33.Kf2 b5 34.c4 b4 35.Bf3

4. -+ (-9.81): 21.Ra1 Qe3+ 22.Ke1 Nf4 23.Rd1+ Kc8 24.Rd4 Kb8 25.Rxf4 Qc1+ 26.Bd1 Rd8 27.Rd4 Rxd4 28.cxd4 Qxc4 29.dxc5 Qc3+ 30.Kf2 Qd4+ 31.Kf3 g5 32.h3 Qf4+ 33.Ke2 Qxe5+ 34.Kf2 Qd4+ 35.Ke1 Qe3+ 36.Be2

5. -+ (-11.23): 21.Qxc5 Qxc5 22.Ke1 Ke7 23.Rxd5 Qxd5 24.Nb6 axb6 25.Rf1 Qxe5 26.Kf2 Qxh2 27.Rd1 Qf4+ 28.Bf3 Kf6 29.g3 Qc7 30.Rf1 Qxc3 31.Kg2 Qd2+ 32.Kg1 Qe3+ 33.Kg2 g5 34.Bxb7

6. -+ (-12.88): 21.Rb1 Qe3+ 22.Ke1 Nxc3 23.Rd1+ Nxd1 24.Qd5+ Kc8 25.Qf3 Bb4+ 26.Kf1 Qd2 27.g4 Ne3+ 28.Kf2 Black has a decisive advantage

(Gavriel, 08.09.2021)

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