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Mikhail Tal vs John van der Wiel
Hoogovens (1982), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-27
English Opening: Agincourt Defense (A13)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-09-03  tud: Sorry to say it for Fischer, but in Fisherrandom, Tal would have been the all time champion.
Aug-09-03  sleepkid: It's probably true. Tal would probably have been amazing at Fischerrandom chess, but I believe that Bent Larsen would also have been fantastic, and oddly enough I have a feeling that Petrosian would have been incredibly strong as well. Nimzowitch and Reti would also have excelled.

...oh, and yes, this is a rather bizarre game.

Aug-10-03  PVS: <oddly enough I have a feeling that Petrosian would have been incredibly strong as well>

That makes sense, he was excellent at speed chess.

Aug-23-03  ughaibu: After 24. ... gxf6 I would take the knight, how about you?
Aug-23-03  Kenkaku: 24...gxf6 25. Qxe5 fxe5 26. Rg3+ Kh7 27. Bd3+ Kh6 28. Rf6#
Aug-23-03  tud: The move 14Rd3 is against all principles, rook in front of the pawn, bishop blocked, however it works. Tal was great in seeing exceptions on rules.
Aug-24-03  uglybird: But tud,14.Rd3 follows perhaps the most important principle, other things being equal, material advantage wins out. Protecting the important queen pawn was crucial. Incidently, the rook swing from one side of the board to the other via the third rank is my favorite manouver and the unexpected entry of a rook into the attack in this way often decides the game.
Aug-24-03  tud: Yeah, probably, even I don't know how many players would catch this Ra1a3d3 thing. The whole point of 13Ra3 is Tal sees the weakness of diagonal a1-h8 for black. Interesting is 14... b5 for black, but white is already dominant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: Tal was a great magician... like Fischer and Morphy. To me is surprising how his figure grows up year by year. The other one is Capablanca and each one resume the combinatory and the positional way to play. Alekhine who was the summun decades ago is going down compared to this champions... with all respect !
Sep-10-03  AdrianP: I'm struggling to see why 21... fxg5 or even 21... Qb4 is not simply winning for Black.
Sep-10-03  Brian Watson: I think 21..fxg5 loses quickly:

21..fxg5 22.fe+ Ke8 23.Bh6+ g6 (or Kd8)24.e6 etc.

But 21...Qb4 looks logical. One continuation might be:

21...Qb4 22.fe Qxc3 (if 22...Nxe5 then 23.Qxe5) 23.Rxc3 Nxe5 24.Re3 Nc6 (else 25.Rxe5) 25.Bh5 (threatening mate) g6 26.Rxf6+ Kg7 27.Rf7+ Kh6 28.Be2 Kxg5 29.Rg3+ Kh6 30.Rh3+ Kg5 31.R(7)f3 etc.

(If 24...Kg8 in this line, then 25.Ne4, similar to the actual game.)

Sep-05-04  Shadout Mapes: I get the feeling Van der Wiel was lost from the start here, he seems to have no clue how to get himself out of this mess. His queenside is never developed. I get the feeling he should've played b6 at some point, but then again, black was probably worse by the 6th move. Tal's creative play is very effective.
Dec-17-04  ArturoRivera: This game in fact by move 8 looks like Fischer random chess
Dec-22-05  Eatman: Thorough the whole game the idea of protecting d6 pawn is present. That pawn paralyzes black's queenside to large extend and thus is extremely important.
Dec-22-05  TalEl: 4. Nb5 was crucial in the opening. Van Der Wiel never recovered after it.
Apr-21-06  Mating Net: Wow, that d6 pawn for White was more like a rusty nail stuck in Black's knee. Black never developed his Queenside pieces, save the Knight, or his K side Rook! Add to it the small matter of having Tal on the other side of the board, it's no wonder he lost.
Jun-17-07  Halfpricemidge: Black should've move 17...Nb4.
Jun-13-08  mezzieh: Why he played 4...Nc6? Wasn't 4...d5 better? And 15...a5? What's the point? I give 15...b5 instead. 19...Qb6 got his Queen out of play on the Kingside. Perhaps 19...Qe8 was better, but at this point I think White is lost anyway.
Jul-27-09  schroedingers cat: 4.Nb5 seems like a classical Tal move.

In Polugaevsky vs Tal, 1979 game Tal pulls a similiar trick (4.Nb4)to Polugaevsky.

Feb-05-13  Nerwal: I hate Van der Wiel's decision to resign before Tal can sacrifice his queen. Probably he had enough as he was struggling since move 4, but there is no prize foreseeing how you get mated, and amateurs are cheated of a sweet conclusion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <AdrianP> For me it is often not about concretely "seeing" but rather "feeling". For me, it seems as though most of black's pieces are asleep as though Black is one of Paul Morphy's victims. The f-file after fxg5 looks like a King's gambit style massacre. The thorn pawn in the center also takes away escape squares. The intuitive visual crush evidence is vast, so I do find your comment a bit shocking. But in chess you do need to prove things of course concretely.

It seems concretely than 21...fxg5 leads to a forced mate in 10!

Mikhail Tal - John van der Wiel 1-0 10.0, Hoogovens Wijk aan Zee NED 1982

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Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. +- (#10): 22.fxe5+ Ke8 23.Bh5+ g6 24.Bxg6+ hxg6 25.Rh3 Rg8 26.Qf3 Nxe5 27.Qd5 Qg1+ 28.Kxg1 Nf3+ 29.Rfxf3 Rg7 30.Qe5+ Kd8 31.Rf8#

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