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Mikhail Tal vs Karen Grigorian
Yerevan (1982), Yerevan URS, Apr-??
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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sac: 28.Qd8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

Black threatens 28... Qxf5 29.Qe7 Nd7.

The alignment of Black's queen and bishop and the weak square b7 suggest 28.Qb4, threatening 29.Re1 and 29.Qb7:

A) 28... gxf5 29.Re1 Qxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Nd7 31.Qc3 f6 32.Qxc7 + - [Q vs R+N].

B) 28... Qxf5 29.Qb7

B.1) 29... Qh5 30.Qxa8 Qxh6 31.Re1 + - and White ends up an exchange ahead.

B.2) 29... Ra5 30.Re1 Qd7 31.Qxb8 f5 32.Rxe8+ Kf7 33.Rf8+ Ke7 34.Rf7+ Kxf7 35.Qf8#.

C) 28... Qxd5 29.Be4 Na6 30.Bxd5 Nxb4 31.Bxa8 + - [B+R vs N+P].

D) 28... Na6 29.Qb7 Rb8 30.Qxa6 Qxf5 and Black seems to hold.

A better option is to increase the pressure with 28.Qd8, threatening 29.Bd7 and 29.Kf1 followed by 30.Re1:

A) 28... Qxf5 29.Qxe8#.

B) 28... gxf5 29.Kf1 Nd7 30.Qxa8 Nf6 31.Re1 Ne4 (31... Qd4 32.Rxe8+ Nxe8 33.Qxe8#) 32.f3 + - [R].

C) 28... Ra5 29.Kf1 gxf5 30.Re1 Rxd5 31.Rxe5 Rxe5 32.Qg5+ Kh8 33.Qg7#.

D) 28... f6 29.Be6+ Kh8 30.Qxe8#.

Using the LSB to block the black queen with 28.Be6 doesn't seem to work after 28... fxe6 29.Qe7 Nd7 30.dxe6 Qf6.

May-20-10  DarthStapler: I got the first move
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: "Black's best try is 29... Nd7 30 Qxa8 Qe4 31 Kg1"

<Dr. J> <then 31 ... Nf6, and now in material Black is still down only the exchange for a pawn. So, while White is clearly (a lot) better, did Black really have to resign?>


<Dr. J> <I see what you mean. At first I also though B resigns was premature, but after 31 .... Nf6 I think 32 Qd8 Qe5 33 Bf4 is decisive. What is really impressive is that Tal would have seen this some way back.>

Black is better off playing 31…Qe7 in this case, to prevent 32 Qd8.

click for larger view

However, white can now capture the a pawn, leaving him up a full exchange. Next comes an attack on the c pawn.

May-20-10  Utopian2020: I got 28. Qd8 gxf5, 29. Kg1 threatening 30. Re1, but I thought I had not solved the puzzle, so I worked on it for another 30 minutes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I was looking for fireworks while the solution was rather quiet. The threat of Re1 is more than Ms. Grigorian could stand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <kevin86> Karen (pronounced kah-REN) is a masculine forename in Armenian, not feminine.
May-20-10  The Rocket: <"28. f4 might work.">

f4 actually loses, I thought it was the right move, but I checked with the computer and white is dead lost.

May-20-10  kirchhoff: <f4 actually loses>.

After looking further I see a perpetual for Black, so White can't win...don't see the loss for white, but don't have much time right now...

May-20-10  zooter: I couldn't find the win here even after looking hard, but I would go with 28.Rxc7 as the bishop cannot be taken and 29.Re7 is also coming

Time to check

May-20-10  MaczynskiPratten: Interesting that so many of us missed this. There were so many tactical possibilities for deflections, forks, Q mates on f8 and g7 etc that it was hard to spot the right combination. Like <dzechiel> I saw Qd8 and Kf1 individually but failed to combine them.
May-20-10  mertens: Jimfromprovidence: "Black's best try is 29... Nd7 30 Qxa8 Qe4 31 Kg1" -- could 31. Rc3 be an improvement over 31. Kg1? I think White should at any rate try to exploit the pin on the Be8. The idea behind Rc3 is to play Re3. (a) 31. - Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qe4+ 33. f3 Qe2+ 34. Kh3 Qf1+ 35. Kh4 Nf6 36. Re3 (b) 31. - Qh1+ 32. Ke2 Qe4+ 33. Re3 Qg4+ 34. Kf1 and black is running out of checks.
May-20-10  vesivialvy93: Is f4 works here ?
May-20-10  libertyjack: Wow, great attacking game by Tal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <mertens> <Jimfromprovidence: "Black's best try is 29... Nd7 30 Qxa8 Qe4 31 Kg1" -- could 31. Rc3 be an improvement over 31. Kg1?

I think White should at any rate try to exploit the pin on the Be8. The idea behind Rc3 is to play Re3. (a) 31. - Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qe4+ 33. f3 Qe2+ 34. Kh3 Qf1+ 35. Kh4 Nf6 36. Re3 (b) 31. - Qh1+ 32. Ke2 Qe4+ 33. Re3 Qg4+ 34. Kf1 and black is running out of checks.>

31 Rc3 is a very clever move (which means I didn’t think of it myself). I’m not sure if it’s better than 31 Kg1 but at the least it is a very legitimate alternative.

For example, in your first line below,
<a) 31. - Qb1+ 32. Kg2 Qe4+ 33. f3 Qe2+ 34. Kh3 Qf1+ 35. Kh4 Nf6 36. Re3> isn’t 35…Qe2, better for black, in order to keep the bishop protected?

click for larger view

Also, I’m not sure how white responds to another resource black has at his disposal, 31…f4, below. It looks complicated from here.

click for larger view

May-20-10  mertens: <Jimfromprovidence>: Thank you, Jim! Yes, 35. - Qe2 looks good and is a very clever move in your terminology ;-). I would still stick to the Re3 idea and give 36. h3 a try in order to renew the abovementioned threat.

As to 31. - f4: 32. gf4 renews the Re3 threat, gives White the additional Kg3 in case of checks and threatens Rg3+ as well. But maybe in my quest to exploit the e-file I overlooked something ...

May-20-10  M.Hassan: I followed two lines until realized that the shortest way for white to win would be 28.Qd8 gxf5 29.Kf1 and next white rook attacks black queen and there is no chance for black. Surprisingly, the other 2 lines that I did end up winning for white. here they are: Line A
28.f4 Qxf5 29.Qd8 Qe4 30.Rxc7 Qe1+
31.Kg2 Qe2+ 32.Kh3 Qf1+ 33.Kh4 Qe2
At this point, black "drys up" of checking white King with Queen and can do: 43.g5+ Qxg5+ 35.Kh8 Qg7# Line B
28.f4 Qe3+ 29.Kg2 Qxc1 30.Qd8 Qe1
31.Be6 fxe6(if Qxe6 dxQ and Q is lost) 32.Qxe8#
Am i missing anything?
May-20-10  mrriddler: <M.Hassan> After 28.f4 Qe3+ 29.Kg2 Qxc1 30.Qd8, Qe1 looks losing, but Black can play an intermediate check to reposition his queen. 30... Qd2+ 31. Kh3, Qe2 32. Be6 doesn't work here because of Qb5. I think Black holds with his extra piece.
May-20-10  David2009: Tal vs K Grigorian, 1982 White 28?

What's not to like about 28 Rxc7 levelling material and threatening Re7? 28...Qxf5 29 Qe7 Qb1+ 30 Kg2 and Black can postpone, not avoid, Qg8# Or 28...gxf5 29 Re7 etc. Time to check:
Tal played 28 Qd8! 28 Rxc7? is a blunder, 28...Na6!. Time to set the puzzle position up on Crafty:

click for larger view (Tal v Grigorian 1982, 28?) Crafty defending as Black sacrifices the QR for excellent practical perpetual check chances in the game line. Now to read the kibitzers who I am sure have anticipated much of this. Who elsse has joined me in the 28 Rxc7 club?

Fellow-kibitzers are reminded that these Crafty links provide a rapid method for testing out various White variations against an ingenious and resourceful computer opponent.

May-20-10  wals: I opted for the inferior Bd3.

Rybka 3 1-cpu: 3071mb hash: depth 15:

Black, up a pawn and a knight for a Bishop, but 1.03 in arrears, crashes:-

+3.23 24...Qh8.
1. (1.47): 24...Qd4 25.Rad1[] Qc3 26.Rc1 Qd4 27.Bg5 h5 28.Rxc7[] Qg7 29.Bf6 Qh6 30.Be7 Qd2 31.Rcc1 Bg4 32.h3 Bxh3 33.Rcd1 Qc3 34.Bxg6 fxg6 35.Qxh3 Qc8

2. (1.47): 24...Qc3 25.Rac1[] Qd4 26.Bg5 h5 27.Rxc7[] Qg7 28.Bf6 Qh6 29.Be7 Qd2 30.Rcc1 Bg4 31.h3 Bxh3 32.Rcd1 Qc3 33.Bxg6 fxg6 34.Qxh3 Qc8

White returned the favour with:-
+2.46 25.Bf5. better Bd3, -3.23.

Black retaliated with:-
+3.59 25...Qc3. better Rc8, +2.49 or Nc6 +2.77, for all the good they'd do.

May-20-10  Eduardo Leon: I first thought the solution was 28.♗e6? fxe6?? 29.♕e7, but 28...♘d7! prevents any further harassing by white. Thus, the eighth rank must be taken right now: 28.♕d8!, and there is no defense against 29.♔f1 and 30.♖e1.
May-20-10  hannahbelle: same with me mr. leon...
May-20-10  TheBish: Tal vs K Grigorian, 1982

White to play (28.?) "Medium", Black is up a pawn.

White wins with 28. Qd8!, and the weakness of the back rank will show.

28...gxf5 (not 28...Qxf5 29. Qxe8#) 29. Kf1! (threatening Re1) Nd7 30. Qxa8 Nf6 (or 29...Nb6 30. Qd8 and 31. Re1 will win, or 29...Qe7 30. Re1 Ne5 31. f4) 31. Re1 Ne4 32. f3 and wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Tubba324, Breunor: 29...Qe4 30.Qg5+>

Duh. I can't believe I missed that. I must have suffered brainlock. Thanks

May-21-10  turbo231: Not a very good puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A few seeming contradictions:First "Karen" was a man and though he committed suicide in 1989,he has several games from the years up to 2005.
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