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Mikhail Tal vs Rafael Vaganian
Wch-blitz (1988) (blitz), Saint John CAN, rd 5, Feb-20
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense Accepted (A13)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-15-05  Whitehat1963: An interesting game. I'm not sure where, but I think Vaganian had the advantage fairly late in the game and lost it. Does anyone else sense that?
Sep-15-05  Per: One of the last games of Misha Tals life. You can still feel some of the magic of his moves, the way he uses tactics even in defensive purposes.
Aug-02-11  DrMAL: Tal was 51 when he won the 2nd official World Blitz Championship ahead of Kasparov (who won the first one in 1987) and Karpov. In the final here, he beat Vaganian 3½-½.

After 14...Bc7 a dubious move to preserve the bishop, Tal manages to go up the exchange. But after 22.gxf4?! black had a clear advantage (via simply 22...Bxf4). Vaganian complicated matters with 22...Qh5 and after 23...b5?! (instead of Bxf4 or Nxf4 or even simply bxc5) 24.axb4 was now winning.

But after 25...Rxf4?! allowing an easier win, Tal blundered with 26.Nxd5? stepping into a mate in 4! Vaganian played the first move but did not see the intermediate move to 27...Rg1+ 28.Kxg1 Qxh2+ 29.Kf1 Qh1# instead playing 27...Qxh2? right away which allowed the escape 28.Ke1 and lost.

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