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Mikhail Tal vs Jack Miller
"Pictures at an Exhibition" (game of the day Jun-18-2012)
Simul (1988) (exhibition), Chicago, IL USA, Mar-11
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Open Variation (C55)  ·  1-0



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Given 90 times; par: 48 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-28-14  ChessYouGood: Schroeder has video annotated this game here:
Mar-21-14  Isilimela: Lends altogether new meaning to "The Queen's Gambit declined" !
May-16-14  Rookiepawn: First time I saw this, after move 21 I thought "OK the score is wrong, Tal didn't make it in this game. What the hell is this guy going to do here?"

Black's attack seems ustoppable, ... Rf2 and that's it. It even makes a hole in f8 for the Black K. A woodpusher like me will not even think that poor White R in a1 would have time to accomplish anything.

While Black's attack looks like a monument to brutal force, Tal seems to be attacking with butterflies: a minor piece there, another one on the other side and a modest pawn in the middle. Just the strict minnimum to control the vital squares.

Two moves and a half later, 24. Rxd5, Tal brought the distant R right to the center, made already the Q sac and... Black has no chance! Black's Q, N and B appear to be looking at each other like "Hey, what happened here? Weren't we about to finish this?" while White's butterflies become wasps and Black's K is a lonely fly.

Miller threw a wonderful chess attack, no doubt; but chess cannot beat magic.

Aug-01-14  Mating Net: <Miller threw a wonderful chess attack, no doubt; but chess cannot beat magic> How true.

After Black played the cute intermezzo 5...Nxe4, Tal must have thought something along the lines of: "Ok Mr. Miller, I was planning on playing a nice quiet exhibition. You have failed to cooperate so I am going to unleash the Magician from Riga on you."

Dec-27-14  jasmin: Why not 6.Qd5?
Dec-27-14  Nerwal: <Why not 6.Qd5?>

6. ♕d5 ♗e6 7. ♕xe4 d5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: The fact that this game was played as part of a simul is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Jun-16-15  Besheer: Hahahhahahahhaaha ..... Ultimately crazy ! Tale is not playing chess , He is playing piano ! He is the greatest genius ever !
Jun-18-15  Besheer: The wizard from Riga !!!!!
Nov-19-16  clement41: amazing play from the Wizard from Riga!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Zugzwangovich: For the record, this game was played in a simul Tal gave on March 11, 1988 at Labate's Chess Center in Anaheim, CA. I was playing in it.> Hmmm. Wrong year? There is no mention in the California Chess Journal (1988), who does mention Tal played in Chicago 1988.
Premium Chessgames Member

At bottom this page: are some games, but I can't find the Miller game.

Jun-05-17  ChessHigherCat: I don't get the pun. "Pictures at an Exhibiition" is a masterpiece for piano by Mussorgsky, of course, orchestrated by Rimsky Korsakov, Tomita (only the Great Gate of Kiev on youtube,, but I would definitely recommend the full album) and even Emerson, Lake & Palmer and (, but what's the connection? I suggest the more prosaic "Tal downs a Miller"
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < ChessHigherCat: I don't get the pun. "Pictures at an Exhibiition" ... what's the connection?>

This game was part of a simultaneous exhibition.

Oct-18-18  jonjoseph: I need to replay this even slower to appreciate so many mysterious moves.I was often scratching my head wondering where Tal was going .Bullfighting has this kind of grace and nerves of steel .Just wonderful, but how did Miller feel about it ?
Feb-25-19  Antonin1957: @jonjoseph: Me too. I don't know how Tal came out of this with a win. It seemed like Black's attack was unstoppable!
Jan-05-20  cameosis: <tabanus>tal played a simul in framingham, ma three days prior (march 08, 1988) to the one in anaheim, ca (march 11, 1988) -- the reason why you didn't find the miller game in their bulletin.

here's a list of the games from the club's site:

don't trust mega database by chessbase, lots of errors in their version of the simul.

they have rechristened robert salvas of south new england chess association as "salyas" and so forth.

jack miller's full name is jack laurence miller.

another game from anaheim against david lucky (formerly david gliksman) -- scoresheet in the video description:

Mar-03-21  sese86: Hey, everyone I'm new here I started playing chess not long. But I really love the game and would appreciate those willing to help me when in need thank...
Premium Chessgames Member
  carpovius: Simul brilliancy...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <crapovius: Simul brilliancy...>

This game is far beyond the pedestrian effort which you make it out to be.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Zugzwangovich: For the record, this game was played in a simul Tal gave on March 11, 1988 at Labate's Chess Center in Anaheim, CA. I was playing in it.>

The <Los Angeles Times> of March 6th 1988, Part II, p.15:

<Former world champion Mikhail Tal will give simultaneous exhibitions on March 12 and 13 at Labate's Chess International in Anaheim. The cost is $75 per board.>

Damn, I thought the $50 in Framingham was a bitch. But the way some talk on this page, seems they'd have been happy paying $500 to bend over and grip their ankles.

But to return to the question of the date, were the simuls brought forward to Friday and Saturday, the 11th and 12th?

Two weeks later, Jack Peters in the <Times>: <Against a field sprinkled with masters and experts, Tal scored 22 wins, three draws and one loss on Saturday, and 27 wins, three draws and no losses on Sunday. The lone winner was Dean Yarborough, an expert from Las Vegas.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <sese86: Hey, everyone I'm new here I started playing chess not long. But I really love the game and would appreciate those willing to help me when in need thank...>

As long as you will try to figure out,at least some of the tactics,you will improve. It may take a while,but it will be worth the effort.

Cheers mate and good luck !

Premium Chessgames Member
  DrGridlock: I'm surprised how deep the game goes with an advantage for Black. Fat Fritz scores it -.81 for black after 19 ... Qc6 (instead of the game continuation 19 ... Qd6):

Mikhail Tal - Jack Miller 1-0 0.0, Simul Anaheim, CA USA 1988

click for larger view

It's hard to play sharp positions against Tal - just the difference between Qc6 and Qd6 was the difference between winning (maybe) and losing.

No idea who "Jack Miller" was ... but he must have had fun telling his friends about the time he almost cooked Mikhail Tal's goose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <they have rechristened robert salvas of south new england chess association as "salyas" and so forth.>

The MetroWest site has him as <Salyas>, too. That font is clearly ambiguous.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Considering that this is a simul, Tal’s ability to see and calculate quickly is just astonishing.
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