World Chess Federation - FIDE

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Sicillian Defence a Tal King Hunt

Here is one of the late Mikhail Tal's games against Calvo. This is a classic King Hunt and shows that if you let an expert player in with a shout then they're more than happy to let pieces drop if they can see a mate!

Tal vs Calvo

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Nc6
6. Bg5 e6
7. Qd2 a6
8. 0-0-0 h6

I think this is a fairly "run of the mill" opening, with neither player playing anything unconventional ..

9. Be3 ... (surely this entertains Ng4 ?- but obviously Tal had this covered :)
9. ... Bd7
10. f3 b5

By playing b5 black has initiated his queenside assault ...

11. g4 Qa5 (In return Tal begins a Kingside assault making the game double-edged).
12. Nxc6 Bxc6
13. Kb1 (in preparation for 13. ... b4)
13. ... Be7
14. h4 Rc8
15. Bd3 b4
16. Ne2 d5
17. e5 Nd7
18. Bd4 Nc5
19. f4 (those pawns keep on moving !!)
19. ... h5
20. f5 Nxd3
21. cxd3 hxg4
22. fxe6 fxe6 (Tal has allowed the sacrifice of a pawn, but black has a backward e-pawn ... )
23. Nf4 Rh6
24. Rdg1 (Tal has pounced on the week doubled pawns ..)
24. ... Kd7 ( bringing the King into the defence)
25. h5 Bb5 (A low league player like myself would probably have grabbed the g4 pawn immediately, but Tal plays a deeper move, creating a knight outpost)
26. Ng6 Bc5
27. Bxc5 Rxc5
28. Nf4 d4
29. Rxg4 Rxe5
30. Rxg7+ Kd6
31. Qf2 Re3
32. Qh4 (With this forcing move Tal appears to begin an encirclement of the enemy king)
32. ... b3
33. Qe7+ Ke5
34. Qc5+ Kxf4
35. Qg5+

1 - 0


and it is mate in 2

(35. ... Kf3
36. Qg4+ Kf2
37. Qg2 # )

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