Mikhail Tal’s Top 10 Chess Sacrifices of all time! – (or at least in top 50 of most lists!)

Mikhail Tal’s Top 10 Chess Sacrifices of all time! – (or at least in top 50 of most lists!)


Morning all let’s look at the great magician
from Riga Mikhail Tals, 10 of his greatest sacrifices and combinations. Now by Tals own admission he indicates there
are two types of sacrifices. Correct ones in mind. So maybe he foresaw the engine sort perspectives
we have now for very scientifically proven sacrifices not if they’re sound or not. But I think we should really try and appreciate
the vast complexity of chess at a human level. Mikhail Tal was not playing against computers. He was playing against humans. Another very important quotation before I
show you these sacrifices is that he is said you must take your opponent into a deep dark
forest where two plus two equals five and the path leading out is only wide enough for
one. So yes, he created huge complexity. They might not be the soundest combinations
and moves under the modern age of engine scrutiny. But he played against humans that tires. They were with tournament clocks, under time
pressure. Tal’s reputation preceded him. The glare of Tal could put off and intimidate
opponents, scare them to death. King safety was a great concern to them. Maybe they use the excess energy. So, with that in mind let’s begin this journey
to look at ten of his greatest and to start off with let’s have a look at Mikhail Tal
versus Vasily Smyslov, who was another World Chess Champion from the USSR. This is in 1959. So, a year before the candidates for the World
Championship match supply against Mikhail Botvinnik, Smyslov had just played Bd8 here
and actually threatens to get quite a good position. Now if for example Bd3 and I don’t think this
would be very good. Because black can now play c5. From the engine point of view at least black
is actually doing very well here for example like this, c4 and it gets quite murky. But Tal had something else in mind in this
position after the Bishop retreated to the eighth, Mikhail Tal played Qh4 and you’ll
find many of these gains for example, but this one I’ve done detailed videos and I’ll
try and give the links in the description of the video. So, we’re just going to get the key moment. So Qh4 offers an obviously complex Bishop
sacrifice. This is actually taken and now Qg5 threatening
Qxg7 mate. Smyslov reacts resourcefully with Nh5 luring
the Queen potentially, just h5 that would be quite bad here I think. Instead a better move first. Nh6++. Now after Kh8, it’s here that Mikhail Tal
plays Qxh5 slightly different with the knight on h6. We’ve got pressure on f7. We’re offering this a2 then, what about Mikhail
Tals own Kings safety? This Qxa2 is played. So, there’s no time for anything at the moment
cause this threat of mate, Qa1matge Mikhail Tal vacates d2 for his King and also
now pins that g7 pawn. We Nf6 and now a brilliant move. The next feature of this common atria game
is Qxf7. So, the back row is slightly weak here. But you might think isn’t this ridiculous,
because actually the check would stop Rxd8 here. Black is not compelled to play Rxf7. Black does play Qa1++. But after Kd2, of course the rook is attacking
the Queen. White is actually much better now technically. Rxf7, Nxf7++ after Kg8. Rxa1 and here after Kxf7, white is material
up and exchanged up actually, two exchanges up, two minor pieces each. Sorry one exchange up, pardon me and the game
didn’t last long. Ne5++. Nxc6 winning that Montero. Ne4++ was played, Ke3. After Bb6++, Bd4 actually Smyslov have had
enough here. He is down significantly on material and resigned
at this point. So, this game kind of demonstrates you know
where there’s a choice of being slightly worse or going for it, sometimes it’s good to go
for it and he did with Qh4. Let’s have a look another game now. Mikhail Tal against Hans Joachim Hecht. This was in the Varner Olympiad of 1962. A very very complex position indeed. You’ll notice that the black king is still
in the center here. The Queen has been attacked and okay, so Queen
drops back and now black is seemingly threatening, things like b5 and Nxh4, there’s two threats
to deal with here. Now ordinarily you know if we play like Bg3
this is not very good. I think there’s b5 and we can’t even play
Nd6++, Qxd6 and I am going to win the White Queen. So Bg3 doesn’t seem as though it’s that nice
after b5. Although white does have Qb3. But black again your mic our first example
would be slightly better here. Black will be doing very nicely. He is covered d6 square. Tal does not accept this. He has great expectations from these positions,
ambitious expectations. A fighter, he plays actually e5 not carrying
about h4 or b5 here. So, if Nxh4 then actually Nd6++, the pawn
is supporting Nd6 and then here it’s actually better for white technically after Ra. So1 it’s not that cool to do this, and this
Knight would have to go back for example if black wants to protect and that actually is
a fork here. Two pieces being attacked. So that’s not so clear Nxh4. Black tries b5 and then we see Queen sorry
not Qb3, Qb3 is like the engine recommendation here and that’s actually okay for white. But instead we see a wonderful idea, exf6
sacrificing the Queen. This is taken, fxg7. Now the bishop is actually stopping black
from castling queenside. Rg8, now a beautiful move Bf5 a drag and drop
tactic. If Qxf5, Kd6++. If Qxe4 though, the King in the center is
in trouble after Ra1++. The queen will have to give herself up, might
be much better. So here black has to play very carefully. He played actually Nxh4, which might be an
inaccuracy. Now after Bxe6, Ba6 was played. Nd6++, Ke7. White has emerged with a small advantage in
this position. After Bc4, Rxg7. G2 has to be defended. G3, the Knight is conveniently protecting
the bishop. So Kxd6, Bxa6, white f5 and white is a little
bit better with the better pawn structure. But yeah technically black is two pawns up. But it’s a very very difficult position. Let’s see what actually happened, let’s run
through.Rab1 f6 guarding and directly the b7 square. Rook check, it was a bit of a grind actually
from this position. So c4, g4, Ne7, rook does invade by b7. This pawn starts dropping off now. Again, it’s still slightly better for White. Nd5, Bishop takes, C takes, Rb4. Black does have a lot of isolated pawns. It is more difficult it would seem for black
to play this position. I think this is a slight mistake Rc8. Black may have energetically tried f5 here. But after Rc8, this endgame shows actually
Mikhail Tal wasn’t just about the middlegame combinations. His technique was superb, and he’s got these
two connected pass pawns here on the King side. Which are going to be starting to move forward
now. They’re moving forward. Check and this endgame is actually now winning
after Rg5. So quite a lot of play after the initial brilliant
combination here in this game against Hecht. So very you know vastly complex positions. But you can see if he didn’t play the attacking
move that he did like e5, he would risk standing slightly worse and more sort of clear position
for the opponent. So, he needs to lead opponents to the forests
as he says. So, where the complexity is high. Now let’s look at Mikhail Tal against the
great Dane Benson Larson. One of the strongest players from the West
like Fisher who played actually in the USSR versus rest of the ball match played above
Fisher in that classic match. Here Mikhail Tal playing White has what seeing
looks like a very promising attacking position. He plays Bd3. It’s nice aesthetically how the bishops are
lined up against the Kings side here. We see b4, now the thing is black does have
quite an aggressive position. If a move like Ne2 us hide, black actually
can be slightly better potentially off the Bb7 say you can see blacks you know fine here,
whites some way off an attack and you know there are issues for white coming up. There’s pressure on e4. So actually, after before we see actually
a very surprising move instead, which the engines don’t really like a certain depth. Nd5, but we’re playing against humans, so
this is a kind of positional sacrifice it divides almost the opponent’s position in
two. It makes it more difficult to defend. Exd5, exd5 and it liberates very importantly
this Bishop giving it lots of practical opportunities. Which the knight retreat wouldn’t have, this
is a very important thing to bear in mind the complexity that your opponent has to face
within the time limits. It’s very difficult to defend this position
and in fact often you’ll find with you know engine checking these games that on, now the
engine thinks are about equal. Just forcing it to look at this position where
the opportunity to the bishops that actually the engine literally starts changing its mind
that is only about equal now. It’s not an unsound sac after all. So, I don’t know maybe in the future we’ll
be in a bad position to judge his sacrifices. Ben Larson played f5 and this might be a mistake. Houdini is suggesting, well actually g6, it’s
suggesting g6 might be a better move. So f5 and you might have expected G takes
for normal line opening operation G takes. But actually, Mikhail Tal just plays on that
center line and keeps blacks piece is kind of hemmed in unable to use the f6 Square. Rf7 and then we see a buildup of pressure. Bb7 and here this is actually technically
not very nice position already after the f5. It is getting actually worse by every move
and after Bxf5, this is quite a horrible position for black now. Rxf5, Rxe7. Black tries Ne5, qe4 attacking the rook that’s
protected and instead of moving the rook here, this is a very interesting feature of this. If rook takes b7 for example, then actually
Rxf4 and black has the advantage here. What is actually white doing here? For example, Qxe2, Rxd4. If Qe3, black can crash down to White’s first
rank and then play Nc4. So, it could be a total disaster on Rxb7. So, the Rook doesn’t move. Instead we see fxe5 keeping the pressure up
and keeping the advantage actually technically. Larson now tries Rf4, we see Qe3. Rf3, Qe2, it was going down a staircase. Qxe7, now Qxf3. Opposite color bishops but they sometimes
favor the attacking player. dxe5, Re1 is played pinning that pawn. Rd8, Rxe5, Qd6. Now Qf4 threatens actually. Re8++ is a nasty threat against the Queen. Rf8 and in this position now Qe4 and white,
if he makes time for b3 it’s a very comfortable position with numerous threats after. Black tries b3, takes check, Kd2. So Tals King is taking a little bit of walk
here. Check, c3. But now isn’t that Tals turn to go for blacks
King. Bc5, crushing, absolutely crushing move. I think this is the top engine move actually
in this position, Bc5. Queen takes the idea, check. After Rf8, queen is six checks and after Kh8
the final crunching move can you guess it? Qf7 and black cannot defend his first row
here. Can’t take time to win this, because f8 is
weak. Black had to resign here. So, an enormously complicated a positional
sacrifice in this game against Bent Larsen. So, after b4 you know instead of accepting
potentially a small disadvantage, black could get a very energized position putting pressure
on e4 here. This Nd5 created huge complexity for Bent
Larson who cracked under the pressure and what was also interesting that the standard
line opening principles weren’t used instead just building up the pressure along the central
file and killing black’s pieces hand in. Let’s look at another game now, another fantastic
combination against Alexander Koblents. So, Mikhail Tal had an enormous Lee conflicts
position already here. He’s attacking this g7 now black just defended
with Rd7. So, looks as though potentially there’s a
risk. If given time you know Ng6 to trap Mikhail
Tals’ Queen. Has he got too excited? So, this is Mikhail Tal 1957, three years
before he became Lord champion. Has he gone overboard in this position this
feels like. Ng6 and also G takes just winning a piece. So, he’s going to do something very very quickly
here. I think it’s the only move in the position,
Bxb5. So why is this the only move? What is happening here after Bxb5. Well there’s a very interesting point. If black tries to win the queen white actually
has Nd4 believe it or not counter-attacking that e6 pawn and threatening, so Nxe6 here
is a threat. What does black want to do in this position? If Rf7 protecting e6, then Bishop takes, rook
takes and unbelievably this next move does save white. Which is one of the subtle points of Bxb5. Which maybe I’m pretty sure most of you wouldn’t
be aware of this. Because this is quite staggering resource
here that isn’t white queen being trapped. There’s one move here which seems absolutely
remarkable. I wonder if you can guess it. Okay Bd7, unbelievable, it renews the threat
of Nxe6 to try and win black Queen and if Qxd7, the incredible point is Nxe6 now with
trying to deflect the Queen away from the g7 and if say Kf8 you know Rxg7. So, this is an incredible defensive resource
against the Queen being trapped this idea of Bd7 here. You know if Bxd7, then as interfering with
the Queen’s protection of g7. So, an incredible point about this, this is
born out of necessity this Bxb5 for this incredible resource for Nd4 to work. Black ties Rf7. So still if given another move the Queen’s
going to be trapped. We see now Rg1 taking away g6 now from that
Knight. Of course, putting more pressure on g7, Ra7
blacks trying to batten down that g7. Everything is now trying to protect g7. Nd4 is played though leaving this bishop here
as well. You know if black dead, take the bishop. Either Knight, but I think stronger is Knight
D takes and say the Queen moves. Rg7 crashes through. It’s incredibly complex position. But white is crashing through here with Knight
takes and Nb5 and now it’s really horrible for black. So, let’s go back. After Nd4 black tried actually Ng4. So, he’s abandoned that dream of winning the
Queen. F takes Be5 and now Nc6 is played. This technically might not be the best here. Apparently Nf3 is quite good. So, if bishop f6, we can carry on with G takes. But anyway, Mikhail Tal move is good enough
to maintain an advantage though. Black play Bxc3. That’s like in accuracy perhaps. Apparently best is taking on b5. But this is such a complex position. So Bxc3, bxc3 would be good. But Mikhail Tal plays another very good move. Be3 and white is actually threatening now. Bc5 is not about winning the Rook. It’s about Bc5++ to try and play for Qxg8
once the King moves. D4 trying to stop that and with this move
actually the bishop can’t really help the h8 square foot for one moment you know for
g6 and this next move is much more powerful because of that. Rgh1 actually threatens now. Qxg8 and after King takes Rh8 mate So black has to give a space for his King
or it has to do something about that. He plays Rd7. Bg5 is now played and apparently this isn’t
the absolute best mode. White has a phenomenal position here. But I think it’s even too complex for Mikhail
Tal to get the perfect moves all the time. Apparently g5 in this position is very very
strong and it creates this idea of Qxg6, Qg8 and g6. For example, D takes, Queen takes, King takes
g6. So, we’re going to mate black again. So that’ll be very strong. If Rd1 we can just take with the king you
know blacks only having some spite checks here after Bd3, e2 and that’s the end of the
checks virtually. But this move wasn’t played. So, a slight inaccuracy and apparently black
is on the verge of almost equalizing even with the move played axb5. So, after all the brilliance so far with this
Bishop b5, we have still a very complex position. R1h6 is the only move to keep white in the
game really. Vastly complex move. Black plays d3 and I think this is a fatal
mistake in this position to play d3. It looks quite tempting. If Qxc6, lets examine the craziness of this. Rf6++, G takes, check, Rg7, Bishop takes and
apparently black could have potentially theoretically escaped like this. It’s crazy, but it seems as though theoretically
if Mikhail Tal had been playing a supercomputer funny enough he might not have had an advantage
here. Apparently, it’s equal after Rxa7 and we get
this continuation and it can lead to equality. But no, his human opponent played d3 here
and now Tal took on c3 d3++, Kd1. Qxc6 and now Rf6 is much stronger than before
here. Rf6++. So, what’s the idea? Well in the game Rf7 was played. If gxf6, Bh6 is strong. After Rg7 Bishop takes and white is actually
doing much better than the variation we just saw. Because here white can just you know take
the rook here and be much better. There’s no amazing checks here for black. White is actually much better there. So, in this position after Rf6, black tried
Rf7 and now really crushing move, Qxg7 and black resigns here. Black is actually faced with a fourth mate. The quicker mate continuation is like this,
mate in three coming up. The long one is mate in eight actually or
ninth, mate in nine with Ke8. Rxf7++. Qg2, kc1++. You might wonder what is this about? Well if Rxh1 then there’s Rxf7. Technically I’m just running through the technically
best moves just to escape the checks and after this you know it’s in spite check territory. We are just in spite check territory. Blacks getting mated basically. So Rf6, Rf7 taking, this was not the game
continuation. Black resigned here. I think Qxg7, I’ll move a7. These are mind-boggling combinations to be
honest, mind boggling. So, let’s have a look at Mikhail Botvinnik
against Mikhail Tal from the 1960 World Championship match. So, Mikhail Tal played in this game at King’s
engine defense. He arrived at this position with Ra1 and now
a brilliant move which gives practical chances that unleashes a bishop. Black played Nf4 to try and positioning unleash
the bishop. It was taken, ex4. In Queens opportunities it’s a peace sacrifice. It also gives back access for that e5 square
another useful diagonal here. Bd2 Mikhail Botvinnik plays Bd2. Qxb2 and technically okay white from engine
perspective might Be a bit better here. But it’s very very complex position now. So, F attacking whites Queen, white can easily
go wrong here and get tired. He plays Rxb2 in this position, already this
might be a mistake here. It seems bxf3 was the way to go. Bxb1, Rxb1, Qc2 and white could end up being
significantly better. Mikhail Botvinnik maybe after f3 he blundered. He blundered. He played Rxb2, blacks in the driving seat
now. Fxe2. Blacks now defending Bxc3 of course. Rd3 defending that Rd4. Be1, now that e5 square is used. Be5++, Bishop f4. Black is actually much better now. Nxe2, Rxc1 and I’ll show you the rest of
the game. Check. Be4, the endgame is better for black and this
is what happens. Blacks got, Bishop pairing now depends. King comes up, Center pawn starts walking
down. Some exchanges and this this passed pawn
is actually a winner here for Mikhail Tal in the ending of the rd7++ actually Mikhail
Botvinnik think apparently resigns I think with this move realizing it was hopeless after
taking e3. This point is just winning. Say check, check. The pawn is going to be coming down too quickly. That’s going to be quitting that or winning
the rook. So that was from the 1960 World Championship
match against Mikhail Botvinnik. Now another Smyslov classic from the USSR
team championship next in 1964. Mikhail Tal played Bxf3 and we see Re1 and
the knight is protecting e1. I mean ] you know quite a
lot of things protecting e1. So, is the Queen just going to move? They’re not going to take shortly. Well it doesn’t take, but the Queen actually
does something very interesting to celebrate. Might slightly weakened light-square. The Queen actually it goes into e2. Let’s say if Mikhail Tal chosen something
else, say Qd7. Actually, on this occasion actually this is
actually quite nice for black just to sacrifice the g6 pawn here and after Bd7. There are some serious threats like Qc6. So, this is actually potentially quite nice
for black. But this is more spectacular continuation
Qe2, which was played. Smyslov took this. And you know maybe you know
Mikhail Tal banked on Smyslov trying to guess a simplified clear, crystal clear kind of
endgame with a small advantage. Because that’s Smyslov style and you know
there are some sacrifices Tal would play against certain people that he wouldn’t against others
and here I think he kind of banks that Smyslov would do this. Instead of playing Qc1 which might allow a
more complicated position. After check, Nxf5. It’s a complicated position. Black has you know threats building up like
Re8 into double the Rooks. Smyslov try to kill all the fun in the position,
killjoy. He played Qxe2. But nevertheless, black is actually doing
slightly better in this endgame now, tiny bit better. So white had to try and protect d3 there. So Re1, h5 and the game went on actually for
quite some while. But the interesting thing here about this
game, the bishop actually made gradual in rows and white actually played a kind of fatal
mistake actually. Which didn’t really improve his position I
think. A4 played like a target for the bishop. Actually, not such a fatal mistake. But here is another target to fix for the
light square bishop and Mikhail Tal made in rows in this endgame. Gradually, gradual in rows. So, he is trying to provoke another pawn move
here which gives him the g4 square. Pawn actually didn’t move instead we see this. But now the black king can get into that g4
square and black is now winning this endgame. So, created that past a pawn now to winning
white a pawn and the grind is really in progress and the past f pawn now even though a pawn
being lost, the last f pawn decided the game is too impossible to overwhelm the Knight
here. White resigned disposition, move 72. If check you know we take this obviously Ke3
will not obviously butter. This is actually winning King and Pawn. Ending. So, it was a beautiful move Rook, the aesthetics
of playing Qe2. But I think it also demonstrated this probability
that was going on in Mikhail Tals mind that he knew the style of Smyslov. You know he’s in favor of Claire play, doesn’t
like defending, doesn’t like before the opponent building up you know say Rooks on the seventh. So, I think he presumed that Smyslov would
just play this move Qxe2 here instead of trying and play Qc1. Okay let’s go on to another classic. So, Mikhail Tal against Fisher. Now Fischer wasn’t at his big 1959. The Belgrade candidates that was actually
Zagreb Belgrade three different places with his candidates. Fisher playing black, played Qf6 here. It looks as though the Knights attacked and
should move here. If Ne2, then actually this is going to be
fine, almost for Fisher, Ne5. It’s not the end of the world yet for black’s
position. So black might have some process, from the
engine point of view it’s only a small advantage to white. But Mikhail Tal is having none of them. Previous example well shows you know this
is choice between being slightly disadvantaged or playing something quite interesting, he
plays something quite interesting. Re6 and actually from an engine point view,
this is actually quite liked move actually. This is one of the more sounder sacrifices
I think. White is already in you know a very very good
position and Fischer you know he’s got this Knight take here. Apparently, it’s best to avoid taking Knight
with Qg7. So, after takes, it looks a little bit unpleasant
for black. It isn’t a significant advantage for white
here. But they’re still playing the position. It’s not over yet. But Fisher actually played in reaction, he
played actually Qxc3. So, the Queen’s being lured away from the
defending the King and actually Bxf5++. It’s quite powerful here. If Kh8, then check here crashes through like
this. The bishop is very useful actually on f5 is
pointing at h7 and if King g7, that’s still mating. Yeah that’s pretty much mating if Knight takes
check and we are mating on h7. So, this is a very difficult position. Fischer actually has to play Rxf5. But white is in a very strong position here. He actually now white plays an incredible
move. Which creates a massive advantage here. Just Rf3. There’s no actual useful for checks. The Knight is stopping c1 at a1 checks. The Rook here is stopping at the e1++ and
white isn’t you know got a very very dangerous position. Qb2, and now Re8. The rook is very useful for Rg3 here and there is a nasty pin on c8. Fischer tries Ndf6. Which leaves that nasty pin really. There’s not much better that black can do
though. Qxf6, Queen takes, Rxf6. Kg7 and now Rf8. Nasty pen on that c8 bishop indeed. Na5, black is kind of helpless here. H4 being coming into some sort of zugzwang almost. Nc4. Now here I mean what does black actually do? Okay his rooks holding down Rxb7. Black tried b5, but this gives up the c6 square,
weakens the c6 square and also it means Rf7 is now supported to win that Knigh.t so black
is losing more material here and resigned. So, the critical moment here this decision
you know accept a small advantage or be brave. That seems to be a recurring question in Mikhail
Tals games. Be brave, but it’s actually the very good
position for Re6 in any case. It’s an advantage to whites’ disposition. Just to show you the power of Rf3 here. If you know just give black a different move
Qg7. We see that Rg3. It’s just the rooks are coordinating; the
knight is actually controlling a1. So that’s why this was a necessary for Fishers
Ndf6. This Rf3 was actually very very powerful idea. Let’s go to Chicago. A place where I’ve been actually once on
business, IT in finance. So, Mikhail Tal against Robert Forbis in Chicago
1988. So much later Mikhail Tal. 30 years after
he was world champion. But it’s a beautiful little one, probably
a lesser known one. Lesser-known player Richard Forbis, Tal still
had it going on after e5. Which was played by black Mikhail Tal left
his Rook hanging. It might not be technically the strongest
move, but here is a choice between playing slight Darla’s position with Rd3 and that’s
a small advantage for white or going for Blacks King. If the Queen’s come off, as many of us enthusiasts
through the game know it’s often less exciting and Tal realized that as well. He kept the Queen’s on. Queen h6 is going for the throat here instead. He’s passed on a small theoretical advantage
there to do this. But now you know there’s rope for black to
hang himself. He takes the Queen, takes the Rook of his
Queen that’s fine so far. Check Kg8 and now another ambitious move. Which in theory might only be equal. Technically white is doing okay with check
and h6 here. E4 and that’s the side Queen is protecting
g7. Rd1, Rg8 and technically white is again a
little bit better with Qxg8, Rxd4. Another way exchanging of Queens. But now Tal is trying to distract the Queen
away from g7, the Queen away from protecting g7. He plays Nd5 trying to get the Queen onto
a light square. So, if Qxd5, then actually check and h6 is
pretty nasty. It’s mating like unless black wants to give
up the Queen. So often Nd5 this is very tricky. Black blundered here. There’s two moves to stay in, Rfc8 parently
or h6. So technically this position might actually
be okay for black. But instead we see Rfe8. You might think well why is that so terrible? Well check and now h6. So, we see e4 here, the queen protecting g7. But now f6, Rg8 and now Qg7 finishes black
off of the takes. Hg, Kg8, Ne7 is mate. So why after Freeh you wonder how did this
happen? That continuation isn’t possible here after
Rfc8. Let’s just run through that. On here Kh8f6, there’s Rg8 immediately. Actually, I think this is too complex to try
and demonstrate, e4, no if f6 here, no it’s not too complex to them shape on me. The point is that the Rook on c8 forge Rxc2++
as a counter-attack in this position and actually black has turned the tables here. So that’s why white would be forced into a
continuation which, so white can’t allow this stuff. Because now Rg8. So that’s how Rc8 is actually a very important
defensive moving away going away from the attack, rather than Re8. So, in the game Re8 doesn’t have any implications
at all, not the faintest implications at all for White’s King and so there’s no such counter
resources available here for any Rc2. So sometimes you’ve got to give yourself some
hope and opportunity with your pieces if you’re on the receiving end of a tail attack. Try and have some faint threat in the background
otherwise you’ll get mated. Now the next example fantastic brilliance
from Mikhail Tal. Mikhail Tal was actually playing with the
black pieces. Let’s flip and play what is, I think this
came from a Modern Benoni defence. Which is looked down on nowadays. Because of this d6 pawn. Modern Benoni is the “son of sorrow”. The d6 pawn in particular
is a structural liability. But okay, only Ng4 was played and it looks
as though might be just aiming for an attack on f2. So white try to repulse the Knight with h3
as the whites going back. But actually, Mikhail Tal played a much better
move than Ne5. If Ne5 you know f4 and White has small advantage
actually. So, this next move is actually very very good. Technically and everything, ticks every box,
Nxf2. Okay white does best not to take it actually
to play Nf3. But still black would be better. Black can actually take on c3 here then take
on e4 and black would be better in this position. He knows it is compromised. But his own king. This is the way to play
it technically. But no, white actually took the bait, Kxf2
and that was the absolute brilliance. Check, Bd4 threatening Qf2 mate. Nd1 and a real shocker here shocking Fisher
in this position, can you guess? I’ll give you 10 seconds. Okay Qxh3. So, if G takes it, Bxh3 is mate. So black is actually doing really well here
as you might expect. Bf3, Qh2, the threats continue. Even Nxd5 just to cut the king from e2 to
open up that rook is now on the cards. Ne3 defending d5. But now f5 like dc4 and there’s also this
diagonal to be concerned about. F takes, Bishop takes, Bishop a6 pinning the
Knight and the threat now includes just taking here and then bringing the other rook in. Bf3, Re5 and now Kxd5 is actually on the cause
of just building up the pressure. Ra3, black builds up the pressure actually
now with Rae8, Bd2. Nxd5 is played now and this is crushing. Bxd5++, Rxd5. The point is here if Nxd5, we’ve always got
this Qh1 or Qg1 mating. We can’t do that. The Rook is stopping the King walking across. So Ke2 was played trying to walk across anyway
now. Bxe3, Rxe3, Bxc4 check and here white resigned. If he plays Qxc4 that actually Qxg2 is absolutely
crushing with mate next move. After Kg1, Qxg2. So, it’s a really fantastic dynamic display
from abalone position. Where black has that e5 squares and trump
cards like E file pressure. The rule demonstrated here quite vividly how
black have a really dangerous attack whipped up after Nxf2. Now the last example, 10th I’d like to show
you is Mikhail Tal against Fuster. This is two years before he became world champion
1958.
This is two years before he became world champion
1958. Mikhail Tal playing with the white pieces.
Mikhail Tal playing with the white pieces. In this position it seems a very very nice
position.
In this position it seems a very very nice
position. White now played h4.
White now played h4. Now if black castle routinely here, then Nxf7.
Now if black castle routinely here, then Nxf7. Because the idea you know Queen takes we’ve
got bxe6 winning the Queen.
Because the idea you know Queen takes we’ve
got bxe6 winning the Queen. So black tried to first evict the Knight with
f6.
So black tried to first evict the Knight with
f6. So, Tal got this choice, does he accept potentially
small disadvantage or a concession.
So, Tal got this choice, does he accept potentially
small disadvantage or a concession. If he plays Nf3 actually he
will have a disadvantage black could castle Queenside and flee. It doesn’t really matter about taking the
pawn.

pawn. Black actually technically stands better here.
here. So, I think this is a lesson really. That’s a do it or die principle. Do it or die. Mikhail Tal keeps the black King and sends
a Bxe6, the piece sac. The engines validating it. It is sound. F takes, dxe5, this is the way to play stopping
the King casting either side.
F takes, dxe5, this is the way to play stopping
the King casting either side. Be7, Bd7, check is lucrative here actually.
Be7, Bd7, check is lucrative here actually. But it wasn’t played
for a moment, Rf1.
But it wasn’t played
for a moment, Rf1. Now Bf7 or Qc4 for example.
Now Bf7 or Qc4 for example. Rf8, at least stops Bf7.
Rf8, at But now Rxf8, Bishop takes, Qf3 what is the
threat you wonder after Qf3. Well there is actually things that includes
Rd7 or Bd7 now. Because the Queen is cutting the king from
using that southern Frank. Qe7 is played and now Qb3 and what is still
cutting the King from f7 on diagonal his side, Bd7 is looking strong. Rb8++, with that Queen cutting
f7, does the King really want to do this? The Kings had it here actually. If Kd8 which wasn’t played, then check actually
is pretty nasty. Because now we can actually take this bishop
and the attack carries on. So black actually decided to sacrifice the
Queen, Rook takes, King tangs check. Be7++ and after Qxg7 actually black resigned
even though in theory he’s almost got enough material for the Queen. But this is horrendous position actually. It’s dislocated. So Be4, Qe5 hits and wins material here. But what else is black do in this position
to save the bishop? So, he is actually losing material here. So that’s why I think he must have resigned. He saw that he was losing material. Okay so I hope you enjoyed this very very
complex tour. You did ask for it, after we looked at some
Fischer brilliances. So, 10 of Mikhail Tals most celebrated combinations. A bit mind-blowing to be honest. Comments or questions on YouTube, thanks very
much.

83 thoughts on “Mikhail Tal’s Top 10 Chess Sacrifices of all time! – (or at least in top 50 of most lists!)

  1. I have watched thousands of videos, I 've played more than 10,000 games online and more than 1000 in my life, with a rating of 1987 BUT this guy is from another world. His playing style is insane. He is for sure the Magician of Riga !! Mindblowing tactics and tricks vs the greatest GMs like Botvinnik, Petrosian, Fischer, Karpov etc !!!

  2. That last game must have been tough for Geza Fuster. He himself was a fiery Hungarian (champion at one point, I believe) and future Canadian Chess Champion, as well, and a strong attacking player. I played him numerous times in the 1970's and mostly lost, of course.

  3. on the very first sacrifice, isn't it a blunder by black to take the queen with the rook first? wouldn't it be better to capture the rook below the king with a tempo THEN take the queen?

  4. 41:16 After Qf6 and Kg8, why is it equal? What can black do to stop h6 + mate-threat? /Chess-noob, thanks edit: Qe3 then Qg3 is one way?

  5. At 41:42, why not play h6?  Black can't protect with e4 as Qxd4 and while f6 may stop the mate, that's a won queen and pawn (either e or d pawns would be free at that point with tempo).

    Black does have a check, but it looks inconsequential.

  6. Mikhail Tal was a great attacking player, if not the best.. HOWEVER, there is only one way to win against attacking players! Yes, you guessed it! Attack first, so he has to defend! xD

  7. Tal was a great positional player. The only difference was that his idea of beauty was finding the essence of the position amongst chaos, I myself delight in finding beauty in its bare simplicity. Its just a matter of style. (Anatoly Karpov)

  8. I love Tal, he is one of my favourite players (definitely in top 3). His magnificent games show the beauty of chess, watching it is like listening to my favourite music or reading a touching poem. He was a genious who was not afraid of committing for a win and not just try to stick to dry positions and cling on a small advantage. I also like your channel, I would like to thank for your contribution to the chess community and I appreciate your work.

  9. Tal maybe a favourite person to play against among amatours coz he doesnt concentrate/fears losing valueable pieces making amatours to fall for it and give GM hard time thinking rather than playing,great chess player to learn from.

  10. I think that after white's King d2, black is good with Queen takes rook check at d1 and then Rook takes white Queen … Massa

  11. I love Tal's aggressive sacrifices which gain an initiative in such complex positions and care a relentless attack. Unbelievable! This is what creates complexity and makes chess such a powerful, dramatic game. Great video.

  12. What a beautiful video! Thank you very much for this analysis. I love Tal, it would be great to see more videos about his games and sacrifices.

  13. i think at the first demonstrations videos, the opponent of tal miss the opportunity to win the rook, by intermediate move to take the rook first with check, and then take the queen, and the opponent is winning.

  14. If I was watching a Tal game and he started a crazy combination I would be so delighted I would start laughing and I would be kicked out of the room lol

  15. Tal just crushes with white. I can ever forsee myself playing like him in the future. There's so many complex, precise calculations, countless threats, reminds me of walking on tightrope. And all this done in blitz timing

  16. At 41:46 why did Tal move the knight d5, when he could just move h6, next move would be either mate or Black would have to lose his queen. What did I miss, surely Tal would not make such a blunder.

  17. at minute 42 after knight d5, if black plays rook c8 planing counter attack then knight e7 check forking rook and after only move king f8 then knight g6 check pawn f is pinned if king moves mate in 1 and if takes with h pawn then white has a queen for the rook from counterattack.i believe thats what Tal would play.

  18. Tal would have loved your presentation and analysis. I'm sure this improves my game and even if not it is so entertaining. Good job.

  19. Sir: these sacrifices are amazing, of course, but it is a pity you did not include Bobotsov-Tal, Varna, 1958. Anyway, thanks for the posting.

  20. By the way, A MINOR CORRECTION, PLEASE: Black is ONE, not two, pawns up (at 8:50). Thank you for the fascinating chess games and excellent analysis/tutorial you are providing on YouTube, sir.

  21. Kingcruncher, how about Black playing Bf4ch instead (approx. 18:50)? Yes, do please remind us viewers – after a rather prolonged analyses – as to whether it's Black or White's turn before allowing us the 10-second option of finding the next best move. Thanks for everything. A little while ago I ended up looking for the next best move for White; however, it was actually Black to play. Thanks, again.

  22. Kings crushers is very passionate about chess. I like his language, but he relies too much on engines. So he does not discuss some obvious moves for humans cause he checked it out before with the computer. That's a pity.

  23. GM Tal walked up to the table when I was running Deep Thought II in Long Beach (it was connected over a dialup to Carnegie-Mellon where the rest of the team was physically located with DT) when it beat GM Larsen and co-won the event with GM Miles. I have thought for some years now what two quick blitz games between DT and GM Tal would have done to the world. However, I failed to suggest it. Unfortunately, GM Tal is no longer with us and DT I/II having mutated to Deep Blue and retired 20+ years ago in 1997 before the 2017 anniversary homage by Google DeepMind AI (Chess) crushed StockFish in a 100 game match (unique playing style in GDMA) , we will never know. However, Tal (easily) remains my favorite player of all time. He was quite gifted and I enjoyed his his top chess newsman's review of the table where we had the link to DT setup with the support of Les Crane of Software Toolworks (sponsor) at the event. My personal instructor, Richard Shorman of Hayward California, trained me on Morphy/Capablanca/Tal, in that order and advocated a sacrificial, completely non-drawish extreme-pre-Romantic, non-materialistic style to the game which influences my play and preference to this day.

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