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Bukhuti Gurgenidze vs Mikhail Tal

USSR Championship, rd 18

In this chess lesson Grandmaster Mackenzie Molner analyzes one of Mikhail Tal’s most brilliant chess game playing the modern Benoni opening with the black pieces against Bukhuti Gurgenidze in the USSR Championship of 1957 in Moscow.

Video Analysis

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jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var selector = '#' + "rpbchessboard-63e0b9691d19b-1" + ' .rpbchessboard-chessgameAnchor'; RPBChessboard.renderPGN($(selector), {"pgn":"[Event \"URS-ch24\"] [Site \"Moscow\"] [Date \"1957.??.??\"] [Round \"18\"] [White \"Gurgenidze, Bukhuti\"] [Black \"Tal, Mihail\"] [Result \"0-1\"] [ECO \"A78\"] [Annotator \"Mac\"] [PlyCount \"58\"] [EventDate \"1957.01.24\"] [EventType \"tourn\"] [EventRounds \"21\"] [EventCountry \"URS\"] [SourceTitle \"URS-ch\"] [Source \"ChessBase\"] [SourceDate \"1999.07.01\"] {This is one of Tal’s most famous games. It was played against Gurgenidze in the 1957 Soviet Championship. This was of course one of the strongest tournaments in the world at that time and all contestants were among the finest players at that time. Despite this, Tal rolled through his opponent in this game. He supposedly said that the first thing he looks for in any position is if he can sacrifice his queen. After seeing games like this I want to believe him.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 {[#][%cal Rd5c6]} e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. e4 Bg7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O {[%cal Yb8d7,Yc8d7] Black’s pieces in the Benoni often fight over the d7 square. I like the idea of black playing Bg4 here to eliminate one of black’s clumsy pieces.} Re8 {[%cal Ye8e4]} (9... Bg4 $5 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 Nbd7 {[%cal Ya7a6,Yf6e8,Ye8c7,Yb7b5]}) 10. Nd2 $1 { [#][%cal Ye2g4,Yd2e4,Yc3e4]} Na6 (10... a6 {Black can also try this plan but it’s a bit too congested on the queenside to realistically expect black to be able to play b7-b5.} 11. a4 {[%cal Yd2c4,Yc1f4,Ya4b5]} Bd7 {[%csl Rb8]}) 11. Re1 ( 11. a4 $6 {[%csl Yb4][%cal Ya6b4]}) 11... Nc7 12. a4 b6 (12... a6 13. a5 $5 { [%cal Yd2c4,Yc4b6]}) 13. Qc2 (13. h3 $5 {As I mention in the video, I think this could be considered a more modern way to approach this variation. Black doesn’t have a clear way to continue knocking on the white center here. In positions like this sometimes black will play g5 and play on the dark-squares but of course this is somewhat weakening.}) 13... Ng4 14. h3 $4 {Tal also jokingly stated that when he learned chess, he learned that knights don’t move backwards. I really have to wonder what Gurgenidze was thinking here. To provoke Tal into a sacrifice such as the one played in the game is a crazy decision.} (14. Bxg4 $1 {This was absolutely the best course of action here. White still has an advantage after…} Bxg4 15. Nc4 $14 Bc8 16. Bf4 Bf8 $14) 14... Nxf2 $1 15. Kxf2 $4 (15. Nf3 {White needed to accept the loss of material with this move, in order to keep his king safe.} Bxc3 16. bxc3 Nxe4 17. Bd3 Nf6 $17) 15... Qh4+ 16. Kf1 Bd4 {[#][%cal Rh4f2,Rd4f2]} 17. Nd1 {[%csl Rd4,Rf2,Rg1][%cal Rd4g1]} Qxh3 $3 {[%cal Yc8h3,Yd4g1]} 18. Bf3 {[%cal Yf1e2]} ( 18. gxh3 Bxh3# {[%cal Gd4g1,Gh3f1]}) 18... Qh2 $1 (18... Qh1+ 19. Ke2 $1 { [%cal Ye1h1]}) 19. Ne3 {[#][%csl Ra8,Rc7,Rc8] Black has some inactive pieces and in order to finish off the attack, Tal needs to bring them in the game.} f5 $1 20. Ndc4 (20. exf5 {[%cal Ye8e3]}) 20... fxe4 21. Bxe4 Ba6 {[#][%cal Ya6f1,Yd4g1]} 22. Bf3 Re5 {[%csl Ra8][%cal Ra8e8,Re8f8]} (22... g5 $1 {This was also very strong!} 23. b3 (23. Rb1 g4 24. Bxg4 Nxd5) 23... g4 24. Bxg4) 23. Ra3 {[%cal Ra8e8,Re8f8]} Rae8 24. Bd2 Nxd5 25. Bxd5+ (25. Nxd5 Qg1#) 25... Rxd5 26. Ke2 { [#][%csl Rc4,Re3]} (26. Nxd5 Qg1#) 26... Bxe3 27. Rxe3 Bxc4+ {[%csl Rd2] This is where Gurgenidze resigned although if you play out the variation you will see why. An awesome game! Tal knew exactly when it was time to improve his pieces and when it was time to strike. A great example of attacking chess.} 28. Qxc4 Qxg2+ 29. Kd1 Qxd2# 0-1","nboSquareSize":50,"idoSquareSize":50,"nboCoordinateVisible":true,"idoCoordinateVisible":true,"nboColorset":"greenvintage","idoColorset":"greenvintage","nboPieceset":"new-set-mac","idoPieceset":"new-set-mac","nboAnimated":true,"nboMoveArrowVisible":false,"nboMoveArrowColor":"b","pieceSymbols":"native","navigationBoard":"frame","withFlipButton":true,"withDownloadButton":true}); });

Bukhuti Gurgenidze vs Mikhail Tal 1957

USSR Championship 1957, Moscow

In our first live chess video analysis we are going to look at a crown jewel of a chess game played by the Grandmaster and Magician from Riga, Mikhail Tal in the USSR championship of 1957. He is the black pieces against Bukhuti Gurgenidze. Tal is well recognized as perhaps the most aggressive chess player of all time. His brilliance and creativity has captured the attention and hearts of chess players and continues to do so. In this game he bulldozes his way through his opponent’s kingside en route to a crushing victory with the modern Benoni opening. Tal famously said “you must take your opponent to a deep dark forest where 2 + 2 = 5 and the path out is only wide enough for one.” I can imagine that is exactly how his opponent felt in this game.

Gurgenidze Vs Tal Online Chess Course
USSR Championship, rd 18
Gurgenidze, Bukhuti
Tal, Mikhael
Modern Benoni
16 FEB 1957
Moscow, USSR

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