Mikhail Tal and the Positional Sacrifice

  • JoesephScott
  • | Dec 19, 2008

To sacrifice or not to sacrifice? That is the question. Of course, sacrifice at time can be demanded by positions for either swift mate or protection of one's own monarch. The real test of a player then may lay in his ability to recognize the sacrifice opportunuties beyond the immediate. Mikhail Tal made a name for himself on the back of his tactics as a young master and built his legend with incredibly sharp piece sacrifices left and right, with an incredible number of sound ones that leaves one in awe that he could find such continuations over the board.

The Sicilian is sharp by nature, for both colors, so sacrifices are all but built in to a many portions of the theory. Here in the Scheveningen, Tal makes an incredibly deep piece sacrifice for the positional gains it offered, which he managed to build upon to a very nice technical finish.




Tal puts it best himself.  It is better to lose with sharp play, and if that means throwing a piece or two to your opponent, well, then so be it.


  • 8 years ago


    Super Tal!!!

  • 8 years ago


    White is two pawns up and his Queen is better placed.  The 35. Bc5 series is just a manner in which he can end the game without needing to grind out a won endgame.  By unnecessary, it wasn't referring to the move Bc5, just the use of a tactic to finish the game.

  • 8 years ago


    34. Bc5

    I don't think it was Unnecessary. Otherwise Black can exchange the queens after 36. Qe6+


    What do you think?

  • 8 years ago


    Beautiful. I could look at those powerful bishops after 17exd5 all day.

  • 8 years ago


    Nice aggressive game!! I am a big fan of Tal and his aggressive play! Thanks for posting!

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