“You should first sacrifice and then calculate,” responded Tal instantly.
One of my favorite stories happened in the analyzing room of the USSR championship in 1978 as described in the book Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov: Part I:
“Ex-world champion Mikhail Tal leaned over Garik (Kasparov) and with unfeigned admiration in his voice commented on the variations he was demonstrating – ‘one more biting than the other’. And everything reduced to the fact that these variations ‘ended in Bagirov being mated, or completely crushed’.
One of the grandmasters standing alongside quietly remarked that ‘White should have sacrificed the piece’ and asked the youngster why he didn’t do this. Garik replied seriously: ‘There were too many variations. I couldn’t calculate them all.’ To this Tal instantly responded with his disarming smile: ‘You should first sacrifice, and then calculate’.”
Below, I performed a short analysis of the aforementioned sacrifice. Engines find a way to equality from this complex position as usually expected in this kind of situation.
To sacrifice and then calculate is, of course, easier said than done! However, this approach was frequently employed in the games of Tal, the 8th World Champion, which made him one of chess enthusiasts’ favorite players.
Since Tal gave this advice, however, numerous strong players have not heeded it and have still followed the young Kasparov’s approach in their games. This brings us to the Game of the Week…
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Game of the Week IV: Van Foreest vs. Giri
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Edited by Della Almind