Understanding Tal

Understanding Tal‎

NM ih8sens
19 | Chess Players

Mikhail Tal was a rather unique player.  His wild, sacrificial style lead to some very different opinions of Tal.  To some, he was the most successful patzer ever to play. To others his regular lack of objectivity was the very thing that made his play so beautiful to watch, and so terrifying to meet.  Whether you like his style or not, there are very few players in the chess world, especially those floating around the intermediate levels, who wouldn't give anything to see attacking options as effectively as he did. 


The incredible thing about Tal is that while he wasn't always as unsound and people think, he did take the most agressive line almost all the time.  Why?  Well to quote Tal himself "I realized a very simple truth: not only was I worried, but also my opponent." 


So how did Tal manage to find sacrifices and, maybe more impressively, generate the positions that allowed him to make those sacrifices so consistently?  Perhaps the answer to this isn't as difficult as you would think.  In fact it largely had to do with attitude.  When asked what he looks for when finding a move he said "First, how to sac my queen, then rook, then bishop, then knight, then pawns."  Whether this is true or not, only Tal has ever known; the fact is, however, that this attacking attitude has resulted in some amazing games of chess. The game you are about to view is one of Tal's bests.  I have not annotated the game in depth.  Your job is to 'think like Tal' and see if you can find the moves yourself.  Be warned, the tactic you are about to see is pretty sudden, don't let yourself get lulled into playing obvious moves!















For those interested, next weeks game is between Fischer and Tal.  It should be a real beauty!  See you Friday.

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