Tactics with Tal #2

Tactics with Tal #2


The following post is for studens of KLA Chess Club. Keiller Leadership Academy (KLA) is a K-8, Title I Charter school located in southeast San Diego, CA. Chess is offered as an everday class for students.

Previously, we were introduced to the former World Champion from Latvia, Mikhail Tal. He is known for him amazing tactical play which has drawn many admirers. We will continue to look at a critical point of one of his games.


Sacrifice: To give up a piece in order to gain a favorable or winning position. A sacrifice doesn't necessarily mean that the opposing player takes the piece, but means that a player purposefully is offering a pieces...Many times, it's a trap set for the opponent.

Remember:The point of these exercises is to see new ways of attacking. Notice that Tal is not afraid to sacrifice when the time is right.


1. Use a board/pieces to play the game through White's 29th move.

2. While playing, see if you can guess Black's next move. Don't worry if you don't get it, but try to make sense of the move if you get it wrong.

3. See if you can solve the puzzle starting from Black's 29th move (Tal is playing black).

*Use your board/pieces to study the position.

* Try and play it out visually/mentally before moving pieces. This will help train you to think ahead.

Now, solve the puzzle below...Hint: What sacrifice would Tal have made?

This is a tough puzzle to solve, but a beautiful combination. Learning from great players will open your mind to new ideas of how to take control on the board.

It is important to understand that even though Tal makes sacrifices, they are well calculated. He is not reckless. His sacrifices are well prepared and thought out...meaning he has other pieces in place to win the position. If you are planning to sacrifice, make sure you have other pieces that are ready to finish off your opponent.