Mikhail Tal, son of Riga

I was in Riga, Latvia, for a computer conference and found this statue of the great Mikhail Tal in a central park honouring their great chess player.

It is near http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=56.952224,+24.118386&num=1&vpsrc=0&sll=56.946536,24.10485&sspn=0.325577,0.94897&ie=UTF8&z=18&iwloc=A



Note the fresh flowers. Dead but not forgotten!

Here is a game where future IGM Raymond Keene as a teenager cheekily beat Tal in a simul as a teenager using an unsound move (from www.chessgames.com)





  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for the reply, it was very interesting...but now I'm bummed out I will probably never make it over there! Well for now my goal is to at least visit UK and France before shuffling off this mortal coil...

  • 5 years ago


    Hi NimzoRoy, I realised that after I posted it but there didn't seem to be a way to shrink it with the blog posting photo tool :-\

    What I did was add the photo to a photo album in the group http://www.chess.com/groups/home/mikhail-talquotthe-magician-from-riga

    and it's now available in a reasonable size there.

    Riga was fantastic, a wonderful place in the Summer (but -25C in the Winter) and I had a great time. Most people there now speak Latvian, Russian and English and it's a very cosmopolitan place. The Russians can pop over the border, the Swedes come across on the ferry, the Germans drive up in considerable numbers through Lithuania. It's part of the EU trading zone and the country has obviously benefited and the facilities (like public WiFi, roads, public transport) are excellent, better than the UK in some respects. 

    The city was spared the bombing that so many European cities suffered in WW2 and is full of old architectural gems. You tend to walk around with your mouth hanging open admiring it all - it was a Hanseatic league port, like Tallin, and similarly beautiful. 

    Latvia is a small country - only a couple of million people - and quite proud of its heritage. Shortly after declaring independence from the USSR they created an occupation museum to demonstrate the crimes of the Soviets and Nazis with respect to their country in harrowing detail. They have a lot of personal artefacts of people who were sent to the GULAG camps, for example. I nearly had to leave half way around the museum as it was so moving. However, since they liberated themselves they have sprung back as a country and it is modernised.

  • 5 years ago


    Great picture, although a tad bit gigantic (of course shrinking it blurs details). What's Latvia like?

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you for the pic and info Peter. 

  • 5 years ago


    Great article; great game; thanks!

Back to Top

Post your reply: