Mikhail Tal (Latvian: Mihails Tāls; Russian: Михаил Нехемьевич Таль, Michail Nechem'evič Tal, [mʲixʌˈiɫ nʲɪˈxɛmʲɪvʲit͡ɕ ˈtal]; sometimes transliterated Mihails Tals or Mihail Tal; November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992) was a Soviet–Latvian chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion.
He was often called "Misha", a diminutive for Mikhail, and "The magician from Riga" for his daring combinatorial style. Both The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004) and Modern Chess Brilliancies (Evans 1970) include more games by Tal than any other player. Tal was also a highly-regarded chess writer; his professional career was that of a chess journalist.
The Mikhail Tal Memorial is held in Moscow each year since 2006 to honour his memory.
He holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history. Many authorities consider him to have been the greatest attacking Grandmaster of all time.
Thanks for posting these Tal games. I've been curious about him since an earlier thread when it was being debated that he might be the most aggressive player ever.
you are welcome man.. I like to read about the masters inorder to get closer to chess.. and give me more understanding of the game!!
Yay for Tal! :)
How many of us have played Tal over-the-board?
I have... in a clock simul in Saint John, 1988. He was ranked fourth in the world at the time.
Just wondering, Tal is idolised by so many chess fans around the world, including myself, what was he like as a person? Was he aloof or did he have time for the little people? I'd hate to hear that he was a w^%k*r in real life.
I'm jealous. I would have loved to have played him. Do you still have the game?
No... I somehow lost the scoresheet a few years ago, when I moved from Ottawa (Canada) back to the Maritimes.
However... it's just possible that I might be able to reconstruct the game, if I could get some "expert assistance". Karpov and Djindjashvili were standing right behind me through nearly all of the game, watching the play and exchanging whispered remarks in Russian. Djindji is a member of Chess.com... and perhaps he (or Karpov) remembers the game?
Tal was a pretty good guy in real life. He was well known for his Puckish sense of humor.
When the Soviet Chess Federation decided to co-sponsor a nation-wide alcohol-awareness program called "State vs Vodka", Tal offered to play for the Vodka team.
ah... he was one of the most magical and briliant of people and chess players. read his books, they're all full of positive energy and optimism!
a great, and quick article on him:
actually the linked article at the bottom of that article is better.
and his games were really very special, so many spectacular conceptions. a top-10 player his entire professional career, to his death...