Mastery: Tactics

Combinations of Mikhail Tal Part 2

Combinations of Mikhail Tal Part 2

Mikhail Tal was the eighth world champion (1960). He shined like a meteor all his life and was known for his brilliant attacking chess. His play could be described by all the colours of the rainbow. All of them, but the grey one! Enjoy his sparkling combinations!

  • Air for the King

    Tal had an affinity towards the opponent's king. Whenever that piece was not feeling very comfortable, the Magician of Riga would be there to "treat" it.

    • 2 challenges
  • Drag that King out!

    Things are not always as simple as in the previous sample though, and the experienced master of the attack had to first drag the opponent's king outside their pawn shield, block it in, and only then mate it.

    • 6 challenges
  • Get the King at Home!

    The king definitely doesn't feel that well in front of his pawns, but if he is behind his pawns, that does not guarantee him an easy life. Especially if there is a shortage of defenders!

    • 6 challenges
  • Get the King at Home- Domination!

    In the previous sample things seemed to be relatively easy, the Black king had no defenders at all. Now let's check how Tal was dealing with situations with more pieces!

    • 9 challenges
  • An Open File There is...

    It was back in 1958. The Interzonal tournament in Portoroz was in progress and Tal played Filip. He opened the game and mated his opponent with his heavy pieces. One of the spectators approached Tal's coach Koblencs and summarized the situation: An open file there is, a mate there will be.

    • 6 challenges
  • The Soldier General

    One should never forget that the natural desire of every pawn is to become a queen one day!

    • 6 challenges
  • Like a Bolt from the Blue

    We are taught that the center is the ideal place for the pieces. It is indeed so in most cases, but as our game is too complex and beautiful some exceptions exist.

    • 4 challenges
  • Danger in the Center

    Whenever one of the kings remains in the center this spells trouble for the defender. The rooks remain disconnected and useless and the centralized army of the opponent has easy access to the king. Tal's wins in such situations are countless.

    • 5 challenges
  • Falling into a Trap

    Tal loved to outwit his opponents. One of his favourite methods was to allow a combination which is seemingly winning for his opponent. However, somewhere in the middle of the process it will transpire that there is a sudden in-between move, which changes the whole picture.

    • 4 challenges
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