Sep 29, 2011


Mikhail Tal
(November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992)

He was Latvian born Soviet chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion. Tal was often called "Misha", a diminutive for Mikhail, and "The magician from Riga" for his daring combinatorial style. Tal is considered to have been the greatest attacking Grandmaster of all time.
He holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess. From July 1972 to April 1973, Tal played a record 86 consecutive games without a loss (47 wins and 39 draws). Between October 23, 1973 and October 16, 1974, he played 95 consecutive games without a loss (46 wins and 49 draws), shattering his previous record. These are the two longest unbeaten streaks in modern chess history.Tal played in 21 Soviet Championships winning it a record six times (1957, 1958, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978), a number only equalled by Botvinnik. A chain smoker resulting in a long history of poor health caused some dent his play. The Mikhail Tal Memorial is held in Moscow each year since 2006 to honour his memory.

         One of the leading Russian champions faces a formidable 18 year old genius, Bobby Fischer in an exciting game during the 1959 Candidates Matches.

Books written with Tal as Subject:
§  Tal, Mikhail (1997). The Life and Games of Mikhail TalEveryman ChessISBN 1-85744-202-4.

§  Tal, Mikhail (2001). Tal-Botvinnik, 1960. Russell Enterprises. ISBN 1-888690-08-9.

§  Tal, Mikhail, Iakov Damsky and Ken Neat (tr.) (1994). Attack with Mikhail Tal. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-043-9.

Sep 28, 2011


Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik
(August 17, 1911 – May 5, 1995)

      He was the leading Russian international grandmaster and three-time World Chess Champion. Botvinnik laid the foundation for Russian supremacy in the game. Botvinnik was also a prominent electrical engineer aside from having a distinguish chess career. Botvinnik was among the first 27 chess players to be awarded with the grandmaster title in 1950 by FIDE. And, shortly after receiving the title on the academic side, he received a doctorate degree on 1951.

            After decades of playing in top flight chess, he became an eminent chess author and one of the pioneers of
 computer chess, and a great chess teacher in his later years. Botvinnik played an influential role as a leading member of the coaching system that enabled the Soviet Union to dominate top-class chess during that time. Among his famous pupils includes World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. 

The 1961 World Chess Championship, produces some gems like this game between an attacker (Tal) and a positional player (Botvinnik):

Books written by Botvinnik:
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1960). One hundred selected games. Courier Dover. ISBN 0486206203. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1972). Cafferty, B.. ed. Botvinnik's best games, 1947–1970. Batsford. ISBN 0713403578.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). Garry, S.. ed. Soviet chess championship, 1941: Complete text of games with detailed notes & an introduction. Dover Publications. ISBN 0486221849.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). World Championship: The Return Match Botvinnik vs. Smyslov 1958. Chess Digest Magazine.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). Alekhine vs. Euwe return match 1937. Chess Digest.
  • Matanovic, A.; Kazic, B., Yudovich, M., and Botvinnik, M.M. (1974). Candidates' matches 1974. Centar Za Unapredivanje Saha.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1978). Anatoly Karpov: His Road to the World Championship. Elsevier. ISBN 0080211399.
  • Botvinnik, M.M.; Estrin, Y. (1980). The Gruenfeld Defense. Rhm Pr. ISBN 0890580170.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1981). Cafferty, B.. ed. Achieving the Aim. Pergamon Press. ISBN 0080241204.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1981). Selected Games: 1967–1970. Pergamon. ISBN 0080241239.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1982). Marfia, J.. ed. Fifteen Games and Their Stories. Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, U.S.A: Chess Enterprises. ISBN 0931462150.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1985). Botvinnik on the Endgame. Chess Enterprises. ISBN 0931462436.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1996). Neat, K. and Stauss, E.. ed. Half a Century of Chess. Cadogan Books. ISBN 1857441222.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 1: 1925–1941. Moravian Chess. ISBN 807189317.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 2: 1942–1956. Moravian Chess. ISBN 8071893706.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 3: 1957–1970 - Analytical & Critical Works. Moravian Chess. ISBN 8071894052.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2002). Championship Chess : Match Tournament for the Absolute Chess Championship of the USSR, Leningrad-Moscow 1941. Hardinge Simpole. ISBN 9781843820123.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2004). Match for the World Chess Championship Mikhail Botvinnik-David Bronstein Moscow 1951. Edition Olms. ISBN 3283004595.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2004). Botvinnik, I.. ed. World Championship Return Match: Botvinnik V. Tal,Moscow 1961. Olms. ISBN 9783283004613.

Sep 26, 2011


  This chess blog is dedicated to the chess grandmasters of present and past generations - their most lovely games will be treasured here

  A grandmaster is a not merely a chess title it is a showcase of great chess talent. It is the highest award a chess player can aspire for, of course aside from winning the world championship.  Federation Internationale des Eches (FIDE) began recognizing the title after World War II, by imposing rules on international titles. The FIDE General Assembly and the Qualification Committee makes the decision to whom to award the titles. In 1950, FIDE first awarded the Grandmaster title to 27 players, as listed below:
   1.   Mikhail Botvinnik, the current world champion at that time
   Those who had qualified for the inaugural 1948 Candidates Tournament:
  2.   Isaac Boleslavsky, Soviet–Jewish chess champion
  3.   Igor Bondarevsky, 
an International Arbiter, trainer, and chess author
  4.   David Bronstein, narrowly missed becoming World Chess Champion in 1951
  5.   Max Euwe, former World Champion   
  6.   Reuben Fine, leading US Champion
  7.   Salo Flohr, leading Czech and later Soviet chess grandmaster    
  8.   Paul Keres, Estonian Chess Champion   
  9.   Alexander Kotov, prominent Russian author 
10.   Andor Lilienthal, died at age of 99 years old in 2010 (last to die among the 27)
11.   Miguel Najdorf, a Polish born Argentian chess master 
12.   Samuel Reshevsky, American champion
13.   Vasily Smyslov, future world champion

14.   Gideon Ståhlberg, Swedish chess champion

15.   László Szabó, one of Hungary's leading player

Players past their prime but still alive in 1950 and recognised as having been world class when at their peak: 

16.    Ossip Bernstein
17.    Oldrich Duras
18.    Ernst Grünfeld
19.    Borislav Kostić
20.    Grigory Levenfish
21.    Géza Maróczy
22.    Jacques Mieses
23.    Viacheslav Ragozin
24.    Akiba Rubinstein
25.    Friedrich Sämisch
26.    Savielly Tartakower
27.    Milan Vidmar

At present there are more than 1,000 living grandmasters scattered all around the world. All of them will find their way on this site.