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.

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