Mikhail Tal
  • Was nicknamed the "Magician from Riga" because of his birthplace and his amazing tactical skills.
  • It was his tremendous talent at tactics that scored him the world championship title in 1960 against Botvinnick at the amazing age of 24, the second youngest Chess World Champion of all time. (Kasparov was #1 at age 22).
  • His playing style was scorned by ex-world champion Smyslov as being based on "tricks", but Tal dominated almost every player in his time.
  • Tal was one of the few players who spanked Fischer, during the early days of the Fischer rise. Fischer, at first, had a difficult time with Tal's tremendously sharp playing style.
  • Boris Spassky and Victor Korchnoi were the only players to figure out Tal's style and then dominate him. These are the only players to have a sizable positive score against Tal.
  • Tal's style was comprised of intuitive sacrifices which would create incredibly complicated postions which were nearly impossible to calculate through in over the board play. Tal had great results in these unclear positions, although later on, it was analysed that there were many oversites.

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Mikhail Tal World Chess Champion

 

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