- 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.
Go to the Games
Go to the Tal index