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Tal 
 
Mikhail Tal
Number of games in database: 2,806
Years covered: 1949 to 1992
Highest rating achieved in database: 2705
Overall record: +1124 -297 =1283 (65.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      102 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (342) 
    B43 B46 B82 B32 B40
 Ruy Lopez (253) 
    C95 C92 C93 C96 C84
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (162) 
    C95 C92 C93 C96 C84
 Caro-Kann (104) 
    B14 B17 B18 B12 B10
 French Defense (95) 
    C07 C18 C09 C05 C16
 English (92) 
    A15 A14 A17 A13 A16
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (342) 
    B43 B40 B92 B22 B46
 King's Indian (110) 
    E92 E69 E98 E66 E62
 Modern Benoni (82) 
    A56 A64 A61 A70 A62
 Nimzo Indian (79) 
    E48 E52 E46 E53 E24
 English (78) 
    A15 A14 A10 A13 A17
 Queen's Pawn Game (74) 
    A46 E10 E00 A40 A41
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tal vs Larsen, 1965 1-0
   Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987 1-0
   Tal vs Smyslov, 1959 1-0
   Tal vs Karpov, 1987 1-0
   Tal vs Koblents, 1957 1-0
   Tal vs Hecht, 1962 1-0
   Tal vs Miller, 1988 1-0
   Tal vs Sviridov, 1969 1-0
   M Bobotsov vs Tal, 1958 0-1
   Botvinnik vs Tal, 1960 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1960)
   Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Return Match (1961)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Zurich (1959)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   Bled (1961)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Reykjavik (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1966)
   Tallinn (1973)
   USSR Championship (1972)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   USSR Championship (1971)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Tal Fever by chocobonbon
   Match Tal! by amadeus
   Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973 by jessicafischerqueen
   Mikhail Tal: Selected Games by wanabe2000
   Mikhail Tal's Best Games by KingG
   Tals Amazing ATTACKS!!! by Zhbugnoimt
   The Magician, supplemental by Yopo
   Tal king of chess by LESTRADAR
   remembering Tal by Yopo
   Life and Games (Tal) by Qindarka
   tal best games by brager
   The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by newfiex
   The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by MoonlitKnight
   Power Chess - Tal by Anatoly21

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Mikhail Tal
Search Google for Mikhail Tal


MIKHAIL TAL
(born Nov-09-1936, died Jun-28-1992, 55 years old) Latvia
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Mikhail Nekhemievich Tal was born in Riga, Latvia (annexed by the USSR in 1940). At 6, he learned chess from his father, a medical doctor (source: Tal interview in <Chess Life>, May 1967). He won his first Latvian Championship in 1953, and earned the title of Soviet Master the following year. In 1957, he became the youngest-ever Soviet Champion. In 1960, following a string of victories in strong tournaments (including a second consecutive Soviet Championship, the Portorož Interzonal and the Candidates in Yugoslavia), he became the youngest World Chess Champion with a match victory over Mikhail Botvinnik. This record was broken by Garry Kasparov in 1985. Suffering from poor health, he lost the rematch the next year. He never qualified for a title match again.

Tal continued to struggle with health problems for the rest of his career, which was often marked by inconsistent results. On a number of occasions, however, he was still able to achieve world-class successes. He added four more Soviet Championship victories to his resume (in 1967, 1972, 1974, and 1978), equalling Botvinnik's all-time record of six. In 1979, he won joint first place at Montreal with Anatoly Karpov, briefly climbing back to second place in the world rankings. In 1988, he won the World Blitz Championship. He died of renal failure in 1992, at the age of 55.

Paul Keres was a font of inspiration for him and Tal won three Keres Memorials 1977, 1981, and 1983. Renowned for his aggressive, sacrificial playing style, Tal was also a noted chess journalist and author. In his autobiography, The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, he annotates 100 of his greatest games.

A list of books about Tal can be found at http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Wikipedia article: Mikhail Tal

A chronological list of Tal's Tournaments and Matches 1949-1973: Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:52:29

 page 1 of 113; games 1-25 of 2,806  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Parnas vs Tal 0-129 1949 RigaC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. Tal vs J I Zilber 1-033 1949 RigaC07 French, Tarrasch
3. J Klavins vs Tal 0-118 1949 RigaC10 French
4. Tal vs M Strelkov 1-016 1949 RigaC10 French
5. A Nevitsky vs Tal 0-143 1949 Semi Finals Youth ChampionshipC49 Four Knights
6. Kholmov vs Tal 0-121 1949 RigaD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Tal vs Ripatti ½-½41 1949 RigaB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
8. Tal vs Leonov 1-025 1949 RigaB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
9. Tal vs C Weldon 1-065 1949 VilniusB40 Sicilian
10. Lavrinenko vs Tal 0-138 1950 RigaB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
11. Tal vs Pliss 1-037 1950 RigaC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd
12. K Klasup vs Tal ½-½41 1950 RigaD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Tal vs Miglan 1-021 1950 URS jrC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
14. Tal vs N Darsniek 0-126 1950 RigaC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
15. Jullik vs Tal 0-139 1950 RigaA16 English
16. Tal vs Sodell 0-123 1950 URSC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. Pakala vs Tal 0-129 1950 RigaD02 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Tal vs J Klavins 1-054 1950 Latvian jr ChampB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
19. Leonov vs Tal 0-134 1950 URSE17 Queen's Indian
20. Liepin vs Tal 0-144 1950 RigaB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
21. Ivanov vs Tal 1-025 1950 URSC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. Tal vs M Zvirbulis  ½-½40 1951 RigaB15 Caro-Kann
23. Gutnikov vs Tal 0-122 1951 LeningradC47 Four Knights
24. Tal vs J Klovans ½-½40 1951 RigaD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. Tal vs Gipslis 1-024 1951 TournamentE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
 page 1 of 113; games 1-25 of 2,806  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tal wins | Tal loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 109 OF 109 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was a distinct pleasure to enjoy Tal's company for a morning and play some quick games.
Jun-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: What Tukmakov actually has claimed was that Tal's sacrifices at least guaranteed a draw. So for example when he had positionally outplayed his opponent, and it was a high time to take a decisive action, his sac actually lowered the evaluation from 0.90 to -0.20, it would be considered still 'correct' according to Tukmakov. I wouldn't say such moves are correct. It's just playing around with definitions or labels. It seems to me that it doesn't change much anything. There's no implication of fischeresque accuracy in Tal's sacrifical play by the article.
Jun-14-15  1d410: The whole point of the article is that one can play like Tal and not trust the evaluation.
Jun-14-15  1d410: at least if you are talented
Jun-30-15  Bruce Graham: Nice Tal tribute at Chessbase- including a simultaneous gem which should be at Chessgames as well: http://en.chessbase.com/post/tal-in...
Jul-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: There's a Latvian in the newspapers almost every day, these days, in New York City:

<http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/kn...>

Jan-23-16  Mikhail12: Wondering if anyone still gets as big a kick as I do out of Tal's hippo game story.
Apr-25-16  lazerus: Right now I am reading The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal in which he related an anecdote that he participated in a bull fight against a calf during a tournament in Spain. Tal goes on to say that a picture of him turn up in the paper the next fighting the calf. Does anyone have this picture?
Apr-28-16  ketchuplover: Carlsen succumbs to Aronian today. The unbeaten streak lives on!
Apr-28-16  ketchuplover: I hope Tal is riding that hippo in the sky
Jun-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Still into ketchup after all these years?
Jul-16-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The horse 'Your Pal Tal' is running today in the 5:10 at the Curragh. Going to put a few quid each way on it.

I've lost loads of games trying to play like Tal, might as well lose some money chasing the Tal dream as well.

Jul-16-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The horse came in last from 19 runners. :(
Aug-04-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: one of the ten best chess books of all time:

<https://www.amazon.com/Life-Games-M...>

Aug-04-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Beautifully written indeed!
Aug-08-16  indianchessupdates: Unbeaten Streak in Chess without defeat in classical games

Mikhail Tal in 1973-74 - 93 games
Mikhail Tal in 1972-73 - 86 games
Milan Drasko in 2006-2007 - 84 games
Vladimir Kramnik in 1999-2000 - 82 games
Wang Yue in 2008 - 82 games
Vachier Lagrave in 2015-2016 - 67 games

Aug-08-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I believe Schlechter is supposed to be in that list somewhere.
Aug-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <indianchessupdates: Unbeaten Streak in Chess without defeat in classical games Mikhail Tal in 1973-74 - 93 games
Mikhail Tal in 1972-73 - 86 games ...>

What is this nonsense?

1972 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... Mikhail Tal 3 losses.

1973 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... 13 losses

1974 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... 4 losses.

All those are from normal tournaments; I've excluded blitz games and such.

Aug-09-16  Olavi: No nonsense, well known fact. The first one ended in the Moscow 1973 team tournament, the second one started at the 1973 USSR championship and ended in the last or penultimate round of the 1974 championship. See http://www.chessmetrics.com/cm/CM2/...
Aug-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Olavi: No nonsense, well known fact....>

Very well-known, but I have never seen any accurate lists.

The timeline would have to go something like this:

1972 Tal loses 3 games. After the third loss he goes 86 games without defeat, ending sometime in

1973 After that loss he has a mixture of results including 13 losses, but after the last loss he goes 93 games without defeat ending sometime in

1974, and after that loss he had 3 more losses during the year.

If that scenario is correct then Tal must've been playing a lot of chess.

Another puzzling thing is the 13 losses in 1973. If there was only a short gap between the two Non-losing sequences then he must have lost a lot of games in a very short period.

Aug-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: You might be interested in <jessicafischerqueen>'s excellent Tal collection:

Game Collection: Tal's Tournament and Matches 1949-1973

Aug-09-16  Olavi: He lost 12 games in 1973, the 13th is a clock simultaneous. The streaks fit easily in his record. The Leningrad Interzonal and the USSR ch were not among his best.
Aug-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Olavi: He lost 12 games in 1973, the 13th is a clock simultaneous.>

Thanks, <Olavi>. I missed one.

Aug-09-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Olavi....The first (undefeated run) ended in the Moscow 1973 team tournament, the second one started at the 1973 USSR championship and ended in the last or penultimate round of the 1974 championship....>

The latter unbeaten string actually ended with Tal vs N K Ivanov, 1974, played in an event which began the second week of October. The 1974 Soviet championship started the last day of November.

Aug-25-16  seeminor: The man himself talking about his life, taking audience questions. A remarkable find from 1988.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bb...

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