Article by Pranav Nagesh
Mikhail Tal was a great chess player.
He was born on November 9, 1936 in Riga, Latvia and was taught chess by his father. By the age of 6, he was a prodigy in Chess, defeating players much stronger than his age.
He was a genius and was referred to by his peers as a magician in chess. He became the 8th World Champion defeating Mikhail Botvinnik in 1960. At the age of 23, he was the youngest person to hold the World Championship title.
Mikhail Tal was a fierce attacking player. There are many famous games of Mikhail Tal defeating many top grandmasters. Brilliant sacrifices, unforeseen combinations and unexpected attacking resources was the unique style of Mikhail Tal.
He played openings like Sicilian Defense (with both colors), the King's Indian Defense, the Modern Benoni Defense and the Ruy Lopez.
Unfortunately Tal died at a young age on 28 June 1992. He died in a Moscow hospital, after a prolonged illness, officially of a hemorrhage in the esophagus as he used to smoke a lot.
The great Tal is still alive in his brilliant games. Below i present one of his miniature games.
White: Mikhail Tal
Black: Jan Timman
Skopje Olympiad Final, 1972
1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nbd2 Bg7 5.Bc4 O-O 6.Qe2 c6 7.Bb3 Bg4 8.e5 dxe5 9.dxe5 Nd5 10.O-O Nd7 11.h3 Bf5 12.Re1 Qc7 13.Nf1 Rad8 14.Ng3 Be6 15.Qe4 Rfe8 16.Qh4 f6 17.Bh6 Nxe5 18.Rxe5 fxe5 19.Ng5 Bf6 20.Nxe6 1-0