It would be difficult to find an avid chess player who wouldn’t hear of Mikhail Tal, a Latvian chess player and the eighth World Chess Champion. Tal is widely regarded as one of the greatest attacking players in the history of chess. He was known for his imaginative and daring style of play, often sacrificing material to create attacking chances. His playing style and creative ideas earned him the nickname “The Magician from Riga”.
The following game Tal played during his simultaneous exhibition in Stuttgart, 1969, could be described as a brilliant example of tactical masterpiece. It demonstrates several important concepts:
- The significance of an attack on the stronger king-side, along with opening the key files
- A neat trap for an opponent who expects us to play “obvious” moves
- How a passed pawn can instantly turn the tables
Just watch and be amazed. I will comment on all critical situations.
One can only admire how the minor pieces formed a perfectly solid position. The bishops are protected by the knights, and vice versa, so there was no weak point that could have been exploited by the black queen.
Tal was a prolific writer and wrote several chess books, including “The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal,” which is considered a classic in the field. He also contributed articles to various chess magazines and was a respected commentator and analyst.