the life and games of mikhail tal

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  • 1. The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

2. CADOGAN CHESS SERIES Other classic biographical and autobiographical titles availablefrom Cadogan include: The Sorcerer's Apprentice Taimanov's Selected Games Bronstein & Furstenberg Mark Taimanov Fire on Board: Shirov's Best Games Timman's Selected Games Alexei Shirov Studies and Games Jan Timman The Genius of Paul Morphy Chris Ward Paul Keres Best Games, volume 1 Paul Keres Best Games, volume 2 Egon Varnusz Vasily Smyslov: Endgame Virtuoso Vasily Smyslov Ivan Sokolov's Best Games Ivan Sokolov The Application of Chess Theory Yefim Geller Half a Century of Chess Mikhail Botvinnik For a complete catalogue of CADOGAN CHESS books (which includes the Pergamon Chess and Maxwell Macmillan Chess lists) please write to: Cadogan Books pIc, 27-29 Berwick Street, London W1V 3RF Tel: (0171) 287 6555 Fax: (0171) 7341733 3. The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal Mikhail Tal CADOGAN chess 4. Copyright 1997 Cadogan Books pIc First published 1997 by Cadogan Books pIc, 27-29 Berwick St., London WIV 3RF Reprinted 1998 Distributed in North America by The Globe Pequot Press, 6 Business Park Rd, P.O. Box 833, Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475-0833, USA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electro- static, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, with- out prior permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 1 85744 202 4 Proofreading: Pat Aherne, Alexander Meynell, Jim Hale, Ken Neat Cover Design: Berfort Reproductions Cover Photo: British Chess Magazine Ltd Typeset by John Nunn Printed in Great Britain by BPe Wheatons Ltd, Exeter 5. Contents Editor's Foreword Acknowledgements Tournament and Match Record 1 My First Steps 2 A Young Master 3 The Road to the World Championship 4 World Champion 5 Unwell Again 6 Recovered 7 A Candidate Again 8 My 'Death' and my New Life 9 Recent Events Index of Opponents Index of Openings 6 7 8 17 60 105 160 230 296 331 393 464 493 495 6. Editor's Foreword Mikhail Tal was a remarkable man. His brilliant successes in the years leading up to his World Championship victory excited the chess world; his very name be- came synonymous with brilliance and attacking flair. 'Misha' had a warm and engaging personality without a hint of malice. His en- thusiasm for the game he loved was unquenchable. In his later years he was af- flicted by severe health problems which would have crushed a lesser man, but he never complained about his difficulties and continued to play chess right up to his death. Misha hated to postpone a game; even if he had to slip out of his doctors' grasp, he would try to make it somehow. Despite his fragile appearance, his at- tacking powers and astonishingly quick sight of the board remained intact. My last visit to him was in May 1992, just after he had returned from Bar- celona, his last major tournament. He 'showed' me his fine win against Lautier, but was so weak that he had to lie on his back and dictate the moves and analysis 'blindfold' to me, while I played them over on a board. He died on 28th June 1992, and the chess world is a much poorer place for his absence. I was delighted to be asked by Cadogan Books to work on a new edition ofhis classic book The Life and Games ofMikhail Tal, which covers his career up to 1975. This is one of those rare chess books which is not only splendidly instruc- tive, but also conveys a real impression of the author's personality. There was relatively little for me to do apart from convert the moves to alge- braic notation. I corrected some obvious misprints and errors (the incorrect dia- gram for the game fragment on page 61 and the missed mate in one in the analysis of game 90 are typical examples). In some cases there were errors caused by mis- prints, for instance the accidental omission ofmoves. I have corrected these with- out comment (just as an example, I have mentioned one as a footnote on page 150). Likewise, in about 20 academic cases, I have tidied up the end ofa variation. I do not doubt that Tal would have agreed to these changes had he still been alive to go over the proofs. If there was any doubt about the analysis, or if the change was in any way significant, my remark appears as a footnote. To avoid confusion, I should explain that footnotes which are marked 'Editor's note' and 'Translator's note' are transcribed from the RHM edition. The unattrib- uted footnotes are mine and appear for the first time in this edition. 10hnNunn Chertsey, June 1997 7. Acknowledgements The chess world owes Cadogan Books pic a debt of gratitude for undertaking the monumental task of bringing this classic work by Mikhail Tal back into print. Since being first published in 1976 by RHM, and never reprinted due to the sub- sequent collapse of the publisher, a whole generation has grown up who have never even seen a copy. Yet The Life and Games ofMikhail Tal is quite probably the greatest chess book ever written. I am sure that everybody involved in the in- itial edition will be delighted that Tal's masterpiece is once again available to lov- ers of chess world-wide. In this respect we must thank David Levy (the original editor), and everyone else involved in RHM's pioneering original edition. All of the game annotations are by Tal himself, except for games 8,11-13,16-18,23 and 29 (done jointly by Tal and Koblents, his Latvian trainer) and games 87, 88 and 92 (done jointly by Tal and Kirilov). For this marvellous new algebraic version, Grandmaster John Nunn spent weeks transcribing the material from descriptive notation, checking the text and deciphering unintelligible variations. Ken Neat (who did so much fine translation work on the original version) has retranslated games 33 and 34 from Russian es- pecially for this edition, and has also fully updated Tal's tournament and match record. Murray Chandler London, June 1997 8. Tournament and Match Record Tal, Mikhail Nekhemyevich, born 9th November 1936 in Riga. Eighth Champion of the World, six times USSR Champion, International Grandmaster, Honoured USSR Master of Sport. Holder ofthe Orders 'Decoration ofHonour' and 'Friend- ship ofPeoples' . Journalist. Member of the 'Daugava' Sports Society, Riga. Died 28th June 1992, in Moscow. Tournaments PLACE SCORE + - 1951 8th Latvian Championship, Riga 11th-14th 9119 not known 1952 9th Latvian Championship, Riga 7th lOll7 7 4 6 1953 10th Latvian Championship, Riga 1st 14112119 12 2 5 USSR Club Team Championship, board 2: Semi-final 31/217 2 2 3 Final 1st-2nd 4112/7 3 1 3 1954 11th Latvian Championship, Riga 2nd-3rd 141/:zI19 13 3 3 USSR Youth Team Championship, Leningrad, board 1 2nd 7/9 6 1 2 USSR Club Team Championship, Riga, board 1 9th-10th 4/10 1 3 6 1955 12th Latvian Championship, Riga 2nd 14/19 not known Baltic Zonal Tournament, Vilnius (USSR Championship Quarter-Final) 3rd-4th 11117 7 2 8 Match Latvia v. Russian Federation, Riga 2nd 61h/ll 4 2 5 USSR Team Championship, Voroshilovgrad, board 2 3rd-4th 51/:z/9 2 0 7 USSR Championship Semi-final, Riga 1st 121/:zI18 10 3 5 1956 23rd USSR Championship, Leningrad 5th-7th 101/:zI17 6 2 9 9. Tournament and Match Record 9 Student Olympiad, Uppsala, board 3 1st 6/7 5 0 2 Match Latvia v. Estonia, Tartu 2/4 I I 2 USSR Championship Semi-final, Tbilisi 5th-6th I P/2/19 6 2 11 1957 24th USSR Championship, Moscow 1st 14121 9 210 Student Olympiad, Reykjavik, board I 1st 81/2/10 7 0 3 European Team Championship, BadenlVienna board 4 1st-2nd 3/5 2 I 2 Matches Latvia v. Italian Teams 9/10 8 0 2 1958 25th USSR Championship, Riga 1st I21/:zI1 8 10 3 5 15th Latvian Championship, Riga 3rd 161/:zI19 16 2 Student Olympiad, Varna, board I 1st 81/:zII0 7 0 3 Portorof Interzonal 1st 131/:zI20 8 III Olympiad, Munich, board 5 1st 131/2/15 12 0 3 (absolute best score in the Olympiad) 1959 26th USSR Championship, Tbilisi 2nd-3rd I21/:zII9 9 3 7 Latvian Olympiad 1st 7/7 7 0 0 International Tournament, Zurich 1st 1111:z/15 10 2 3 USSR Spartakiad, Moscow, board I: Semi-final 114 0 2 2 Final 6th IIh/4 0 I 3 Candidates Tournament, Yugoslavia 1st 20/28 16 4 8 International Tournament, Riga 4th 9/13 7 2 4 1960 Match West Germany v. USSR, Hamburg 1st 71/:zI8 7 0 I Olympiad, Leipzig, board I 2nd 11/15 8 I 6 1961 International Tournament, Stockholm, 1960/1 1st 91/:zI1l 8 0 3 European Team Championship, Oberhausen, board 2 51/:z/9 3 5 International Tournament, Bled 1st W/:zI19 11 7 USSR Club Team Championship Semi-final, Riga, board I 111:z/3 I I 29th USSR Championship, Baku 4th-5th 12120 7 3 10 USSR Club Team Championship Final, Moscow, board I 5th 215 0 4 10. 10 The Life and Games ofMikhail Tal 1962 Candidates Tournament, Cura~ao 7th-8th 7121 3 10 8 Olympiad, Varna, board 6 1st 10113 7 0 6 USSR Team Championship, Leningrad, board I 5th-6th 41/:z/8 I 0 7 30th USSR Championship, Erevan 2nd-3rd 13112119 II 3 5 1963 International Tournament, Miskolc 1st J21h1l5 10 0 5 USSR Spartakiad, Moscow, board I 6/9 5 2 2 Capablanca Memorial Tournament, Havana 2nd-4th 16121 14 3 4 International Tournament, Moscow 2nd 10112/15 7 7 1964 International Tournament, Hastings, 1963/4 1st 7/9 5 0 4 International Tournament, Reykjavik 1st 12112/13 12 0 I Amsterdam Interzonal 1st-4th 17/23 11 o 12 International Tournament, Kislovodsk 1st 71h/1O 6 I 3 USSR Club Team Championship, board I: Semi-final, Tallinn 5/6 4 0 2 Final, Moscow 1st-2nd 41/:z/6 3 0 3 32nd USSR Championship, Kiev 3rd 121h/19 9 3 7 1965 22nd Latvian Championship, Riga 1st 11114 8 0 6 1966 International Tournament, Sarajevo 1st-2nd 11115 9 2 4 International Tournament, Kislovodsk 6th-7th 51/2111 4 4 3 USSR Club Team Championship, Moscow, board I 3rd-4th 6/10 2 0 8 Olympiad, Havana, board 3 1st 12113 II 0 2 (absolute best score in the Olympiad) Internation


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