Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal
Mikhail Tal
Full name Latvian: Mihails Tāls
Mikhail Nekhemievich Tal
Country Soviet Union (Latvia)
Born November 9, 1936
Riga, Latvia
Died June 28, 1992[1] (aged 55)
Moscow, Russia
Title Grandmaster (1957)
World Champion 1960–61
Peak rating 2705 (January 1980)

Mikhail Tal (Latvian: Mihails Tāls; Михаил Нехемьевич Таль, Michail Nechem'evič Tal, [mʲixʌˈiɫ nʲɪˈxɛmʲɪvʲit͡ɕ ˈtal]; sometimes transliterated Mihails Tals or Mihail Tal; November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992)[1] was a SovietLatvian chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion.

Widely regarded as a creative genius, and the best attacking player of all time, he played a daring, combinatorial style.[2] His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability. Every game, he once said, was as inimitable and invaluable as a poem.[3] He was often called "Misha", a diminutive for Mikhail, and "The magician from Riga". Both The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004) and Modern Chess Brilliancies (Evans 1970) include more games by Tal than any other player. Tal was also a highly-regarded chess writer.

The Mikhail Tal Memorial is held in Moscow each year since 2006 to honour his memory.

He holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history.[4] Many authorities consider him to have been the greatest attacking Grandmaster in the history of chess.[5]


Early years

Tal was born in Riga, Latvia, into a Jewish family. At the age of eight, Tal learned to play chess while watching his father, a doctor. Shortly thereafter he joined the Riga Palace of Young Pioneers chess club. His play was not exceptional at first but he worked hard to improve. Alexander Koblents began tutoring Tal in 1949, after which Tal's game rapidly improved, and by 1951 he had qualified for the Latvian Championship. In the 1952 Latvian Championship Tal finished ahead of his trainer. Tal won his first Latvian title in 1953, and was awarded the title of Candidate Master. He became a Soviet Master in 1954 by defeating Vladimir Saigin in a qualifying match. That same year he also scored his first win over a Grandmaster when Yuri Averbakh lost on time in a drawn position. Tal graduated in Literature from the University of Riga, writing a thesis on the satirical works of Ilf and Petrov, and taught school in Riga for a time in his early twenties. He was a member of the Daugava Sports Society, and represented Latvia in internal Soviet team competitions.

He married Russian actress Salli Landau in 1959, divorcing in 1970. (In 2003, Landau published in Russia a biography of her late husband.)

Soviet champion

Tal first qualified for the USSR Chess Championship final in 1956, finishing joint fifth, and became the youngest player to win it the following year, at the age of 20. He had not played in enough international tournaments to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, but FIDE decided at its 1957 Congress to waive the normal restrictions and award him the title because of his achievement in winning the Soviet Championship.[6]

Tal made three appearances for the USSR at Student Olympiads, from 1956–1958, winning three team gold medals and three board gold medals. He won nineteen games, drew eight, and lost none, for 85.2 percent.[7]

He retained the Soviet Championship title in 1958 at Riga, and competed in the World Chess Championship for the first time. He won the 1958 Interzonal tournament at Portorož, then helped the Soviet Union win their fourth consecutive Chess Olympiad at Munich.

World champion

Tal won a very strong tournament at Zürich, 1959. Following the Interzonal, the top players carried on to the Candidates' Tournament, Yugoslavia 1959. Tal showed superior form by winning with 20/28 points, ahead of Paul Keres with 18½, followed by Tigran Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Bobby Fischer, Svetozar Gligorić, Friðrik Ólafsson, and Pal Benko. Tal's victory was attributed to his dominance over the lower half of the field;[8] whilst scoring only one win and three losses versus Keres, he won all four individual games against Fischer, and took 3½ points out of 4 from each of Gligorić, Olafsson, and Benko.[9]

In 1960, at the age of 23, Tal thoroughly defeated the relatively staid and strategic Mikhail Botvinnik in a World Championship match, held in Moscow, by 12½–8½ (six wins, two losses, and thirteen draws), making him the youngest-ever world champion (a record later broken by Garry Kasparov, who earned the title at 22). Botvinnik, who had never faced Tal before the title match began, won the return match against Tal in 1961, also held in Moscow, by 13–8 (ten wins to five, with six draws). In the period between the matches Botvinnik had thoroughly analyzed Tal's style, and turned most of the return match's games into slow wars of maneuver or endgames, rather than the complicated tactical melees which were Tal's happy hunting ground.[10] Tal's chronic kidney problems contributed to his defeat, and his doctors in Riga advised that he should postpone the match for health reasons. Yuri Averbakh claimed that Botvinnik would agree to a postponement only if Tal was certified unfit by Moscow doctors, and that Tal then decided to play.[11] His short reign atop the chess world made him one of the two so-called "winter kings" who interrupted Botvinnik's long reign from 1948 to 1963 (the other was Smyslov, world champion 1957–1958).

His highest Elo rating was 2705, achieved in 1980. His highest Historical Chessmetrics Rating was 2799, in September 1960. This capped his torrid stretch which had begun in early 1957.

Later achievements

Soon after losing the rematch with Botvinnik, Tal won the 1961 Bled supertournament by one point over Fischer, despite losing their individual game, scoring 14½ from nineteen games (+11 −1 =7) with the world-class players Tigran Petrosian, Keres, Gligorić, Efim Geller, and Miguel Najdorf among the other participants.

Tal played in a total of six Candidates' Tournaments and match cycles, though he never again earned the right to play for the world title. In 1962 at Curaçao, he had serious health problems, having undergone a major operation shortly before the tournament, and had to withdraw three-quarters of the way through, scoring just seven points (+3 −10 =8) from 21 games. He tied for first place at the 1964 Amsterdam Interzonal to advance to matches. Then in 1965, he lost the final match against Boris Spassky, after defeating Lajos Portisch and Bent Larsen in matches. Exempt from the 1967 Interzonal, he lost a 1968 semi-final match against Viktor Korchnoi, after defeating Gligoric.

Poor health caused a slump in his play from late 1968 to late 1969, but he recovered his form after having a kidney removed. He won the 1979 Riga Interzonal with an undefeated score of 14/17, but the next year lost a quarter-final match to Lev Polugaevsky, one of the players to hold a positive score against him. He also played in the 1985 Montpellier Candidates' Tournament, a round-robin of 16 qualifiers, finishing in a tie for fourth and fifth places, and narrowly missing further advancement after drawing a playoff match with Jan Timman, who held the tiebreak advantage from the tournament proper.

From July 1972 to April 1973, Tal played a record 86 consecutive games without a loss (47 wins and 39 draws). Between October 23, 1973 and October 16, 1974, he played 95 consecutive games without a loss (46 wins and 49 draws), shattering his previous record. These are the two longest unbeaten streaks in modern chess history.[4]

Tal remained a formidable opponent as he got older, he played reigning champion Karpov 20 times with a record of 19 draws and one loss (at Bugojno, 1980).

One of Tal's greatest achievements during his later career was an equal first place with Karpov (whom he seconded in a number of tournaments and world championships) in the 1979 Montreal "Tournament of Stars", with an unbeaten score of (+6 −0 =12), the only undefeated player in the field, which also included Spassky, Portisch, Vlastimil Hort, Robert Hübner, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Lubomir Kavalek, Timman and Larsen.

Tal played in 21 Soviet Championships,[12] winning it a record six times (1957, 1958, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978), a number only equalled by Botvinnik. He was also a five-time winner of the International Chess Tournament in Tallinn, Estonia, with victories in 1971, 1973, 1977, 1981, and 1983.

Tal also had successes in blitz chess; in 1970, he took second place to Fischer, who scored 19/22, in a blitz tournament at Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia, ahead of Korchnoi, Petrosian and Smyslov. In 1988, at the age of 51, he won the second official World Blitz Championship (the first was won by Kasparov the previous year in Brussels) at Saint John, ahead of such players as Kasparov, the reigning world champion, and ex-champion Anatoly Karpov. In the final, he defeated Rafael Vaganian by 3½-½.

On May 28, 1992, at the Moscow blitz tournament (which he left hospital to play), he defeated Kasparov. He died one month later.

Team competitions

In Olympiad play, Mikhail Tal was a member of eight Soviet teams, each of which won team gold medals (1958, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1980, and 1982), won 65 games, drew 34, and lost only two games (81.2 percent). This percentage makes him the player with the best score among those participating in at least four Olympiads. Individually, Tal won seven Olympiad board medals, including five gold (1958, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1974), and two silver (1960, 1982).[7]

Tal also represented the Soviet Union at six European Team Championships (1957, 1961, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1980), winning team gold medals each time, and three board gold medals (1957, 1970, and 1977). He scored 14 wins, 20 draws, and three losses, for 64.9 percent.[7] Tal played board nine for the USSR in the first match against the Rest of the World team at Belgrade 1970, scoring 2 out of 4. He was on board seven for the USSR in the second match against the Rest of the World team at London 1984, scoring 2 out of 3. The USSR won both team matches. He was an Honoured Master of Sport.[13]

From 1950 (when he won the Latvian junior championship) to 1991, Tal won or tied for first in 68 tournaments (see table below). During his 41-year career he played about 2,700 tournament or match games, winning over 65% of them.

Tournament and match wins (or equal first)


Year Tournament / Championship Match / Team competition
1950 Riga - Latvia Junior championship[citation needed], 1st
1953 Riga - 10th Latvian championship, 1st (14,5/19)
1955 Riga - 23rd Soviet Championship Semifinal, 1st (12,5/18)
1956 Uppsala - World students team championship, board 3 (6/7)
1957 Moscow - 24th URS-ch, 1st (14/21) Reykjavik - Wch-team students, board 1 (8,5/10)
Baden/Vienna - European Team Championship, board 4, 1st-2nd (3/5)
1958 Riga - 25th URS-ch, 1st (12/19)
Portorož Interzonal, 1st (13,5/20)
Varna- Wch-team students, board 1 (8,5/10)
Munich 1958 Olympiad, board 5 (13,5/15)
1959 Riga - Latvian Olympiad, 1st (7/7)
Zürich tournament, 1st (11,5/15)
BledZagrebBelgrade - Candidates tournament, 1st (20/28)
1960 Hamburg - Match Germany vs USSR, 1st (7,5/8)
Moscow - Match for the World title with Mikhail Botvinnik: (+6 −2 =13)
1960/61 Stockholm tournament, 1st (9,5/11)
1961 Bled tournament, 1st (14,5/19)
1962 Varna 1962 Olympiad, board 6 (10/13)
1963 Miskolc tournament, 1st (12,5/15)
1963/64 Hastings Premier tournament, 1st (7/9)
1964 Reykjavik tournament, 1st (12,5/13)
Amsterdam Interzonal, 1st-4th (17/23)
Kislovodsk tournament, 1st (7,5/10)
1965 Riga, Latvian championship, 1st (10/13) Match with Lajos Portisch: (+4 −1 =3)
Match with Bent Larsen: (+3 −2 =5)
1966 Sarajevo tournament, 1st-2nd (11/15)
Palma de Mallorca tournament, 1st (12/15)
Havana 1966 Olympiad, board 3 (12/13)


Year Tournament / Championship Match / Team competition
1967 Kharkov 35th URS-ch, = 1st (12/15)
1968 Gori tournament, 1st (7,5/10) Belgrade, Match with Svetozar Gligorić: (+3 −1 =5)
1969/70 Tbilisi, Goglidze memorial tournament, 1st-2nd (10,5/15)
1970 Poti - Georgian Open championship (hors concours), 1st (11/14)
Sochi - Grandmasters vs Young Masters, 1st (10,5/14)
Kapfenberg, European Team Championship, board 6 (5/6)
1971 Tallinn tournament, 1st-2nd (11,5/15)
1972 Sukhumi tournament, 1st (11/15)
Baku 40th URS-ch, 1st (15/21)
Skopje 1972 Olympiad, board 4 (14/16)
1973 Wijk aan Zee tournament, 1st (10,5/15)
Tallinn tournament, 1st (12/15)
Sochi - Mikhail Chigorin memorial, 1st (11/15)
Dubna tournament, 1st-2nd (10/15)
1973/74 Hastings tournament, 1st-4th (10/15)
1974 Lublin tournament, 1st (12,5/15)
Halle tournament, 1st (11,5/15)
Novi Sad tournament, 1st (11,5/15)
Leningrad 42nd URS-ch, = 1st (9,5/15)
Nice 1974 Olympiad, board 5 (11,5/15)
Moscow, USSR Club Team Championship, board 1, 1st (6,5/9)
1977 Tallinn - Keres memorial, 1st (11,5/17)
Leningrad 60th October Rev., 1st-2nd (11,5/17)
Sochi - Chigorin memorial, 1st (11/15)
1978 Tbilisi 46th URS-ch, 1st (11/17)
1979 Montreal tournament, 1st-2nd (12/18)
Riga Interzonal, 1st (14/17)


Year Tournament
1981 Tallinn - Keres memorial, 1st
Málaga tournament, 1st
Riga tournament, 1st (11/15)
Porz tournament, 1st
Lviv tournament, 1st-2nd
1982 Moscow - Alekhine memorial, 1st (9/13)
Erevan tournament, 1st (10/15)
Sochi - Chigorin memorial, 1st (10/15)
Pforzheim tournament, 1st (9/11)
1983 Tallinn - Keres memorial, 1st (10/15)
1984 Albena tournament, 1st-2nd (7/11)
1985 Jūrmala tournament, 1st (9/13)
1986 West Berlin open, 1st-2nd (7,5/9)
Tbilisi - Goglidze memorial, 1st-2nd (9/13)
1987 Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), 1st (8/11)
Jūrmala tournament, 1st-4th (7,5/13)
1988 Chicago open, 1st-6th (5,5/6)
2nd World blitz Championship at Saint John: 1st
1991 Buenos Aires - Najdorf memorial, 1st-3rd (8,5/13)

Score with some major Grandmasters

Only official tournament or match games have been taken into account. '+' corresponds to Tal's wins, '−' to his losses and '=' to draws.

Health problems

Tal led a dissolute personal life of womanizing, drinking, and chain smoking, all of which was an embarrassment to the Soviet authorities. His health suffered as a result, and he spent much time in the hospital, including an operation to remove a kidney in 1969.[14] He was also briefly addicted to morphine.[15] On June 28, 1992,[1] Tal died in a Moscow hospital, officially of kidney failure. But his friend and fellow Soviet grandmaster Genna Sosonko reported that "in reality, all his organs had stopped functioning."[16][not in citation given] Tal had the congenital deformity of ectrodactyly in his right hand (visible in some photographs). Despite this, he was a very skilled piano player.

Playing style

Tal's gravestone, showing a death date of "1992 27 VI" (June 27, 1992)

Tal loved the game in itself and considered that "Chess, first of all, is Art." He was known to play numerous blitz games against unknown or relatively weak players purely for the joy of playing.

Known as "The Magician from Riga", Tal was the archetype of the attacking player, developing an extremely powerful and imaginative style of play. His approach over the board was very pragmatic – in that respect, he is one of the heirs of ex-World Champion Emanuel Lasker. He often sacrificed material in search of the initiative, which is defined by the ability to make threats to which the opponent must respond. With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions. The famous sixth game of his first world championship match with Botvinnik is typical in that regard: Tal sacrificed a knight with little compensation but prevailed when the unsettled Botvinnik failed to find the correct response.

Although his playing style was scorned by ex-World Champion Vasily Smyslov as nothing more than "tricks", Tal convincingly beat virtually every notable grandmaster with his trademark aggression. Viktor Korchnoi and Paul Keres are two of the very few with a significant plus record against him. It is also notable that he adopted a more sedate and positional style in his later years; for many chess lovers, the apex of Tal's style corresponds with the period (approximately from 1971 to 1979) when he was able to integrate the solidity of classical chess with the imagination of his youth.[17]

Of the current top-level players, the Latvian-born Spaniard Alexei Shirov has probably been most influenced or inspired by Tal's sacrificial style. In fact, he studied with Tal as a youth. Many other Latvian grandmasters and masters, for instance Alexander Shabalov and Alvis Vitolins, have played in a similar vein, causing some to speak of a "Latvian School of Chess."[18] Tal contributed little to opening theory, despite a deep knowledge of most systems, the Sicilian and the Ruy Lopez in particular. But his aggressive use of the Modern Benoni Defense, particularly in his early years, led to a complete re-evaluation of this variation at the time, though it is seldom seen in top-class tournament play in the 21st century.

Quotations on chess

  • "There are two kinds of sacrifices: sound ones, and mine."[19]
  • "To play for a draw, at any rate with White, is to some degree a crime against chess."[20]
  • "If Black is going for victory, he is practically forced to allow his opponent to get some kind of well-known positional advantage."
  • "It is also important to remember that Bobby Fischer was a real chess gentleman during games. He was always very fair and very correct."
  • "I drink, I smoke, I gamble, I chase girls – but postal chess is one vice I don't have."[21]
  • "They compare me to Lasker, which is an exaggerated honor. He made mistakes in every game and I only in every second one!"
  • Nevertheless, when asked about his opinion on who was the greatest player of all time, he answered: "Lasker, for he made miracles on the chessboard."
  • Referring to his piece sacrifices: "They can only take them one at a time!"
  • "If playing chess were made illegal by law, I would become an outlaw."
  • "You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one."

Notable chess games


Tal was a prolific and highly respected chess writer, serving as editor of the Latvian chess magazine Šahs ("Chess") from 1960 to 1970. He also wrote four books: one on his 1960 World Championship with Botvinnik, his autobiography The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, Attack with Mikhail Tal coauthored by Iakov Damsky, and Tal's Winning Chess Combinations coauthored by Viktor Khenkin. His books are renowned for the detailed narrative of his thinking during the games. American Grandmaster Andrew Soltis reviewed his book on the world championship match as "simply the best book written about a world championship match by a contestant. That shouldn't be a surprise because Tal was the finest writer to become world champion". New Zealand Grandmaster Murray Chandler wrote in the introduction to the 1997 reissued algebraic edition of The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal that the book was possibly the best chess book ever written.

One amusing anecdote frequently quoted from Tal's autobiography takes the form of a hypothetical conversation between Tal and a journalist (actually co-author Yakov Damsky). It offers a modest, self-deprecating view of his reputation for unerring calculation at the board:

Journalist: - "It might be inconvenient to interrupt our profound discussion and change the subject slightly, but I would like to know whether extraneous, abstract thoughts ever enter your head while playing a game?" Tal: - "Yes. For example, I will never forget my game with GM Vasiukov on a USSR Championship. We reached a very complicated position where I was intending to sacrifice a knight. The sacrifice was not obvious; there was a large number of possible variations; but when I began to study hard and work through them, I found to my horror that nothing would come of it. Ideas piled up one after another. I would transport a subtle reply by my opponent, which worked in one case, to another situation where it would naturally prove to be quite useless. As a result my head became filled with a completely chaotic pile of all sorts of moves, and the infamous "tree of variations", from which the chess trainers recommend that you cut off the small branches, in this case spread with unbelievable rapidity.
And then suddenly, for some reason, I remembered the classic couplet by Korney Ivanović Chukovsky: "Oh, what a difficult job it was. To drag out of the marsh the hippopotamus".[22] I do not know from what associations the hippopotamus got into the chess board, but although the spectators were convinced that I was continuing to study the position, I, despite my humanitarian education, was trying at this time to work out: just how WOULD you drag a hippopotamus out of the marsh? I remember how jacks figured in my thoughts, as well as levers, helicopters, and even a rope ladder.
After a lengthy consideration I admitted defeat as an engineer, and thought spitefully to myself: "Well, just let it drown!" And suddenly the hippopotamus disappeared. Went right off the chessboard just as he had come on ... of his own accord! And straightaway the position did not appear to be so complicated. Now I somehow realized that it was not possible to calculate all the variations, and that the knight sacrifice was, by its very nature, purely intuitive. And since it promised an interesting game, I could not refrain from making it."
Journalist: - "And the following day, it was with pleasure that I read in the paper how Mikhail Tal, after carefully thinking over the position for 40 minutes, made an accurately-calculated piece sacrifice".

Mikhail Tal, The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal.

  • Tal, Mikhail (1997). The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-202-4. 
  • Tal, Mikhail (2001). Tal-Botvinnik, 1960. Russell Enterprises. ISBN 1-888690-08-9. 
  • Tal, Mikhail, Iakov Damsky and Ken Neat (tr.) (1994). Attack with Mikhail Tal. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-043-9. 


  1. ^ a b c Tal's gravestone has June 27 as the date of his death. All other sources consulted give June 28, including My Great Predecessors, part II, page 382, by Garry Kasparov and The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, page 6, and DeadOrAliveInfo.com.
  2. ^ Zhivago's children: the last Russian intelligentsia Vladislav Martinovich Zubok, Havard University Press, 2009
  3. ^ Salli Landau, Liubov i shakhmaty: Elegiia Mikhailu Taliu (Moscow: Russian Chess House, 2003)
  4. ^ a b Andrew Soltis, Chess Lists Second Edition, 2002, McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina and London, pp. 43-44.
  5. ^ Clarke, P,H, - Tal's Best Games of Chess Bell 1960
  6. ^ At that time, the Soviet Union was dominant in world chess, and Tal had beaten several of the world's top players to win the tournament. Master of Sacrifice, p. 4.
  7. ^ a b c olimpbase.
  8. ^ Horowitz, Al (1973). The World Chess Championship, A History. Macmillan. p. 188. LCCN 7280175 
  9. ^ "1959 Yugoslavia Candidates Tournament". http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/5860$cix.htm. 
  10. ^ McFadden, R.D. (June 29, 1992). "Mikhail Tal, a Chess Grandmaster Known for His Daring, Dies at 55". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE0D91739F93AA15755C0A964958260. 
  11. ^ Kingston, T. (2002). "Yuri Averbakh: An Interview with History - Part 2" (PDF). The Chess Cafe. http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles183.pdf. 
  12. ^ Including the 1983 final when Tal had to withdraw after five games
  13. ^ The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, revised and updated edition, by Mikhail Tal, 1997, London, Everyman Chess.
  14. ^ Genna Sosonko, Russian Silhouettes, New in Chess (3rd ed. 2009), p. 23
  15. ^ Sosonko 2009, p. 25.
  16. ^ Lawson, Dominic. Why artificial intelligence is never enough. FindArticles. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20061128/ai_n16873075. Retrieved 2007-09-14 [dead link]
  17. ^ Kramnik, V. (2005). "Kramnik Interview: From Steinitz to Kasparov". Vladimir Kramnik. http://www.kramnik.com/eng/interviews/getinterview.aspx?id=61. 
  18. ^ Watson, J. (August 1, 2007). "Shabalov Enters Elite Company With Fourth U.S. Championship Title". US Chess Federation. http://main.uschess.org/content/view/313/164.  Section "The Champion Speaks" - interview with Alexander Shabalov
  19. ^ Advice thru Humor
  20. ^ chessville.com
  21. ^ Lucian Millis | Chess Quotes
  22. ^ Alternative translation: Oh, what a task so harsh/ To drag a hippo from a marsh


Further reading

  • Chernev, Irving (1995). Twelve Great Chess Players and Their Best Games. New York: Dover. pp. 76–91. ISBN 0486286746. 
  • Tal, Mikhail (2nd Revised edition (1997)). The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal. Everyman. ISBN 0-486-28674-6. 
  • Clarke, Peter H. (1991). Mikhail Tal – Master of Sacrifice. B.T.Batsford Ltd. ISBN 0-7134-6899-8. 
  • Gallagher, Joe (2001). The Magic of Mikhail Tal. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-266-0.  This covers Tal's career post 1975, and can therefore be seen as a sort of sequel to Tal's own autobiography and games collection, which covers his career up to that point.
  • Kasparov, Garry (2003). My Great Predecessors, part II. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-342-X 
  • Winter, Edward G. (ed.) (1981). World chess champions. Pergamon. ISBN 0-08-024094-1. 

External links

Preceded by
Mikhail Botvinnik
World Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Mikhail Botvinnik
Preceded by
World Blitz Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Alexander Grischuk

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