Why Mikhail Tal is called the Magician from Riga – Brilliant Sacrifice!

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Mikhail Tal, the eighth world chess champion and the “Magician from Riga”, was known as a brilliant attacker, a creative genius, who played intuitively and unpredictably. Today, with modern computers, we know that many of his speculative sacrifices were inaccurate and should have lost. Nevertheless, he had a daring style of play, and that was very intimidating for those who played against him.

Tal himself said “There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones, and mine.” However, it was not easy, even for the world’s best players, to refute these sacrifices over the board, and some analysts were unable to show why or how Tal could have been defeated.

Today we’re going to see one of the most complicated chess games ever played; a game between Mikhail Tal and Alexander Koblents in 1957. You won’t believe – Tal (technically) sacrificed all his pieces (not the king though xP), from pawn to queen. By this, I mean that he gave his opponent a chance to take all these pieces, but Koblents didn’t accept them all.

It was really amazing to see how so many pieces of Tal were hanging on different parts of the board in this game, yet Tal somehow, because he is a ‘Magician’, had the upper hand and was driving the game his way! Our guest coach Mato Jelic has prepared a video showing you this beautiful game – you can watch it below.


P.S. What do you think about this game? Did Tal make a mistake? Were any of his sacrifices incorrect? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Secrets of Strong Chess Players

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