"...Just as one's imagination is stirred by a
girl's smile, so is one's imagination stirred by the possibilities of chess."
World Champion 1960-1961
Born: 1936, Riga
Tal was a legend. He was perhaps one of the most brilliant and fearless
combinational players of all
time. He played beautiful sacrifices,
many times unsound, but the problems
they created for his opponents could not be solved within the limited time
of the game. Tal's combinatorial
abilities were tremendous, and his power to calculate deep and complicated
variations was unmatched. Tal played chess for excitement. He sometimes
played sacrifices that he knew to be suspicious,
but that he also knew would bring enjoyment to his fans. Tal's spectacular
abilities led him to defeat Botvinnik in 1960 to be come World Champion
for a year until Botvinnik won the return match in 1961.