Imagine every time you sacrificed a piece or launched an attack, the player opposite you would mentally collapse already…
Imagine if your moves could confound even the best engines of today, what they could do to mere mortals…
Imagine if you could take your opponent “into a deep, dark forest where 2+2=5 and the path leading out is only wide enough for one”…
Sounds too good to be true? Well, for one, it was not.
That man was aptly called the ‘the Magician from Riga’.
Mikhail Tal’s style of playing was maniacal, but there was a method to the madness. Many of his tactical combinations were unsound, but they worked in his hands!
The psychological pressure that he created on his opponents, his brilliant feel for the initiative, and his ability to maintain the momentum, threats after threats, with insane sacrifices and crazy king hunts…
Let’s say that replicating his style is one of the most arduous tasks in the world. And this 3+ hour video training aims to do that for you.
GM Marian Petrov is here to go through some of Tal’s best games and show what an attacking monster he was, right up there with Alekhine and Kasparov.
Petrov decodes the brilliant tactical combinations, the seed ideas behind them and how Tal worked toward them from almost any position on the board.
What you will learn:
- Two pawns and a bishop sac’d. Just another day for Tal. In the 1959 Candidates Tournament, the idea was simple. First, take away the f7-square from the opponent’s (Benko) king. Then, sacrifice the bishop to prepare a mating attack. Sounds simple? Too complicated when carried out.
- Opponent’s greed punished. That’s what he did to Bronstein in the Moscow 3teams 1973 match. He kisses his knight goodbye to break open the king’s pawn shield. The killer blow lands only when his opponent’s queen mistakenly grabs the pawn on e5 falling prey to the beautiful White’s Bd4!
- Save the bishop? Nah! His bishop was hanging on c4. What does he do? Turns a blind eye and plays 14.Qh4. Why? Two knights, the dark-square bishop all eyeing on the Black’s king. Why save a bishop if you can land a checkmate, right? Petrov shows you how it led to the beautiful finish.
- Activity over material. An extra minor piece does not mean a damn… if it is out of the game. In his 1973 Tallinn match against Timman, he, as Black, exchanged off one of White’s active bishops. But why did he give away his knight, though? Petrov shows you the idea behind that sacrifice.
- Overwhelming logic. Botvinnik was not a patzer. In their 1961 World Championship match, Tal did not sacrifice a piece. He simply outplayed Botvinnik positionally—it was like “my pieces are out on a king hunt and you can’t stop it.” Check the game with Petrov to tap into the intricate foreplay in it.
About The Author
GM Marian Petrov (FIDE 2537)
Is an accomplished professional chess coach, theorist, and Bulgarian champion for 2002 and 2017, as well as winner of many open tournaments around the world. Also a FIDE trainer and coach of the team of Wales at the last Olympiad in Baku in 2016. He graduated from the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria with a Bachelor’s degree in Chess Pedagogy, a four-year undergraduate program designed to prepare top-level chess trainers.