Mikhail Tal Attacking Secrets with GM Marian Petrov [TCW Academy]

Mikhail Tal Attacking Secrets with GM Marian Petrov [TCW Academy]

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-squared 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 the 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.

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Updated 02.08.2024