The Chess Alchemist by Mikhail Tal
The Chess Alchemist Mikhail Tal is one of the most celebrated World Champions in chess
history, who confounded his opponents and dazzled chess fans around the world. Seemingly breaking
every rule in the book, yet also breaking records with his accomplishments, Tal truly was The Chess
In this unique book, Oleg Stetsko has compiled 80 of Tal’s most interesting games, as annotated by
the Magician himself in a variety of sources, many of which have been translated into English for the
very first time here.
Mikhail Tal became World Champion in 1960 by defeating the great Mikhail Botvinnik. Tal’s play is
famed for its sacrificial brilliance, and he is also renowned as a witty and lively writer.
(Mikhail or Mikhail Tal or Tahl; Riga, 1936 – Moscow, 1992) Soviet chess player, world chess
champion from 1960 to 1961, considered one of the most brilliant and intuitive chess players in
history. His style, based on the depth of his calculations and the beauty and fearlessness of his
attacks, ranked him among the most admired of all time.
Tal’s career was one of the most meteoric in chess history. In 1953 he was the Latvian champion; in
1954, Master of the USSR; in 1956 he won the semifinal of the Soviet championship; in 1957 and 1958
he was proclaimed absolute champion of the USSR; in 1958 he won the Portoroz Interzonal
Tournament, and in 1959 in the Candidates Tournament for the world title, with the astonishing
result of 20’5 out of 28 possible points and defeating a young Bobby Fischer in the four games they