59th Year Anniversary of World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal beats Mikhail Botvinnik 12½-8½ for world chess championship

On 7th May 1960, at the age of 23, Tal thoroughly defeated the relatively staid and strategic Mikhail Botvinnik in a World Championship match, held in Moscow, by 12½–8½ (six wins, two losses, and thirteen draws), making him the youngest-ever World Champion (a record later broken by Garry Kasparov, who earned the title at 22).

Tal often sacrificed material in search for the initiative in chess. With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions. Although this playing style was scorned by ex-World Champion Vasily Smyslov as nothing more than “tricks”, Tal convincingly beat every notable grandmaster with his trademark aggression.

In memory of this great chess player, his first game on 15th March of that tournament is shown in the GAMES menu.

 

Graham Morris
May 6, 2019