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Spektrowski's Blog


    • Mikhail Tal. "When Pieces Come Alive", part 3

      3. Stellar hour   A chess player’s life is like running up the stairs. He’s constantly going up the qualification steps. He wins a Zonal tournament, and then there’s Interzonal. Then you make the top three and become a Candidate. And then... | Read More

    • Astrology and chess (preview)

      I came across a funny article on astrology and chess. It deals with the Zodiac signs of famous players. As a preview, I'll post twelve "Zodiacal Olympic" teams the author lined up. It was written several years ago, possible in 2004-2005.   Arie... | Read More

    • Mikhail Tal. "When Pieces Come Alive", part 2

      2. Tournaments, meetings, memories…   In 1980, at the Tilburg tournament, all players received a questionnaire, and one of the questions was, “What competition do you remember the most?” Not all grandmasters answered immediately – the... | Read More

    • Mikhail Tal, "When Pieces Come Alive"

      The Ogonyok Library, #9, 1983. 1. Is it easy to play chess?  I often ask myself a sad question: for how long I'll still be able to play in tournaments? They say that chess can be played at any age. But alas, this is only a half-truth... Ye... | Read More

    • Mikhail Tal. "Knowledge? Intuition? Risk?", part 3

      Epilogue I don't want this article to look like epitaph, so I'll risk to offer you my only win in that ill-fated match. This game's character fits the general theme of our discussion. The fifth game began with Larsen leading 3:1. Considering... | Read More

    • Mikhail Tal. "Knowledge? Intuition? Risk?", part 2

      When intuition fails In my game against I. Platonov (Alma-Ata, 1968/69, 36th USSR Championship) I got this position after Black's 19th move. Though I think that the next example is even more instructive. Misfortunes never come alone. The wors... | Read More

    • Mikhail Tal. "Knowledge? Intuition? Risk?", part 1

      Mikhail Tal's article in 64, issues 34-36, 1969. "All happy families are alike, all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way." Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina The components of success When I'm in form, I'm happy. I can do anything. That's wh... | Read More

    • The Scourge of Mighty Champions, part 4

      Makogonov's performances started to decline after he turned 40, but he could still pack a good punch, and he showed that against the emerging new generation. In Kiev 1944, he defeated a young David Bronstein in a complicated game under time press... | Read More

    • The Scourge of Mighty Champions, part 3

      Sverdlovsk 1943 was a stellar performance by Makogonov: 8.5 out of 12, second only to Botvinnik (Chessmetrics gives this performance a historical rating of 2726).   | Read More

    • The Scourge of Mighty Champions, part 2

      Makogonov defeats a reigning USSR champion GM Levenfish And then utterly devastates Keres, who made it a point to get revenge against Makogonov after losing to him in 1939. In the 1940 championship, Makogonov managed to beat Keres, Botvinnik a... | Read More