(b. 1936 -- d. 1993) was an aggressive
player. He was world champion
1960 and 1961, defeating and then losing to Mikhail Botvinnik
Until Garry Kasparov
claimed the world title years later, Tal was the youngest person to become
world champion. His
personality may have defined what I think of as the stereotypical
chess geek: a chain smoker
with tons of nervous energy
and loved speed chess
. Tal loved to
and would often sacrifice
to maintain initiative
. Many of his sacrifices were so stunning,
, that he earned the nickname
"the Wizard of Riga."
Mikhail Tal was born in Riga, Latvia.
He kept playing chess until his death,
even winning the World Blitz Championship in 1988. A few days before
his death in 1993 he defeated Garry Kasparov in a quick game.
In fact, in his lifetime he only lost once to Kasparov
and once to Anatoly Karpov.
Tal authored a classic book called The Life and Games of
Mikhail Tal. Quotations attributed to Tal include: