by National Life Master Loal Davis
Mikhail Tal (November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992) was a Soviet-Latvian chess Grandmaster and the eighth World Chess Champion. Widely regarded as a creative genius and the best attacking player of all time, he played in a daring, combinational style. His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability. Every game, he once said, was as inimitable and invaluable as a poem. He was often called “Misha”, a diminutive for Mikhail, and “The magician from Riga”. Both The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004) and Modern Chess Brilliancies (Evans 1970) include more games by Tal than any other player. Tal was also a highly regarded chess writer. He also holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history.
Tigran Petrosian (June 17, 1929 – August 13, 1984) was ninth World Chess Champion. He was nicknamed “Iron Tigran” due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defense, which emphasized safety above all else. He won the world championship in 1963 (against Botvinnik), successfully defended it in 1966 (against Spassky), and lost it in 1969 (to Spassky). He won the Soviet Championship four times (1959, 1961, 1969, and 1975). He was arguably the hardest player to beat in the history of chess.
In 1974 they played each other in the USSR Team Cup Championship – and what a battle it was. Short, Sweet, Instructive.
Click on the Diagram to step through the annotated game.
Kasparov versus Petrosian (1981)
Black To Play (Move 30)
.For the annotated game (PGN file) – See Comments