Great Players of the Past: Mikhail Tal

GM Ben Finegold discusses four games of Mikhail Tal as part of the Great Players of the Past series. This lecture was recorded January 28, 2020, at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta (CCSCATL) in Roswell, Georgia. Originally posted on the CCSCATL Channel on January 31, 2020. So yes, you’ve probably seen this one before.

Tal, Mikhail vs. Fischer, Robert James
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)

Gurgenidze, Bukhuti vs. Tal, Mikhail
USSR Championship (1957)

Tal, Mikhail vs. Tringov, Georgi
Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)

Tal, Mikhail vs. Petrosian, Tigran V.
8th Soviet Team Cup (1974)

Recorded at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta on November 6, 2018 and originally posted on the CCSCATL Channel on April 16, 2019. So yes, you’ve probably seen this one before.

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Intro and concluding music: “Da Jazz Blues,” by Doug Maxwell; . Thank you Doug!

#chess #GMBenFinegold #MikhailTal


  1. How do we know that Tal's hand was not the next step in evolution? How can you simply call a physical characteristic of the possessor of one of the greatest minds in history a "deformity" ?? I am serious.

  2. Was this reuploaded? I feel like I watched this awhile ago? Very memorable lecture!

  3. Harry Nelson Pillsbury, short lived but certainly an American genius between Morphy and Fisher

  4. god dammit, got so excited for an ostensibly new Tal lecture.

  5. Briliantino Prihandika Kharisma Putra Sakti says:

    "He used to be young, oh, maybe that's not Tal" LMAO

  6. Tal 's magic has never been replicated. Not even Fischer. Too much of cigarettes or booze or food can kill a person early………………………..Ben.

  7. “Fischer wouldn’t play that now, you know what the reasons are? He’s not alive.”😂😂

  8. I know I’ve seen it before. I don’t care. I’m going to watch and pretend it’s new.

  9. Please make an episode about Ding and nepo before the world championship

  10. 8 minutes in, thinking "I swear I've heard this before" then I finally read the description. Kinda feel cheated, but watching the rest of it anyway.

  11. that stare after the putative queen sac on the pawn was CLASSIC. lmao.

  12. i watch your videos to remind me that i am bad at chess. thanks!

  13. Ben, I just got banned on your Twitch stream after sending my very first message, which was "play moore".
    That was during your break, after your 20-0 streak on today's Titled Tuesday.(grats btw, loved every second even tho I was banned)

    I requested an unban, but nothing.
    Just wanted to let you know your mods aren't very nice.
    'Capeych' was my username.

  14. Im sitting here snickering at those relentless puns.

  15. Ben: "who did petrosian beat to become world champion?"
    Kid: "uhhh… you?"
    Ben: "close"

  16. Tal is the man!
    My only question would be if he is actively looking for these long sequences resulting in forced mate / loss of material every move or if this was rehearsed preparation

  17. Took me several seconds to parse the Obi-van Benoni R2D2 joke. No chance to do that in real time.

  18. You said you read alot of tal books as a kid, did you ever read tals winning chess combinations by tal and victor khenkin? Thoughts on the book if you have?

  19. For Ben's 'Great Players of the Present series it would be a lot of fun, if he did an episode on his old nemesis Ginger GM Simon Williams.

  20. Ben crappin on tal way too much there to start it off lol

  21. The second game was played with white pieces by Hanging Pawns couple of months ago as his training. His opponent was probably the happiest person ever for getting into this variation 🙂

  22. How much is it to sponsor a lecture?

  23. 7:32 maybe that's not Tal… yeah, I think it was Short.

    I'll see myself out.

  24. Just like lady gaga – Tal was born sick.

    Thx GM Finegold.

    Any other pop-stars references?

    You're so awesome. Not half as awesome as your nemesis – GingerGM, but still.

  25. 27:13 is beautiful – the white rook that is about to be taken with 'check', is the piece supporting the queen to give mate. Rooks are good support beams.

  26. I've had this position many times but never at the same time 💀never change ben

  27. haha I love when he stares at the camera

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