Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal


November 9, 1940

Also Known For : Chess

Birth Place : Riga, Latvia

Died On : June 28, 1992

Zodiac Sign : Scorpio

Chinese Zodiac : Dragon

Birth Element : Metal

Mikhail Tal Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Childhood And Early Life

Mikhail Nikolaevich Tal was born in Riga, Latvia in 1940. As a child, he was taught to play chess by his father.


Mikhail Tal graduated from Riga University in 1957.

Rise To Stardom

Mikhail Tal was only thirteen years old when he won his first Latvian Championship and fourteen years old when he became a Soviet Chess Master. At the age of seventeen, he became a Soviet Champion, at the time, the youngest ever.


Mikhail Tal went on to win many tournaments including the Soviet Championship, the Portoroz Interzonal and the Candidates in Yugoslavia. He broke another record when he beat Mikhail Botvinnik to become the youngest ever World Chess Champion. He held this record until 1985 when Kasparov surpassed it. He went on to win the Soviet Championship in 1967, 1972, 1974 and 1978, joining Botvinnik with his record of six Soviet Championships. He also shared first place at Montreal with Anatoly Karpov in 1979 and 1988; he won the World Blitz Championship.

He also worked as a chess journalist and author. Two of his books on chess remain favorites with chess fans: the autobiographical Life and Games of Mikhail Tal (1960) and Match for the World Championships (1970).

Awards And Achievements

Mikhail Tal was famous for his speed and attacking style of chess.

Personal Life

Starting around 1961, Mikhail Tal was plagued by ill health that interfered with his professional chess career. He died in 1992 of renal failure.