Chess Strategy and Tactics: Mikhail Tal's Amazing Games
What you'll learn
- Be able to play more creative fun and effective attacking style chess - entertaining, spectacular, dramatic, and combinational style of play in particular :)
- Be able to see why Tal is thought to have given more joy to the Chess World than all the dry technicians combined
- Be able to understand many of Mikhail Tal's tactics and combinations and demystify some of the magic Tal was known for
- Be able to improve one games tactically and positionally
- Be able to pick up a lot of useful opening theory and systems still popular today - e.g. English symmetrical with early d5 plan for a reverse Maroczy bind
- Be able to play the King's Indian Defence with key Mikhail Tal model games
- Be able to play the Modern Benoni Defence with key Mikhail Tal model games
- Be able to play the fun "Scotch Four Knights variation" of 1.e4 with key Mikhail Tal model games
- Be able to understand the power of default attacking Queen moves like Qc2 (even from 1.d4 opening) or Qc7 as black which hit King soft spots immediately
- Be able to become more acutely aware of opportunies based on King soft spots and two parallel "diagonals of death" leading to h7/h2 and h2/f2 squares
- Be able to understand how Kingscrusher felt creating this course was like an aesthetic experience akin to going on hot dates with a beautiful woman :)
- Be able to unsderstand more than Tal was not just a tactician but also a magician making his games not only instructive but also entertaining
- Be able to take a deeper attacking perspective on principles such as central control - seeing implications for King x-raying
- Be able to see evidence that the majority of Tal's sacrifices were completely sound and the more unsound ones could be called "speculative"
- Be able to see evidence that sometimes Tal's sacrifices are completely unsound but win anyway!
- Be able to see how tactics and combinations are set up as well as seeing lots of key tactical variations behind the scenes
- Be able to more easily get the kind of attacking positions where forced mates will arise from
- Be able to "promote" King x-rays into major attacking opportunities more easily from Tal's examples
- Be able to make use of Tal's pet move on the 6th turn Bg5 with more confidence against the Sicilian Najdorf
- Be able to explore systematically in chronological order an amazing treasure trove of Tal's games
- Be able to appreciate more one of the greatest chess artists the chess world has ever seen
- Be able to appreciate games as though they were like Shakespearean plays with dramatic conclusions at the end
- Be able to appreciate seemingly unbelievable games let alone the key variations behind the scenes of unseen brilliancy
- Be able to appreciate that World champion Mikhail Tal even 20 years later and with health issues can be in the top 10 players officially in the World
- Be able to play even the English opening with 1.c4 and still get a crushing King Attack wherever the King castles :)
- Be able to emulate Mikhail Tal more in positions which Tal excelled in
- Be able to similarities of playing style between Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine and Mikhail Tal more clearly
- Be able to create such complexity that normal calculating of variations becomes impossible making opponents nervous, mistake-prone, and losing
- Be able to see that almost up until his death he remained in the chess ratings top 10-20 players of the world
- Be able to see great game examples from arguably one of the greatest attacking players the world of chess has ever seen
- Be able to see more clearly how complications on the chess baord can result in problems very difficult to solve by opponents in the time limit
- Be able to play more easily exciting sacrifices that would induce spectator noise and excitement more than many other ways of playing
- Know how the pieces move
Mikhail Nekhemyevich Tal is the 8th World Chess Champion (9th November 1936 to 28th June 1992) and is considered to be a creative genius and one of the best players of all time. He is certainly a legendary "Kings crusher" and a model for FIDE CM Kingscrusher and long-time personal chess hero.
In addition to Tal's playing style, the level of opening theory in Tal's day is far less than today, so one can more easily sometimes ascertain the key strategies and plans of the players at the time with less impact of high-level computer preparation.
Mikhail Tal played in an attacking and daring combinatory style. And he is also very well known for improvisation and being an unpredictable opponent. He had a very wide opening repertoire and could play 1. e4 1. d4 1. Nf3 and 1. c4 quite often on the first move but mainly he was a 1.e4 player which led to sharper tactical games with often fantastic sacrifices and attacking chess. He is known as the "Magician from Riga" and many chess books feature his brilliant games often more than any other player.
This course aims to try and learn key attacking lessons so that magic can "rub off" onto enthusiastic chess players who wish to learn in more depth the philosophies and principles of attacking chess.
It also reveals great insights into how Tal would use complexity as a weapon against opponents in its own right. Some of the more famous Tal Quotations allude to this aspect of his chess such as:
“You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.”
- Mikhail Tal
“There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones, and mine.”
- Mikhail Tal
“Of course, errors are not good for a chess game, but errors are unavoidable and in any case, a game without errors, or as they say 'flawless game' is colorless.”
- Mikhail Tal
Also sometimes the position and its complexities can overwhelm Tal himself and there is a famous story which Tal recalls which shows how the complexity reduced in Tal's mind when he took his mind off directly the chess :
“I do not know from what associations the hippopotamus got into the chessboard, but although the spectators were convinced that I was continuing to study the position, I, despite my humanitarian education, was trying at this time to work out: just how WOULD you drag a hippopotamus out of the marsh? I remember how jacks figured in my thoughts, as well as levers, helicopters, and even a rope ladder. After lengthy consideration, I admitted defeat as an engineer, and thought spitefully to myself: "Well, just let it drown!" And suddenly the hippopotamus disappeared. Went right off the chessboard just as he had come on... of his own accord! And straightaway the position did not appear to be so complicated.”
- Mikhail Tal
Tal's tolerance for complexity and using it as a weapon of choice against opponents is almost like the anti-engineering principle where KISS (Keep it simple and sweet) is a major strategy from a general engineering perspective. Tal's moves and the positions they create are often the opposite of the KISS principle and in this respect, there is some correlation with the often mysterious play of a world champion before him - Emanual Lasker. Tal would create positions that are very hard to read and comprehend. Tal's strategies essentially are based on the opponent as a flawed human being who usually cannot play accurately in a sustained way when faced with huge complications on the chessboard and perhaps also time pressure as well. This course makes the case for the maximisation of winning probability as being one of the major underlying goals of Tal's play and even Tal himself does not always consider his sacrifices "correct" in a technical sense.
In Kingscrusher's best-selling "The Complete Guide to Chess Tactics" there is a philosophy that players good tactically are making up for their limitations as human beings through for example prioritising forcing moves that are easier to calculate. Tal's game strategy is also arguably based on the limitations of human beings in terms of having hard complex problems to solve and in a relentless fashion. This human perspective creates quite often highly optimistic and daring approaches, and amazing sacrifices which even modern-day computers have a hard time trying to comprehend, let alone a poor human being facing Tal and his famous penetrating stare.
Who this course is for:
- Beginner to Intermediate chess players
Tryfon Gavriel, also known as "Kingscrusher" on the Internet. I am a FIDE Candidate Master (CM), British Regional Chess Master, and run a popular Youtube channel for many years with over 114k+ Subs as of 2021 and a Silver Button Award.
I have done many shows on commercial chess servers. I am also the Webmaster of the correspondence style chess server Chessworld which emphasizes game quality and research.
Over 35 years of playing activity both online and offline. Peak ICC blitz rating of 2625 (18-Jun-1999). Peak ICC 5 min auto-pairing of 2383 (29-Jun 2012). ECF Grading peak classical: 212 (A) ECF. Peak Rapid rating: 217 (C). Lichess marathon top 10 finishers in 3 marathons so far. In the other two, top 50 finishers. Won quite a few tournaments at lichess
One of my earliest Over-the-board achievements in Chess was winning the Lloyds Under 18 national UK tournament in 1989. My trophy was awarded to me by Grandmaster and Ph.D. Mathematician Dr John Nunn.
I have done teaching in Schools and also have done teaching online with several Lichess students on a regular basis, and have a very good coaching rating at lichess.
Played twice in the main British Chess championship. Many of my Youtube viewers claim big rating increases after watching my videos.
I particularly love chess tactics and combinations, and it is probably no accident that my "Complete Guide to Chess Tactics" has been a best-seller since near inception here at Udemy.
In general, I will try and give you greater enthusiasm for the game and in particular the dynamic aggressive tactical aspects of playing chess. My favorite heroes are Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, and Mikhail Tal. if you want to be a dynamic aggressive player, I may be able to encourage you and find you relevant resources on that path. The dynamic aggressive were particularly strong tactically and would often trade off pawn structure neatness and material to try and checkmate the opponent's kings. Checkmate does win the game :)
In terms of concrete openings to make use of potentially teaching here at Udemy through courses, I like Solid openings on such as the London System. I also like provocative openings like the Knight's Tango systems to encourage weaknesses from opponents. I am also at faster time controls especially, particularly fond of aggressive openings and gambits. As an example, the Smith-Morra Gambit vs the Sicilian Defence, and other gambits can be used aggressively even with the black pieces such as the Albin Counter Gambit. Gambits vary of course in soundness and it is important to teach what "ticks many boxes" for use in various time controls. In the search for the ideal courses to provide you, I like to search within myself for my core strengths and passions within the passion of Chess.
I truly hope you enjoy my courses and they improve your chess and your enjoyment of chess generally - and life generally :)