6 Things Chess players can learn from 2 year old baby

6 Things Chess players can learn from 2 year old baby

6 Things Chess players can learn

Recently I came across a two year old child and after observing his daily activities, I was amazed what we can learn from him. Here is the list of practical tips, that I learnt from him – the 6 Things Chess players can learn from 2 year old baby! Chess playing is a habit which once made will not be easy to quit. Because, apart from playing in tournaments you can also play online with the other players, not only from your own country, but also can the whole World.

Being a chess player is in itself a big achievement, because very few people in the world have the playing acumen and skill needed for Chess.

You can learn the tactics of Chess from your daily life activities like, say while watching TV or watching movies; all it needs is just a keen sense of observation, that is all!

6 Things Chess players can learn from 2 year old baby

1. Never ever complain.

Have you ever observed a two-year-old child going about his daily routines? If anything, he’ll never complain. Wait… you’ll say that he can cry, but that is not complaining! He is only expressing his emotions by either laughing or crying. The same thing we can do in our chess growth process – that is we can take all our responsibilities for our losses (and wins) on our shoulders. So that we never complain about any shortcomings or bad luck, for lack of success in Chess. Friends, no one is going to spoon-feed you, even a good coach will not want to do this – he will and must, guide you. The rest is your own work. So be a responsible person and keep concentrating on your goal of better chess.

2. Just One Target.

A two-year-old child has just one target – once he/she asks for anything, then come-what-may, that ‘thing’ is the most wanted object for him. When you started playing chess, what was your target and what was your dream? Remember that, all the time. There is an Indian mythological tale in the Mahabharata (a revered lore in Indian tradition), when the famous teacher Guru Dronacharaya asked his best desciple Arjuna, what he was seeing when he ordered him to attack the target with his arrow. Arjuna answered coolly – “the only thing I am seeing is the sparrow’s eye”. The same thing is also applicable for our chess pursuits. Single minded focus.

3. Addicted to the Mother.

A child has the greatest bonding with his/her Mother, if he/she can feel her touch or her voice, then he is at peace. The same affection will have to be there for your Chess training! Yes, you will have to love the game if you want to succeed in your Chess. Chess is all about dedication and passion and the only person to succeed in this, is one who has the passion, minus the stress.

4. Fixed Time schedule.

A child has fixed timing for getting up early in the morning, taking food at a fixed time and then sleeping at the fixed time. If you don’t have time for your chess training, then you are not going to make any progress, which you were thinking at the start of learning chess. This is all about doing the same thing daily – and – finally one day you become the expert in any field. There is one good saying – “to become an expert in any field you need to put in just 10000 hours of intense practice”. Do it daily and see the leap in your performance after 6 months.

5. One baby-step at a time.

Have you noticed how a child is always living in the present moment? The child only takes one small baby step at a time, and does not crave for immediate success in whatever he wants. If he observes a toy in the far end of the room, he does not run. He takes whatever is possible in small steps towards that toy, and goes with a one-minded focus. That is how we must be in our chess preparation and training. Small steps are needed daily. Science has proved that anything done on a daily basis for 3 days in a row becomes a habit and if you start small it is easier to create a habit.

6. No Worries, no Tensions.

A small child doesn’t have any worries, like when to eat or how to eat etc. You should also not have any worries whether you can achieve mastery or not. At Golden Chess Centre, we ask parents and the students, not to look at the results. The game quality is what the coach looks into, not the game points. In Chess, results depend on just the one last mistake and if the student keeps training persistently in a disciplined way,  even that mistake will be removed by sheer dint of hard work. Let not success excite you, or failure pull you down.

When the players see that they are not able to win a particular opponent then they go into a QUITTING mindset. Quitting is a very easy thing. But my principal of life says –  “WINNERS NEVER QUIT AND QUITTERS NEVER WIN.”

By Ashok Jain

Ashok Jain is a life coach at Golden Chess Centre, Nanganallur, in his spare time when he finds his work needs a time off.

Golden Chess Centre conducts regular training sessions for dedicated and upcoming chess players in Nanganallur, Madipakkam, Adambakkam, Moovarasampet, Kilkattalai, Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Ullagaram and Pazhavanthangal – Chennai, as well as online sessions for those players who live out of Chennai.



When Priorities and Desires Change.

When Priorities and Desires Change.

When Priorities and Desires Change.

Have you ever wanted something really bad and after some time, not so much?


When we were just children we had many small desires like buying a comic, a doll or a toy, and we nagged our parents really bad. As teenagers, we wanted to be highly popular and admired by all, an intensity that you may all still retrieve when you see your child doing the same or see your old school pics. Sure enough this desire to be popular, starts to ebb by the beginning of college years. So my thoughts started on what to do When Priorities and Desires Change. How to understand yourself ? How best to aim our desires in a positive direction and focus especially in the game we all love so much – Chess?

When Priorities and Desires Change.

So yeah, our desires and their importance fade with time. For example, I am sure as teens, we day-dreamed about a fabulous looking partner. Then came the desire for passionate and intense partners. Even this disappears, albeit to muffled tones at times. Isn’t it a funny thing to talk about when we discuss the way our desires shift or diminish with time?

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 When Priorities and Desires Change.

Desire may be hugely interpreted as the push and pull of hormones and that is a conception that many of us have been having for a long time. However in due course of time, people understand that their lives are defined by striving for excellence, when we see other successful people and wish we had done something worthwhile when there was still time. Not that we have any shortage of time now but then at age 30 or 40 the enthusiasm fades off for the majority of us.

Everything happens in auto pilot mode and we enter the cocoon of routine.

Additionally, there is another problem that we as chess players, face. We have always wanted to be skillful at many things. We climb up the rating ladder. And after working hard to achieve some chess expertise, we have something called ‘stagnation’ creeping in. We now stop engaging in the activities as such, and this makes me wonder if we would have loved the process as much equally, as if the success we found, was easier to attain. I am also guilty of such stagnations in my life and it takes a great effort to come out of it alone.

Does desire equals a love for the process, for the journey or the attainment of the goal?

With things we never had, it’s harder to find out whether the desire will reduce with time, but core desires are much akin to the desire for love and happiness than the desire to master a skill, which is less of the heart and more of the mind matter – controlled by conscious thinking.

When asked during an interview how he managed to reach the top as a professional Chess Grandmaster, Botvinnik replied with a single word, “Desire!”

All great success ultimately begins with just a small idea, a seed, so to speak, but what makes ideas become reality, is the fuel of human desire. Just an idea alone can give you a temporary feeling of inspiration, but a burning wanting desire is what gets you through all the perspiration necessary to overcome the numerous obstacles along the path.

One secret to overcome stagnation is Clarity – or – refinement of desires. This comes from contrasting experiences, so if you want more clarity, invite more of the new by embracing and accepting new experiences. This is especially crucial for people in their teens and 20s. Your brain learns a lot from experience. If you lack any new experience, then how can your brain know its most important calling? Of course it cannot — you need to train it more.

How are you supposed to discover your favorite hobbies if you do the equivalent of doing just one chore every day? How are you going to discover your favorite food(s) if you are eating the same diet, every single day?

So my suggestion to you when Priorities and Desires change is – do anything and everything if it’s totally new to you.

Like playing a blitz game if you have never played it before or playing a slow time control if you not done it earlier.

The benefit is that you’ll give your brain a lot of experiences to compare and contrast. This will help you choose and fix your tastes.

Then the desire to learn will be long lasting and new everyday, every time.

Rethink about the ambitions/goals you’ve set for yourself. (You have set goals, haven’t you? If not, then do set them first). Before fixing your priorities and goals answer the following and act accordingly:

  • How committed are you to achieving these targets?
  • Under what conditions would you call it quits?
  • What if you could significantly increase your desire to achieve these targets?
  • What if you wanted them so badly that you would never ever give up chasing those targets?

When you are truly 100% committed to attaining your targets/goals, you move from doubt to knowing for sure. If you want something really bad, then quitting is simply out of your mind.

You either discover a way or make your own path to reach there. You are ready to pay the price, whatever it takes to reach your destination.

Some hugely inspiring books that have motivated me on my path –


The author Kish Kumar is a trainer and Coach at Golden Chess Centre. He can be contacted via his
Facebook page. 

Note: The links in this page are affiliate links.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

Question from VM: I have a doubt regarding learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships. Reading all games from world champion is really time consuming process and also tough to understand without the help of annotations. Also many opening lines played before are dropped at high level due to suggested improvements by chess engines. Do you still recommend it? If so what is the order to read? Are there any sites that have world champions games annotated (or at least all world championship games games annotated). What learning process can we can follow (for 1800 player) – VM (Coach and player).


Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships


Answer: Whoa! That was a beautiful questionnaire raised by you VM! In fact if I understood you correctly, it has four questions embedded in it.

  1. Is it a recommended practice (even nowadays) to look at annotated games of World Chess Champions and Championship matches given the fact that many old points of analysis have taken a change with new lines overtaking the old ones?
  2. What is the order to read/look at World Chess Champions games?
  3. What learning process would one have to follow if he/she is around 1800 rated chess player?
  4. Are there any Websites that have these games with annotations?

Before I jump into my suggestions – keep in mind that more books have been written on Chess than all other sports and games combined!

And even though I have approximately 2000 to  3,000 chess books, some of my friends have far more than that! In fact, my collection is considered to be just average!

Okay… but why I am talking about this here?

Just to drive home a point that chess is not dogmatic and fixed – in parameters. There is so much diversity, that it is mind-boggling.

And since you asked from a 1800 rated player’s point of view I will suggest answers based on that point of view.

Question # 1: Is it a recommended practice (even nowadays) to look at annotated games of World Chess Champions and Championship matches given the fact that many old points of analysis have taken a change with new lines overtaking the old ones?

Answer: Depends on your objective. First off, a few basic facts so that you and I are on the same platform of understanding.

At at 1800 Fide Rating you will be pretty decent tactically and also have a decent idea of strategy in action as far as your repertoire is concerned. So if your interest in World Champions is merely for documentation purpose then by all means go through their games in chronological order – or – as per your favorite players list.

Opening lines may change but middlegame/endgame ideas and tactical themes will never change.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess ChampionshipsYou said – “Reading all games from world champion is a really time consuming process and also tough to understand without the help of annotations”.

It’s crucial for all chess players to find something that they like, that they are passionate about, and that, they truly enjoy learning and playing Chess and try to become better at that, every single day.

That is how you attain your goals, and so when you choose to look at World Champions for inspiration it is a commendable decision. It may be difficult and time consuming. But it is worth every second when you see the results coming.

So, find your passion, set your goal and make good, healthy choices along the path like learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships, and you will find success following you like a shadow.

The way to learn from un-annotated game(s) will be outlined in a later article.


But if you have access to a good source of annotated games such as

My Great Predecessors By Garry Kasparov

Zurich 1953 by Bronstein

Zurich 1953 by Najdorf

then it is easy to understand the advanced strategy of these high level games.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess ChampionshipsYou said – “Also many opening lines played before are dropped at high level due to suggested improvements by chess engines”.

Let’s worry about the high ground when we get there and let’s not worry about the Engines’ suggestions – that can happen when we are beyond 2300.

The Engines may be very strong tactically – they can find the best move in a messy position but they cannot explain why it is a good move!

If you were to blindly follow only the top theory then you will be deeply disappointed when you play against a club player. Because you will be at a loss on what to do in case your opponent deviates from the main lines which is what usually happens in the below 2200 rating ranges.

Coming to Engines suggesting improvements, those suggestions will work well for them not for us humans who cannot play like an engine every time.

So use the Engines with great deliberation – better still to avoid them studiously and leave that to the trainer.

Learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships

If however your purpose is learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships and brush up your thinking abilities in Chess, then why study just just World Champions?

Why not learn from a 25oo rated Grandmaster’s games or a 2300 International Master?

In fact you will be motivated when you are able to solve positions or guess their moves since theoretically you are playing far above your level of understanding. And gain much needed confidence that is essential for chess players.

You will see that even Grandmasters are human and are liable to make mistakes.

So the answer to your first question is a broad yes, with a caveat. That means, to look at only champions’ game may actually deprive you of much needed practice which you strongly need as your opponents may not be GMs or IMs too.

So look for the learning wherever you find it. Don’t restrict yourself to just the cream. After all the GMs have all been there through that path and learnt it the hard way. So you may not be an exception. Of course I am not suggesting you look at games played by players lesser than 1800 or even 2000. I would suggest as a general rule of thumb to look from 2200 upwards.

You can learn from almost every game and everyone above your rating level. But that does not mean that greater the difference the more you can learn! There is a limit to everyone’s grasping power and you need to go step by step.

This way you will be pulling yourself up from a length of 400-500 elo and that will be your GYM Stretching exercise regimen for successful chess muscles.

Question # 2 – What is the order I would suggest to look at World Champion games?

Answer: Very simply put, in the exact chronological order that they were champions. Once more I would suggest looking at the bigger picture, by looking at the top 10 players of every WCC era. It will provide you will all the necessary fodder in your chess training regimen. Prepare a dossier of interesting positions or points of analysis and that will be your ready-reckoner before your next tournament.

For example if you start with Steinitz then also look at (not necessarily in the same order as below).

  1. Emanuel Lasker
  2. Mikhail Chigorin
  3. Harry Pillsbury
  4. Siegbert Tarrasch
  5. Wilhelm Steinitz
  6. Paul Morphy
  7. Joseph Blackburn
  8. Louis Paulsen
  9. Adolf Anderssen
  10. Johannes Zukertort

The reason I suggest looking at the same chronological sequence of champions is because you will then understand the evolution of Chess thinking, that actually simulates a chess player’s evolution from an amateur to a Master. In those days there was no technical help in the form of computers but trust me, when you look at their games you will wonder how deep they could play.

Question # 3 – What learning process would one have to follow if he/she is around 1800 rated chess player?

Answer: I would suggest that first of all any learning must be consistent. No huge gaps in the schedule and no jumping between books. You can read as many books at a time as you want, but remember to finish them. As far as the learning process is concerned the answer is huge so it warrants a separate article by itself.

Question #4 – Are there any Websites that have these games with annotations?

Answer: The immediate one that comes to my mind is www.pgnmentor.com. You have all the players games listed and you can use a firefox addon like Down them all or Flashgot which helps in downloading all the files from a page automatically.

However to get annotated games you may have to try www.chessgames.com

Bottomline: You can learn from almost every game and everyone. Play against people from all different levels at different time controls from all around the world. It’s when you go beyond the 2300 stratosphere that you will have to change the training schedule and syllabus.

Let me know if you have any further questions about learning from Chess Champions and World Chess Championships or any other points that are unclear! I will try my best to answer you in coming articles.

Some of the books I have enjoyed personally are listed below.

If you like some light reading then why not try – Roman’s series of books?

Mind is much more powerful than you think

Mind is much more powerful than you think

Your mind is much more powerful than you thinkYour mind is much more powerful than you think – It works the way it wants till you wake up.

Mind is the magical wand that fulfills all your desires. You will be amazed at the potential of your mind. Its ability to absorb, analyze and use any such information at the appropriate times, is what makes it effective in completing a complex task.

So is it that simple to just train the mind and achieve success? Maybe it is the secret… ?

Nothing could be further than the truth. Or rather the complete truth.

Mind is much more powerful than you think

The fact is that our brain is intrinsically lazy and mechanically wants to shut out hard work. So anytime you want to do any thing that involves the brain you tend to yawn and feel sleepy.

It is the mind’s way of telling you – ” Hey dude! I think we can take a small nap instead of doing this boring stuff.” And you feel that you are tired and ought to sleep instead of doing that work at that time.

However try this small experiment and see what happens. Start doing something that is not demanding for your mind (to work) – like watching a good movie or listening to music. You will see that you are back to the normal alertness that you are accustomed to daily.

So the trick is to make the mind believe that your work is interesting instead of tedious/boring. And that can be only brought about by approaching all such work in a passionate way.

Here are some tips that will stop that ‘yawn’:

1. See through the noise.

This means that whenever your mind wants to sleep think if you are really sleepy or is the mind playing any trick. Even though the topic is interesting for you (that is why you are reading this article in the first place), you are unable to stay focused  and this implies you don’t find the study interesting. Instead go for a more interactive way to deal with the topic like listening to a video about that topic or in the case of Chess, trying doing some online play for a few minutes.

2. Feeling drowsy after having food? 

Your mind is much more powerful than you think

Eat dry fruits daily for better energy levels the whole day.

If you are experiencing such a problem, try to rest for 15 minutes soon after lunch/dinner. That will not just help you rejuvenate your mind, but will also prevent any time loss. Try to optimize your food in such a way that it does not lead to drowsiness such as:

  • Avoid excessive fat and carbohydrate content and choose something that will keep you active for the duration that you want to study.
  • Do not overeat under any circumstances. Large meals can cause severe drowsiness, as your body takes blood energy from your brain and other functions to engage in digesting your food in the stomach. It’s a delicate balance. Eat less, not enough energy to keep your brain effective; eat more, get all sluggishness, digesting that food.
  • More of salads and fruit slices to provide micro-nutrients. Especially the dry fruits that are healthy like walnut, almonds, figs etc.
  • Sprouts are good too but in the breakfast time.

3. Choose that subject that interests you more.

That will also help you save some time so that you can study the less interesting subjects when you are really active and can manage long hours without getting sleepy. A boring subject will only make you yawn more. And in that case you need to see if the mind is really feeling sleepy or if it is playing any tricks on you.

4. Exercise can also affect how you feel.

If you can exercise regularly, then this can help you maintain energy levels naturally, but again, watch your eating as you may have a large meal because exercising makes you feel hungry, but you are using up more energy to digest it, and this may lead to a sleepy lazy feeling. The trick is in making small bursts of food eating and satisfying your hunger pangs in moderation.

5. Sleep well.

Quality sleep is more important. If you do get enough sleep, but you don’t get good quality sleep then this will also make you sleepy during the day. The reasons for lack of quality sleep are

  • A small amount of light in the room.
  • You are watching TV or computer just before going to bed.
  • You are eating too close to bedtime.
  • You are thinking about too many things so your brain is keeping you semi-conscious thinking about many things.
  • You are overweight / have a genetic predisposition to snoring.

Mind is much more powerful than you thinkResearch has found that sleep and wakefulness are not two different states. They have a gradual overlap, and if you are feeling sleepy in the daytime, then your brain is wanting to go into ‘self repair’ mode job that it undertakes at night. It is hinting you to give it the time to do so, and if it isn’t allowed to repair it may fail through one of a number of  chronic conditions that are piling up.

So take heed and follow these steps and see your chess pursuits showing positive growth. The changes will be reinforcing and keep persevering till you maintain this process automatically. Truly the Mind is much more powerful than you think

*** Empire Chess is offering a huge discount on digital and hard copies! Make sure you get the deals while they last.

Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis

Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis

Dvoretsky's latest book on the art of prophylaxisThere is always a dearth of quality chess material for training once you climb up the ELO ladder. When my students join they are raw beginners but later I find it difficult to set them challenging tasks as they slowly master the techniques. And therefore I keep looking out for new avenues for training them with. Today I have a reason to be thrilled. I have seen Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis that seems to have come after a long hiatus. Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis is something that most of chess books have been lacking and that is Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources: Developing Preventive Thinking which is by the way the title of Dvoretsky’s new book. 

Victor Kortchnoi once said with great insight If you do not check what your opponent is doing, you will end up complaining about bad luck after every game.

So understanding your opponent’s next move could be or what agenda he is trying to accomplish, is one of the most important core skills required climb up the ELO ladder. It is what makes a difference between a good chess player and a strong chess master.

The reason why many students stagnate is because they are aware of most of the direct methods of attack and will thrive in many a tactical melee, but give them a position where they are at the receiving end of the opponents’ blows, or where the tactics are not yet present on the board, they will be all at sea.

What is special about Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis ?

What is prophylaxis in chess?

I have a 1200 player who attacks ferociously with tactical claws that will tear any ripe position apart. One day when we played a game that was steered into positional waters, he was stuck for 2 hours in getting the best move! I had to reset the clock many times as he was floundering for a move and in exasperation he asked me (after having reset the clock for the 4th time) – “What is the move I must play here, Master?” – to which all I could say was “I think your best move is to resign as I myself do not know how you are going to disentangle from your mess”.

That is the power of prophylactic thinking for you.*

Dvoretsky is known for advocating the art of prophylaxis as a key to mastery in the higher levels of chess playing arena. To put it in his own words (Secrets of positional play), Prophylaxis or prophylactic thinking is “the habit of constantly asking yourself what the opponent wants to do, what he would play if it were him to move, the ability to find an answer to this question and to take account of it in the process of coming to a decision.”

Coming to the book under review – Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources is a collection of problems with underlying theme of prophylaxis. 

Dvoretsky is very famous for his classical books that are considered as must-read for those beyond 2000 ELO upto 2400 ELO. In this book, Dvoretsky embarks on a classical but neglected training on this theme, with high-quality training material for independent analysis. 

Contents of the book – on the subtle art of prophylaxis

Each chapter has a introductory theoretical section followed by plenty of exercises, from easy to difficult. Each chapter begins with a small explanation on the chapter’s theme, and this is followed by positions for solving with their solutions.

This book consists of four chapters, all dealing with identifying what your opponent’s next move or moves could be. They are:

  1. Pay Attention to Your Opponent’s Resources (180 problems).
  2. The Process of Elimination (106 problems).
  3. Traps (36 problems)
  4. Prophylactic Thinking (154 problems)

To summarize –

The best part is that among the approximately 500 exercises, there are opening, middlegame and endgame positions. This provides you with challenges in searching for a move and calculating variations as per the given pointers, that will help you at any stage of the game, be it the opening or the middlegame or the Endgame scenario.

The crux of the book is the solutions offered for the training position which are very detailed, as is typically expected of Dvoretsky’s work. Throughout the book, the author guides us by leading us through the schematic thinking for a solution in each position, to show how a player can come to the right choice of move at the board.

Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources is a must buy as it comes from the master himself. I suggest going through this book with your student if you are a Coach or Trainer – this will open up a few hidden insights in his/her chess brain.

*I keep harping on positional play many times and prophylaxis is my main forte while playing with some upstart students, as it is a complex concept. And whenever they start watering in the mouth with an upcoming tactical warfare and an impending win over me, I pull the plug, and play positionally to get the grip back. That way I enjoy the looks on their face when they hit a wall. This actually makes them understand that tactics has to coupled with positional concepts for chess mastery.

Order Dvoretsky’s latest book on the art of prophylaxis from the Bookdepository if you are in the UK.


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Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Fischer Vs Tal – the Magician from Riga

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal – the magician from Riga . Fischer – Tal 1960 Olympiad Team tournament. Leipzig, East Germany was chosen as the venue of the 14th Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE.

It comprised of an open team tournament, as well as many other events designed to promote the sport. It took place between October 26 and November 9, 1960.

Fischer BobbyAfter winning a tournament in Reykjavik (3 1/2 out of 4), in October, the teenager Bobby Fischer arrived at the Olympiad in Leipzig, to head the American Olympic team for the first time in his life. And what a team tournament it was for him!

The American team was without Samuel Reshevsky who did not want to play below Fischer, yet the Americans succeeded in winning ‘silver’ for the first time in the postwar period!

The contribution of young Fischer who was also the team captain was significant: 10 wins, 2 losses and 6 tough draws! (+ 1 0-2=6), and more importantly the best result on board 1 in the final that clinched the second spot for the team.

Of his two defeats, one (in the semi-final) caused a shock; the Ecuadorian Master Munoz defeated Bobby who played against his ‘Dragon’ as black!

As for Gligoric, the Yugoslav grandmaster was a veritable opponent for the young Fischer. The 5th round of the team tournament saw Fischer having White against Tal. Fischer had read a lot about Tal’s swashbuckling style of sacrificial play and was also obviously eager to get even with him for past humiliations as well as to show him a taste of his own medicine!

It was a tactical slug-fest by a existing world champion against a future world champion.

Tal had beaten Fischer in their last four encounters, but Fischer came out aiming for Tal’s jugular.

The Olympiad wasn’t that important, they could easily have avoided a fight had it been so, but went for one deliberately to prove who was the better man standing.

The draw was looked as such by spectators who wanted a result, however the draw by perpetual check, was not because both players felt like it on that day, but was born out of practical necessity – the attack had died out and it was prudent to either repeat the moves or lose.

The world champion Tal employed a sharp variation of the French Defense involving the sacrifice of his king side pawns and opposite side castling.

At the critical moment he created a tactical melee on the board, leading to a draw by perpetual check.

This game showed Fischer why Tal was considered a  tactical genius although Tal himself said of his tactical sacrifices sarcastically – “There are two types of tactics, the sound ones and the ones I make”!

As is seen the photo was taken when Tal played 7… Ne7 – see by the game lines.

Fisher appears to be analyzing with rapt attention (little nervous?) while Tal seems to be seemingly easy (preparation home ground?). The above photo is an evergreen classic in the annals of chess.

This fine game, which was annotated by both players and later in great detail by many other authors, rightfully appears in the well-known book The Mammoth Book of World’s Greatest Chess Games as well as in Fischer’s 60 best games of Bobby Fischer


According to Tal himself, when he was interviewing Fischer at the 1962 Varna Olympics, the first question he asked Fischer was: “Whom do you consider to be the strongest player in the world?”

Fischer looked at Tal with surprise to which Tal simply made it easy by adding, “Excluding yourself, of course.”
Fischer replied tounge-in-cheek –  “Well, you don’t play badly.”

By that time (1962), Bobby had defeated Tal twice. One might assume that perhaps Fischer couldn’t consciously admit that Tal was the best, but when Tal eased the question ruling out Fischer, he readily accepted to Tal’s superiority.

Bobby Fischer meets Mikhail Tal

Fischer visits Tal while he was hospitalized during the 1962 Candidates tournament

At that time Tal was still the world’s best chess player, when ever he was in robust health. If you may recall he lost his crown long back to Botvinnik in partly because of ill health.

In Tal’s own words, Tal was Tal but Fischer was not yet Fischer.  They were friends. They became friends at the 1958 Inter-zonal.

Fischer was the only player to visit Tal while he was hospitalized during the 1962 Candidates tournament.

That showed the human side of Fischer and what he cared about friends.


Hope you liked this info about two of my favorite players! Your comments, suggestions and feedback are welcome. I will be happy if you were to share this article or copy it anywhere (provided you attribute it to this webpage).

  • Some good books for you to read about Bobby Fischer at the Bookdepository.com site with free shipping worldwide.
  • Some good books for you to read about Mikhail Tal at the Bookdepository.com site with free worldwide shipping.

Golden Chess Centre teaches chess for students staying in Nanganallur and suburbs like Madipakkam, Adambakkam, Moovarasampet, Kilkattalai, Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Ullagaram and Pazhavanthangal in South Chennai. Online sessions for players who live out of Chennai are also undertaken via appointments.

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