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Mikhail Tal's Best Games 1 - The Magic of Youth by Tibor Karolyi


Digital Version Available from Forward Chess (read more)

Mikhail Tal is one of the most celebrated chess players of all time. The eighth World Champion not only won the title at a record young age, but did so using a ferocious, high-risk attacking style. Tal's spectacular games, along with his charming personality and witty sense of humour, endeared him to the chess public like no other player.

Award-winning author Tibor Károlyi has written the definitive guide to Tal's sparkling career. Cutting-edge chess analysis is complemented by the engaging story of Tal's career and other life events. The book also contains numerous anecdotes from famous players who share their memories of Tal.

In this, the first of three volumes, Károlyi explores Tal's early life and career up to the end of 1959, including his victory in the formidable Candidates tournament where he earned the right to challenge Botvinnik for the world title.

International Master Tibor Károlyi was Hungarian Champion in 1984 and is renowned as both an author and a trainer. He won the Guardian Book of the Year prize in 2007.

ISBN: 978-1-907982-77-4 - 448 pages - Published 30 April 2014


"The author selected great games, scrutinized them with computers and delivered new comments. He also sought input from Tal's opponents, friends and coaches, creating a vivid picture of Tal as a person. Among many books written about Tal, Karolyi's work stands out."

GM Lubomir Kavalek, Huffington Post (full review)

"Each game offers a nice mix of explanatory prose and key variations as needed. Karolyi uses strong modern engines to analyze the games but stays in control and doesn’t let them take over.

I give Mikhail Tal's Best Games 1 - The Magic of Youth a strong positive recommendation. This is a book that can be enjoyed by readers over a wide rating spectrum and deserves a large audience."

IM John Donaldson

"While Karolyi includes many of Tal’s most famous sacrificial efforts, he also analyses more ‘workman-like’ games, including no small number of his endgames... The image of Tal we get through these books is of a much more well-rounded player than commonly thought.

Karolyi also spends a lot of time, and obviously spent a lot of effort, contextualizing each game. In some cases he sheds light on the identity of Tal’s opponent, while in others he sketches the situation Tal found himself in while playing the game. Many personal anecdotes are relayed, and the book is much richer for it."

John Hartmann (full review)

"It taught me a lot about Tal's life, character and games (and I already considered myself knowledgeable on the subject). Tibor Karolyi has certainly gone the extra mile, not only with the excellent analysis, but also with his research in other directions. Collecting the memories of Tal's opponents was a wonderful idea, adding plenty of colour to the work."

Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine

"Karolyi's approach to his subject is very appealing. He writes in an open, straightforward style and his analysis is precise and to the point. His research method is extremely thorough and betrays a profound interest the topic at hand...

22 years after the man's death, the genius of Mikhail Tal lives on and his games continue to shine. Perhaps you think that's a terrible cliche, but then you clearly haven't read Tibor Karolyi's Mikhail Tal's Best Games 1- The Magic of Youth yet."

Arne Moll, ChessVibes (full review)

"Karolyi tells a lot about the life of the young Tal with numerous anecdotes and brilliant analysis."

Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

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