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am 26. Juni 1998
Mikhail Tal's game collection is one of the best books ever written by a world champion, but I cannot recommend this edition and here's why: Cadogan Books always fall apart! Regardless of the size of the book, I cannot get through a Cadogan book without half the pages falling out. The pages started falling out before page 80 of this 496-page book. Tal is probably the best writer of all the world champions, but do you really want to pay twenty-five bucks or so for a book that falls apart while you're reading it and has little or no resale value? Despite all that, if you don't mind reading your books in pieces, by all means buy this book. For you, I give this book 5 stars. Cadogan has several other great chess books and will surely publish more great ones in the future; but I won't be qualified to review them, because I will NEVER buy another Cadogan book again.
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am 16. Februar 1999
What makes Mikhail Tal's games collection different from that of other top GMs is that Tal's personality and unique thinking process shows through in this book. With other chess books, you get the impression of I went to the tournament, played and here are my notes to the games I won.
What struck me about Tal's games is how so many of them were intuitive, i.e., Tal did not analyze to the end but was able to determine that his sac would maintain the initiative and to stop the attack required an immense amount of d calculation, impossible under practical limits.
My only complaint with this book is that the binding started coming apart when I got to page 70 and that's inexcusable for a book costing in excess of $23.
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am 25. Januar 2014
Mein Lieblingsspieler Michail Tal unternimmt eine Reise durch sein eigenes Schachleben - und lädt den Leser herzlich dazu ein, mitzukommen. Und zwar unabhängig von dessen eigener Spielstärke, denn Tal beschreibt seine Gedanken und analysiert die Partien so, dass jeder vom Amateur bis zum GM seine Ideen nachvollziehen kann. Und natürlich kommt bei Tal auch eine gehörige Portion von Tals ganz eigenem Humor nicht zu kurz! Jeder, der mehr über den "Schachzauberer" erfahren will - wie er mit seinem revolutionären Stil zum Weltmeister wurde und auch viele Anekdoten außerhalb des Schachbrettes - dem möchte ich dieses Buch wärmstens empfehlen.
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am 10. Dezember 2007
Dear People of Everyman/Random House, thank you very much for reprinting this excellent book. I have bought the edition which was reprinted in 2007. And thank you not: I could hardly believe that you don't get managed the disgraceful problems with the poor binding. Maybe you can convince your printer Cromwell Press, that the next time they'll supply the customers with a repair kit of extra glue.
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am 23. September 1998
I own the original edition of this book got in the 1970s. It's binding is now held together with duct tape, pages are falling out, margins are filled with scribbling... well, you get the point. I used to carry it with me everywhere I went, until I became afraid of losing pages. It was and is my favorite chess book. Tal is a great writer with a wry sense of humor and an incredible imagination. His games are among the most entertaining in the history of chess. Opening this book to any page will reveal something that will amuse, astonish or instruct. It was with great pleasure that I greeted the news that this classic was once again in print. Every chessplayer should own a copy. The new edition from Cadogan (the original was from RHM, now defunct), is in algebraic notation ( I prefer the descriptive in the original edition, but only because my eyesight has worsened, and the descriptive notation was larger ) and Tal's complete tournament and match record is included ( this volume covers his career up to 1975, but he played great chess up until his death in 1992 ). Not much else is different. This book ranks up with the greatest classics of the game (Bobby Fischer's 60 Memorable Games, Alekhine's Best Games of Chess, Timman's The Art of Chess Analysis and Kasparov's Fighting Chess). The re-release of this book around the same time as the publishing of Shirov's "Fire On Board", is the attacking player's dream. It has made my year.
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am 31. Dezember 1997
I was surprised and excited to discover Cadogan's reissue of this amazing book - I had been searching for several years for a copy of RHM Press' original version, which is out of print. There are many books about Mikhail Tal, "The Magician", an attacking player from Latvia who conjured up explosive tactics in the most surprising ways. This particular book blows away all the others, though; anyone who thinks chess is boring, or who is burned out as a chess player, should treat himself or herself to Tal. Tal went from a complete unknown (outside the USSR) to World Champion in a few short years. Tal's life, as well as his astonishing games, reminds me that chess is a beautiful and exhilerating hunt where everything is possible! He was also a very impish, funny man and this book's conversational style brings his personality through cleanly. Recently I read an interview with a Senior Master in the US who said beginners should avoid reading Tal because "there's no way you can understand what he's thinking!" Well, I may not understand his thoughts, but I can certainly enjoy his games!!
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am 18. Dezember 1999
This book is pervaded with a literary and anecdotal air that is rarely found in Chess literature (and, as I see it, is much needed). One gets the sense that he is reading the work of a man who deeply loved life and who took great pleasure in those little disjoint stories of which it is comprised whether or not they occured at the board. This book reads like a true biography with brilliantly annotated games acting as much welcomed photographs. Upon seeing the position from Tal's 1959 Interzonal game against Fischer, anyone interested in Tal will be captivated to hear Tal speak of how he tricked Fischer into losing a won position. The games and stories presented in this volume compliment each other masterfully. Quite simply, this is one of the greatest chess books ever written: In it one finds both great chess and great comedy. One must conclude that Tal was not only a master of chess but also of the pen!
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am 25. Dezember 1999
I bought "The Life and games of Mikhail Tal" on the advice of many chess authors who have mentioned it in their works. I felt that if many Grandmasters rate it as the best chess book ever written, I probably wouldn't be dissapointed. I wasn't. The book is at once a superb peice of annotations and an insightful look into the life of one of the most beloved figures in chess history. It is a rare treat to be transported so vividly into the situations during some of the most famous games of modern chess, from the viewpoint of one of the players. Enjoy!
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am 28. Januar 2000
Easily the best autobiographical chess work I've seen. Tal's love of chess oozes from each page, and his light-hearted approach to a serious game is refreshing. The games are interesting, sometimes amusing, and always instructive.
I only have one issue with this printing, and that's the horrible binding. The spine cracks easily if the book isn't held gingerly, and pages will fall out shortly thereafter. Very shoddy, especially in a book of this price. I still recommend it, because its content is so fantastic, but handle it with care.
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am 27. August 1998
Mikhail Tal's entertaining writing is almost comparable to his games and his excellent commentary. It seems that Tal was one of the chess players who had a well rounded personality, besides being a great chessplayer. In his book you can follow the life of the person Tal besides his chess. It can be seen that he is a good natured and warm person. It is a pity that he had to pass away so early. The games are a joy to follow. Recommended without reservation.
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