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1. Steinitz 2. Lasker 3. Capablanca 4. Alekhine 5. Euwe
6. Botvinnik 7. Smyslov 8. Tal 9. Petrosian 10. Spassky
11. Fischer 12. Karpov 13. Kasparov 14. Kramnik 15. Anand
"Chess is my world. Not a house, not a fortress where I hide myself from life hardship, but indeed the world. The world in which I live a full life, in which I prove myself." (M. Tal).
Michael TAL
Born: November 9, 1936 in Riga, Latvia; died: June 28, 1992 in Moscow.
The 8-th Chess Champion of the World (1960 - 1961), the International Grandmaster (1957), the Champion of the USSR (6 times in the period of 1957 - 1978), a journalist.
Tal
M. Tal learned to play chess at the age of 10. He perfected his mastership in a chess group at the Riga Pioneers Palace. In 1957 Tal achieved a great success in the 24-th Championship of the USSR - he won the Champion's title.
1959, Yugoslavia. M. Tal won the pretenders' tournament, having obtained 20 points out of 28 and gained the right to play the match with the World Champion.
 
The World Championship Matches:
 
1960, Moscow. Botwinnik - Tal. Tal won with the score of 12.5 : 8.5 (+6, -2, =13) and became the youngest World Champion in the history of chess. He conquered the chess Olympus from the very first attempt!
 
1961, Moscow. The return match Tal - Botwinnik. . Tal lost his title with the score of 8 : 13 ( + 5, - 10, = 6).
 
In spite of his failure in the match, Tal continued his struggle for the World Champion's title. He participated in the pretenders' tournaments and matches, as well as in the interzonal tournaments, and won a lot of international competitions. His play was remarkable not only for its high results, but also for its courageous, full of lambent fantasy stile, quickness and precision of variants calculation.
"Chess needed Tal. And he appeared - a tremendous, brilliant artist..." (A. Karpov, the 12-th World Champion).