NAME: Mikhail Nekhemievich Tal
BIRTHDATE: November 9, 1936
BIRTHPLACE: Riga, Latvia
CREDENTIALS: In 1960, at the age of 24, Tal became the youngest world champion (although this record would later be beaten by Garry Kasparov). Later in his career, Tal gained an equal first place with Anatoly Karpov in the 1979 Montreal "Tournament of the Stars."
Known as "The Magician from Riga" and an archetype of the attacking player. More than willing to make sacrifices in order to gain the initiative -- If you wait for luck to turn up, life becomes very boring. Enjoyed a very intuitive style of play and admitted that There are two types of sacrifices - sound ones and mine.
Learned chess at the age of 8 by watching patients play at the hospital where his father worked. Loved the game and said Chess, first of all, is Art. Although he suffered from poor health most of his life (he was an extreme chain smoker), his passion for chess never failed. He died on June 28, 1992.