by Tal

 

To play for a draw, at any rate with white, is to some degree a crime against chess.

 

I have always thought it a matter of honour for every chess player to deserve the smile of fortune.

 

There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones, and mine.

 

You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.

 

When I asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: 'Well, you laughed when I wrote it down'.

 

It is difficult to play against Einstein’s theory.  -  (on his first loss to Fischer)

 

Many Chess players were surprised when after the game, Fischer quietly explained: 'I had already analyzed this possibility' in a position which I thought was not possible to forsee from the opening.

 

As long as my opponent has not yet castled, on each move I seek a pretext for an offensive. Even when I realize that the king is not in danger.

 

For pleasure you can read the games collections of Andersson and Chigorin, but for benefit you should study Tarrasch, Keres and Bronstein.

 

The greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker. At the chess board he accomplished the impossible!

 

Without technique it is impossible to reach the top in chess, and therefore we all try to borrow from Capablanca his wonderful, subtle technique.

 

In Alekhine we are captivated by his exceptional combinative talent and his whole-hearted love for chess.

 

In my games I have sometimes found a combination intuitively simply feeling that it must be there. Yet I was not able to translate my thought processes into normal human language.

 

I will not hide the fact that I love to hear the spectators react after a sacrifice of a piece or pawn. I don't think that there is anything bad in such a feeling; no artist or musician is indifferent to the reactions of the public.

 

They compare me with Lasker, which is an exaggerated honour. Lasker made mistakes in every game and I only in every second one!

 

I believe most definitely that one must not only grapple with the problems on the board, one must also make every effort to combat the thoughts and will of the opponent.

 

The cherished dream of every chessplayer is to play a match with the World Champion. But here is the paradox: the closer you come to the realization of this goal, the less you think about it.

 

I must admit that, although I am an ardent admirerer of Grandmaster D. Bronstein, I do not quite understand his habit of thinking about his first move from 10 minutes to half an hour.

 

Naturally, the psychological susceptibility of a match participant is significantly higher than a participant in a tournament, since each game substantially changes the over-all position.

 

Of course, errors are not good for a chess game, but errors are unavoidable and in any case, a game without ant errors, or as they say 'flawless game' is colorless.

 

I go over many games collections and pick up something from the style of each player.

 

Fischer is Fischer, but a knight is a knight!  -  (on Fischer's claim that he could beat any woman at knight odds)

on Tal

 

... Tal accepted absolutely all the world champion's conditions with a smile, taking away a very important psychological trump card from him - the harsh, prickly relations with his opponent that were characteristic of all Botvinnik's matches. - Genna Sosonko

 

Tal didn't try to take refuge in the past and, caring little about the future, tried to extract as much pleasure as possible from the present. He simply lived, not thinking about what people would say, think or write about him. - Gennadi Sosonko

 

The ex-world champion has often commented that he regularly watches the chess lessons on TV meant for lower rated players. His idea is that the repetition of the elements can never do any harm, but rather polishes up the grandmaster's thoughts.  -  Alexander Kotov

 

It only became clear that after a careful analysis that his opponent's mistakes were caused by the extreme variety and difficulty of the problems that Tal set them.  -  Mark Dvoretsky

 

I personally never stood out amongst my contemporaries, because I always had to progress by hard work. Tal, on the other hand, there is an example of someone who did not have to work at it.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik

 

We are all, in a sense, Tal's children; I grew up on his games and in my childhood I played in such a style.  -  Vladimir Kramnik

 

Tal's combinations often exert a sort of paralysing influence on the opponent's play. It would seem that the element of surprise plays a big part in this.  -  Mark Taimanov

 

Tal doesn't move the pieces by hand, he uses a magic wand.  -  Viacheslav Ragozin