Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tal: He was a man in whose presence others sensed their mediocrity.

Kasparov talks about Tal : What an interesting article.

I worked a bit with Tal. Around 1980, he visited Baku, we played a couple of training games, and the chess contact wasn't lost until Tal's very last days. There was a blitz tournament in Moscow, one month before Tal's death. He looked horribly. But Tal was still Tal. In this blitz tournament, I lost my only game to him. I retaliated in the second round, but the fact was that until the very end, he still had this vision of games. He was the only one I knew who didn't calculate the variants, he saw them.

EK: Can you elaborate?

GK: We calculate: he does this then I do that. And Tal, through all the thick layers of variants, saw that around the 8th move, it will be so and so. Some people can see the mathematical formulae, they can imagine the whole picture instantly. An ordinary man has to calculate, to think this through, but they just see it all. It occurs in great musicians, great scientists. Tal was absolutely unique. His playing style was of course unrepeatable. I calculated the variants quickly enough, but these Tal insights were unique. He was a man in whose presence others sensed their mediocrity.

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