Here are some chess problems taken from the games of Mikhail Tal.
White to move and win except where noted.

Solutions are between the brackets under each puzzle.
Drag your mouse from one bracket to the other.

'Print edition' available for this page.

a)
White Mates in 6. Tal vs Boris Gulko, exhibition, 1949
r1bq1k1r/1p2b1Rp/p7/3Np2B/1P1pP3/8/2PK3P/3R4 w - - 0 1
[ Rf7+ ]

b)
White Mates in 8. Tal vs Israel Zilber, Riga, 1949
r7/p4Pk1/1p6/2b1pbN1/1n6/8/PPP2qQ1/1K1R3R w - - 0 1
[ Ne6+ w/Qg7+ ]

c)
Black Mates in 3. Igor Glek vs Tal, Riga, 1955
6k1/pp5q/4p3/4P3/3rn1K1/PP2Q1P1/8/4R3 b - - 0 1
[ ...Qf5+ Kh4 Nf6+ ]

d)
Black to move and win. A Ostrauskas vs Tal, Vilnius, 1955
5r1k/6pp/p7/1pnP3q/2p1P3/2P4b/PPB4Q/4R1NK b - - 0 1
[ ...Bg2+ Kxg2 Rf2+ ]

e)
Black Mates in 5. Kira Zvorykina, Vilnius, 1955
2r3k1/pp3pp1/3N3p/4P3/P2p4/1P3qPn/1Q3P1P/3R1K2 b - - 0 1
[ ...d3 if Ke1 Rc2 or if Rxd3 Rc1+ ]



Tal, Part II. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Black Mates in 4. E Chukaev vs Tal, Tbilisi, 1956
4r1k1/5pbp/3p2p1/1ppP4/pqP5/R4B2/1PQ3PP/1K6 b - - 0 1
[ ...Re1+ if Bd1 Rxd1+ Ka2 Qxa3+ ]

b)
Black to move and win. Mark Taimanov vs Tal, Moscow, 1957
r1qr3k/pp4pp/2n2p2/1P2p3/2P5/Q1P1BN1b/5PPP/R2R2K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Rxd1+ Rxd1 Qg4 Ne1 Qxd1 ]

c)
Tal vs Alexander Koblenz, Riga, 1957
2b2knQ/r2r2pR/2q1p2R/1p3pB1/6P1/2P5/P1Pp4/3K4 w - - 0 1
[ Rf6+ w/Bh6+ ]

d)
Tal vs Bent Larsen, Reykjavik, 1957
2rr2k1/1p3pp1/p1b4p/q2Np1b1/4P3/3R1Q2/PPP1B1PP/1K1R4 w - - 0 1
[ b4 w/Ra3 ]

e)
Tal vs Konstantin Klaman, Moscow, 1957
2r1kr2/p1qbbp1Q/3p4/5p2/1p1N1P2/6P1/PPP4P/K2RR3 w - - 0 1
[ Rxe7+ w/Qh4+ ]

Mikhail Tal's Top 10 Chess Sacrifices of all time!



Tal, Part III. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Black to move and win. Anatoly Bannik vs Tal, Moscow, 1957
1r1r2k1/1p3p2/p1p2bp1/7p/2Pn3P/2B1q1P1/PP1RPQB1/2R3K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Nxe2+ ]

b)
Black Mates in 6. Hector Rossetto vs Tal, Portoroz, 1958
4r1k1/5p1p/2Qb2p1/3Pq3/6Pn/2N1B2P/1P3P2/3R2K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Qh2+ Kf1 Rxe3 ]

c)
Tal vs Harry Golombek, Munich, 1958
2qr1k2/5p1r/1pp1pP2/p1N2pQ1/Pn1P3p/8/1P4PP/3R1R1K w - - 0 1
[ Rf4 w/Rxh4 ]

d)
White Mates in 6. Tal vs P Skuja, Latvia CH, 1958
3r1rk1/pp3p1p/6pP/3Nnb2/qP5R/P1Q5/2P3P1/2KR1B2 w - - 0 1
[ Ne7+ ]

e)
Tal vs Georgy Tringov, Munich, 1958
r3kr2/1p1b1pp1/p1n1p2p/8/4q3/1N6/PPP1BKPP/R2Q1R2 w - - 0 1
[ Qxd7+ ]

Tal, Part IV. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Black to move and win. Max Blau vs Tal, Zurich, 1959
1r4k1/5p1p/R3b1p1/8/N7/4nPP1/r6P/2R2BK1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Nxf1 ]

b)
Black to move and win. Alexandre Abrosimov vs Tal, Riga, 1959
r3rbk1/2q3pp/p1p2p2/1pn2P2/3RBP2/P6P/1PP1Q1P1/2B2RK1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Rad8 if Rfd1 Rxe4 ]

c)
White Mates in 2. Tal vs Pal Benko, Bled, 1959
1r3k2/2n1p1b1/3p2QR/p1pq1pN1/bp6/7P/2P2PP1/4RBK1 w - - 0 1
[ Rh8+ ]

d)
Tal vs Vasily Smyslov, Bled, 1959
r1bb1r1k/p4ppp/2p2n1N/7Q/2p5/2B2N2/qPP2PPP/2KR3R w - - 0 1
[ Qxf7 ]

e)
Tal vs Robert Fischer, Yugoslavia, 1959
5r2/2p2rk1/2Pp2pp/1N4q1/P1Q1Pb2/5R2/7P/5R1K w - - 0 1
[ Nd4 w/Ne6+ ]



Tal, Part V. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Tal vs Dieter Keller, Zurich, 1959
r7/2k1Pp1p/p1n2p2/P1b1r3/2p5/2P3P1/5P1P/1R1Q2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rb7+ ]

b)
Tal vs Klaus Darga, Hamburg, 1960
5rk1/2qnQp1p/p4Pp1/3B4/2p5/6P1/PrP4P/4RR1K w - - 0 1
[ Re6 w/Rd6 ]

c)
Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik, Moscow, 1960
2r5/kp1r1pp1/pR2pnp1/2Pq4/3P4/1Q6/4N1PP/1R4K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxa6+ ]

d)
Tal vs Wolfgang Unzicker, Stockholm, 1961
3rr1k1/3nbppp/p1R2n2/q2Bp3/1p2P3/5N1P/PP1B1PP1/2RQ2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Bxf7+ w/Qb3+ ]

e)
Black to move and win. Ortega vs Tal, Habana, 1963
r2qk2r/pp1bppbp/2np1np1/1B1N4/3NP3/8/PPP2PPP/R1BQR1K1 b kq - 0 1
[ ...Nxd4 ]

Tal, Part VI. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Tal vs NN, USSR, 1963
rn2kb1r/1b1n2pp/pq2p3/1p2P1B1/6Q1/2N5/PPP3PP/2KR1B1R w - - 0 1
[ Rd6 if Bxd6 Qxe6+ Bc4 & Rf1+ ]

b)
Black to move and win. Larry Evans vs Tal, Amsterdam, 1964
1R2r1k1/6pp/p2Q1P2/1p1P4/6KP/P3q3/1P6/8 b - - 0 1
[ ...h5+ Kxh5 Qf3+ Kg5 Qxf6+ ]

c)
Tal vs Pal Benko, Amsterdam, 1964
r1b1k2r/1p3pp1/p3pn2/2p1q1N1/8/1B2P3/PPP1Q2P/2KR3R w - - 0 1
[ Rd8+ ]

d)
White Mates in 5. Tal vs Georgy Tringov, Amsterdam, 1964
r1b1k1nr/1p1n1pbp/p1pQ2p1/4p3/2B1PB2/2q2N2/P1P2PPP/1R1R2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Bxf7+ ]

e)
Tal vs Alexander Koblents, 1965
r4rk1/p2nbppp/3pp3/6PQ/4bP2/2B4R/qPP1B2P/2K3R1 w - - 0 1
[ g6 ]

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Tal, Part VII. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Tal vs Kiriukov, Riga, 1965
r2qr1k1/pp2bp2/4bnpp/3p4/3P3B/2NQ4/PPB2PPP/R3R1K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxe6 ]

b)
Tal vs A Shmit, Riga, 1965
q4k2/2n1ppb1/8/2N1P1B1/1p6/1P1Q2P1/r4PbP/3R2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Qh7 w/Nd7+ ]

c)
Tal vs Svend Hamann, Kislovodsk, 1966
r1b4r/1p2kp2/pqp1pp2/7p/4P3/3R4/P1PQBPPP/3R2K1 w - - 0 1
[ e5 ]

d)
Tal vs Robert Wade, Palma de Mallorca, 1966
2r1b1k1/p4p1n/3p2pQ/q3p1P1/2pNPP2/2P5/PKP5/7R w - - 0 1
[ Ne6 ]

e)
Black to move and win. Edgar Walther vs Tal, Habana, 1966
q5k1/r4ppp/4p3/3pP3/1Nn2P1P/1QP3P1/1P2R3/1K6 b - - 0 1
[ ...Ra1+ Kc2 Na5 ]

Tal, Part VIII. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Black to move and win. Anatoly Ufimtsev vs Tal, Moscow, 1967
4r1k1/1p1bqpb1/p5p1/P1pP3p/3nn3/R3N1P1/1P2N1KP/2BQR3 b - - 0 1
[ ...Bh3+ if Kxh3 Ng5+ Kg2 Qe4+ mates or if Kg1 Nf3+ mates ]

b)
Tal vs NN, USSR, 1970
r1bq3r/pp1nk3/2n1p1Qb/3pP1p1/2NP4/8/PP3PPP/R1B1K2R w - - 0 1
[ Bxg5+ ]

c)
Black to move and win. Gedeon Barcza vs Tal, Tallinn, 1971
2r5/pp3pkp/6p1/8/4P1P1/5b2/PqPQ1P1P/2R1K1R1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Rd8 if Qe3 Qxc2 mates ]

d)
Tal vs Andres Vooremaa, Tallinn, 1971
r1bk1bQ1/1p1pRr2/p2n1P2/5P2/3p1N2/8/qPP3PP/4R2K w - - 0 1
[ Ne6+ w/Rxf7 Qxf8+ & Qxf7+ ]

e)
Black to move and win. Karoly Honfi vs Tal, Sukhumi, 1972
r1r3k1/5p1p/3b2p1/3Pp3/4B1P1/1PR5/qPK1Q2P/2BR4 b - - 0 1
[ ...Rxc3+ if Kxc3 Bb4+ Kxb4 Qa5+ Kc4 Qa6+ ]

Tal, Part IX. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Tal vs Orest Averkin, Moscow, 1973
8/8/4np2/4pk1p/RNr4P/4KP2/1P6/8 w - - 0 1
[ Nd5 if Rxa4 Ne7# ]

b)
Tal vs William Hartston, Hastings, 1973
2q2rk1/3rbpn1/pB2p1pQ/1p2P2p/4B3/8/PPP3PP/4RR1K w - - 0 1
[ Rxf7 w/Bxg6 & Qh7+ ]

c)
White Mates in 3. Tal vs NN, 1973
rn1q3r/pp2kppp/3Np3/2b1n3/3N2Q1/3B4/PP4PP/R1B2RK1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxf7+ ]

d)
Tal vs NN, 1973
2r1kbnr/2q2ppp/R7/3Qp3/5p2/5B2/1PP2PPP/4R1K1 w - - 0 1
[ Qb5+ if Qd7 Rxe5+ Be7 Bc6 Rxc6 Ra8+ ]

e)
Tal vs Kick Langeweg, Wijk aan Zee, 1973
4rbk1/3r1p2/3p1Ppp/pp1qp2n/7Q/P2B1R2/1PP3PP/2B1R2K w - - 0 1
[ Qg4 w/Bxg6 ]

Tal, Part X. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
White Mates in 7. Tal vs NN, 1973
r1bk3r/1pq3p1/4p3/1B1pP1p1/5Q2/8/PPP3PP/2KR1R2 w - - 0 1
[ Qf8+ ]

b)
White Mates in 4. Tal vs Igor Platonov, Dubna, 1973
5r1k/1p1b1p1p/p2ppb2/5P1B/1q6/1Pr3R1/2PQ2PP/5R1K w - - 0 1
[ Qh6 ]

c)
White Mates in 7. Tal vs Michael Stean, Hastings, 1973
1q5r/1b2Q2p/6k1/r4p2/7P/2N5/PPP3P1/1K3R2 w - - 0 1
[ h5+ ]

d)
Tal vs Rafael Vaganian, Dubna, 1973
r2qkb1r/p1pb2pp/2p1p3/2npP1N1/8/1N6/PPP2PPP/R1BQK2R w KQkq - 0 1
[ Qh5+ w/Qf3 ]

e)
Tal vs Zaitsev, Aanval, 1973
r4r2/1p1kqp1p/p5b1/3P2Q1/8/5BP1/PP6/2R4K w - - 0 1
[ Rc7+ w/Qxe7+ Qd6+ & Qc5+ ]

Tal, Part XI. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
White Mates in 5. Tal vs Anton Deze, Novi Sad, 1974
r2rn2k/7p/p2P2pP/q3p1Q1/1pB5/4bP2/PPP5/1K1R3R w - - 0 1
[ Qe7 ]

b)
Tal vs Thomas Paehtz, Halle, 1974
1r3k2/p4p1p/1p2b1p1/3B4/2PQ4/8/PP1K1P1q/4R3 w - - 0 1
[ Rxe6 ]

c)
Tal vs Tigran Petrosian, Moscow, 1974
r1q1brk1/pppn1pb1/6p1/6N1/2B2Q2/8/PPP2PPP/3RR1K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxd7 if Qxd7 Qh4 mates or if Bxd7 Bxf7+ Rxf7 Qxf7+ ]

d)
White Mates in 4. Tal vs Prschibyl, Tallinn, 1977
r7/5pk1/2p4p/1p1p4/1qnP4/5QPP/2B1RP1K/8 w - - 0 1
[ Qg4+ ]

d)
White Mates in 4. Tal vs Ivan Radulov, Leningrad, 1977
8/r7/3pNb2/3R3p/1p2p3/pPk5/P1P3PP/1K6 w - - 0 1
[ Rd1 ]

Tal, Part XII. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Tal vs Sergey Makarichev, Tbilisi, 1978
8/1p3pkp/1r1pq1p1/3R4/1r1RP3/5QP1/5PKP/8 w - - 0 1
[ Rxb4 w/Qc3+ ]

b)
White Mates in 5. Tal vs Yrko Rantanen, Tallinn, 1979
1rq1r2k/5Rbp/p2p1p1B/2p1p3/2P1P2Q/1P6/P5PP/3b2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Bxg7+ w/Bh8 ]

c)
Black to move and win. Boris Spassky vs Tal, Montreal, 1979
4r1k1/pb2qppp/5n2/7r/2Np4/1P1B4/PB1Q1PP1/2RR2K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Ng4 if Re1 Rh1+ mates ]

d)
Tal vs Boris Spassky, Tilburg, 1980
4qr2/1b1n2k1/r2P1p2/1p2pR1p/2p5/2P4P/1PBQ2P1/5R1K w - - 0 1
[ Rg5+ ]

e)
Tal vs Iivo Nei, USSR, 1981
5rk1/p5p1/1q1Qpn1p/2N5/1p6/1P2P3/P5PP/5RK1 w - - 0 1
[ Qxf8+ ]

Tal, Part XIII. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
White Mates in 4. Tal vs Ricardo Calvo Minguez, Malaga, 1981
8/6R1/p2kp2r/qb5P/3p1N1Q/1p1Pr3/PP6/1K5R w - - 0 1
[ Qe7+ ]

b)
Black to move and win. Robert Huebner vs Tal, Wijk aan Zee, 1982
r4rk1/1pp3pp/p1pb1n2/4N2b/4PB2/3R1N2/PPP2PPP/R5K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Bxf3 if gxf3 Nh5 ]

c)
White Mates in 4. Tal vs David Bronstein, Tbilisi, 1982
2b2k2/2p2r1p/p2pR3/1p3PQ1/3q3N/1P6/2P3PP/5K2 w - - 0 1
[ Ng6+ if hxg6 Qd8+ ]

d)
Black to move and win. Klaus Bischoff vs Tal, Albena, 1984
1q4k1/p4p2/3n2p1/2Q3P1/3PP2p/1P3P1P/P1R3K1/3r4 b - - 0 1
[ ...Nc4 ]

e)
Black to move and win. Miguel Quinteros vs Tal, Argentina, 1987
2r2rk1/Qn2bppp/1p3n2/3q4/2pN1B2/6P1/PP3P1P/R3RNK1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Bc5 if Nc2 Ra8 ]

Tal, Part XIV. White to move and win except where noted.
a)
White Mates in 5. Tal vs Johann Hjartarson, Reykjavik, 1987
1R6/2nb2kp/3p2p1/3PN2n/1P2Pp2/5N1P/1Q3PPK/r2q4 w - - 0 1
[ Ng4+ ]

b)
Tal vs Miguel Quinteros, St del Esterol, 1987
1r3rk1/p3pp1p/1q1p1npQ/3P1nN1/1pp5/2N4P/PPP1B1P1/R4R1K w - - 0 1
[ Rxf5 w/Nce4 ]

c)
Tal vs Alexander Chernin, St John, 1988
3rr1k1/pp1n1pb1/2pBpqpp/8/2PP2PP/1P4Q1/P4PK1/1B1RR3 w - - 0 1
[ g5 ]

d)
Black to move and win. Siegfried Maus vs Tal, Germany, 1990
1r4k1/5n1p/5qp1/1p6/3Q4/1P4PP/P3rPB1/R2R2K1 b - - 0 1
[ ...Re1+ ]

e)
Tal vs Vladimir Akopian, Barcelona, 1992
2r4k/5p1p/2bQP3/5pr1/1PpR1P2/2q5/P4K1P/4R3 w - - 0 1
[ Qe5+ w/Rd8+ ]


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