While i am recovering from my ankle operation i have read a book that i have had for a number of years but never got around to reading.
P.C. Clarke's Mikhail Tal's best games of chess.
This book is an old book published by Bell back in the 1960's.
Bell produced great chess books,game collections of Alekhine,Capablanca and Larsen
being my favourite ones.
The Tal book covers his chess from 1951 to and including his 1960 World Championship win against Botvinnik.
The book has a photo of Tal,followed by 9 pages of biography called "The road to the championship",rounded off with 7 pages of "The genius of Tal" using positions in a what Tal did next format.
Thier is also a page and half from Tal talking about chess as an art form.
The rest of the book has 50 of his games.
In most of them he seems to sacrifice pieces and pawns almost at will,but Clarke's note are very good if brief.
Game 39 stands out for me as a great game, played against V. Smyslov.
Who only 2 years before was himself World Champion.
The game is played during the 1959 Candidates tournament at Bled,Tal has the white pieces.On move 17 Smyslov plays 17...Qxa2 threatening mate next move.
Tal defends against this then on move 19 plays a wow move 19.Qxf7. offers his queen
Enjoy game 39.
(show chess board)(hide chess board)
If 19....Rxf7 20.Rxd8+ Rf8 21.Rxf8+ Ng8 23.Rxg8++
If 19....Re8 20.Qg8+ either knight or rook xg8 21.Nf7++ smothered mate.
Don't even think about 19...Rg8.
If 19...gxh6 20.Bxf6++
I found this an enjoyable book of a snap shot from history.