Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi: A Chess Multibiography with 207 Games
by Andrew Soltis
Paperback, 394 pages, McFarland Publishing
This book describes the intense rivalry—and collaboration—of the four players who created the golden era when USSR chess players dominated the world. More than 200 annotated games are included, along with personal details—many for the first time in English.
Mikhail Tal, the roguish, doomed Latvian who changed the way chess players think about attack and sacrifice; Tigran Petrosian, the brilliant, henpecked Armenian whose wife drove him to become the world’s best player; Boris Spassky, the prodigy who survived near-starvation and later bouts of melancholia to succeed Petrosian—but is best remembered for losing to Bobby Fischer; and “Evil” Viktor Korchnoi, whose mixture of genius and jealousy helped him eventually surpass his three rivals (but fate denied him the title they achieved: world champion).
About the Author
Grandmaster Andrew Soltis, eight times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.
Introduction: The Soviet Team of Rivals 5
1. Four Boys 15
2. Growing Pains 43
3. Overkill 62
4. Culture War 79
5. Spassky, Spassky, Spassky! 93
6. Volshebnik 109
7. Three Directions 133
8. A Takeoff, an Apogee and a Crash 151
9. Why Not Me? 180
10. Private Lives, Public Games 197
11. Candidacy 222
12. Humors 247
13. Whose Risk Is Riskier? 276
14. The Fischer Factor 301
15. Countdown to Calamity 318
Epilogue: Four Aging Men 335
Appendix A: Chronology, 1929–2016 339
Appendix B: Ratings Comparison 353
Chapter Notes 355
Index of Opponents 377
Index of Openings—Traditional Names 379
Index of Openings—ECO Codes 381
General Index 382
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