Valentin KirillovSample pages (pdf)
First published in Russian in 2016, this book is a real collectors' item for all true Tal fans, it provides colour on Janis Kruzkops, who was Tal's first coach and who died tragically young, Tal's mentor Alexander Koblencs, and the chess masters to whom Tal was close, including Genna Sosonko, Aivars Gipslis, Janis Klovans, Alvis Vitolins, the young Alexei Shirov, and Kirillov himself, as well as the mysterious doctor Joseph Geikhman. It also traces the efforts of the Latvian chess community to preserve and build on Tal's memory after his death, in particular with the attempt to establish a Tal museum and hold regular tournaments in his honour.
This book of memoirs describes key events from Tal's life, portrays his mentors and opponents, and reveals previously unknown facts and funny stories about the Magician of Riga. It does not include any games played by Tal.
Valentin Kirillov (1938-2017) was a chess master, coach, and journalist. He took part in numerous Latvian and Baltic states championships, as well as the 1967 USSR championship in Kharkov, the USSR team championships, international tournaments in Hungary, Poland, Finland, France, and the Czech Republic, and the German team championships, playing for Godesburg (Bonn) and Brakel (Dortmund).
Kirillov wrote and edited chess columns for various Soviet and Latvian publications. He authored a seven-volume treatise considered to be the definitive Russian-language work analyzing Mikhail Tal's games, among other books. As Tal's close friend and sparring partner since childhood, team member since the early days and second from 1968-1976, he had a front-seat view of most tournaments and events involving Tal.
Published 2017, softback, 157 pages.