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    Mikhail Tal

    Jew Score:



    November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992

    We've been reading a lot about chess lately, and we gotta say, it's pretty fascinating. Oh, not the game itself — we couldn't tell a Sicilian defense from a Sicilian pizza (we assume one has more cheese than the other), but the idiosyncrasies and personalities behind it.

    It's pretty clear that to be a chess champion, you gotta be... a tad unusual. Bobby Fischer is the most obvious example here. Most others, thankfully, don't come close, and yet you wouldn't exactly call any of them normal.

    Take Mikhail Tal. The Latvian grandmaster was World Champion in the 1960s and is considered one of the greatest of all time. But if you listen to his ex-wife (yes, he was actually married — and to an actress, so score one for chess geeks!), the greatness didn't exactly transcend to other areas of his life. He didn't know how to pack a suitcase, turn on a stove, or fill an expense report. Driving a car was out of the question. In fact, the ex-wife called him a visitor from another planet. And she loved the guy.

    It looks like if one is brilliant in one field, it has to balance out elsewhere... Otherwise, you'd have a bunch of chess-playing supermen roaming the world.

    On second thought, Jewish chess-playing supermen? Sounds awesome!

    Verdict: Jew.

    June 8, 2012

    See Also

    Mikhail Botvinnik

    Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown

    Bobby Fischer

    Garry Kasparov

    Boris Spassky
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