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  1. 05 Jan '07 13:27
    I've just been re-reading William Hartston's book, "Soft Pawn" for the first time in over a decade. In it I read the interesting tidbit that Mikhail Tal only had three fingers on his right hand and that "This congenital disformity might almost have designed to lift chess pieces".

    Unfortunately a Google image search shows that Tal always used his undeformed left hand to move his pieces. However I did find this picture of him playing an off-hand (so to speak) game against Fischer:
    http://chessville.com/images/Benko_P.155_(Tal.Fischer).jpg

    I feel sure that Tal would have remained World Champion for far longer if he had overcome his embarrassment and used his crab-like right hand to play his brilliant sacrifices.
  2. 05 Jan '07 13:41 / 2 edits
    wow......I had no idea. That right hand is creepy. He doesn't just "have three fingers", it is a lobster like monstrosity.
  3. 05 Jan '07 14:00
    Never knew that either, really freaky pic though!!
  4. 05 Jan '07 14:42
    There's actually a really great story behind that picture. Tal was always very sickly even as a child and had bad kidneys and a short life expectancy. He took ill at a tournament and Fischer was the only person (including Tal's soviet countrymen!) to visit him in the hospital. Tal's hospital room is where that game is being played.
  5. 05 Jan '07 15:25
    actually, that hand totally kicks ass, it'd be a great freak out for an opponent, Tal should have used it all the time and insisted on shaking hands before each game.
  6. Standard member onyx2006
    onyx2007
    05 Jan '07 15:43
    Originally posted by GreatSantini
    actually, that hand totally kicks ass, it'd be a great freak out for an opponent, Tal should have used it all the time and insisted on shaking hands before each game.
    excellent! LOL, now there's chess tactics for ya!
  7. 05 Jan '07 20:12
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've just been re-reading William Hartston's book, "Soft Pawn" for the first time in over a decade. In it I read the interesting tidbit that Mikhail Tal only had three fingers on his right hand and that "This congenital disformity might almost have designed to lift chess pieces".

    Unfortunately a Google image search shows that Tal always used his undeform ...[text shortened]... come his embarrassment and used his crab-like right hand to play his brilliant sacrifices.
    A kid in my high school has as similar deformity, except that he has it on both hands.
  8. 06 Jan '07 11:51
    hey thats a great find, thanks for sharing.. im a big tal fan and i never knew that.. btw, my boss has one hand just like that.. one of his feet has no toes, the other foot is like his hand, with digits missing..
  9. 06 Jan '07 19:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've just been re-reading William Hartston's book, "Soft Pawn" for the first time in over a decade. In it I read the interesting tidbit that Mikhail Tal only had three fingers on his right hand and that "This congenital disformity might almost have designed to lift chess pieces".

    Unfortunately a Google image search shows that Tal always used his undeform ...[text shortened]... come his embarrassment and used his crab-like right hand to play his brilliant sacrifices.
    he suffered an Acrorenal syndrome or a Bardet–Biedl syndrome ???

    WOWWWWWW

    http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/14/11/2763 ( see the table 1 )
  10. 15 Jan '07 21:01
    Great Picture! I knew that Tal used a lot of intimidation and "mind" games to un nerve his opponent. I agree he should have just laid his right hand on the table to distract his opponents too!
  11. 15 Jan '07 21:15
    Yes, extend his crab-like appendage to wish his opponent good skill before the match. That would throw a lot of people off. lol
  12. 15 Jan '07 21:23
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I've just been re-reading William Hartston's book, "Soft Pawn" for the first time in over a decade. In it I read the interesting tidbit that Mikhail Tal only had three fingers on his right hand and that "This congenital disformity might almost have designed to lift chess pieces".

    Unfortunately a Google image search shows that Tal always used his undeform ...[text shortened]... come his embarrassment and used his crab-like right hand to play his brilliant sacrifices.
    Very fascinating tidbit. Thanks for sharing.
  13. 15 Jan '07 21:38
    I read somewhere that Fischer was the only one that visited Tal in the hospital on that occasion. Must have been before his Russian paranoia kicked in.
  14. 15 Jan '07 21:39
    Originally posted by AlphaAlekhine
    I read somewhere that Fischer was the only one that visited Tal in the hospital on that occasion. Must have been before his Russian paranoia kicked in.
    That "somewhere" would be this thread.
  15. 15 Jan '07 21:41
    lol, well there ya go. And I thought I was being informative.