Russian Grandmaster (1952), chess theorist, author, journalist. World Senior Champion 1994. A concert pianist.
Discovered at the age of 8, he became soon the pupil of Botvinnik. In the period of 1948-73 he, was five times the champion of Leningrad. He played 23 times in the USSR championships with the best results: in 1949 when he shared third-fourth places, in 1951, sixth-eighth, in 1952 equal first with Botvinnik but lost the playoff match 2½-3½, in 1954 shared second place, in 1956 he emerged as champion after a playoff match with Averbakh and Spassky.
Best results: Taimanov participated in the Interzonals in Saltsjobadden in 1952 where he shared the second-third places with Petrosian, and in Palma de Majorca in 1970, he finished equal fifth and became a Candidate but lost the famous 1971 quarter-final match in Vancouver to Fischer by a legendary 0-6. He leads an active chess life and has played in the international tournaments for more than 50 years, having won or being equal first in Liverpool 1952, Reykjavik 1968, Dresden and Santa Fe 1960, Leningrad 1960, Dortmund, Rostov-on-Don 1961, Marianske-Lazne 1962, Luxembourg 1963, Budapest and Copenhagen 1965, Helsinki 1966, Zalaegerszeg 1969, Wijk aan Zee 1970, Skopje 1970 with Vasiukov, Bucharest 1973 and Leningrad 1973, Albena 1974, Decin 1975 and Bucharest 1979, Wroclaw 1979, Lisbon 1985, Bad Wildbad 1993, Biel Senior 1994 and St. Petersburg 1998.
Taimanov wrote Zarubezhnye vstrechi (1958), devoted to his traveling, Die Nimzowitsch-Indishe Verteidigung (1961), Nimzowitsch –Indische bis Katalanisch (1979), Slawisch bis Reti-Eröffnunden (1979) and Karpov-Kasparov (1985).
Levenfish said: “He was characterized by a deep understanding of positions, aggressiveness of his ideas and projects and precise calculations.”