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Mikhail Tal vs Petar Trifunovic
Capablanca Memorial 2nd (1963), Havana CUB, rd 7, Sep-03
King's Gambit: Falkbeer Countergambit. Charousek Gambit Accepted (C32)  ·  0-1


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Given 38 times; par: 36 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-16-04  mack: This catastrophic game for Tal was one of those played when he was very ill. On the way to the playing hall he was planning to play the Queen's Gambit - but then thought "What's wrong with the King's?". Something like that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: I noticed the tournament is misattributed. Havana, 63 was a Capablanca Memorial; the Olympiad was two years later.

re: the opening, in 1964 Spassky showed the better treatment 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.hxg3 but the advantage is slight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Trifunovic had just played a very long series of draws.

Tal opened with the King's Gambit and said, "You won't draw this one!"

And he didn't!

Sep-26-05  lopium: Nice said.
Oct-14-05  aw1988: Since when has Tal played Queen's Gambit?
Jan-07-06  KingG: As White, he has played it quite often, hasn't he?
Jan-07-06  Granite: I see 32 games in the database with Tal as white with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 so he seemed to play it, although it clearly wasn't one of his main weapons.
Jan-07-06  aw1988: Oh yeah, I had checked it a few months ago using the Repertoire Explorer. I was slightly taken aback that Tal, the great tactican player, would play something like the QG.
Jan-07-06  KingG: Well, he played 1.d4, so what else was he supposed to play after 1.d4 d5 ? There are plenty of tactical QG games(both accepted and declined), and in any case, Tal was also a great positional player(particularly later on in his career).
Jan-07-06  aw1988: Right, it just escaped me mentally.
Nov-01-06  Kriegspiel: White is actually playing fully in-book until 6.Be3? when instead he should have played 6.Nf3. Apparently (I say, because I'm scarcely the person to ask for personal opinions on the matter) -- judging from the opening analysis I've seen -- the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit (if properly played by White) leaves Black a pawn down and with positional defects, and Black must choose which to address (not both).


Apr-05-07  chessamateur: The only Tal game with the King's gambit and he loses? What are the odds?
Feb-03-09  hedgeh0g: Looked very messy to me. And when you call a King's Gambit messy, you know it's messy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Kriegspiel> Black's practical results for some years now after 3....e4 have been nothing special, which is why one is far more likely to see 3....c6 instead.
Aug-31-09  belgradegambit: <This catastrophic game for Tal was one of those played when he was very ill.> And Alekhine was drunk or ill when Euwe won the world championship. And Nakamura only lost recently because of poor health. What GM once said he never beat a player in good health?
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: I believe it was either Amos Burn, or, perhaps, Dr.Tartakover.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <belgradegambit>, <brankat>, I've seen this statement attributed to Larsen.

When Tarrasch lost his match for the world title to Lasker in 1908, he cited the sea air as the cause of his defeat. Trouble is, Duesseldorf is well over 100 miles from the sea!

Jan-07-12  Karpova: That's the story:

Mikhail Tal: <One of these [i. e. losses; karpova] was as White to Trifunovic. I was already well acquainted with his tenacity, and before the game Geller and I selected one of the variations of the Queen's Gambit, but while the high-speed lift was taking us from the 28th floor of the hotel 'Havana Libre', where we were staying, to the ground floor, I suddenly thought: 'Why play the Queen's Gambit when there's the King's?' I began to play sharply, which is always not without its dangers, the more so when one is playing 'creakily'. In short, by move 15 my position was already in ruins. Although I felt that it would be worth offering a draw, for Trifunovic might well accept - he had drawn all his games up till then! - I didn't have the courage to make this 'move'. Some ten moves later I resigned.>

From page 238 of Tal, Mikhail 'The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, 2007, London, UK

Dec-06-12  gongarjs: According to Fritz 6 the main mistakes of Tal were: 6 Be3 (6 Nf3), 8 hxg3 (8 Nf3), 20 Nh4 and 21 Ndf3 and the final blow with 26 Kxf1?? (26 Rxf1)
Apr-24-14  Rookiepawn: Well... you can't expect a guy playing like Tal has no games like this one. On the other hand he plays some real blunders here, it is obvious he was not in good shape.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: 54, thats' 18 over par! best i've ever done on guess-the-move. But Tal was asking for these moves to be made... move 6 and onwards. such a strange way to sac the exchange right at the beginning for little apparent compensation.
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