▷ Mikhail Tal, the genious and some painful anecdotes also!


mihail tal

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Mikhail Tal: 11 points without playing a single game!

During the Havanna Chess Olympiad (1966), which was attentively organized by the Cuban government, the chess teams were treated very warmly. On one occasion, when Korchnoi and Mikhail Tal went to watch the spectacle of the famous cabaret Tropicana.

Tal noticed a beautiful woman at the next table.

Being as he was, very sensitive to feminine beauty, he didn’t hesitate to pay her a compliment. Suddenly, the partner of beauty returned. He didn’t like the praises by Mikhail Tal at all and broke a bottle on Tal’s head. Resulting in an emergency visit of the GM into a hospital.

The title was used by Eduardo Pérez in the former magazine called ‘Destino’ to describe the incident. As Petrosian said to his colleagues, “Only a healthy guy like Tal could survive such a bottle on the head.”

An atypical birthday…

In the Olympiads of Munich (1958) they were facing, in the previous phase (at that time the Olympiads were disputed with preliminary and finally groups), USA and Spain.

In the second board, Arthur Bisguier and Román Torán (blacks) were fighting a Spanish/Berlin Opening, in which finally the Spanish IM won brilliantly.

Very depressed, his opponent confessed him that he was not expecting such setback in his birthday…

Torán told him he was sorry, but only one could enjoy the anniversary, then it was his birthday too. Both were born the 8th October: Arthur Bisguier in 1929 and Torán in 1931. The diagram shows the position after 25 Nd4. Then 25…Rxg3!, and the white abandoned.

The sumptuousness of Ebralidze…

The legendary Georgian trainer, Archil Ebralidze (inspirer to, among others, Petrosian) was a proud man, not to say arrogant.

Once, after supper with some friends at a restaurant in Tbilisi, he saw a Russian client after saying goodbye, give a generous tip to the waiter. Archil Ebralidze did not want to be less. But as he couldn’t equate the Russian’s tip, he just took off his magnificent fur coat, and without thinking twice gave it to the waiter. (Many thanks to Elizbar Ubilava for sharing with me this anecdote.)


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About the author of this post, Antonio Gude

Antonio Gude
Educator, translator and writer of a huge number of books and prestigious chess magazines. Antonio is a worldwide reference in chess.

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