Early Tal. Some Games And Rare, Historically Significant, Pictures.

Early Tal. Some Games And Rare, Historically Significant, Pictures.

| 40

Last time round I posted a picture of the back of Zagoriansky's head!! That reminded me of two rare and historically significant pictures I had been meaning to share - I have not seen them anywhere else.

With apologies for the disorganised and shambolic presentation - you guys know me - I look for one thing, find ten more along the way and end up with a big bag of goodies which I tip onto the table in front of you to help yourselves!!

A couple of months ago I downloaded a couple of incredible volumes.

What extraordinary work!! A mass of games, pictures, names and dates. One thing that caught my eye was a picture that I had never seen before, from what Tal described as his first significant adult tournament - the Riga Championship of 1950, where he finished on around 50%. Moscow's Zagoriansky was playing 'hors concors' as often happened in Soviet events back then.

It must be the earliest picture of Tal playing in a tournament, with the relevant historical significance.

The two players front of picture were pretty decent players - Darznieks taught the young Tal a big lesson in a beautiful game.

That was from the semi-finals of the tournament. Strangely we don't have any of his games from the final !?. 

I first studied Tal's early games with this collection - a four volume series of all his known competitive games. ( some more have come to light since it was published)

It is always fascinating - for me anyway - to study ALL the available games of the great players in their early days. You get a feel for their natural instincts, gifts, etc, which helps you to understand their decisions in later games.

With Tal you have to bear in mind that the Riga club had it's own chess school - lots of bits on it in the encyclopedia - and so he was quite well trained, and working hard on the openings - from a young age.

Recently Tibor Karolyi has done a nice three volume 'Best Games' collection. Excellent works.

It is interesting to compare his engine based analysis with the earlier work, and my own attempts to make sense of the games which always have that feel for Tal's chess instincts in the background. 

Enough nattering! A game from the semi-finals. His opponent must have been this young man.

Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers

The second nice picture find - again I have not seen it elsewhere - is from what Tal described as his first major success - the Latvian Championship of 1953.

Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers

It was taken after Black's move 23 in this game.

Indeed, Klavins could play. As alluded to above, if you want to understand a player then you shouldn't just study their best games - study their losses as well. Same as trying to improve - you can learn a lot from your defeats!

O.K. Some more early games and some pictures - just because I can!!

A bit of the Encyclopedia - you can input the game for yourselves!! Another Tal vs. Tal. wink

Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers

A bit of the young Tal being the Tal we all recognise.

And finally, the game of the young Tal that I have spent the most time on over the years. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about Tal in the process. A slightly strange, but rather wonderful, game. The loser was this man.

Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers
Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers

A small reward for anyone who has fought his way to the end of another of my little self - indulgencies.

I remember once giving a simultaneous exhibition, when a kibitzer - who hadn't taken part btw - tried to dive in and give us the benefit of his 'knowledge'. I offered to give him three moves in a row from the position on the board, with 10 minutes against my 5. He went away again!!

Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers