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This is only really to be played against a higher rated opponent who wants the win against you or if you are happy with a draw because your opponent can draw immidiately with Ke8 after Be6+. If black doesn't want the draw then the queen sacrifice gives white 2 pieces and a bind for compensation. Black's exposed king also helps white get a lot of active piece play.
Interesting. Perhaps Black is a tad better after 5...e6 6.Nc3 a6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Ngxe4 Nd5!?.
2...e6 was originally thought to be best, but now Tal's 2...d5! is the main move.
Funnily enough, Chess.com's David Pruess has some experience here:
8...Kc7 9.Bxg4 Qe8 is regarded as close to a refutation. The position is quite murky, though.
When was 2....e6 considered strongest? The only time I ever faced 2.f4 I played 2....Nc6, which was thought best so far as I knew, according to theory at the time of that game (1978), and looked logical to me.
If I am correct when I say that Tal's adoption of 2...d5 made it popular, then your comment makes sense, becuase he didn't play this until 1979:
Although Tal's game played in 1964 did not have the Tal Gambit in its purest form.