Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Mikhail Tal vs Evgeni Vasiukov
"A Hippo in the Marsh" (game of the day Nov-06-2006)
USSR Championship (1964/65), Kiev URS, rd 4, Dec-30
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Modern Variation Kasparov Attack (B17)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 14 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 12 more Tal/Vasiukov games
sac: 19.Nxg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can make these tips go away by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Simply check the option "Don't show random tips on game pages." and click the Update Profile button at the bottom.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-11-05  fgh: Impressive win by Tal. Well conducted attack as well as the endgame.
Nov-05-06  aw1988: But is the sacrifice sound?
Nov-05-06  Wild Bill: <aw1988>:

Quoth the Magician: <Some sacrifices are sound; the rest are mine.>

Nov-05-06  aw1988: Is it definitely unsound then?
Nov-06-06  makaveli52: im scared. I was just reading the life and game of mikhail tal, and ended on this game. Then i log on click on the game of the day and its the exact same game. The final position is set up on the board behind me. Freaky.
Nov-06-06  whatthefat: <ryanpd>
The nice follow up is:
<"And the following day, it was with pleasure that I read in the paper how Mikhail Tal, after carefully thinking over the position for 40 minutes, made an accurately-calculated piece sacrifice...">
Nov-06-06  Wild Bill: <aw1988: <Is it definitely unsound then?>>

No; in fact, this one may be sound.

Please keep in mind that Tal's writings are peppered with wit and impish humor. He's very entertaining.

His remark that I quote was just a flippant way of dismissing his critics who found flaws in his sacrifices after extensive analysis.

Tal took a very practical approach to the game and his tactics: if the move confounds one's opponent at the board, it is a good move. In the story Tal tells of his game with Vasiukov, recounted for us be ryanrp, Tal basically came to the conclusion that that he couldn't figure out all the variations, then neither could Vasiukov.

Objectively speaking, <19. Nxg7!> could not have won the game by itself. Black had not yet made a fatal mistake. Fritz, the freeware version (4.01) calls the position before the sacrifice equal; after <25. Kh1>, Fritz still calls the position level, but I am inclined to call it a slight advantage for White in that he has an extra pawn, but Black has the initiative.

Black makes a mistake on his 28th move (<28. -- hxg6>), when he does better with <28. -- Rxe1+ 29. Rxe1 hxg6 30. Kxh2 Bxc4 31. b3 Bg8>, which my silicon sidekick says is equal. After <28. -- hxg6 29. Bxfg+>, Fritz evaluates the position as .

Returning to <19. Nxg7>, the alternatives were <19. Bd3 Nf4 20. Nxf4 Bxf5 21. b4 e5> with equality and <19. Bxd5 exd5 20. b3 Rad8 21. Rxd5 Bb7 22. Rd2 Rfe8 23. Qd1>, which Fritz also calls equal (here I am inclined to agree).

Nov-06-06  Confuse: to understand the name given to this game, check out <ryanpd> comment on page 2

good stuff =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Moonlit> This particular Soviet final actually began in late 1964 and ended in 1965.

In his work, Tal's 100 Best Games, Bernard Cafferty remarked that on seeing Vasiukov play the Caro-Kann, Tal chose a line which required a great deal of experience to meet successfully, and that in the early middlegame Vasiukov's lack of feel for the opening soon showed, though I don't recall where Cafferty felt Black might have improved. (Obviously old age on my part-haven't looked at that book in many moons)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: In addition to the spectacular Knight sacrifice, this game is wonderful for its instructive technique in winning a Rook plus Bishops-of-Opposite-Color ending.
Nov-06-06  think: what is wrong with 19. ... Bxc4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: With so few pieces on the board,Tal manages to tie his opponent in knots. The rook is attacked,the bishop "pinned" and nothing can be done to stop white's pawn.
Nov-06-06  aw1988: <think> 19..Bxc4 20. Rc1!
Nov-06-06  Morphystyle: Shredder 8 gives 19. Bd3 as +.5 and its second choice is Tal's Nxg7 with -.09. The only real improvement after the sac for black would be 28...rxe1 (+.15) 29. Rxe1 hxg6 30. Kxh2 with Bxc4. This leads to a symetrical pawns structure with material equality with seems difficult to convert to a win. Awesome game.
Nov-06-06  dehanne: It's easy to get a hippo out of a marsh. Just put Wayne Newton at the shore and make him sing.
Nov-06-06  Andrew Chapman: < makaveli52: im scared >Yes, when we realise there is somebody out there who is able to arrange meaningful coincidences to get our attention for one reason or another, then we have reason to be afraid because for a start he must be a whole lot bigger than us. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom as the bible says. But the Saviour is kind and merciful thank God.
Nov-06-06  makaveli52: <Andrew Chapman> I pray that Tal is the savior
Nov-07-06  think: 19. ... Bxc4 20. Rc1 Bxe2 21. Rxc7 Bxc7 and black is up a rook. What am I missing?
Nov-07-06  Petrocephalon: think: perhaps 19..Bxc4 20.Qd2, threatening either Qh6 (or Rc1 or Nxe6).
Nov-07-06  Andrew Chapman: <I pray that Tal is the savior>The Saviour had to be without sin which would rule him out as also you and me.
Nov-08-06  aw1988: How does one drag a hippo out of the marsh?

And please, no religious topics...

Sep-07-07  PolishPentium: Your friendly neighbourhood PP would like to suggest 25... Bxc4. Does not Black then win at least the exchange? Failing that, then, it seems to this duffer that 26 ... Rxe4 would also be better than what was played over the board. Comments, anyone?
Mar-23-08  Billy Vaughan: <Andrew Chapman>I would think that an omnipotent, omniscient deity would have better things to do than choreograph everyday coincidences.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <PolishPentium: Your friendly neighbourhood PP would like to suggest 25... Bxc4. Does not Black then win at least the exchange? Failing that, then, it seems to this duffer that 26 ... Rxe4 would also be better than what was played over the board. Comments, anyone? >

Tal wrote that 25....Bxc4 fails to 26. Qg5, with the threats 27. Bxf6+ and 27. Rd7. If 26....Rxe4 27. Rd7 wins, says Tal.

Sep-20-08  pom nasayao: White's 57. Bg5 is very sly. Black may think o the immediate mate at his d8, but Tal has other tricks under his sleeve--the move f5.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
To Drag a Hippo from the Marsh
from Memento by Jaredfchess
Kibitzing has logistics of dragging hippo out of marsh
from T Players Tease Fredthebear by fredthebear
Kibitzing has logistics of dragging hippo out of marsh
from Special Games Part 6 by Brit
from 70d_middlegame SACS on g7 (of g2) by whiteshark
The famous Hippo sac, w a cool opp color Bishop+R endgame!
from Endgames by alligator
Saniyat24's favorite games
by Saniyat24
Game 30
from Move by Move - Tal (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
sharp combinational,trappish play by Tal-in the ending
from Gorney Park by kevin86
Ending: R+B -opp.col. (wonderful attacking wea
by Baby Hawk
from B17 (Karpov) by Chessdreamer
Caro-Cann, Hd7
from elixab's favorite games by elixab
52 games better than that other Tal game.
by ughaibu
remembering Tal
by Yopo
Clue #10
from Holiday Present Hunt Solutions: 2012 by Penguincw
from B17 (Karpov) by mneuwirth
from SeamusD's favorite games by SeamusD
The Hippo Game!
from paultopia's favorite games by paultopia
"Attack with Mikhail Tal," by Mikhail Tal and Iakov Damsky
from Published Games by Year and Unconfirmed Source 6 by fredthebear
Game collection: TAL
by thunderpaul

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2020, Chessgames Services LLC