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Donald Byrne vs Robert James Fischer
"The Game of the Century" (game of the day Mar-09-13)
Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956)  ·  Gruenfeld Defense: Three Knights Variation. Hungarian Attack (D92)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 218 times; par: 76 [what's this?]

Annotations by Robert Wade.      [1 more game annotated by Wade]

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Donald Byrne vs Robert James Fischer (1956)
Cover of Chess Review, December 1956.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 55 OF 55 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I think Fischer would have played 11....Nfd7. That was the Smyslov recipe that was popular at that time.
Jun-30-16  RandomVisitor: A deeper look, after the improvement 11.Be2:

click for larger view


<+0.14/39 11...e5 12.dxe5 Nfd7 13.Qa3 Re8 14.0-0> Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Qe7 16.Qxe7 Rxe7 17.Be2 Nxe5 18.Bg5 Ree8 19.f3 f5 20.exf5 Nf7 21.f6 Nxg5 22.fxg7 Kxg7 23.Rfe1 Nf7 24.Kf2 Re7 25.Bf1 Rae8 26.Ne4 Nd5 27.Bc4 Nf6 28.Bxf7 Nxe4+ 29.Rxe4 Kxf7 30.Rxe7+ Rxe7 31.Rd6 Rc7 32.Ke3 Ke7 33.Rd4 Kf6 34.Rf4+ Kg7 35.Re4 Rd7

+0.21/39 11...Nfd7 12.Qa3 Re8 13.e5 Nf8 14.Be3 Be6 15.Ng5 Bc4 16.Bxc4 Nxc4 17.Qb3 b5 18.0-0 Rc8 19.Nce4 Qd5 20.h3 Red8 21.Qc2 f6 22.Nf3 Nxe3 23.fxe3 f5 24.Nc3 Qc4 25.b3 Qf7 26.Rc1 Bh6 27.Qd3 Ne6 28.Ne2 Nc7 29.Rxc6 Qe8 30.Rc5 Nd5 31.e4 Ne3

+0.22/39 11...Bxf3 12.Bxf3 e5 13.dxe5 Nfd7 14.Qa3 Re8 15.Be2 Qc7 16.g3 Bxe5 17.Bxe5 Qxe5 18.f3 a5 19.Kf2 Rad8 20.Rd2 Qc5+ 21.Qxc5 Nxc5 22.Rhd1 Rxd2 23.Rxd2 Re7 24.a3 Nb3 25.Rd3 Nc1 26.Rd4 Nb3 27.Rd8+ Kg7 28.f4 f6 29.Ke3 Nc5 30.Rd4 Nb3 31.Rd6 Kf7 32.Kf3 Kg7 33.Rd8 Rd7 34.Rxd7+ Nxd7 35.Ke3 Ndc5

Jun-30-16  RandomVisitor: After 11.Be2 e5, white seems to have nothing better than 12.dxe5.

Other choices:

click for larger view


+0.05/30 12.Nxe5 Bxe2 13.Kxe2 Re8 14.Bg5 h6 15.Be3 a5 16.Qa3 a4 17.f3 Bf8 18.b4 Nfd7 19.Nd3 Nc4 20.Qc1 Nxe3 21.Kxe3 Bg7 22.Ne2 Nf8 23.Ndf4 Qh4 24.g3 Qe7 25.Kf2 Qxb4 26.Rhe1 Rad8 27.Kg2 Qe7 28.Qc4 Qa3 29.e5 Ne6 30.Nxe6

0.00/30 12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.Qa3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 exd4 15.Rxd4 h6 16.Bc1 Qc7 17.0-0 Rfe8 18.Rdd1 a5 19.Qa4 Rad8 20.Qc2 Nc5 21.Be3 Qe7 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.h3 Nfd7 24.Rd1 Ne6 25.Be2 Ndc5 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.Na4 Nxa4 28.Qxa4 b5 29.Qc2 Nd4 30.Bxd4

-0.09/30 12.Bxe5 Nfd7 13.Qa3 Bxf3 14.Bxg7 Bxe2 15.Bxf8 Bxd1 16.Be7 Qe8 17.Kxd1 Nc4 18.Qb3 Nxb2+ 19.Qxb2 Qxe7 20.Qxb7 Rb8 21.Qxa7 Rb4 22.Re1 Qf6 23.Re2 Rxd4+ 24.Rd2 Rxd2+ 25.Kxd2 Qd6+ 26.Ke1 Nc5 27.Ne2 Nxe4 28.Qd4 Qe7 29.f3 Nc5 30.Qc3 Ne6 31.Qxc6 Qb4+ 32.Qc3 Qh4+ 33.g3 Qxh2 34.a4 h5

Jul-03-16  RandomVisitor: A deeper look at 11.Be2 e5!? shows that white can try 12.Nxe5. Perhaps 11...Nfd7 is afterall, the better response to the "century avoiding" 11.Be2.

click for larger view


<+0.30/35 12.Nxe5 Bxe2 13.Kxe2 Re8> 14.Bg5 h6 15.Be3 a5 16.Qa3 a4 17.f3 Bf8 18.b4 Nfd7 19.Nd3 Nc4 20.Qc1 Nxe3 21.Kxe3 Nb6 22.Ne2 Qf6 23.e5 Qe6 24.Qb1 Nd5+ 25.Kf2 Qd7 26.Nc5 Qe7 27.a3 h5 28.Ne4 Bh6 29.g3 f5 30.N4c3 Ne3 31.Rd3 Nc4 32.f4 b5 33.Qa2

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: 11.Be2 would have been more prudent..LOL got to laugh, every beginner KNOWS develop your pieces, then castle before you move a piece twice..I understand the Fischer queen sac in this game is extraordinary, but come one, a top flight GM making this blunder?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Joshka> Wrong brother: Donald was an international calibre player, but never made GM.

It is most interesting though that both brothers were on the receiving end of a combinative tour de force from the great man.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: alright not a GM, but he should have known better. Develop your pieces, castle.......Game of century becomes nonexistent.
Jul-04-16  RandomVisitor: A final look at 11.Be2 e5!? suggests that Fischer likely had better options

click for larger view


<+0.37/38 12.Nxe5 Bxe2 13.Kxe2 Re8> 14.Bg5 h6 15.Be3 a5 16.Qa3 a4 17.f3 Bf8 18.b4 Nfd7 19.Nd3 Nc4 20.Qc1 Nxe3 21.Kxe3 f5 22.h4 Qb6 23.Nc5 Rad8 24.a3 Nxc5 25.dxc5 Qc7 26.Kf2 Bg7 27.h5 g5 28.exf5 Bd4+ 29.Rxd4 Rxd4 30.Ne4 Rdxe4 31.fxe4 Rxe4 32.Re1 Qf4+ 33.Qxf4 Rxf4+ 34.Ke2 Rxf5 35.Rd1 Rf7 36.Rd6 Kg7 37.Re6 Rf5 38.Kd3

Jul-17-16  kishore4u: The game of the century
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Just think: if Bob had trademarked that phrase "the game of the century" it might have resulted in a lot of easy money for him. He could have ended up being a happy, satisfied USA taxpayer, would not have fled to Japan, would have listened to doctors here and would still be alive?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <HeMateMe: Just think: if Bob had trademarked that phrase "the game of the century" it might have resulted in a lot of easy money for him.>

Perhaps <kishore4> could copyright it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi,

A couple of pages back one lad was asking about the above picture taken from the cover of the December 1956 'Chess Review'.

Edward Winter mentions this cover in one of his Chess Notes.

Next to the picture on the cover under the title 'Game of the Century' is (see page 370).

This is a typo. Page 370 of the December 1956 Chess Review is not the Donald Byrne v Fischer game (that is on page 374) but is infact this one: Smyslov vs Pachman, 1956

OK a typo is human and is forgiven but the game the reader is misguided too thinking they are going to see 'The Game of Century' could in some quarters actually be 'The Game of the Century'. (maybe the move of the century...see Smyslov's 11th move.)

click for larger view

White to play. And if you do get move 11. What is move 12.

In the above Edward Winter link he gives Purdy writing up the Smyslov - Pachman game in the June 1957 'Chess World' calling it 'The Game of the Century' based on the (page 307) misprint.

It appears Mr Winter thinks this is a Purdy error, I'm inclined to think it was a joke based on the misprint. But maybe not.

This is the position after 15 moves in the Smyslov - Pachman game.

click for larger view

No misprint there. The Kings are on f3 and f6. Check out the game.

Aug-01-16  pabloin: Byrne - Fischer 0-1: Twice
"The Game of the Century" 1956
"The Brilliancy Prize" 1964
┐Poor R. Byrne or It is some kind of honor... ?
Aug-25-16  mikechess: Could someone explain what would be wrong with white 17.He5?
Aug-25-16  Petrosianic: <Could someone explain what would be wrong with white 17.He5?>

Helicopters don't move that way.

Aug-25-16  mikechess: Sorry, Of course I meant 17.Ne5
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: 17...Bxe5 looks promising to me
Premium Chessgames Member
  steinitzfan: I'll have a look at this with Fritz later this evening. I can't say as I ever knew exactly when White was lost in this game. I remember reading (in the distant past) that there were ways for Byrne to parry the combination if he'd just seen it. Of course, but how far back though? It'll be interesting to look into it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < mikechess: Could someone explain what would be wrong with white 17.Ne5 ? >

Well, here are some examples...

17. Ne5 Bxe5 <18.O-O> Qc7 19. dxe5 Nxd1 20. h3 Qxe5 21. hxg4 Red8 and black has Rook, knight, and two pawns vs. white's 2 bishops.

If instead white takes the Q after 17. Ne5 Bxe5 <18.Bxb6> Bd6+ 19. Kd2 Ne4+ 20. Kc2 Bxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Bxa3 and black is up a clear rook and pawn.

If white recaptures the bishop with 17. Ne5 Bxe5 <18.dxe5> Rxe5+ 19. Kf1 Rxc5 20. Qxc3 Bxd1 21. h3 Re8 22. Kg1 Be2 23. Kh2 Rxc4 and white is down a rook and bishop.

Oct-17-16  todicav23: The Game of the Century was played exactly 60 years ago.
Nov-06-16  Tal1949: Grabbing the queen (18. Bxb6) was certainly a disaster. The flood gates opened after that. 18. Qxc3 was still a loss but the position would not have looked so embarrassing.

Great finish by the young Bobby. Every black piece/pawn is defended and he controls every square. Wow!

Nov-12-16  MariusDaniel: Great game!Both players played real smart moves
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Seems like a taleted kid this Fischer guy. I wonder what became of him...
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: he came back, as a politician.
Dec-01-16  MariusDaniel: This chess game is a rare gem!
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