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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 213 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 54 OF 54 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-16-15  nilanjanasm: 36 Kf1. Bad move by Byrne. He could play Kh2 still. Extremely bad
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <nilanjanasm> On 36.Kh2, Bd6 wins.
Aug-18-15  nilanjanasm: There wouldn't be a forced mate, and Byrne would have lost after more moves. But I agree that bd6 will win
Sep-09-15  The Kings Domain: Brilliant game, and considering Fischer's age, doubly so. This elevated him to the rank of Morphy, Capablanca, and Alekhine. Fischer was the last of the Chess romantics, when a player could evoke awe and inspiration through his play. After him, Chess declined to the level of soulless and the mundane in contrast.
Nov-13-15  dimos40: Game analysis with Rybka 2
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 0-0 5. Bf4 d5 6. Qb3 dxc4 7. Qxc4 c6 8. e4 Nbd7 9. Rd1 Nb6 10. Qc5 Bg4 11. Bg5?(11 Be2 Nh5 12 Bc1 Nd7 13 Qa3 15 14 o-o b5 15 Qb3 b4 16 Na4 e5 17 Be3 Nf4 0.24)Na4!(-0.75) 12. Qa3 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Nxe4 14. Bxe7 Qb6 15. Bc4(15 Bf8? Bf8 16 Qb3 Qb3 17 ab3 Re8 18 Ra1 Bf3 19 gf3 Ng3 20 Be2 Nh1 21 Ra7 b5 -1.62)Nxc3 16. Bc5 Rfe8+ 17. Kf1 Be6!(-1.15)18. Bxb6?(18 Qc3 Qc5 19 dc5 Bc3 20 Be6 Re6 21 g3 Bb4 22 Rd7 Bc5 23 Rb7 Rae8 24 Rb2 Kg7 -1.19)Bxc4+ 19. Kg1 Ne2+(-4.47)20. Kf1 Nxd4+ 21. Kg1 Ne2+ 22. Kf1 Nc3+ 23. Kg1 axb6 24. Qb4 Ra4(-4.48)25. Qxb6 Nxd1 26. h3 Rxa2 27. Kh2 Nxf2 28. Re1 Rxe1 29. Qd8+ Bf8 30. Nxe1 Bd5 31. Nf3 Ne4 32. Qb8 b5 33. h4 h5 34. Ne5 Kg7 35. Kg1 Bc5+36. Kf1 Ng3+ 37. Ke1 Bb4+ 38. Kd1 Bb3+ 39. Kc1 Ne2+ 40. Kb1 Nc3+ 41. Kc1 Rc2# Byrne's last hope was not to accept the Queen sacrifice.
Jan-05-16  Joker2048: This is the most beautiful game & sacrificing I'v ever seen.. I'm from persia I'm not american or russia...!!!
But I really don't think that any one can think and play like boby fischer & kasparov ... I believe that the place of these players are untuchable... God bless the boby
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <The Kings Domain> - < Fischer was the last of the Chess romantics, when a player could evoke awe and inspiration through his play. After him, Chess declined to the level of soulless and the mundane in contrast.>

This is a very brilliant and beautiful game, no doubt about that. But if you spend some time exploring the database you will find hundreds of brilliant games. The notion that chess has declined since the 1950s is so wrong that it's laughable.

Jan-09-16  thegoodanarchist: <Petrosianic:

...(Although since a King is worth infinite material>

This statement got me thinking - should we describe the King as being worth "infinite" material in a game with a finite board?

And if the answer is no, because it seems incongruous to do so, then what should be the value of the King?

If the King is checkmated, the game is lost, so surely the King is worth at least 1 more unit then the entire army put together, because we would surely sacrifice our entire army if it could guarantee that we avoid checkmate.

Using standard scoring of Q = 9 points, R = 5 points, B or N = 3 points, and P = 1 point, the entire army is valued at 39 points.

Therefore the King must be worth at least 40 points.

But say that we sacrifice our entire army to wipe out the opposing army. Then we are left with bare kings on the board and the game is drawn. Or, we may be left with K + P vs. K, in which case we have lost 39 points and our opponent has retained 1 point of material, and so we are 40 points to the bad, yet the position might be a draw anyway.

What is the minimum material point count that will guarantee a win? Of course it depends on the make up of the material. A "wrong colored" Bishop plus doubled rook pawns [5 points] is insufficient material to force a win, but 5 points in the form of a rook is sufficient.

I think the most rook pawns you can have, theoretically, is 5. Add in the wrong colored Bishop gives 8 points. So if we have 9 points of material versus a lone king we have sufficient material that the position should be theoretically won. Adding 9 points to the value of our army, 39, gives 48 points.

Perhaps the King should be valued at 48 points?

Jan-09-16  Petrosianic: When people ask what a King is "worth", what they really mean is how valuable is it as a piece? In other words, if we were playing a game of Fairy Chess, which had a piece with the same moving ability as a king, but no royal powers (losing it didn't mean the loss of the game), how much would <that> hypothetical piece be worth?

A piece like that might be even more useful than a King because you couldn't chase it around with checks. A piece like that would be more valuable in an endgame. I think I would probably willingly give up a Bishop or Knight for it, but not a Rook. It would probably be worth 3.5 to 4 points.

Now, here's a question. Could you force Checkmate with this piece and a King against a lone King? I'm not sure without trying it out, but if no, then it's definitely worth less than a Rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <thegoodanarchist> In the 1980s, I had a chess engine (Psion Chess) which ranked the pieces in the usual way (1pt for a pawn, 3 for B/N, etc), but which gave the King a value of 100 points.

While this was obviously greater than the combined value of other pieces at the start of the game, it was not greater than the possible material balance taking extra (promoted) Queens into account.

I used to amuse myself by trying to construct positions where one side had an advantage of more than 100 points. This was not a trivial task - if the comp saw a forced mate it was automatically evaluated at +100. The trick was to add Queens without allowing mate.

Jan-09-16  thegoodanarchist: < Petrosianic>

I remember reading a chess book long ago in which the author said that, in the end game, the king was a fairly strong piece - almost as strong as a rook. But I don't recall the book. Your hypothetical non-king king estimate is probably about right.

What would you call it? I propose "Dauphin".

<Domdaniel> how strong was that engine (Psion Chess)? Maybe USCF Class A? That would be my guess, for an engine of that era.

Jan-09-16  zanzibar: RE: Value of the king in the endgame.

I usually give it a value of 4, can't quite remember where I got this from - but it was mentioned in a study showing the king stopping three connected passed pawns single-handedly. That made the value of 4 very reasonable to me.

Jan-10-16  ndg2: The "fighting value" of a king (apart from its significance as checkmate target) is around 3 to 3.5 points. This means whoever has a king in the endgame nearer to the "focus of interest" has a clear advantage in most cases. It's amazing how many players (even tactically strong ones) do NOT activate the king properly in the endgame.
Jan-10-16  zanzibar: OK, I reread some of the posts more carefully, and <Petrosianic>'s question is a good one...

Can a non-royal-K + K force mate against lone K?

<tga>'s name is also quite good, "Dauphin". Trouble is, there's already a name in general use - <Mann>.

(Unfortunately, wiki is lacking a dedicated page on that particular piece, it has other fairy pieces, but not that one.

It might also be called a sage, and is denoted by an upside-down king

I couldn't find any easy ref for whether or not the Mann can force mate, but the just mentioned link has this:

< the Mann was a new ‘sufficient mating force’ worth 3-4 pawns >

* * * * *

As far as the "fighting value" of the king -

lists many sources, probably including the one I can't remember. Most say that the king's value is 4:

Value = 4 ( Lasker(34,47), Evans, used by computer(?) )

Other values are 2.2(Serratt) and 3(Gik).

Jan-16-16  yurikvelo: <nilanjanasm> <36 Kf1. Bad move by Byrne. He could play Kh2 still. Extremely bad>

Kh2 is only 3 moves longer to get mated

-#8: 36.Kh2 Nd2 37.Kh1 Ra1+ 38.Kh2 Nf1+
-#5: 36.Kf1 Rf2+ 37.Ke1 Bb4+ 38.Kd1 Bb3+

More here:

Jan-25-16  mruknowwho: What if Byrne would have tried to lessen his early queen weakness by playing 9.Na4? (9...b5? 10.Qxc6).
Jan-25-16  andrewjsacks: Game of the year.
Feb-02-16  thegoodanarchist: The kid played the GOTC with a freakin' buzz cut. Go figure.
Feb-02-16  thegoodanarchist: < zanzibar:...

<tga>'s name is also quite good, "Dauphin". Trouble is, there's already a name in general use - <Mann>.>

<z'ounds> Not happy to learn that, <zanz>

Keep up the good info, anyway

Feb-02-16  thegoodanarchist: You are at the beginning of making a reputation for yourself as a font of knowledge, <zanz>
Apr-29-16  EssChess: Probably already mentioned in the 54 previous pages, but what's wrong with white playing 16. Qxc3
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <EssChess: Probably already mentioned in the 54 previous pages, but what's wrong with white playing 16. Qxc3>

16....Rfe8 wins the piece back and Black is up a pawn with a better position. Plus that move would have denied the world 17....Be6!!.

May-25-16  castleguy12: People today are materialistic and focus on pawn structure , weaknesses and etc. ..... "Checkmate ends it all"
(Nigel Short)
Jun-10-16  novice888: Impressive game of the "Profoundest student of Chess who ever lived!", The Great late GM Bobby Fischer - worth emulating of the younger generation of chesspayers who is serious enough in learning and mastering the game of Chess!!!
Jun-28-16  Allanur: hakykatdanam asyryń ożuny. Belkäm taryhdaky iń gowy ożundyr. Wesżolin Topalow we Garri Kasparowyń ożuny hem mynasyp żerini alypdyr, olam gowy ożun żöne bu has gowy.

(really the game of the century. may even be the game of the history. Game of Veselin Topalov and Garry Kasparow too took the place it deserved, that too is a good game but this one is betyer.)

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