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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 186 times; par: 76 [what's this?]

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

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sac: 17...Be6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 52 OF 52 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: The problem is that Fischer quitted chess too soon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <maxi> I was around 13-14 when Bobby Fischer won the World Championship. I would probably not have gotten into chess (as much as I have) except for this event.

I think just about everyone wishes:
#1.) Bobby would have played more ...
#2.) That he would have never dropped out of chess.

Mar-26-14  Howard: Personally, I turned 12 during the time the match took place.

Still remember being in bed one evening with an upset stomach, and my late mother telling me that Fischer had just forfeited the second game of the match....and that some people were predicting he would probably just abandon the match and go back to the U.S.

Almost happened !

Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: I'm not saying the Steinmeyer Game was bad. I'm just not sure why it was "Memorable" in a way that other good games weren't. I'd rather have seen the other games that KP mentions, especially the Addison and/or Evans game. Fischer-Evans is a natural followup to Spassky-Fischer, and would have let Fischer tell us what lessons he drew from the 1960 game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Bobby's last chess contributions were when he wasn't even 30 years old. What a shame! Years ago, I was having an exchange here in CG (with chancho, I think), and I wrote a little story.

I was young at the time of the Spassky-Fischer match, and my father was still alive. He had never played chess, and didn't even know the rules, but since I mentioned often over dinner the World Championship match and the information was on all the newspapers, he knew who Bobby and Boris were.

When Bobby won my father astounded me by flatly stating that "Bobby wasn't going to play chess anymore". I said, "what do you mean, why do you say such an absurdity?", and he answered that all that Bobby ever wanted was to become chess champion of the world; nothing else.

In answer to my post chancho made the comment "your father must have been a wise man". I don't know if he was being sincere or sarcastic.

We know now that Bobby was not well in the head. The strain of playing chess was probably even more demanding on him than on a normal player. Probably he just couldn't cope any more.

Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: <We know now that Bobby was not well in the head.>

We don't really know it, we've just theorized it to the point that we accept it as fact. A lot of people with poor education and no social skills can do things we would regard as pretty outrageous without actually being ill.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Really <Petrosianic>? Bobby had an excellent practical education. He spoke several languages and had travelled the world over, the best possible education. His mom was a smart and educated woman. I am pretty sure that any psychiatrist, based on the many strange things he did after he became wch, would conclude he was not well in the head.
Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: He'd probably strongly suspect it, but a real psychiatrist would diagnose a patient he hadn't examined. Fischer had some good practical experience, but social skills were never his strong suit. He had a smart mother, but rebelled against her. (She was a Jewish Communist, so he became strongly anti-both).

To be fair to Bobby, she does seem to have been a little on the domineering side. On a scale of 1-10, with Pollyanna as a 1, and any Verna Felton character as a 10, Regina was probably about a 7. But these days <everybody> has an illness that absolves them from any responsibility for what they do. It's a sign of the times. (Kramnik probably suffers from Early Draw Syndrome).

If Fischer wsa ill, when have you decided that he was ill by? 1960? 65? 70? 75?

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <LIFE Master AJ> Well, we guys from that time wished the two things you said, AND that Yoko Ono and John had never met...
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <Petrosianic> Of course, there are many great Fischer games, filled with particular fascinating details. It's just that I always found the Steinmeyer to be interesting.

I hesitate to give you a year, not being a psychiatrist, but, from the press releases of the time that I remember, Bobby's mental health must have deteriorated rather fast after 1972.

Yes, possibly Kramink suffers from EDS. Or perhaps from PDS, (Premature Draw Symptom).

Mar-26-14  diceman: <maxi:
Yes, possibly Kramink suffers from EDS. Or perhaps from

PDS, (Premature Draw Symptom).>

I thought that was Leko?

Apr-11-14  Rookiepawn: Just my one cent: I wouldn't really call Black's move 17 a sac, since it is in fact a forced path to material gain. After move 25 Black has RBBP for the Q, and a crushing position, and I think it's all forced.

This doesn't make it less bold and brillant.

Apr-11-14  Petrosianic: You're right, it should not properly be called a "sacrifice". As you say, it gains material, and even gives Black a forced perpetual check, if he wants it.

But some people tend to use the word "sacrifice" any time you give up a queen and don't get the other guy's queen. It's not strictly correct, but I understand the usage.

Apr-12-14  Rookiepawn: <Petrosianic> Very true, and of course it is OK by me to call it a "sac".

The other sacs, the ones in wich material is not forcedly recovered, we can easily recognize them because someone, after hours of analysis and steaming engines, finds a hidden salvation move for the loser. Then the sac is called "unsound"... and controversy starts!

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: What a beautiful thing this game is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunamisvpm: 15.bxf8 bxf8. White has 3 candidate moves for his Q. 16.Qa4, 16.Qb3, 16.Qc1. If 16.Qa4 white loses a tempo with 16...Nxc3 followed by the threat 17...Re8+ etc
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunamisvpm: I think, generally, the reply of black whenever white captures the rook by 15.Bxf8 shall be chronologically 15...Bxf8 followed by 16...Nxc3. Well, I really dunno. Unless someone shows another bright way. GOD bless everyone
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunamisvpm: In this game, you will learn more on tactics but no so much about strategy
Premium Chessgames Member
  dunamisvpm: Bobby Fischer really lives until now through his games. Imagine, this game, time and again has been of interest to many chess players of all caliber. Try to check the kibitzing dates. Like me, I was thinking of what game to review, I thought of so many great players, but finally I said,I will search a game of Bobby Fischer. His playing style had been and still is the "Gold standard" of chess. GOD bless again and have fun!
Sep-09-14  pawnny: hello everybody,
I don't understand why white king had to go 35.Kg1 and expose himself to check? and why did he continue to 36. Kf1 instead of coming back to Kh2?
Sep-09-14  todicav23: <pawnny: hello everybody,
I don't understand why white king had to go 35.Kg1 and expose himself to check? and why did he continue to 36. Kf1 instead of coming back to Kh2?>
If the king will go back to h2 black will be able to repeat the position achieving a draw.
Sep-09-14  todicav23: I can't believe Bobby lost the queen in only 18 moves.
Sep-09-14  Petrosianic: <todicav23>: <I can't believe Bobby lost the queen in only 18 moves.>

Why not? Did you think there was some kind of rule saying you couldn't sac your queen before Move 20 or something? Believe it or not, they've come even earlier in a game than that.

Oct-02-14  GarloPemberton: if 12.Nxa4 Nxe4 13.Qb4 Nxg5 (and black is up a pawn) if white continues with 14.Nxg5 Bxd1 15.Kxd1 Qxd4+ 16.Qxd4 Bxd4 and white must lose further material
Oct-02-14  GarloPemberton: Bobby Fischer was a baller.
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