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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Petty Larseny" (game of the day Jan-02-2013)
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 8, Aug-16
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Main Line (B77)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 206 times; par: 45 [what's this?]

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sac: 22.Rxh5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 <Larsen was one of the diehards who refused to abandon the Dragon until recently. White's attack almost plays itself ... weak players even beat Grandmasters with it. I once thumbed through several issues of "Shakhmatny Bulletin," when the Yugoslav Attack was making its debut, and found the ratio was something like nine wins out of ten in White's favor. Will Black succeed in reinforcing the variation? Time will tell.> 6. Be3 Bg7 <6 ... Ng4? still loses to 7. Bb5+.> 7. f3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 <This refinement supersedes the old 0-0-0. The idea is to prevent ... d5.> Nxd4 <Just how Black can attempt to thread his way to equality is not clear. Interesting is Donald Byrne's 9 ... a5. The strongest reply is 10. g4 and if 10 ... Ne5 11. Be2 d5? 12. g5! wins a Pawn.> 10. Bxd4 Be6 11. Bb3 Qa5 12. 0-0-0 b5 <After 12 ... Bxb3 13. cxb3! Black cannot make any attacking headway against this particular Pawn configuration. White is lost in the King and Pawn ending, it's true, but Black usually gets mated long before then. As Tarrasch put it: "Before the endgame the gods have placed the middle game."> 13. Kb1 b4 14. Nd5 <Weaker is 14. Ne2 Bxb3 15. cxb3 Rfd8.> Bxd5 <Bad judgment is 14 ... Nxd5? 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. exd5 Bd7 17. Rde1 with a crushing bind (Suetin-Korchnoi, USSR Championship prelims 1953).> 15. Bxd5 <Stronger is 15. exd5! Qb5 16. Rhe1 a5 17. Qe2! Tal vs Larsen, 1959 where White abandons the attack and plays for pressure along the e-file instead.> Rac8? <The losing move. After the game Larsen explained he was playing for a win, and therefore rejected the forced draw with 15 ... Nxd5 16. Bxg7 Nc3+ 17. bxc3 (17. Bxc3 bxc3 18. Qxc3 Qxc3 19. bxc3 Rfc8 renders White's extra Pawn useless) Rab8! 18. cxb4 Qxb4+! 19. Qxb4 Rxb4+ 20. Bb2 Rfb8, etc. After 15 ... Nxd5, however, I intended simply 16. exd5 Qxd5 17. Qxb4, keeping the game alive.> 16. Bb3! <He won't get a second chance to snap off the Bishop! Now I felt the game was in the bag if I didn't botch it. I'd won dozens of skittles games in analogous positions and had it down to a science: pry open the h-file, sac, sac ... mate!> Rc7 <This loss of time is unfortunately necessary if Black is ever to advance his a-Pawn. 16 ... Qb5? is refuted by 17. Bxa7.> 17. h4 Qb5 <There's no satisfactory way to impede White's attack. If 17 ... h5 18. g4! hxg4 (18 ... Rfc8 19. Rdg1 hxg4 20. h5! gxh5 21. fxg4 Nxe4 22. Qf4 e5 23. Qxe4 exd4 24. gxh5 Kh8 25. h6 Bf6 26. Rg7! wins) 19. h5! gxh5 (on 19 ... Nxh5 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. fxg4 Nf6 22. Qh6+ mates) 20. fxg4 Nxe4 (on 20 ... hxg4 21. Rdg1 e5 22. Be3 Rd8 23. Bh6, or 20 ... Nxg4 21. Rdg1 Bxd4 22. Rxg4+! hxg4 23. Qh6 leads to mate) 21. Qe3 Nf6 (21 ... Bxd4 22. Qxe4 Bg7 23. Rxh5) 22. gxh5 e5 23. h6 wins. Now Black is threatening to get some counterplay with ... a5-a4.>

Bobby Fischer, "MSMG"

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 18. h5! <There's no need to lose a tempo with the old-fashioned g4.> Rfc8 <On 18 ... gxh5 19. g4! hxg4 20. fxg4! Nxe4 21. Qh2 Ng5 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Rd5 Rc5 24. Qh6+ Kg8 25. Rxg5+ Rxg5 26. Qxh7#.> 19. hxg6 hxg6 20. g4 <Not the impatient 20. Bxf6? Bxf6 21. Qh6 e6! (threatening ... Qe5) and Black holds everything.> a5 <Now Black needs just one more move to get his counterattack moving. But for want of a nail the battle was lost ...> 21. g5 Nh5 <Vasiukov suggests 21 ... Ne8 as a possible defense (not 21 ... a4? 22. gxf6 axb3 23. fxg7! bxc2+ 24. Qxc2! e5 25. Qh2 wins), but White crashes through with 22. Bxg7 Nxg7 (22 ... Kxg7? 23. Qh2) 23. Rh6! e6 (if 23 ... a4 24. Qh2 Nh5 25. Rxg6+) 24. Qh2 Nh5 25. Bxe6! fxe6 (if 25 ... Qxg5 26. Rxg6+! Qxg6 27. Bxc8, threatening Rg1) 26. Rxg6+ Ng7 27. Rh1 etc.> 22. Rxh5! <Fine wrote: "In such positions, combinations are as natural as a baby's smile."> gxh5 <No better is 22 ... Bxd4 23. Qxd4 gxh5 24. g6 Qe5 (if 24 ... e6 25. Qxd6) 25. gxf7+ Kh7 (if 25 ... Kf8 26. Qxe5 dxe5 27. Rg1 e6 28. Bxe6 Ke7 29. Bxc8 Rxc8 30. Rg5 wins) 26. Qd3! (intending f4) should be decisive.> 23. g6 e5 <On 23 ... e6 24. gxf7+ Kxf7 (if 24 ... Rxf7 25. Bxe6) 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. Rg1+ Kh7 27. Qg2 Qe5 28. Qg6+ Kh8 29. Rg5 Rg7 30. Rxh5+ Kg8 31. Bxe6+ Kf8 32. Rf5+ Ke7 33. Rf7+ wins.> 24. gxf7+ Kf8 25. Be3 d5! <A desperate bid for freedom. On 25 ... a4 (if 25 ... Rd8 26. Bh6) 26. Qxd6+ Re7 27. Qd8+! Rxd8 28. Rxd8+ Re8 29. Bc5+ mates.> 26. exd5! <Not 26. Bxd5 Rxc2!> Rxf7 <On 26 ... a4 27. d6! axb3 28. dxc7 wins.> 27. d6 Rf6 <On 27 ... Rd7 White can either regain the exchange with 28. Be6 or try for more with 28. Bh6. And on 27 ... Rxf3 28. d7 threatening Qd6#.> 28. Bg5 Qb7 <Or 28 ... Qd7 29. Qd5! Qf7 (if 29 ... Rf7 30. Be7+!) 30. Bxf6 wins material.> 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. d7 Rd8 31. Qd6+ <A mistake! 31. Qh6+! forces mate in three.> Black resigns.

Bobby Fischer, "MSMG"

The note to 23. g6 e5 states "29 R-N5, R-N2" which must be 29 ... Rg7 and not 29 ... Rb7 which loses the Queen outright to 30. Rxh5+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: So is there some reason why copywrighted material is being published without permission?
Oct-04-07  Shams: <rookfile> because it's absurd that chessplayers who want this information should have to pay three figures to get it.

tell me who is harmed, specifically in this instance. I'll give you a hint, the answer is neither publisher nor author...

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Every author is hurt when copyrighted material is used without permission. And just because you haven't looked around hard enough to pay for the book doesn't mean it's time to violate copyright rules.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Anyone need a copyright attorney?

Tech Draw, Copyright Attorney, LLD, CPA, and Yankees Scout.

Oct-05-07  Shams: <Every author is hurt when copyrighted material is used without permission. And just because you haven't looked around hard enough to pay for the book doesn't mean it's time to violate copyright rules.>

I said <in this specific instance>. All the copies of MSMG that will ever exist are already floating around. It's hard to sympathize with Fischer's ideas about the publishing industry; he has only himself to blame by not reprinting it. I suppose it's possible that someone could not buy a used copy of MSMG because they can pick it up piecemeal on chess forums, but that would only impact the used market.

Besides, I work at a bookstore and I got a 2nd printing paperback in good shape for $3.00.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: So, when you said 3 figures, you meant 3 dollars. It's all clear now.
Oct-05-07  Shams: your mistake was assuming I was talking about myself, the first time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Two things shams: the first quote at your link is $52.49, which is not the three figures you mistakenly listed. Second: any natural reading of your first post would indicate that nobody, including yourself, could get it for less than $100.

Try to be more accurate next time.

Oct-05-07  Shams: your smug prickery is matched only by your pedantry.
Oct-06-07  gambitfan: <PARACONT1: Why not 31.Qh6? It seems to lead to checkmate faster.>

You might be right !

I did the "Guess The Move" Test, and I played 31 Qh6 as you suggest...

I received 3 marks for this move, as if I had guessed the "right move...

Nov-08-07  sallom89: genius .. :O
May-06-08  Octal: I wonder what would have happened if Larsen played 9. ... Bd7, and conformed to the normal Dragon we use today.
May-06-08  hrvyklly: <Octal> Well, Fischer played 10.h4 in two games played before this one: Fischer vs T Weinberger, 1957 and Fischer vs H Matthai, 1956
May-06-08  hrvyklly: <gambitfan: <PARACONT1: Why not 31.Qh6? It seems to lead to checkmate faster.> You might be right !> Fischer said in MSMG that 31.Qd6+ was "a mistake", and that 31.Qh6+ forces mate in three.
May-27-08  Atking: Agree with the first part of your opinion <nikolajewitsch> but not the one <Secondly, at least my Fritz can not find the line he gives, so it is probably not just Fritz' work but the result of analysis by engines AND himself, which makes sense because this combination delivers the best results.> Kasparov works with GMs (Fischer who was almost alone) and more important we are finaly not sure that (As suggested by Kasparov)White is bad here. The ending I got from the suggested moves are like a bit better for White and probably equal. For if 24...Rc4! 25.gxf7+ Kxf7 26.Rg1 a4 27.Qg7+ Ke6 (27...Ke8?! 28.e5! axBb3 29.exd6 bxc2+ 30.Kc1 R8c7 31.Re1 Kd8 32.dx7+ Rxe7 33.Qxe7+ Kc8 34.Re5 Qb6 35.Rg5 Black pawns h5 and c2 should fall. White is better) 28.Rg5 Qa6 29.Rxh5! Kd7 30.Qg4+ e6 31.Qg7+ Kc6 32.BxRc4 QxBc4 33.Rh1 (Rd1~Rd3 or Rc1~Qg1~Qe3)White regroups hese pieces and keep his pawn up! Indeed Fischer's line could be judge a bit light For a top player like Kasparov (We should not forget that "My 60 memorable games" are for amateurs too) but its evaluation seems correct PS: I think Kasparov found himself 24...Rc4!! This is a kind of move he uses to play in a real game.
Jul-26-08  Jason Frost: Is 26. Rg1 also winning? My engine is horrible and I cant figure out all the lines.
Aug-22-08  Ulhumbrus:

(After 21...Nf6-h5)
[FEN "

click for larger view


Mark Weeks quotes Kasparov after 22 Rxh5, saying that Kasparov gave 22...gxh5 a '?'. After 22...Bxd4 23.Qxd4 gxh5 24.g6, Kasparov improved on Fischer's analysis with 24...Rc4 ('!!'). Kasparov's own analysis, omitting the subvariations, ran 25.gxf7+ Kxf7 26.e5 a4 27.Qf4+ Ke8 28.Bxc4 Qxc4 29.Qf5 Rc5 30.Qxh5+ Kd8 31.Qf5 Qe2 32.Rg1 Rxe5 'with equality (weakness of the back rank!)', and 25.Qe3 fxg6 26.Qh6 Kf7 27.f4 Ke8 28.Qxg6+ Kd8 29.Bxc4 Qxc4 30.e5 Qe2 'and again the weakness of the back rank denies him any hope of success.' (Kasparov)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Having gone over Kasparov's commentary on this game, I think it's worth repeating that the remark about Fischer's "psychology" concerning his missing the possibility of 22...Bxd4 23.Qxd4 gxh5 24.g6 <Rc4!!> is directed at the analysis provided by Fischer in MSMG, not at his play otb: <It is psychologically understandable why Fischer missed this possible defence in his analysis: it casts doubts on the entire conception of his commentary, beginning with "15...Rac8, the losing move...">.

Btw, this may or may not be true here, but in any case it touches on a generally valid point, which is the tendency that players who annotate their own games may have to overlook their opponent's best possible defences in critical lines, because they like to believe their victories to have been more forced or "inevitable", and less dependent on their opponents' mistakes, than they actually were.

Jan-07-09  Woody Wood Pusher: It is a shame Fischer's analysis is wrong for this game and he misses a great defense for black, but it only really proves he wasn't using a computer, which we already knew anyway.
Mar-04-09  Kaspykov: <PARACONT1: Why not 31.Qh6? It seems to lead to checkmate faster.>

In my 60 memorable games, fischer clearly indicated that 31. Qd6+ was not the fastest way. Maybe fischer started by calculating Qd6+ and saw mate in 7 so he didnt felt the need to calculate others moves.

Mar-12-09  WhiteRook48: he Bent his opponent severely
Aug-14-09  tcfix: 15. ..., Nxd5, might have?, could have? led to a different ending for Larsen
Sep-30-09  WhiteRook48: 22 Rxh5!!
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