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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal
"Running on M.T." (game of the day Jul-25-09)
Curacao Candidates (1962)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0
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Given 33 times; par: 108 [what's this?]

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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal (1962)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-18-14  LIFE Master AJ: Lombardy was OK. I remember him playing in the World Open.

He was bored, and reading the book, "Jaws," while he destroyed just about everyone.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Rookfile> Sure, but Fischer thought that everyone was his inferior. It’s a state of mind. Why wouldn't he think, at least until he convinced himself otherwise, that computers were his inferior either? Remember, this would be a person that would be transported in time into the present, with no previous experience with computers, except possibly the laughable versions (compared to the top players) of the early 1970s.
Mar-18-14  Shams: I'm sure you all remember when Anand met Fischer. His story sheds a little light on how much faith Fischer had in engines.

<<Interviewer>: Were you tempted to whip out a pocket chessboard and challenge him to a quick blitz game?

<Anand>: No, because he whipped out his pocket chess set first and we started to analyse some recent games I'd played.

<I>: Really?

<A>: Yes, I showed him some of my games from Wijk aan Zee and tried to share some interesting developments. He was sort of able to follow everything – he hadn't lost his sharpness for chess – but his methods were a bit dated. In that sense he had fallen behind.

<I>: How do you mean?

<A>: Well, he had some suggestions, and he was sort of in the ball park … but when I would tell him that the computer says white is winning here, for me that was a sign to move on – but for him it was a starting point to argue with me! [Laughs]. I found it difficult to say to him 'No, no, no – these computers are really strong. You shouldn't be arguing with them!"'>

Of course, after a spell of working with engines he'd probably have become more of a believer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Why wouldn't he think that? Because first and foremost Fischer was a competitor. I'm sure that in the privacy of his home Fischer would play against the computer, and see it's strengths.

I was just reflecting upon the popularity of the Ruy Lopez Berlin variation. The type of game that that produces is right in Fischer's "sweet spot" - logical, not crazy tactical. I would have loved it if today we could see Fischer on the white side of that opening. He would play and exhaust every last possibility in his quest for a win.

Mar-28-14  thegoodanarchist: <<GMHikaru Fischer would almost certainly lose to all of us, but this is due to the fact that the game has so fundamentally changed. If Fischer had a few years to use computers, I think he would probably be on the same level.>

RookFile: As I said before - Fischer with access to a computer? Forget about it. There has never been a more fanatically motivated player, ever. A few years? The guy went from 1800 to US champ in 1 year. It wouldn't take him that long>

Exactly! Naka is delusional if he thinks Fischer would "probably" be on "the same level" after a few years. His ego keeps him from the truth: Naka would be roadkill to Fischer in such a scenario. Not even a bump on Bobby's way to the title.

Mar-28-14  Petrosianic: It doesn't matter. Either way, we're comparing hypoethical players (a Fischer that might have existed) to real players (the Nakamura that actually does exist), which is pointless. If we compare real players to other real players, it's quite possible that the real Nakamura might have beaten the real Fischer (and he'd certainly have beaten the real Philidor), but regardless, Naka isn't as great as either one of them. He hasn't made anywhere near the same contributions to the game that Fischer or Philidor made.

At best, Naka has mastered the lessons that Fischer and Philidor taught. But where are Naka's lessons?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <(Fischer) would have used a computer more effectively than your average fish who quotes an eval as gospel.>

Indeed he would, such is the value of understanding, as opposed to parroting information.

Mar-28-14  Petrosianic: <Indeed he would, such is the value of understanding, as opposed to parroting information.>

I'm oddly ambivalent about the computer. Playing chess online on a computer is one of the best things that's ever happened to the game, while the computer chess <engine> is one of the worst. But you can't really have the one without the other.

Mar-30-14  thegoodanarchist: <Petrosianic: It doesn't matter. >

And the other posts on this website do? Get real. If we want to debate the hypothetical, you aren't going to stop us with your pointless pronouncements.

Apr-08-14  Zugzwangovich: In "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal", Mischa claimed he lost this game after declining a draw offered by Fischer. Seems quite hard to believe considering the course of the game and the circumstances under which it was played.
Apr-08-14  Riverbeast: Just an incredible game by Fischer
Apr-08-14  Marmot PFL: <The USCF provided Fischer with a computer and a second for his planned match with Anand in 1990. There's no reason to think he wouldn't have used them.>

Never heard anything about such a match. 1990 computers still weren't anywhere near good enough to be of much use to top GMs. In any case if Fischer declined to play Anand I'm sure he made the wise decision.

Apr-08-14  Petrosianic: <thegoodanarchist> <Get real. If we want to debate the hypothetical, you aren't going to stop us with your pointless pronouncements.>

If you didn't understand the point, I'll be glad to try to put it another way. I don't object to debating hypothetical questions, it just seems pointless to compare real players to hypothetical ones. You can say "My hypothetical player beats your real one", but so what? I can invent a hypothetical player that beats your hypothetical player. And you can return the favor.

I don't mind speculating on what Morphy or Fischer might have done, but my appreciation of them doesn't depend on hypotheticals. I don't appreciate Morphy because he woulda coulda shoulda beat Steinitz, but because of what he actually did do. Same with Fischer. Some people seem unable to appreciate Fischer without convincing padding his resume with fictional successes (beating Karpov in 1975, beating Nakamura now, defending his title against Kasparov in 1993, winning at Curacao, and scores of other things he never actually did).

Dec-19-14  ToTheDeath: Classic Fischer here- if you find yourself playing a knight against bishop endgame against Bobby you might as well resign.
Jul-22-15  brendonfire: I think Fischer considered computers to be the death of intuition. Him and Tal both had great respect for each other because they understood the game at an intuitive level. I think the rise of chess engines contributed to Fischer's resentment of the game in the latter years of his life. All we can do is speculate about how his games may have looked like and what lessons we could learn because he refused to play for the majority of his life. Politics and the need to attain a more civil society through technological enhancement deprived the world of the best that the pure human imagination may have been able to offer. R.I.P. Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi brendonfire,

Fischer & Computers.

Fischer would have embraced Databases as a real Godsend. Every players game at the click of a switch!

Even more grateful would have been Bob Wade who at Bobby's request wrote out 1,000+ of Spassky's games for him to study.

Fischer was not too pleased with the original layout so Bob (not Bobby) had to it all again.

Regarding todays's analysing machines. Like all good players Bobby would have looked at what was being offered and judged for himself if it was OK.

The majority of the click cut and paste brigade who post analysis with such great authority would not have a clue how to continue the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Fischer & Computers.>

Bobby would use a computer.

...if only to see if the rest of the world caught up with him.

Jul-22-15  john barleycorn: Fischer was given a computer and chess programmes/databases before the '92 match. I remember his girl Zita said so in an interview.

And of course he still had Greenblatt in the closet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> brings up a good point, there are different chess-related aspects of using computers. Surely Fischer, who had a voracious appetite for any games played by the top and not-so-top players, would have embraced game databases. I suspect that he also would have embraced endgame tablebases as a learning experience since many of them have uncovered possibilities in endgames that were not previously known until tablebases became prevalent. And, like it or not, there is no point in arguing against either perfect play or Einstein's theory.

Of chess engines I am less sure. What would he use them for? After all, this is a player who took pride that he never made a mistake in analysis. Perhaps after he played enough games against chess engines he might have convinced himself that they might be OK and had some use.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AJ....(Lombardy) was bored, and reading the book, "Jaws," while he destroyed just about everyone.>

When we met in the 1986 New England Open, he wasn't reading any book--he won only with difficulty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Jaws was on the cover of the book - inside the cover was MCO (well maybe not...Jaws is a much better read.)
Oct-13-15  PugnaciousPawn: Fischer's 10. h4 fascinates me for some reason. He was always on the hunt. Always hunting the king.
Dec-06-16  Ibisha Biscotto: oh my, that DSB put in werk.
Jan-24-17  Saniyat24: Should Tal have played 57...Ng7+ instead of Rf4+ ?
Jan-24-17  Nerwal: <Should Tal have played 57...Ng7+ instead of Rf4+ ?> No better since the h5 pawn is quickly lost in this line. With an extra piece the race black queenside pawns vs white h pawn is easily won by White.
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