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Hans Berliner vs Robert James Fischer
Western Open (1963), Bay City, MI USA, rd 8, Jul-07
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation (D35)  ·  0-1


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Given 4 times; par: 81 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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  Resignation Trap:

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After 11...b6: <RJF> <<> ! The only correct move- After the book, 11...Nc6 12.e5! Qa5 13.Be4 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2, Black, as berliner pointed out, will have difficulties in the end game as white will develop pressure on the b- and c-files.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: After 12.0-0: <RJF> <<> It would be foolhardy to play 12.e5 in the face of 12...Bb7 13.Ng5 h6 14.Nh7 Qxd4!, if 15.0-0 Rd8, and if 15.Nf6+ Kh8 wins.<>>

After 13.Rfd1: <RJF> <<> It is difficult to suggest a constructive plan for White. One thing is clear- White's bishop on d3 is badly placed since it blocks the defense of the d-pawn. White should have continued with 13.Rfe1, relieving the bishop's defense of the e-pawn and allowing it to retreat to f1. Then White could play Rad1 and have a very solid defensive set-up with the bishop defending against the incursion of Black's knight at c4.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: After 14.Qb2: <RJF> <<> White obstinately refuses to admit the folly of his earlier ideas and continues with his imaginary attack. He now threatens d5, but he has sacrificed his position so much for this move that if he can't make it, he is positionally lost. Berliner should have known better, and better was 14.Bf1, and if 14...Na5 15.Qe3.<>>

(To be continued later...)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Resignation Trap: After 14...Qf6: <RJF> <<> The simple refutation and very possibly the winning move. Black has neutralized White's over-expansion. Now he has to demonstrate his own winning resources. So far this is a difficult game to analyze, i.e., in the usual sense of examining its constituents, because it is loaded with strategic ideas and the tactical considerations remain in the footnotes. The trapeze artist's act has been cancelled, but he's still flexing his muscles.<>>

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15.Rac1 <RJF> <<> 15.e5 is out of the question. 15...Qf4 makes the d-pawn hopelessly backward, allows the unpleasant ...Ne7 and invites the everpresent ...g5-g4, etc.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: After 17.Ne5: <RJF> <<> Played after deep thought. Black's threat of ...g5-g4 drives White into buying exchanges at the cost of a weakened pawn structure.<>>

After 20.Qd4: <RJF> <<> You can't blame a man for trying! But the immediate 20.f3 was preferable.<>>

After 20...g5: <RJF> <<> ! The demonstration of Black's positional win after his fourteenth move. White will be forced to defend his pawn on e4 with f3. Defending it with a piece is too passive and will allow Black to win the pawn on e5. But now, after ...g4, White's queen will have to retreat to the second rank to defend her monarch. Then White's advanced e-pawn will fall and the good guys will triumph.<>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Resignation Trap: After 23...Kh8: <RJF> <<> 23...Rc2 was tempting, but after 24.Kh1 Rxe2 25.Rg1+ and Berliner is Western Open Champion.<>>

After 24...Ba6: <RJF> <<> ! Black's tactical point! 25.Bxa6?, Black mates in two.<>>

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  Resignation Trap:

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25.Qf2 <RJF> <<> Berliner, no doubt discouraged by his passive role with the White pieces, concedes too easily. 25.Qd2 was indicated for after 25...Qxd2 26.Rxd2 Bxe2 27.Rxe2 Rc3 28.Kg2 Ra3, while Black would have good winning chances by advancing his queenside pawns, possibly supported by his king's march to the queenside, the issue is not yet decided. If White counters immediately with f4, the Black king marches to g4 instead. White's best play revolved around the timeliness of f4. The point is that the material would have been even in a rook and pawn ending and since this type of a position is hard enough even when a pawn ahead, White should have entered this line.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: After 29.fxe4: <RJF> <<> Apparently Black is not ready to win the game as yet, but there is no rush about it either since White is all tied up. The rest is just technique. Black's plan is simply to advance his queenside pawns, force a passed pawn on b3, and on its capture by the White queen, Black mates by ...Qxe4+ and ...Rc1. It doesn't happen in the game, but because of its evolvement, an alternate winning procedure presents itself.<>>

After 34...b5: <RJF> <<> The beginning of the end.<>>

After 37...Qf6: <RJF> <<> 37...a4 is quicker. It's immune.<>>

After 40.Qc2: <RJF> <<> White's only hope is to restrict Black's advance by the threats of mate either on the long diagonal or on the eighth rank, but hope is only as strong as the position. The following move shows its futility.<>>

After 40...Qc3: <RJF> <<> Forcing the exchange of queens, for any queen move on the second rank brings her capture by ...Rd2.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: After 43. Rb1 Kg7:

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<RJF> <<> White's position is hopeless. The Black king marches to his c-pawn and the White king is committed to his sad kingside.<>>

After 46...Re3: <RJF> <<> Threatening 47...Rxe4 48.Rxc3 Re2+ 49.Kg3 Rxa2, followed by ...Ra1, ...a2 and then the e-pawn marches.<>>

After 54. Resigns: <RJF> <<> It is difficult to find one particular gamethat is typical of my "style." This comes close.<>>

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  Resignation Trap: For those of you who wish to judge for yourselves to see if Bobby's games in this tournament <really were> "superior to any games played in the Piatigorsky Tournament," here they are:

Round one, July 4, 1963: Fischer vs J Fuller, 1963

Round two, July 4, 1963: A Reinhard vs Fischer, 1963 (also annotated by Fischer!)

Round three, July 5, 1963: Fischer vs N Leopoldi, 1963

Round four, July 5, 1963: P Poschel vs Fischer, 1963

Round five, July 6, 1963: Fischer vs R Finegold, 1963

Round six, July 6, 1963: Fischer vs D Byrne, 1963

Round seven, July 7, 1963: Bisguier vs Fischer, 1963

And, of course, the current game in round eight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  who: Soltis writes "Later Fischer wrote an over-the-top article in Chess Life, in which, among other things, he claimed that at least five of his Western Open games were of a higher quality than all but one of his Piatagorsky games. When passions cooled he didn't include any of the Western games in his 60 Memorable ones. But the following was a worthy candidate.
May-13-08  Petrosianic: <who> <Soltis writes "Later Fischer wrote an over-the-top article in Chess Life, in which, among other things, he claimed that at least five of his Western Open games were of a higher quality than all but one of his Piatagorsky games.>

All of THE Piatagorsky games, not HIS Piatagorsky games. Fischer turned down his invitation to play in the tournament (partially due to his still-ongoing feud with the Piatagorskys over the 1961 Reshevsky Match, partly over the Curacao confidence crisis). He then went on to diss it in print. Keres cited this claim (among other things), as evidence of Fischer's lack of objectivity in some matters.

May-13-08  waddayaplay: Thanks for the annotations, Resignation Trap. They were very interesting and instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  who: <Petrosianic> sorry - typo
Premium Chessgames Member
  YoungEd: I agree with <RookFile> that g5 was a great move. I probably would have just played g6 to avoid the mate threat, with no view to attack. And then later, Ba6 is a great move too. The bishop is taboo because of mate in 2 on the g2 square otherwise. An awesome game from start to finish.
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  KingG: <After 5.e4: <RJF> This move suggests itself since White forces either a retreat or the exchange on c3, strengthening White's center. And, incidently, it is recommended by many opening authorities, for after this, White seems to have a powerful center and excellent attacking chances. The flaw is this: Black is allowed to trade off two pieces, after which white's attack is minimized and his center is a mark for Black's rook attack.> Of course these days this position is thought to favour White anyway(Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch (D41)), but in addition the move order in this game gives White the extra option of 7.a3, preventing the exchange of Bishops.
May-14-11  PSC: Belated, but heartfelt thanks <Resignation┬áTrap>, you're a gent.
Feb-25-12  edyedzer: According to Fisher this game defines his style of play
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Systemic Failure.
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  whiteshark: <FSR: Systemic Failure.> hehe

Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: It is interesting that Fischer chose this line in part because he felt Berliner was less effective in simple positions. A good practical decision, but at odds with "I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves." (Of course, this game has some very good moves.)
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  FSR: <whiteshark> LOL
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  perfidious: The oft-quoted phrase by <yiotta> from Fischer is a typical piece of misdirection and as unworthy of attention, come to his pragmatic approach, as that old chestnut he threw out there on the King's Gambit.
Dec-29-15  Eduardo Bermudez: Somewhere I read that Fischer himself considered this game very appropriate to characterize his style !
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: 14 Qb2? was a severe loss of time. Any modern master would play 14 d5! immediately with advantage. Soviet players like Spassky Tal and Polugayevsky worked out these positions in great detail. If White gets in the d5! push safely he almost always stands better.
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