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Robert Eugene Byrne vs Robert James Fischer
"The Brilliancy Prize" (game of the day Mar-09-2017)
US Championship (1963/64), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Dec-18
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: This has always been one of my favorite Fischer games. Such fierce determination to play for the win, even with the Black pieces, is a Fischer hallmark.

I've heard an anecdote, that while Byrne was contemplating his 22nd move, GM Rossilimo informed the press room that after White plays 22. Qf2, Fischer is simply down a piece without compensation and will probably resign.

Imagine his shock when the move never came, but instead Byrne resigned!! 0-1!

What Rossilimo missed was after 22. Qf2 Qh3+ 23. Kg1 then comes Re1+!! 24. Rxe1 Bxd4 with mate to follow.

Nov-02-02  AirForceOne: This game and the one between Petrosian-Pachman are my two favorite one. I called them the Bermuda's forces. I read at least four books about this game; each one gave me a new insight. The deepest one was the one annectoted by Byrne, which posted in Chess Life magazine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Welcome AirForce! Yes Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961 is a beauty as well.

However, this game trump Petrosian's queen sac in my opinion. Here we see several exciting moves: 12...e5! (playing for the win), and 15...Nxf2!, and 18...Nxg2! and of course 21.Qd7!

Dec-06-02  Kulla Tierchen: As Sneaky notes above, the grandmasters in the pressroom thought that it was Fischer who had resigned when the men shook hands, so deep was the complexity of his plan begun with 14…Nd3. It is still stunning to me thrity years after I first saw it.
Dec-06-02  drukenknight: YOu know these plans are only stunning when someone makes a mistake. If Byrne had messed up the 10th move, they would have said "Bobby's stunning plan begins on move 9".

If Byrne had messed up the 12th move they would have said "the stunning plan begins on move 11".

Well, well, how do we go about figuring this one. Well they give us a clue dont they:

"the complexity of his plan begun with 14…Nd3"

Well you know right away this is BS, so the mistake probably happens on move 15.

ANyone want to take a stab at it? I can post Fischers analysis a little later. BUt work it out for yourself, its WELL WORTH THE EFFORT.

I mean that sincerely, the only way to learn this game is work the moves out for yourself.

ANd yes this is a great Fischer game, it's quite clever and very exciting. No disrespect to Bobby on this day.

But go ahead work it from whites 15th see what you come up with

Dec-06-02  ughaibu: THE GENERAL: "the game of the century" (Hans Kmoch) is a different game, this one: D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The move that most texts say deserves the "?" is White's 14th move, not the 15th.

14.Rfd1? I think Fischer himself said it was "a case of the wrong rook." In fact according to Averbakh, after 14.Rad1 it's Black who has to fight for a draw.

Dec-07-02  drukenknight: oh that's silly if he wants to put R on the open file he can use either, or. If you have a reference work in front of you doesnt it give Fischers analysis of the alternate 15th move Nf4?

15 Nf4 makes the most sense if you want to get rid of the attacking N.

THe first funny thing is that the Wade/OCOnnell book gives a big long line of alternate analysis on both 14 and 15 moves. Strange, are both moves losing moves? Either? That's odd.

THe second funny thing is that they barely mention at all "14 QR-Q1 Q-B1 and equality." As in "ho hum this is so obvious, you are all stupid that you cannot see it."

IT would be a neat trick indeed if Averbakh or anybody could prove moving the QR was better than the KR in this game. But the main pt. is if this is where the game is lost, then explain how.

Gee that's really odd.

Finally we have Fischer's analysis of the alternate:

15 N-B4 N-K5! 16 NxN/4 PxN 17 QR-N1 QR-B1 18 NxN B-B6! 19 Q-K2 BxN 20 Q-N4 P-B4 21 Q-R3 BxR! 22 RxQ KRxR 23 B-KB1 R-Q8 24 K-N2 B-Q6! 25 BxB PxB and wins....

Do you guys really believe this nonsense?

DO you really believe these guys can see 10 moves deep?

Have you ever seen a convincing analysis that was 10 moves deep?

It's all a hoax you know.

Dec-07-02  ughaibu: The point about the rooks is that Fischer couldn't play Nf2 if the rook was still on f1 hence the wrong rook. It doesn't require analysis it's to do with potential.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: ughaibu, that's exactly right.
Dec-07-02  R.J. Hunter: I really wish this one had finished on the board. Too many of the beauties of modern games are in the annotations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Nicolas Rossolimo
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Yes Hunter, Byrne was a real weasle by resigning. He figured he'd save a little face that way but in doing so robbed the chess world of seeing the combination unfold.
Dec-07-02  Kenneth Sterling: I would have liked to have seen two or three more moves played, but most players at that level resign when they see a lost game.
Jan-10-03  AirForceOne: Drunkenknight,
Ten moves deep? How about the games between Steinitz-von Bardeleden, Hastings, 1895 or Botvinnik-Capablanca, AVRO, 1936 (double-piece sac)? Cheers, 8D
Jan-27-03  highschool: could someone plz explain y 22. Qf2 is forced?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Well 22.Qf2 loses so it really isn't "forced" but maybe I can answer your questions with some variations.

22.Qf4? Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Qg2#

22.Rc1? Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Bxd4+ 24.Qxd4 Qg2#

22.Ndb5? Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Bh6! 24.Qf3 Be3!

Jan-27-03  PVS: <could someone plz explain y 22. Qf2 is forced?>

I think that on white's 22nd move the only thing that is forced is resignation.

Jan-29-03  highschool: y does the king have to go to g1 sneaky? and yes i agree with PVS and for all of u i am the same person as ryhon, just forgot my password! lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: ryhon, in all three of those lines I provided, if Qh3+ is answered with Kf2 then comes Qg2 checkmate.

Also there is a page on this site where they can email you your password if you forget it

Jan-31-03  highschool: o thanx sneaky, and yes i see ur point! but i still dont believe the game had to be played out with a queen move?!, the game didnt have to end soooo soon, but yes he definately would have lost on material no matter what!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: He resigned out of spite, in an effort to save face. Had he played on, Fischer would have gotten a chance to play Re1+!! and it would seem that Byrne didn't see that coming.
Jan-31-03  ughaibu: Fat girls are delicious.
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