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Robert James Fischer vs Pal Benko
"Rook, Line and Sinker" (game of the day Mar-09-2018)
US Championship (1963/64), New York, NY USA, rd 10, Dec-30
Pirc Defense: Austrian Attack. Weiss Variation (B09)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-24-14  Petrosianic: <Mating Net>: <I often wondered how a move such as 19.Rf6!! even gets considered.>

This is a hard question to answer without making it sound as though the move is obvious. It's not an obvious move by any means, but it gets considered because it's based on sound positional blocking, deflection and restraint principles.

I once saw a position in a Reinfeld book, where a long series of exchanges led to a position where White had a Rook on f1, Black's king on f8, pawn on f7, and at the end of the combination, white wins a bishop on e6, which is not protected because the pawn on f7 is pinned. That situation existed on the board at the <beginning> of the combination, but was not important because other pieces were in the way. A GM would see the <potential> pin and look for a sequence of moves to exploit it. This is very important, to not only look for weaknesses, but for things that might be a problem later.

So, in this position, the thing that catches the GM's attention is, of course, the Bishop on d3 and Queen on h5, both bearing down on that pawn on h7. But how do you take advantage of it? If white plays e5, then black blocks with f5.

So at this point, the GM starts looking for a way that he might prevent f5. Once you've gotten that far, a move like Rf6 becomes something that might be considered.

May-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  MJCB: Fischer Move 19 ♖f6 reminded me of the game V Mikenas vs N Lebedev, 1941 with the position:


click for larger view

White to play: 23 ♖xf6!

Players on both game take a tempo to block the opponent position. But I have to say Fischer move is even more beautiful as he sacs his rook on an empty square (while Mikenas took a Bishop with his rook - when already a rook down though)

It seems that great chess thinkers think alike but common mortals like me are still left with the privilege of being fascinated by such combinations like children by magic.

Jun-22-14  Ulhumbrus: <Mating Net: I often wondered how a move such as 19.Rf6!! even gets considered. >

Fischer has indicated the explanation in his book <My 60 memorable games> (and Horowitz and Battel have also given some indication in their book <The best in chess>): The move 18 Rf6 is a zwischenzug which is intended to improve on the more direct 19 e5. For on 19 e5 Black can play 19...f5! which is what Benko intended and which according to Horowitz's book sets up a perfect defence.

The sacrificial thrust 19 Rf6!! delays Black's pawn advance ...f5 by two moves at the cost of a tempo and a rook, so we can say that overall it delays Black's pawn advance ...f5 by one move at the cost of a rook.

On 19...Bxf6 20 e5 Black lacks a vital tempo to play both 20..Bg7 and 21...f5 before White mates him by 21 Qh7 mate.

This tempo is therefore worth more than an entire army to Black, and so certainly worth giving up a rook to gain.

The resource remains of course brilliant for all that

Dec-11-15  sakredkow: <azi: Part of what I think is amazing about this game are the 3 subtle white Queen moves, in a row, which Fischer plays to advance his Queen to a dominating postion. It is a beautiful and stealthy manuever. When it is completed on move 17, the game is over.>

This is a really good comment that helped me to see the game a little better.

Jul-01-16  celsochini: Thanks Resignation Trap ! Nice book Pal Benko, My Life, Games and Compositions
Jul-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: At the victory/trophy celebration, Fischer was presented with a cake that had the position after 19. Rf6!

http://www.echecs-photos.be/BobbyFi...

Jul-02-16  Harmonics4321: Why has no one offered 1... g6 to be the game losing move for black. You shouldn't need an engine to understand this game was thrown right off of the blocks. And an engine probably won't even tell you that. My first Kibitz ever!!! It's feels good to finally become part of a community.
Dec-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Harmonics> - <Why has no one offered 1... g6 to be the game losing move for black.>

Probably because 1...g6 is a good move.

May-01-17  Mithrain: I have never seen such positional sacrifice! Chapeau.
May-01-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: In M60MG Larry Evans titled this game chapter "In the Iron Grip of Fischer."
Oct-31-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: A variation on this theme A Carpinter vs K W Lynn, 1976
Jan-24-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QC....
Mar-09-18  RookFile: A ridiculously profound game. Of course, we all played in it over in My 60 Memorable games, so it became familiar to us. Some time has going by, and I haven't looked at this. Now I'm just in awe of what Fischer did in this game.
Mar-09-18  actinia: I scan the opening and remember it is pronounced Peertz and not Pirck. I scan the tournament and realize white will win. I play the moves and am lost, still
Mar-09-18  areknames: The exquisite Queen triangulation, and then Rf6: Vintage Fischer.
Mar-09-18  morfishine: exquisite, yes

triangulation, no

*****

Mar-09-18  lzromeu: 21...Qe7 22. Rxh6 f5 23. Nf4 Bxe5 24. Ng6 Qf6 25. Rh8+ Qxh8 26. Nxh8 Bxh8 27. Qg6+ Bg7 28. Qe6+ Nf7 29. Bc4 Kh8 30. Qxf5 Rae8 31. Qh5+ Nh6
Mar-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Game Collection: Alekhine's Block

Other games reminiscent of Fischer-Benko.

Involving a Rf6:

Tal vs Leonov, 1949

J N Sugden vs Keene, 1963

P Popovic vs Dusan Rajkovic, 1980

Anand vs Bareev, 1993

P Haba vs J Lechtynsky, 2005

D Fernandez vs R Gonzalez, 2006

V Gashimov vs B Lalic, 2007

Zhao Jun vs Xiu Deshun, 2011

Involving a Bf6:

L Engels vs A Tsvetkov, 1936

Glek vs F Kroeze, 1996

Involving a block not on f6:

J Krejcik vs K Krobot, 1908

Mar-09-18  The Kings Domain: I've always loved Fischer's f5 move and it was a bold attempt by Benko to challenge it. Nice zugzwang in the end.
Mar-09-18  PJs Studio: I read Levy’s and Brady’s books on Fischer when I was a kid and Rf6 was highlighted in both. My first conception of middle game magic was inspired by Fischer.
Mar-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: According to Jeremy Silman's magnum opus on Benko, Benko thought it was unfair of Fischer to put this game in his book, since Benko played it in a sexually frustrated and sleep-deprived state, having spent the previous night with a woman who repeatedly rebuffed his advances.
Mar-09-18  areknames: <morfishine> Well I suppose it isn't a triangulation but I couldn't think of a single word to adequately describe such a beautiful sequence of moves, even 'manouevre' seemed a tad pedestrian.
Mar-09-18  areknames: <FSR> LOL, not unfair of Fischer at all. Bobby made every post a winner, unlike Benko!
Mar-10-18  morfishine: <areknames> NP, those subtle shifts of the Queen are exquisite, powerful and breathtaking: <f5>-<f2>-<g3>-<g4>-<h5>

*****

Dec-10-18  RookFile: Yep, that's exactly how I feel, morfishine. I could find Rf6 but I would never play the queen that many moves in a row in a snakelike pattern.
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