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Robert James Fischer vs Vasily Smyslov
"Our Man in Havana" (game of the day Feb-09-2017)
Havana (1965), Havana CUB, rd 2, Aug-26
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  1-0


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Given 35 times; par: 72 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-19-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Al2009,

click for larger view

44.Rxe6+ Kf7.

If it works out OK then fine but you can see why it was avoided in the notes.

After 44...Kf7 The c3 Bishop hangs and so does the e6 Rook (RxN then KxR is on the board).

45.Bc1 Rxc5

Now your 46.Rb6 and may have been missed/not analysed because it looks suspicious.

44.Bc1 was what Fischer intended to play. It does not get involved in any unclear trickery and then the threat of Rxe6+ is real.

I'm saying unclear because there is either a trick or a trap there and I've not spotted it yet. (too early in the morning, need more coffee.)

44.Bc1 is best. Do not mess about with won games. I'm sure 44.Bc1 is why Smyslov resigned.

If it was because of 44.Rxe6+ then he had to see that Rb6 move and following the position from the diagram it looks unclear. (to me anyway.) and you do not resign if your opponent has to see/find a move like Rb6. Make him show it to you.

There is also a ghost in that 44.Rxe6+ line. Something one sees that is not there, or something that is there that one cannot see.

Jul-19-16  RookFile: I think that's the point. Everybody has his style and Fischer wanted to avoid the unclear trickery.
Jul-20-16  Sally Simpson: I knew there was some dodgy in this line. Looked at it the club last night and the moment we set it up the board I saw it.

click for larger view

44.Rxe6+ Kf7 45.Bc1 Bd6!

click for larger view

Black is winning. Annoyed (but not surpsed) I missed it from the diagram even after the instinct kicked in.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Kinda funny. On move 19, 20, 21 SF7 gives ... b4 for Black.
Jul-20-16  Al2009: <sally sympson>

Your 45...Bd6 is a lemon!

After 46.Ke1! White wins again, if 46...Bxc5 47. Rxe5 and Nb5 (or Bc5) is lost

if 47...Nd4 48.Rxc5 Rxc5 49. bxc5 Nb3 50. c6! (50...Ke8 51. Kd1)

And after 46...Rxc5 47. Rxd6 Nxd6 48. bxc5 Nxe4 49. Ba3 c2 50. c6!

Jul-20-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Al2009,

We ran through some lines last night.

46.Ke1 (cannot recall that one) but the position of the White Rook is awkward. Losing Awkward.

It's being held by a Knight and a Knight is the only piece that cannot protect the same square after it moves. The Rook has no moves.

It's a Cyclops playing with a Unicorn position. An accident waiting to happen.

46.Ke1 Rb8

Holds the Knight and now Bxc5 is a severe threat, so much so White has to give up the exchange with RxB.

In most lines we looked at after 45...Bd6 White has to sac the exchange. It looks pretty grim.

I think we can let Fischer (and Evans) have this one.

But keep looking and questioning and believing nothing you read, it's good you took on Fischer but maybe lower the sights. He was rather meticulous and there can only be one 'Mr Thomas.'

'Right Mr Thomas'

Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1961

Also Fischer's games are rather famous, any quicker wins would have been found by now.

Jul-24-16  Al2009: <Sally Simpson>

Yes, you're right, after 46...Rb8! White can just sac the Exchange. However, after 47. Rxd6 Nxd6 48. Nd3 Ke6 49. f3 White is still a Pawn up, and almost no risk of breakthrough into his fortresss by Black. So, for sure White does not lose, even being an Exchange down.

Anyway, you wrote that no quicker wins of Fischer's games have been found after 1967, when he published his book.

This is not totally true, indeed.

For instance, in his very famous (and maybe the most analyzed game in chess history) Fischer - Geller (Skopje 1967)Fischer vs Geller, 1967 in place of Fischer's move 17. exf7+, Murey and Boleslavsky found the sac 17. Rxf6! and then if 17...gxf6 18. exf7+ Kh8 19. Qg4! with a winning attack. Otherwise, if 17...Bxf6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. e7! with a clear and winning advantage.

Another game where Fischer commented badly, was his Botvinnik - Fischer 1962

Botvinnik vs Fischer, 1962

Fischer wrote in his comment after 23. Rd5

"Archives recommends 23. Nd5. but after 23... Kg7 the burden of proof rests with White - he's a Pawn down"

Sorry for him, but after 23...Kg7, 24. Ne7 Rb8 25. Rd5! Ne6 26. Be3 a6 27. Rb1 Bf6 28. Ba7 Ra8 29. Rxb7 Black can only resign.

I was - and still I am - a great admirer of Fischer. However, nobody is perfect, he was a human after all.

Jul-25-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Al2009

I said,

"Fischer's games are rather famous, any quicker wins would have been found by now."


"that no quicker wins of Fischer's games have been found after 1967, when he published his book."

Those two posted are known, there are others. His games have been fine toothed combed.

Use this sites 'Random Game' feature and see what you get. Often see wee treasures on the unkibitzed games.

S F Lebedev vs Nenarokov, 1901

White nicks a pawn and Bang!

Often sit and do this looking for tricks 'n' traps....and quicker missed wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ? It looks like someone is grabbing fischer's arm as he moves discarded pieces away from his board:


Our Man in Havana, a spoof of Britain's MI6 intelligence service:


There's a funny photo of Fischer complaining about something at the board, with Castro looking really exasperated, and in the background Korchnoi has a big smile on his face. couldn't find it on the net.

Our man in Woodstock:


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I had the position set up wrongly and thought the K was on g1 when it's tricky.

Smyslov should have played 19. ... b4 as allowing Fischer's later 26. b4! which is a great positional move. Smyslov's 15... Qd3! was good but he drifted later.

He won the tournament though.

Fischer played the match by telegraph and I wondered if it took a long time.

I remember playing in telegraph matches in the 60s. We used to use one radio chap to send the moves by morse code. The games took ages. I lost most of my games as I really hated playing a game if I couldn't see the opponent's face. (Correspondence wasn't a problem in that respect as you can analyse as you like).

So Smyslov was a quite confident player but I wonder if it took so long he wanted to get away for dinner etc...So the length of the game affected his play in this game. Although once he lost space it was hard to defend the Q side.

On the other hand the telegraph effect may have explained (partly) Fischer's 3 loses. But he was only behind Smyslov, by 1/2 a point so he did well as did Geller also on 15.

In the next game Ciocaltea sent 1 e4 and at the Marshall Club they thought it was 1 d4 so as things panned out Fischer played his first "official" Alekhine's opening. It was a "fighting draw". Bob Wade the NZr drew with Fischer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I see it's been dealt with but Rxe6+ is a blunder which loses the game. Fischer's analysis was correct and is confirmed also by a computer. Sometimes people read the 'scores' backwards, I've done that...

At first sight I was a bit puzzled that Smyslov resigned but resigning here is a grandmaster move indeed! But it isn't hard to see with some thought that white is winning...

Feb-09-17  The Kings Domain: A Fischer game is always a treat.
Feb-09-17  MelvinDoucet: 8. ♘f1 is a slow approach which Black should attempt to refute with <10.. d4> when it's unclear to me what White has to show for the lack of space. Smyslov's dxe4 gives White just what they want.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <The Kings Domain: A Fischer game is always a treat.>

It is. Fischer's games are like Van Gogh's paintings: there aren't many of them, some people think all of them are perfect, they are always interesting and they ain't making 'em no more!

Feb-09-17  rea: <em> There's a funny photo of Fischer complaining about something at the board, with Castro looking really exasperated, and in the background Korchnoi has a big smile on his face. couldn't find it on the net.</em>

Must have been the Olympiad in '66. In '65, Fischer couldn't get a visa to Havana and played the whole tournament by teletyp from NYC

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <rea> <Must have been the Olympiad in '66.>

Yep. Consultation game.

Feb-09-17  catlover: <Richard Taylor> I remember reading somewhere about Fischer playing this tournament by telegraph. So that photo with Fischer across the board from Fidel Castro in the link provided by <HeMateMe> must not be from this tournament.

Maybe the hand on FIscher's arm was a bodyguard nervous about a possible assassination attempt against Castro.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's from
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As David Levy noted in <How Fischer Plays Chess>, his five-hour sessions were seven due to the telex feature. Lots of extra strain for even a young man with plenty of stamina.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < TheFocus: I knew one fellow who insisted on pronouncing it Rye Lopez.>

He had a Ruy wit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After 10.Qe2 black perhaps is better

click for larger view


-0.29/38 10...a5 11.Bc2 a4 12.Ng3 d4 13.0-0 Be6 14.h3 Bc5 15.a3 h6 16.Qd1 Qd6 17.Ne2 dxc3 18.bxc3 Rad8 19.d4 exd4 20.cxd4 Nxd4 21.Nfxd4 Bxd4 22.Nxd4 Qxd4 23.Qxd4 Rxd4 24.Be3 Rdd8 25.f3 c6 26.Rac1 Nd7 27.Rfd1 Rfe8 28.Bf4 Nc5 29.Rd6 Nb3 30.Rcd1 Rxd6 31.Bxd6 c5 32.Kf2 Nd4 33.Rd2 Bb3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <catlover: <Richard Taylor> I remember reading somewhere about Fischer playing this tournament by telegraph. So that photo with Fischer across the board from Fidel Castro in the link provided by <HeMateMe> must not be from this tournament. Maybe the hand on FIscher's arm was a bodyguard nervous about a possible assassination attempt against Castro.>

Fischer was in N.Y. as people point out. I doubt Fischer wanted to harm Castro. His mother was a political activist and sympathetic to Marxism. He seemed to hold bizarre or originally almost no political views...until he slowly deteriorated.

In the book I (coincidentally acquired) Fischer can be seen with an official of the Marshall Chess Club making the move. It is true though that he played in the Olympiad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Fischer's case is tragic. His whole life was chess, which was not the case for Smyslov or Taimanov (who by the way wanted to take Tal as 'he was always full of joie de vivre' and that, he says would have been good, the point here is that he freaked when he went into a long (42 minutes) thought in game 3 in a strong position...he lost because of a bizarre decision at that point, then he lost what was an endgame I could have drawn, and which Fischer played on and Taimanov blundered. That meant, that as that was an adjourned game, he was suddenly three games down! So he had to win three games...but he lost heart.)

But when Fischer finally won the World Championships, according to Larry Evans (one of the few he trusted) he admitted that now it all, chess and the world, seemed endlessly empty, and what had he left to do now?

He was now "the best", but as anyone could have told him, or said: 'So what, you are still lonely, you still don't know who your father was. You have nothing but chess. You are the World Champion, but so what?" This is the subconscious message in the mind of a man who wanted to crush egos or minds.

Anyone who plays a game or does something creative for that reason is clearly very very unhappy in their own heart or mind or soul.

And so that is the beginning of Fischer who searched all his life for his father, for love, and for "touch". When he was dying, his last words were: "Nothing is as healing as the human touch." (Evans in the forward to 'Bobby Fischer: the Career and Complete Games of the American World Champion by Karsten Muller.).

He adds:

'Fischer was a great man with tragic flaws who was persecuted by his own country. I miss him, and somehow the world seems dimmer without him.'

Jun-30-17  Coutinho: Why did Fischer play 19 Kh1?
Jun-30-17  beatgiant: <Coutinho>
<19 Kh1>
Black was threatening 19...Nd4 20. Rxd6 <Nxf3+>. Fischer's move prevents that because now Nxf3 won't be with check.
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