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Robert James Fischer vs Viktors Pupols
Lincoln ch-US jr (1955)  ·  Latvian Gambit: Accepted. Bilguer Variation (C40)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-15-09  TheFocus: Bobby and Viktors spent all night playing speed chess with Viktors playing his Latvian. He told Bobby that he would play the Latvian when they played each other in the tournament, but Bobby did not want to believe he would. Oh, well...a hard lesson learned.
Aug-04-09  TheFocus: Here are some of Pupols' comments:
"We had known all day what the pairings and the colors would be (Aleks Liepnieks directed the tournament), and I tried to impress Bobby Fischer (he was only 12 years old) with the glories of the Latvian Gambit. Fischer refused to believe that this opening would indeed be played and analyzed other open games. There was a continuing poker game at Aleks Liepnieks home, and throughout the day Charles Kalme, the eventual tournament winner, and I kept playing skittles games using the Latvian Gambit against Fischer, whenever we folded at poker, but at the end of the day Fischer was still analyzing the Ruy Lopez and Guioco Piano. Bobby took his loss very hard. I did, of course, announce in advance my intention of playing the Latvian Gambit." "Immediately following the game, I claimed that White should have played 41. Kg1! and only after 41...h2 42. Kh1, when we would still have had a draw in the final position. I think we both knew that such a comment was only rubbing salt into the wounds, because with 43. Qd7+, White would have drawn anyway." (For what it's worth, those skittles games at Liepnieks' home generally ended in Pupols' favor.) "Bobby lost more Latvian Gambits that afternoon than in all the rest of his life."
Aug-16-10  Lil Swine: he always played e4
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dick Brain> The line 3....Nc6 offers little, so long as White avoids the complexities of 4.Qh5+ and plays simply 4.Nxc6 (which I believe Ray Keene mentioned many years ago), when Black doesn't appear to have compensation for his pawn, though I'm sure there are some Latvian specialists who will dispute this.

I played in the 1976 US Junior at UConn and the age limit was then 21 as well.

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  BLarsen1967: 4.Nxc6 seems fine for White,but I think more popular is 4.d4,the key move in GM John Nunn's refutation of the Fraser Variation- we might have 4..Qh4 5.Nf3 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 --- Tho,some theory suggests 4..Qf6 (might be playable for Black)
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  BLarsen1967: <RookFile> Yes,6.Be2 might be better than 6.Nc3 - But as for 6..Qd8,ok,the theory book might like & endorse that move,yet cowardly pushing the almighty queen back home again,what kind of Gambit Spirit is that?? - No,I'd rather play a fresh & provocative move like 6..h5,then things will start happening,just like in H Kloss vs E J Diemer, 1959
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  PhilFeeley: <Benzoi2005: hello chess fans, i just found a great site to play free chess online>; These guys won't tell you how much it costs. I hate that.
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  Boomie: <TheFocus: Here are some of Pupols' comments>

Wonderful stuff. Thanks for copying it here.

Uncle Vik has been a fixture of Northwest chess forever. He was many times Washington state champion and was an important stepping stone for Yaz.

I've always enjoyed Vik's company. He's very funny and has a photographic memory.

The Last Exit Cafe near the U of Washington in Seattle was the center of chess in the NW for many years. One evening Vik is playing 5 minute chess and a few of us were kibitzing. Two newcomers dressed to the nines in "I'm a coke dealer." clothes come over to see what's going on. One of the is jostled and his gun hits the floor. Vik makes a move in the game, hits the clock, picks up the gun and hands it to the guy without looking at him, and makes another move. The two guys look at each other and leave the cafe. They never returned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Boomie> That is hysterical, and totally believable from Pupols.

By the way, how about Seattle winning the USCL championships this year?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Boomie> Great story.
Dec-09-12  HeMateMe: wouldn't it have been a better story, if Fischer had turned the gun on someone?
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  morfishine: Pupols beat the teacher
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  Check It Out: Good stuff, <Boomie>. They served the best espresso ice cream floats at the Last Exit. It's moved up N on University and lost its dark and cavernous charm.
Dec-09-12  HeMateMe: Do you get a lot of folks dressed up as gangsters and carrying guns, in the rainy northwest?
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  Boomie: <Check It Out>

The Last Exit was a special place for chess and go. Vik was one of the Latvians who brought a new level of playing to the NW. The strongest of these was Ivars Dahlberg who was almost GM strength. Along with Jim McCormick, these players laid the groundwork for Yaz, John Donaldson and others.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Boomie: <HeMateMe: Do you get a lot of folks dressed up as gangsters and carrying guns, in the rainy northwest?>

This is the wild, wild west. We're all packing.

Dec-10-12  HeMateMe: Well, I saw <Private Idaho>, and I'm thinking even the gangsters up there are real laid back.
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  Shams: <Boomie> Did you know Ftacnik when he lived in Seattle?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Boomie: <Shams: <Boomie> Did you know Ftacnik when he lived in Seattle?>

No. I never met him.

I left the chess scene in 1981 after I blew a won game on 1st board for the Seattle Amateur. The experience was so sour, I gave up tournament chess.

Aug-29-13  tjipa: The game is famous, yet as a proud Latvian player of about 1900 strength, I must say, some guys of about 200 or 300 points ELO above me did not get a thing out of the opening with this gambit. The fact that they outplayed me in the endings is another matter :)
Oct-08-13  MrJafari: Maybe Fischer didn't play well,but actually his opponent played well...
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  Garech: According to Wikipedia this is one of only two games that Fischer lost on time - does anyone know the other one?
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  perfidious: <Garech> Here 'tis: Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1956.
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  Garech: Thanks!
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  Ke2: looks like "The Immortal Overprotection Game"
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