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Robert James Fischer vs Hans Matthai
Canadian Open (1956), Montreal CAN, rd 7, Aug-30
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B77)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: @simon fischer was not Fischer yet:)
Feb-27-09  MUG: Apparently this is Fischers longest ever tournament game.
Feb-27-09  Shams: 18.f4? is slow and cuts off an important diagonal for the queen. it's not even prophylactic since no black piece is looking at the e5 square. the standard 18.h5 looks better and if 18...Qg5 19.Bxe6 wins a pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Opponent is Hans Matthai.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: After <84...Rc3!!> Fischer could almost resign.

click for larger view

Oct-05-09  ughaibu: 85.Qh7 looks okay.
Oct-05-09  ughaibu: On second thoughts, black appears to be winning.
Oct-05-09  AnalyzeThis: Black has to be winning this endgame. It might take a long time, but there must be a way to ram that pawn through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <whiteshark> With the Black Rooks on c3 and a5, Nalimov confirms a win for Black in 31 moves.

However, after 84...Rc5?, Nalimov shows that White can draw by 85.Ke4, 85.Kg4, or 85.Qg8.

Even if 84...Rc3! had been played, it would not be easy to force the win. In the game, Matthai obtained two more winning positions, but he could only draw.

A few moves later, Fischer erred with 87.Ke4?, (87.Kg4, 87.Qh7, 87.Qg6, or 87.Qg8 are the drawing moves). Matthai then missed the only winning move, 87...Rh3! (wins in 33).

At move 89, Fischer missed the drawing 89.Kd4, or 89.Kc4. This time, Matthai found the winning 89...Rh3!, but on his next move he missed the only winning move, 90...Rc3!.

After 90...Kd6?, Matthai received no more winning chances. A very difficult ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thank you, <Pawn and Two>.

I think these tablebase positions show how completely clueless we are about such rare endgame positions.

Playing around a bit

click for larger view

is a draw at any rate, whereas here

click for larger view

black to move wins in 24 moves, starting with <1...Rf3>

Pawns on d5, d4 and d3 are draws, whoever is to move, and even with a pawn on d2 white can hold it, if he is to move (1.Qh6+/Qg6+).

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "One bad move nullifies forty good ones." Al Horowitz
Jan-06-12  Petrosianic: I was just reading Frank Brady's write-up of this game in Endgame, and the way he tells it, Fischer woke up in the middle of the night afterwards, knowing how he could have won the ending. He gave no variations, and I certainly can't imagine what it was. Everything I see in this ending is either a draw or a win for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Don't trust everything Brady says or writes. I have had to correct several things he has written about Fischer.
Jan-06-12  Petrosianic: I don't trust it, I'm just noting it for the record. Brady seems to whitewash a lot of stories, and I'm only on Chapter 3.

Of this game, Brady says:

<After the game was drawn, he wondered if there was anything he'd overlooked. There was just something about the position, an echo of an idea distinctly heard. Could he have established a won game, even at the point just before it was drawn?

That night, in a deep but restless sleep, a dream came to him and the position appeared over and over again - seemingly hundreds of times. Just befoer waking, the solution came to Bobby as a kind of apparition. There WAS a win there!

Bobby woke and sat bolt upright. "I've got it!" he said aloud, not knowing that anyone else was in the room. [text deleted] "I knew I should have won!" he fairly screamed.>

As far as I can tell, this story is complete fantasy. I don't see anything remotely approaching a win for White anywhere near the end of this game. Brady does list a source, but it's a clipping from an "Unidentified Newspaper" (!), dated January 1958 (a year and a half after the game was played).

I find it hard to believe that all of what Brady said was in the newspaper article ("deep but restless sleep", "fairly screamed", "bounced barefooted into the living room"). It sounds like his details are largely concocted. And even if by chance, Fischer did claim in a newspaper article that he had a win at the end of this game, it seems disingenuous of Brady not to point out that the claim is completely false.

Unless there is a win and I'm just not seeing it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: There is no win, and this story never happened.

You have to take almost everything Brady says with a grain of salt. After all, he said in the preface that some things in the book <Endgame> are not true, basically admitting, "Yeah, I made some of this up."

In an earlier lecture on YouTube, Brady also said, "I will never write another book about Bobby Fischer."

Jan-06-12  Petrosianic: Where did he admit to making things up? I saw him apologize for occasional "speculations" about Fischer's motives, but this story doesn't fit that description. It appears to be a full-blown fabricated story about Fischer claiming to have missed a non-existent win. I don't know who made it up. Either Brady or the author of this unidentified newspaper clipping, but I don't believe Fischer claimed he missed a win at the end of this game, and I definitely don't believe he told some newspaper columnist about bouncing around in his bare feet and screaming.

Why would he do this? This isn't an important game. There's no need to embellish it. There's no need to talk about it at all, really. At the very least, he passed on information that he knew was false (that there's a White win at the end of this game).

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Petrosianic>< Where did he admit to making things up?>

Please see the following in <Endgame>.

page. ix: <I ask forgiveness for my occasional speculations in this book, but Fischer's motivations beg to be understood; and when conjecture is used, I inform the reader of my doing so. To vivify Bobby's extraordinary life I sometimes use the techniques of the novelist: elaboration of setting, magnification of detail, fragments of detail, and revelation of interior states. But always my use of these devices is based on my research, recollection, and study of the man.>

On page 5 of My Forum, I list many of the mistakes Brady made. I found more later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Please don't think I dislike Brady or his works. I believe that <Profile of A Prodigy> and <Endgame> should be on every Fischer-fan's library.

But, when you first read <Endgame>, you are fascinated. The second read-through, you think, "Yeah... right, Frank."

And then chalk up another mistake by him and his crack research team.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: More likely Fischer woke up seeing 23 Qe1 was an absolute crusher.

Fischer chose instead the dubious 23 b4 preparing to sac the exchange the next move.

The obvious 23 Qh2 allows the Black King to escape to Kd7 via 23...Kf7 at the cost of a pawn.

Not seeing a clear win in this line Fischer may have missed he could freeze Black's King in the corner by controlling the e file, and Black has no counter play.

For example, the best illustration of the power of 23 Qe1 over 23 Qh2 is in the line

23 Qe1 Kg7 24 Qh4 Kf7 (trying to flee to d7) 25 Qg5 Ke6 26 Rxg4 fxg4 Qxa5 winning the Queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: So it then seems to be a question of who had the more far-fetched dream, Fischer thinking he might have had a win anytime after 50.b8=Q or Brady claiming that Fischer woke up in the middle of the night thinking that he had a win in the endgame.
Jan-06-12  Petrosianic: <Please don't think I dislike Brady or his works. I believe that <Profile of A Prodigy> and <Endgame> should be on every Fischer-fan's library.>

I see some stuff in here that's definitely good. But as you say, a grain of salt. And this Matthai story is pure fantasy. I'm just not sure whose.

Jan-07-12  Shams: <tamar> Nice line, <Qe1-h4-g5> looks great. If instead 23.Qe1 Qd8 24.Qh4 Kf7 again your 25.Qg5 Ke6 26.Rxg4 fxg4 27.Qxg4+ Kf7 28.Rh7 looks good. Black's Bg4 is badly embarrassed in these lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Shams> That's a good line too. The bishop on g4 is helpless to flee, and White does Black a favor by taking it too soon.

I still hold on to the hope that Fischer squirreled away some notes on his games that will someday come to light, but it does not appear likely

(unless Ed Trice is still around ready to publish "My Secret Squirreled Away Notes by Bobby Fischer"). :-)

May-23-13  pathfinder: uhum 23.e5 is crushing,fischers method only draws
Jun-28-15  joddon: bunch of rubbish moves if u ask me.
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