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Robert James Fischer vs Laszlo Szabo
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 16, Aug-31
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: i was wondering yesterday why kramnik didn't transpose back into the zaitsev with 9.c3 d5, but i guess 9.c3 d5 is strong enough for black.
May-16-06  RookFile: I think Szabo was really ahead of his time in this game, putting the bishop on b7 like he did. There may be other examples from this time period, but I don't think it was that common. Fischer had to show resourceful defense to hold this one.
Jun-04-07  tstavernman: According to Kavalek's article of June 04, 2007 (, Fischer missed the winning continuation 16.Nh4! Qf6 17.Ne4! Qxh4 18.Bg5, trapping the black queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <I think Szabo was really ahead of his time in this game, putting the bishop on b7 like he did. There may be other examples from this time period, but I don't think it was that common.>

No, apparently 8...Bb7 was underappreciated at that period. After 8.h3, the great majority of games simply transposed back to the main closed Spanish line with 8...d6 9.c3, instead of turning into a distinct "anti-Marshall" - in fact, that's what happened in 2 previous games which Fischer played in the Interzonal: Fischer vs H Rossetto, 1958, Fischer vs Tal, 1958 - so perhaps Fischer was still expecting 9...d6 here as well. Theory considers 9.c3 instead of 9.d3 a mistake, since after 9...d5(!), 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rxe5 Nf4! is very good for Black.

Apr-16-09  JaneEyre: <Fischer missed the winning continuation 16.Nh4! Qf6 17.Ne4! Qxh4 18.Bg5, trapping the black queen.>

It'd be interesting to know when Fischer's failure to find the winning line here first became public knowledge. You would think that the dastardly Soviets would have rushed any such discovery into print.

Apr-16-09  ewan14: He was only 14
Jun-13-09  jerseybob: Actually,15
Jun-13-09  WhiteRook48: why not 25 Bxe1?
Jun-23-09  jerseybob: Fischer probably didn't like the looks of 25..h4, though I don't see a win for black.
Aug-28-16  zydeco: Cool game!

Kavalek gives a question mark to 14...Bc5, which allows the queen trap mentioned by <tsavernman>.

Fischer's queen sacrifice with 20.Bxc5 seems like the only way to keep the game balanced.

If 32...Qxb2 33.Bc3 Qxf2 34.Rxg7+ Kh6 35.Bxf7 also looks like a draw.

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