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Robert James Fischer vs Borislav Ivkov
Santiago (1959), Santiago CHI, rd 3, Apr-22
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation General (C16)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-05-06  Autoreparaturwerkbau: Fischer is dropping pawns for no compensation ... eventually he lost, of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: I certainly have no credentials to comment on Fischer's play here, but neither do most others and yet they do.

So keeping in fashion with all the other patzers and since he is only 16 in this game: 1) It seems that an immediate 13.Bxg6 fxg6 14.Qh3 forces black's queen to a defensive position and white is better off. It fixes the center pawns and denies black f6 to break them up. The slower 13.g4 line played is good only if the white bishop is not exchanged.

2) As to 1/4 of the moves being queen moves - individually they seem alright, but in principal ....

3) 27.h6 dosen't seem to acomplish anything, in fact it gives black an open file to attack on.

As for Fisher against the French I see only 3 loses out of 48 games, Bobby never played the French as black (that I know of). So this is not one of his better examples of handling the opening.

Sep-27-07  smarterthanbobby: was he old enough to drive in this game? the pawn dropping chess master?
Jul-15-08  littlefermat: <Fischer is dropping pawns for no compensation ... eventually he lost, of course.>

Not only that, but he's saddled with an absolutely awful pawn stucture early into the game. He never had a chance in this game.

Jun-17-09  YetAnotherAmateur: As far as bad pawn structures go, I'm wondering why the heck he tries to push the kingside before developing his pieces. For instance, 9 h4 and 13 g4 both indicate a complete disregard for having a defensible position.
Nov-12-11  AnalyzeThis: Ivkov does an excellent job of keeping the position double edged and murky. With black, that's what you hope for, and here he was rewarded with the full point.
Apr-14-12  Zugzwangovich: On move 28 Fischer posts his bishop apparently strongly on f6, where it remains and takes no part in the proceedings whatsoever for the rest of the game.
Apr-15-12  SChesshevsky: << Zugzwangovich: On move 28 Fischer posts his bishop apparently strongly on f6>>

It might be unclear if f6 is the best spot for the B. It does cover h8 but isn't very mobile and only pushes the Black rook to attack the weak g-file.

It is kind of useful keeping the f-file closed but that seems a bit costly.

I think the questions about White's B indicates that after Black ...0-0-0 and ...Qc2 invasion, White might have lost his Kside plans and found his pieces uncoordinated for the change.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Fischer generally had a lot of trouble with the French Defense.

Artful play by Ivkov rearranging his knights and defending his kingside in the opening.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ckr....As for (Fischer) against the French I see only 3 loses out of 48 games, Bobby never played the French as black (that I know of). So this is not one of his better examples of handling the opening....>

There were actually six losses by Fischer in serious play to the French; his stubbornness and lack of objectivity in certain openings early in his international career were tendencies exploited ruthlessly by his peers, and even occasionally by players not regarded as being in his class.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I suppose it's odd that Spassky never tried the French against Fischer.

AFAIR, of all World Champions, only Botvinnik played the French with regularity.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The oddity really was when Spassky played the French in all four games as Black in Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968), as the opening was hardly to be found otherwise in his praxis.
Jan-23-17  Petrosianic: Petrosian played it with some regularity. Alekhine dabbled in it, but not what you'd call regularly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I actually began playing the French because of some Tal games with it.
Jan-23-17  RandomVisitor: 12.Nh3!?

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0.00/29 12. ... Nxh4 13.Qd1 Ba6 14.Ng5 Bxf1 15.Rxh4 Bb5 16.Qf3 Rf8 17.Qxh5 Kd7 18.Nh7 Nc6 19.Nxf8+ Rxf8 20.Rb1 Ba6 21.Qd1 Qc4 22.Rh1 Rh8 23.Rg1 Rh4 24.Qf3 Re4+ 25.Kd1 Qa2 26.Qxf7+ Ne7 27.Kc1 Qxa3+ 28.Rb2 Qa1+ 29.Rb1 Qa3+

+0.67/29 12. ... Qd7 13.Ng5 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Nxa6 15.c4 Nb8 16.cxd5 exd5 17.Qd3 Ne7 18.e6 fxe6 19.0-0 Nbc6 20.Rae1 e5 21.dxe5 Qf5 22.Qg3 0-0 23.Qc3 Rac8 24.e6 Qf6 25.Qe3 Qg6 26.Nf7 Qg4 27.Qg5 Qxg5 28.Bxg5 Rce8 29.c3 Nf5 30.a4 d4 31.cxd4

+0.70/29 12. ... Ba6 13.Ng5 Qd7 14.Bxa6 Nxa6 15.c4 Nb8 16.cxd5 exd5 17.e6 fxe6 18.0-0 Nc6 19.Qd3 Nge7 20.Rae1 e5 21.dxe5 Qf5 22.Qg3 0-0 23.Qc3 Rac8 24.Nf3 Qe6 25.Qb3 Qg4 26.Bg5 Rce8 27.e6 Rf5 28.Qd3 Ref8 29.Nd2 Qa4 30.c4 Ne5

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