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Robert James Fischer vs Dieter Keller
Zurich (1959), Zurich SUI, rd 14, Jun-06
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C92)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-06-04  iron maiden: This upset victory by the Swiss champion knocked Fischer out of the lead with two rounds to go. If he had won this game, he would have ended up tying with Tal for first place.
Sep-06-04  mack: Thanks for bringing my attention to this game, I'm going to have to take a look at this endgame tonight.
Aug-24-05  who: 43...Rxe6+ 44.Re2 Rc6 45.Re8+
Jan-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This opening line was played the month after the two Fischer games in Santiago, and the outcome from the opening was no different; the line is safe enough for White, though offering no real hope of advantage.

May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: This game is a good example of what might happen when trying to play impatiently for a win in a position which doesn't justify it, even against a considerably weaker opponent. It was played in the penultimate round of the Zurich tournament with Fischer and Tal tied in the lead (Fischer having to play the Black pieces vs. Tal in the final round), and at a rather early stage during this game Tal has won his, putting the pressure on Fischer.

Fischer's choice of 11.dxe5 was already questionable – he has played it twice that same year in Santiago - Fischer vs R Flores-Alvarez, 1959, Fischer vs L Sanchez, 1959 - without achieving anything significant from the opening (for a much better handling of this line by Fischer, with 11.Nbd2, see Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1966). Then, with the aggressive-looking but hasty pawn pushing on the K-side on moves 20-22 he gets into trouble, goes to an endgame a pawn down, and in a very untypical manner hardly shows any resistance – especially when exchanging his only potentially dangerous piece with 30.Rg1? instead of the much more tenacious 30.Kh3.

May-20-09  TheWizardfromHarlem: Eyal you say his "only potentially dangerous piece" key word is potentially. Black's rook is already a dangerous piece. If you evaluate the position and ask which rook is better without a doubt its blacks. Its the best piece on the whole board. And thats what chess is about having your pieces better than your opponents and when his are better you exchange. 30.♔h3 just attacks the rook but thats all it is, just a threat its like an annoying mosquito. 30.♖g1 comes with -positional- threats and tactics and can change the landscape of the position in whites favor. Its what Bobby is known for aggressive counter attacking even at the cost of a pawn. If 30...♖xe4 suddenly white seizes the g file and black's king is weak and white can start making his own threats it is a strong move. The pawn pushes 20-22 are all standard stuff the difference maker was the strong 22...f4! Bobby must have underestimated this move. And by playing 25.♘h2 and 26.♘f3 he strengthened it by removing the defender of g3 which was holding the king position together. Even that is manageable though, the problem was he let the knight get into a4, after that the queenside pawns fell apart as well. So you giving 30.♖g1 a ? for trading is simply incorrect. The reason the move was bad was that the tempo black gained gave time for the knight to get into a4, effectively dismantling the queenside.

~> The Wise Wizard.

May-20-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <TWfH> I agree that 30.Rg1 can be considered as an attempt at "aggressive counter attack" and thus typical of Fischer's style in a way; but at the end - as your own comment indicates - the idea behind it is rather superficial, since it works only if Black takes the bait by 31...Rxe4?, whereas after the exchange of rooks White is clearly worse. Actually, Fischer may have committed another mistake by recapturing on g1 with the king, since after 31.Nxg1 the knight can come to the aid of the Q-side via e2 – at least the idea of 31…Na4 doesn't seem very dangerous after 32.Ne2 followed by b3. And I still maintain that 30.Kh3 was a better move. Black has 2 options: 30…Rg6? 31.Nh4 removing the rook from the g-file and gaining a tempo for Nf5; and 30…h5 31.Nh2 Rg6, and now with the rook no longer attacking e4 White can play 32.Be3 – e.g. 32…Na4 33.Re2 or 32…Nc4 33.b3 Nd6 34.Bc5, in either case with more chances to hold the draw than in the game.

As for moves 20-22 – in a very general way they may be considered "standard stuff", but obviously they don't work automatically in every case, as this game demonstrates very well. My point was that here Fischer was hasty and showed poor judgment of the position, and that it may have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality related to the tournament situation.

May-22-09  TheWizardfromHarlem: <Eyal> Go over what i said about how important the position of the pieces are and re check the 2nd line u gave after Kh3 then get back to me.
May-22-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Stop being such a condescending ass, telling me to "go over" things and "get back to you." Then get back to me.
Jun-12-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 10..Nb6 fell out of favor after Spassky's win over Geller in game 6 of their 1965 Candidates Match. Fiscer had also played 11 dxe against Tal in the 1958 Interzonal. This line is considered harmless today with 11 Nbd2 the usual continuation. After 25 Nh2? Fischer was clearly worse and had little chance of saving the game.
Jun-12-09  AnalyzeThis: Kasparov talked about moves like ...Nb6 in the Ruy. He says that moves like this happen when guys who play the Sicilian a lot dabble with the Ruy. In the Sicilian, you go for broke on the queen side, but in the Ruy, you need to be more reserved, and keep pieces like that king's knight available for the defense of the king.
Jul-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Background information after <19...c6!> ...

"At this moment it became known that Tal had won his game and was now a full point ahead. So Bobby simply decided that he must win also. But wishing and doing are quite different, if the position is juiceless. So ..." <20.g3?>

-- Mednis

Feb-05-11  WiseWizard: Eyal I was looking at my old comments and came across this page. My apologies for my immature comment.That was an excellent post you gave and I respect your contributions to this great site.
Feb-01-16  FSR: Dieter's Delight.
Oct-11-17  RookFile: The computer recommends 20. Qe2. At some point white plays f3 too. In other words, white doesn't have much, and needs to be very patient.
Oct-30-17  Toribio3: Keller was a giant killer!
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