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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
Zurich (1959), Zurich SUI, rd 6, May-26
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-19-03  fred lennox: This game could win my vote for my favorite Fisher draw. The bishop pair does not prove advantage here. It's well known a bishop pair is usually not an advantage in a closed game, which is why Petrosian allows his opponents to have it. I've also come to believe that it is usually not advantage if the opponent can maintain a kingside attack or harrass the king. Which is why Kasparov and some 19th century masters give it. Outside those two conditions, bishop pair is usually an advantage. In this game the kingside attack is maintain with cunning skill. Perhaps Fisher was over optimistic and understandably so.
Aug-19-03  ughaibu: If all the pawns are on the same side knights are usually better than bishops, as here.
Sep-26-03  drukenknight: Fischer/carokann. Here is the game from the Zurich tournament in '59 that the Russians studied in order to meet Bobby at the candidates matches four months later.

Supposedly the Russians had found some mess up in his memorized opening lines. The odd thing is that in this game he plays 7 a3 in order to avoid the pin on the N. When he played the Russians four months later he didnt play that move; so how did they know? I guess they had prepared a line in order to improve on this game. and I guess Fischer played 7 g3 in order to steer out of that, but it backfired.

NOte the pin on f2. That is recurring theme. Bobby should probably break that pin asap the longer it goes the more trouble because black is developing pieces.

Also whites Qn does not have much room to go; and black centralizes the B as a result. In the Adddison game the KN was blocked but he did not threaten to exchange it; the difference between masters and experts, I guess.

13...Qd6 Larsen is not afraid to exchange Q, he is playing strongly. bobby should exchange in order to break that pin. People afraid to swap Qs. Here Larsen finds a way to work his Q to the q side.

21 Bc3 looks like it might be better, since it will be harder for black to defend the e pawn. Also this sets up the mate on g7.

26 Bc3, 5 moves late?

28 Kh2 now he breaks the pin,but no longer exists. He should try to set up f4 is all I can see because the end game does not favor white.

why doesnt he try 34 Bg6 and push the d pawn? it is getting hit by Ns where it is.

all that jockeying for position just before the time control and then Larsen decides he really doesnt need a passed pawn on the q side.

overall a pretty good game, but there is room for improvements

May-06-06  Fast Gun: The only drawn game between these two players!! And it took 92 moves just to achieve it, they certainly believed in going down to the wire and fighting to the death, two fierce competitors of whom some of todays players should try to emulate:
May-28-06  Whitehat1963: Amen to that <Fast Gun>, 13 games and only one draw! And this game proves what Capablanca always said that in the right hands, with pawns on only one side of the board, knights are just as good (if not better) than bishops.
Apr-19-09  paulmorphy41: Why can't white just play 13e5? I see maybe Qb6 14BxN Qxb2 15Rb1 Qxc2 16Rfc1 Qd2 17Bg5! or 15...Qa3 16Rb3 Qa5 17Be7 BxN 18 BxR KxB 19Rxb7. What am I missing
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <paulmorphy41>
On 13. e5, Black has 13...Qc7 getting out of White's pin and adding his own (14. exf6?? Qxg3).
Apr-20-09  paulmorphy41: Of course.. Thank you
Apr-29-09  WhiteRook48: very odd final position
Apr-11-10  Petrosianic: Tal comments in the Tournament Book, on the position after White's 50th:

<'What's the matter? Why is the game not drawn here?', the reader might rightfully ask. Well, Bobby continues woodpushing for another 40 moves. The young American assumes somewhat naively that we in Europe could lose such endgames with black. We give the rest of the game without comment.>

Then, at the end:

<A painful game for the players, for the tournament director, for the annotator, but especially for the poor reader!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Morten: Larsen commented on this game saying that especially in his younger years Fisher overestimated the pair of bishops terribly. In this game he played on for 30 moves; he felt he should win since he had the pair of bishops. Meanwhile Larsen's position just got better and better until Fisher barely saved the half point...
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: <drukenknight> Interesting. Thanks.
May-08-18  Albion 1959: A fascinating endgame, a war of attrition between the bishop pair v the knight pair, that lasted for more than 40 moves. On an open board, the two bishops are usually advantageous, though as this game shows, there are exceptions:
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