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Robert James Fischer vs Rene Letelier Martner
Mar del Plata (1959)  ·  Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C97)  ·  0-1
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Given 24 times; par: 79 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As David Levy once wrote about Fischer, his active style had a tendency to relatively produce few endings that required great technique; he then mentioned the games Fischer-Portisch, Stockholm 1962 and Fischer-Tal from Curacao.

From personal experience facing GMs in both games at regular time-checks (including a few who were quite strong enough,if not the great players named above), and rapid games with, among others, Tal, the endgame play will always tell the story.

Jul-29-07  actionhero56: 55.c5!!! I always knew Fischer was a tactical genius
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: He had a hallucination, of course.
Jun-17-09  jsheedy: Anyone think of 50. g4, to force black to choose to push or defend? If 50...c4, 51. bxc4, bxc4 (...b4, 52. Kd4), 52. Kd4, and black seems lost. If after 50, g4, Ke6, 51. f5+, gxf5+, gx5+, white either queens the f-pawn or cleans up on the q-side and promotes there.
Jun-17-09  WhiteRook48: right, 55. g6 was better
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: This was an exception to the rule. The rule: if you were in an endgame with a knight against Fischer's bishop, you lose. Fischer had a win in this game also.
Aug-27-10  asiduodiego: <When you recall the Fischerīs career and quote games from 1958-1960 it seems not so fair> Cheap excuses. Fischer at 1959 had already won the U.S. Championship in earlier years, so the excuse of "he was soooo young", I find it laughable. He just miscalculated: every great player does that from time to time.
Oct-05-10  dTal: Those who think Fischer was a poor endgame player should either play through a games collection of his, or read a book such as "How Fischer Plays Chess" by David Levy. He was a superlative endgame player. If anything, he wasn't comfortable in the crazy tactics favoured by somebody like Tal, as he liked to play without giving his opponents any sort of chance, and have everything under control.
Aug-18-11  Tigranny: Any reason why Fischer didn't play 54.g6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Tigranny> <Any reason why Fischer didn't play 54.g6?>

56.g6 b2 57.g7 b1=Q+ 58.Kf6 Qb8 59.Kf7 Kxc5 60.g8=Q Qxg8+ and Black will win with the passed a-pawn.

Aug-19-11  Tigranny: Thank you Benzol.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Yes, this is definitely a shocking blunder, even if Fischer was only 16 at the time. He definitely got his payback the following year, however, with two crushing victories over Letelier. Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 came at the 1960 installment of this tournament, and Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 is his famous queen sacrifice game.
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  FSR: As I recall, Mednis in his book on Fischer's losses called 55.c5?? the worst blunder of Fischer's career. Obviously Fischer failed to notice that Black's b-pawn queened with check.
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  FSR: <OBIT> Fischer beat Letelier like a drum in the other three games they played:
Jul-15-12  master of defence: Whatīs wrong with 55.g6? After 55...b3 56.g7 b2 57.g8=Q b1=Q+ is at least a draw for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < master of defence: Whatīs wrong with 55.g6? >

Nothing at all-Fischer miscalculated. Happens to the best of us.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <OBIT> Fischer may have been "only 16," but he was already one of the world's leading players. The previous year, he had finished in the top six at the Portoroz Interzonal (1958), thus qualifying to play in the Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959). In the present tournament, Mar del Plata (1959) , he only finished half a point out of first, behind the joint winners Najdorf and Pachman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Benzol: Tal could play a pretty mean endgame on occassion....>

Paul, to the examples you have adduced, I should like to add an old favourite: Smyslov vs Tal, 1964.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <perfidious> Alan I have done a collection on Tal's endgame prowess which you may have missed earlier. See Game Collection: Mikhail Tal - Underrated Endgame Artist
Feb-19-16  Howard: Joel Benjamin's book Liquidation in the Endgame, states that Fischer had a win at one point---but I don't recall exactly where. Remind me to look it up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Howard> --> "<47.g4> was good enough to win."
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: They say:

"passed pawns must be pushed."

They never said which one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <OBIT: Yes, this is definitely a shocking blunder, even if Fischer was only 16 at the time.>

This is game 5 in how to beat Fischer. basically the fifth loss of his career.

Feb-20-16  Howard: Just checked it last night---yes, 47.g4 would have won.

Not only that, Mueller's book says the same thing.

But, then, Mednis didn't mention this in his book. To be fair, the win looks complicated--but it's apparently there.

Oct-01-16  2drchess: I've checked 3 books on this game and the game score differs on White's 48th move. Wade & O'Connell's Fischer compilation gives 48.a5 but Mednis' book on Fischer's losses instead gives 48.f5 while noting that Fischer saw that 48.a5 leads to a draw with best play. I also checked the Fritz 10 database and it gives 48.a5. Does anyone have any insight?
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