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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 19 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-21-04  Minor Piece Activity: If anyone is interested for the record I read that a GM analyzed 55. g6 (the move Fischer obviously should have played) to a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <beatgiant>
<But Black still has the defence 47. g4 Kd6, and I have not yet been able to prove a win against this. Some unsuccessful tries (after 47. g4 Kd6) are 48. f5 g5!, or 48. g5 Ke6 49. a4 c4 50. bxc4 bxc4 51. Kd4 Kf5, or 48. a4 Ke6 49. a5 Kd6.>

47.g4 Kd6 48.f5 g5 and now, unlike in your initial line with g4 only after 47.a4 Kd6 48.a5 Ke6, when White is actually in zugzwang as it seems, here 49.a4 is effective. I don't even see a trick, the win seems fairly straightforward. For example 49.a4 bxa4 50.bxa4 a5 51.Kd3 Kd5 52.Kc3 Kd6 53.Kc4 Kc6 54.f6 Kd6 55.Kb5 Ke6 56.Kxc5 Kxf6 57.Kb5 Ke5 58.Kxa5 Kf4 59.Kb4 Kxg4 60.a5 and White queens in time. I would say it indeed seems Fischer had a win.

Dec-21-04  beatgiant: <I would say it indeed seems Fischer had a win.> Another great job of analyzing this. I was thinking something like 47. g4 Kd6 48. f5 g5 49. a4 b4 50. Kd3 Kd5 51. f6 Ke6 52. Kc4 Kxf6 53. Kxc5 Ke5 and both sides queen after 54. Kxb4 Kf4 or 54. Kb6 Kf4. But now I think White would win with 51. a5, putting Black in zugzwang.
Dec-22-04  beatgiant: For completeness, I note that 47. g4 b4 48. f5+ gxf5 59. gxf5+ Kf6 60. Kd5 and White wins all the queenside pawns for his f-pawn.

The trap here would be 47. g4 b4 48. Kd3? Kd5 and I can't find a win anymore: 49. f5 g5! 50. f6 Ke6 51. Kc4 Kxf6 52. Kxc5 Ke5. Or 49. g5 Ke6 50. Ke4 a5! and now 51. f5+ gxf5 52. Kf4 Kf7 53. Kxf5 c4, or 51. Ke3 Kf5 52. Kf3 c4.

There's also another trap in <acirce>'s earlier line with 47. g4 a5 48. a4 b4 49. Kd3 Kd5 50. g5 Ke6 51. Kc4 Kf5 52. Kb5? (correct is 52. Kxc5 which wins with the tricky king maneuver as <acirce> gave earlier) 52...Kxf4 53. Kxa5 Ke4! 54. Kb5 Kd4 55. a5 c4.

So I agree with <acirce> that Fischer missed a win, albeit a moderately tricky one, with 47. g4!

Interestingly, after his 47. a4?, it seems too late to win with 48. g4 Ke6 49. g5 Kd6, because Black has the the threat of ...c4, or with 49. g4 Kd6 50. f5 g5 with the unusual zugzwang mentioned earlier by <acirce>.

Dec-22-04  drukenknight: you are massive end game player. I have to say:

1) thanks to you and other guy for playing out that Capa/Corzo game after a mere suggestion;

2) are you using pc program and what do you think of them?

3) what books etc. to you recommend to polish this aspect of someone's game?

Dec-22-04  beatgiant: <drukenknight>:
I'll respond to your questions soon in the Kibitzer's Cafe.
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
Aug-14-07  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
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