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Robert James Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"King Leer" (game of the day Apr-16-09)
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)  ·  Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Given 46 times; par: 115 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-05-12  backrank: Chernev gives a fantastic line which could have occurred if Fischer had played 43 Qb4 instead of 43 Qc4:

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43 ... Qb5! 44 Qxb5 axb5 45 Be2 (of course not 46 Rxb5?? Rxf3!)

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45 ... b4!! 46 Bxd3 Nxd3 47 Rd1 (Kf3 or Kf1 Nc1! and the pawn queens!)

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47 ... b3! 48 Rxd2 b2 and White has to give up his rook (Rd1 Nc1):

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Wow ... just unbelievable!

Aug-05-12  Toliman: Cool combo! Leave it to Petrosian to sac the exchange even in the endgame.
Aug-05-12  backrank: <Toliman> You're right, typical Petrosianic moves even in the notes!

Another Petrosianic move in the variations would have been possible if in the position after 23 ... Qxe5

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White would have played 24 f4 (instead of Rc4). Then 24 ... exf4 25 gxf4 Qh8!!

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Believe it or not, White is lost now! Black will win via 26 ... Rxg2(+)! followed by Rg8(+) regardless of White's 26th move. Check it out!

Nov-13-12  Cemoblanca: I simply call this 1 "Baby Steps" ;)
Jun-12-13  Mudphudder: What a grind! This game, especially the ending, must have been tremendous torture for Fischer to play.
Jun-27-13  Slink: I love seeing Fisher lose.
Nov-16-13  zydeco: I'm wondering about 22.e5!? as a possibility for white. His main problem is that the bishop is inferior to black's knights (once a piece gets established on e5), and it can't hurt to trade a pair of knights or create a possible pin on the e-file. The e4 pawn isn't covering any squares that can't be covered by the bishop.
Jan-12-14  KingPetrosian: Brilliant use of knight and rook! They were each positioned in ideal spots. Of course, the game also has Petrosian's famous king walk, or dance, where the king goes off wondering on the board despite all potential danger! Marvelous!
Feb-19-14  ChessYouGood: The last 30 moves are pointless here. Fischer just shuffles his pieces around without any plan or any hope.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I'm with <CYG> This was spitefulness by Fischer, not tenaciousness. There was absolutely no way the a and b Pawns were going to be stopped.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A horrible thing in chess is to have a position that is definitely lost but is not quite resignable. One might be just one pawn down - and if you resign you think, <"The guys will definitely say I resigned too early.">

Then - once you have continued for a while you think, <"I can't resign now; the position is more or less the same as it was 10 moves ago!">

So you carry on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp: A horrible thing in chess is to have a position that is definitely lost but is not quite resignable.>

Botterill wrote that such a dilemma was the 'tournament player's nightmare' in his comments to the loser's plight during the proceedings of Nunn vs Huebner, 1981 in the work <Open Gambits>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Ree talks about the frustration of having no good reason to resign in the 1979 video

He saw that Petrosian could win a pawn by force, and thought he could resign in a few moves, and at least it would be over.

"Instead the scoundrel played g3, h3, h4, Kg2, only moves that enforced his position, and had no value. They only served to make me suffer..." (18:43)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <"Instead the scoundrel played g3, h3, h4, Kg2, only moves that enforced his position, and had no value. They only served to make me suffer...">

Dirty wretch, though Ree's fate was less ignominious than that which befell Black in Petrosian vs H Ree, 1971.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: That's a great quote from Ree. Here is the game, presumably.

Petrosian vs H Ree, 1973

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <offramp> interesting thought and I'll take that under advisement, although I still think it was a totally hopeless position.
Feb-21-14  SChesshevsky: I'm guessing the way it played out was...

Fischer thought he was better at 23...Qxe5 and he's probably right.

Then around 31...Nxc5 he realizes he didn't have the right plan of attack and is now worse and tries to mix it up with Kside majority hoping to equalize.

Around 44...a5 he probably figures he's still got drawing chances depending on Black's play. 45. Bg4 would've been interesting.

As the a&b pawn advance he knows his chances are fading and he's scrambling for some counterplay.

Once 57...b3 and the protected passed pawn reaches the sixth rank, Fischer knows he's busted and he's looking for a perpetual or a way to move his advanced pawn.

I'm assuming he played on as long as possible because he thought he was better at one point and wouldn't want to lose after that if there's any chance to save the game, he probably did have some drawing possibilities to around move 48 or so, and he knew he'd have to eventually beat Petrosian to get to the top so why not see his technique OTB as it might come in handy later.

GM's, even teenage ones, usually have pretty good reasons for what they play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

May-09-15  BeerBrand: @Eric Farley
This is 16-year-old version of Bobby Fischer. And Petrosian's age is almost double than that of Fischer on this tourn. So this is an amazing accomplishment for a 16-year-old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Mudphudder: Fischer definitely wasn't the weakest of the world champs. Farthest from it, in my opinion.>

You are entitled to your opinion. I do have at hand some statistics about World Champions which suggest that you might have to revise your opinion.

May-09-15  Howard: So let's see 'em !
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: So let's see 'em !>

I am a bit busy at the moment.

Can anyone else give us Bobby Fischer's stats as World Champion and ex-World Champion, from 1973 to his death?

Too much of a task for me at the moment.

May-10-15  Howard: Very funny ! Admittedly, I didn't think of that "point".

As far as stats, Fischer did play three games against a computer program back in 1977 or 1978. Do those count ? He won all three, in fact.

Jun-11-15  sharpnova: Lol. I think the average adult male human, learning the game then training for one week, could beat the best computer in the 70's.
Jun-11-15  Howard: Oh, I would never go that far ! Computers were no pushover---not even in the mid-70's. Personally, I still remember a cover story in a 1974 or 1975 issue of Scientific American about computer chess.

By the way, IM David Levy played a well-known match against a computer program back in 1978---he won, but by his own admission it wasn't easy.

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