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Robert James Fischer vs Winthrop Beach
"Storming the Beachhead" (game of the day Nov-18-2007)
New York State Open (1963), Poughkeepsie, NY USA, rd 2, Aug-31
Formation: Hippopotamus (A00)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn down.

Black would threaten ... Nc4 and ... Na3+ if the rook on b8 were not defenseless.

The black bishop protects the knight. This suggests 21.Bh6:

A) 21... Bxh6 22.Qxe5

A.1) 22... Kd7 23.Qd6+ Kc8 (23... Ke8 24.Qxb8+) 24.Qxe6+

A.1.a) 24... Kb7 25.Rxd5 Qb6 (25... Qa4 26.Nc5+; 25... Qa6 26.Rd7+ Ka8 27.Qxa6; 25... Qc7 26.Rd7) 26.Rb5 Qxb5 27.Nd6+, etc.

A.1.b) 24... Kc7 25.Qd6+ Kc8 (25... Kb7 26.Nc5+ Ka8 27.Qc6+ Rb7 28.Qxb7#) 26.Qc6+ Qc7 (26... Kd8 27.Rxd5+) 27.Nd6+ Kd8 28.Nf7+ Kc8 (28... Qxf7 29.Rxd5+ Ke7 30.Qd6+ Ke8 31.Re5+ Qe7 32.Qxe7#) 29.Qxc7+ Kxc7 30.Nxh6 + - [N].

A.1.c) 24... Kd8 25.Rxd5+ + -.

A.2) 22... Ke7 23.Qd6+ Kf7 24.Rhf1+ Kg7 25.Qe7+ Kg8 26.Nf6#.

A.3) 22... Kf7 23.Rhf1 Ke7 (23... Kg8 24.Qxe6+ Kg7 25.Qf7#) 24.Qd6+ Ke8 25.Qxe6+ Kd8 26.Rxd5+, etc.

B) 21... dxe4 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Bxe5 + - [B vs P].

C) 21... Qc7 22.Nd6+

C.1) 22... Qxd6 23.Bxg7 Nf7 24.Qxd6 Nxd6 25.Bxh8 + - [R+B vs N+P].

C.2) 22... Kd(e)7 23.Bxg7 with multiple threats.

C.3) 22... Kd8 23.Bxg7 Qxg7 24.Qxe5 + - [N vs P] (24... Qxe5 25.Nf7+).

C.4) 22... Kf8 23.Qxe5 with multiple threats.

D) 21... Rb7 22.Bxg7 Rxg7 23.Qxe5 + -.

Jul-08-11  morfishine: <scormus>...<Oh dear, 21 Bf4 dxe4 and the Ne5 is defended. I'm not having a good day>...Rank-pins or rank-lines are by far the hardest to see vs file-pins/lines and diagonal pins/lines...even for grandmasters...something about how the brain sees the board...I guess the way we or our brains are configured, we must make an effort to check the side-wise or rank lines
Jul-08-11  LIFE Master AJ: Nice game, 21.Bh6! (Maybe - '!!')

I talked today (on the phone) to my friend, Jim Rousselle of LA.

He said this was a good problem and he was right. In about the space of three moves - you have got just about every tactical device there is. Pins, forks, deflections - you name it.

Thanks CG-dot-com ... I never tire of Tal, Fischer, Kasparov, et al.

Jul-08-11  WhiteRook48: I can't believe that I even got 21 Bh6 at all
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <diceman>< Fischer declined an invite to play in the 1963 Piatigorsky Cup. (they refused Fishers request for a $2000 appearance fee)>

In one of these weekend Swisses, Bobby defeated Leopoldi out of $3500 in an all-night blitz session.

After that, he fell asleep in his game against Bisguier.

Bisguier woke Bobby up and beat Biz.

Jul-08-11  shatranj7: I found Bh6 immediately. Probably because I remembered this position from a few years ago, when I studied it in Pandolfini's "Bobby Fischer's Outrageous Chess Moves."
Jul-08-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: I had 21.Bh6!! Bxh6 22.Qxe5 O-O 23.Nf6+! (better than Qxe6+) Rxf6 24.Qxf6 Re8 25.Rhf1 Qc7 26.Rde1 with white up an exchange for a pawn, but no immediate crusher. If the BK has moved and 22... O-O is not legal, I'll be annoyed. Time to see how Bobby played it...
Jul-09-11  LIFE Master AJ: Its probably not as good as Fischer's ... but I preferred the materialistic 24.BxN/e5?

Probably Bobby's move is classier - forces a lot of stuff off the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Before this game began, when I asked Mr. Beach how to spell his name, he remarked that we had met over the board on a previous occasion some years ago and that I had beaten him on the White side of a Pirc Defense. I had absolutely no recollection of that game."


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Through my research, I discovered that Beach had previously played Bobby in the 1956 Greater New York City Open.

My article appeared in the Atlantic Chess News, April through September 2010, pg. 36.

Oct-02-12  Zugzwangovich: <TheFocus> Do you know any details regarding Fischer in this event, i.e., the order in which his games were played and on what days? It was a 7-round Swiss played over Labor Day weekend, which in 1963 ran from Fri. 8/30 to Mon. 9/2; would that mean two games on each of the first three days and one on the fourth? Re the game order, the Hays collection gives Oster and Greenwald as the 1st two opponents, which if true means RJF got Black in the 1st two games which seems unlikely. Would appreciate hearing any details you might have.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Zugzangovich> I will be glad to.

After I discovered the 1956 Greater New York City Open cross-table, I shared it with <IM John Donaldson>, with whom I have a "e-mail" friendship. I have bought dozens of books, many about Fischer and his tournaments, from John. I have also provided some Fischer tid-bits to the Mechanics Institute Newsletter.

I told John that I was still looking for Swiss-system cross-tables and that Poughkeepsie was proving very elusive. John was intrigued also, and began an e-mail campaign, which included the tournament director, trying to locate it. On a trip to the John G. White Library in Cleveland, Ohio, he spent some time searching there too.

All our searching for this cross-table has failed. One major problem is that the USCF threw away many cross-tables and games. The USCF was no help at all.

John has suggested that the actual order of opponents (and I agree) is this:

<New York State Open - August 30-September 2, 1963>

1. Fischer 7-0 =2-5 Bisguier, Sherwin, Richman and Green 5.5-1.5 (58 players)

Oster, Ray: round 1 (B) Oster is listed from California at the time and rated around 1800. Bobby mentions in his notes that Oster was in round one.

Beach, round 2 (W) This was the second time the two met but we do not have the earlier game. Beach was about 2050.

Richman, John: round 3 (B) Was around 2150.

Green, Matthew: round 4 (W) Around 2350 in 1965 - definitely a good master in 1963. With 58 players competing there would likely have been around 6 perfect scores going into round 4 and Green as the 4th seed behind Bobby, Bisguier and Sherwin (who must not have had a good event - to not play Bobby he must have dropped his point and a half in the first 6 rounds and won the seventh) seems quite possible. I have sometimes seen the game with Green said to be from the last round but that seems unlikely if contemporary accounts are accurate - that Bobby was a point ahead of the field going into the last round (i.e. he couldn't have played Green who finished with 4.5).

Bisguier, Art: round 5 (W) We know from contemporary reports that this was in round 5, and Bobby says Radoicic was played after the Bisguier game.

Greenwald, Benjamin: round 6 (B) Low 2200s.

Radoicic, Miroslav: round 7 (W) Around 2250.

I would like to thank <IM John Donaldson> for his efforts and support.

Oct-02-12  Zugzwangovich: <TheFocus> Well, talk about service! Thanks much for that information, my man. I'd done some amateurish juggling on my own re this tournament and come up with a schedule that is similar to the one you've provided, but this new information will be a big help. Really appreciate it very much! My thanks also to IM Donaldson; I still have a couple of very nice handwritten letters from him (from pre-email days of long ago) in which he was kind enough to answer some questions I had.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Glad to help.

The search continues for this elusive cross-table.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm surprised that moms didn't know, that when you name your kid "Winthrop", in 1950s NYC, the kid is gonna get knocked around a little. Just saying.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: And it sounds like a fat kid's name.

Worst of all, he was a fat chess player named Winthrop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ...he must have run all the way home from the local chess club, with his Fred Reinfield books in hand. I've been there...
Oct-04-12  Uncertianly: <Oct-02-12 HeMateMe: ...he must have run all the way home from the local chess club, with his Fred Reinfield books in hand. I've been there...> Is that a misspelling of Mr. R, or is there an other Fred?
May-17-13  Patriot: 21.Bh6 looks very appealing.

21...Bxh6 22.Qxe5 looks very dangerous for black. 22...Ke7 23.Qd6+ has to be winning; 22...Kf7 23.Qf6+ is deadly; 22...Kd7 23.Qd6+ looks just as bad.

21...O-O 22.Bxg7

21...dxe4 22.Bxg7

This seems to be the move.

May-17-13  Patriot: It's funny--this puzzle has been used numerous times (one of which I chose the winning move without going into detail).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <TheFocus> Regarding dates for the games in this tournament: Would <Chess Life> or <Chess Review> have a listing of upcoming tournaments that would give the exact playing schedule? Even an advertisement might do it.
May-17-13  Bartimaeus: An open and exciting middle game position. The first thing that strikes the eye is that while white's position is compact and solid, back's on the contrary is quite loose and disorganized. The white Knight is under threat but black has two major weaknesses. The King doesn't seem to be castled and the Knight is pinned in the middle of the board subject to further attack. These two motifs seem to be the ones to be exploited.

Initial thoughts tended toward Nd6+ followed by Bf5 and Rhe1 to save the Knight, break the castling and attack the Black Knight but these can be defended by Ke7 and Qc7 and we'll just have couple of exchanges without real progress. Looking further, another option could be to attack the defender of the Knight itself. Bh6 seems more promising.

A) 21. Bh6 Bxh6 (Nxe4 is bad as it exposes the d-file to white's rook) 22. Qxe5 Ke7 (O-O is bad due to Nf6+) 23. Qd6+ Kf7 24. Rhf1+ Kg7 25. Qe7+ Kg8 26. Qf7#

B) 21. Bh6 Qc7 22. Nd6+ Kd8 (King can't be moved to the 7th rank due Bxg7; also Kf8 can be met by Rhf1+ followed by Rf7) 23. Bxg7 Qxg7 24. Qxe5 Qxe5 25. Nf7+ Kc7 26. Nxe5 and white is up a piece and wins

As B) avoids mate, its the obvious choice though its a lost endgame.

Looking at the game line, it seems Black didn't fall for the Knight fork but its a lost game anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

Black threatens 21... dxe4 and is about to castle (assuming it still is legal).

The black bishop protects the knight, which covers the defenseless rook on b8. This suggests 21.Bh6:

A) 21... Bxh6 22.Qxe5

A.1) 22... O-O 23.Nf6+ Kf7 24.Nd7 wins the exchange for one pawn.

A.2) 22... Kd7 23.Qd6+ Kc8 (23... Ke8 24.Qxb8+) 24.Qxe6+ followed by 25.Rxd5 with an extra pawn and a winning attack.

A.3) 22... Ke7 23.Qd6+ Kf7 24.Qd7+ Kg8 (24... Kf8 25.Rd(h)f1+ and mate in two) 25.Qxe6+ Kf8 (25... Kg7 26.Qe7+ Kg8 27.Nf6#) 26.Rdf1+ Bf4 27.Rxf4+ and mate soon. For example, 27... Kg7 28.Rf7+ Kh6 29.g5+ Kh5 30.Qg4#.

A.4) 22... Kf7 23.Rdf1+ with a winning attack again. For example, 23... Ke7 24.Qd6+ Ke8 25.Nf6+ Kf7 26.Qd7+ Kf8 27.Nxh7+ Kg8 28.Qf7#).

A.5) 22... dxe4 23.Qxb8+ wins both rooks.

B) 21... Qc7 22.Nd6+

B.1) 22... Kd8 23.Bxg7 Qxg7 24.Qxe5 Qxe5 (24... Rb7 25.Qxe6) 25.Nf7+ and 26.Nxe5 + - [N vs p].

B.2) 22... Kd(e)7 23.Bxg7, etc.

B.3) 22... Kf8 23.Qxe5 Bxh6 (23... Rb6 24.Rhf1+ and mate soon) 24.Qxh8+ Ke7 25.Qxh7+ Kxd6 26.Qxh6 + -.

B.4) 22... Qxd6 23.Bxg7 + - wins material.

C) 21... O-O 22.Bxg7 + - wins material.

D) 21... Rb7 22.Bxg7 is similar to C.

May-17-13  bengalcat47: It is not recommended to use an obsolete opening such as the King's Fianchetto Defense, which dates back to Morphy's era, when playing against someone as proficient as a cartain Bobby Fischer.
May-17-13  Abdel Irada: <<> Shach doctrine <>>

At first glance, Black's position looks pretty solid. He has three pawn islands, but none of the pawns is particularly weak; he has an actively posted knight on e5 supported by his fianchettoed bishop; and if left unmolested for another move, he will castle into safety.

This appearance lasts until one looks at White's "most unlikely piece": the bishop skulking on c1. For this piece has a move that makes Black's entire position crumble like coffee cake in a blender:

<<> 21. Bh6! ... >

This is not only a startling shot; it is also a "maximummer": the *longest* available move.

(Note that five squares along a diagonal is geometrically longer than six along a rank or file. The former forms the hypotenuse of an isosceles right triangle, and using the Pythagorean Theorem, we find that it is really approximately 7.07 squares in length. The second-longest move is 21. Qa3, six squares along a rank.)

<<> 21. ...Bxh6 >

This is relatively best. Other moves fail trivially:

(a) 21. ...O-O? 22. Bxg7, Kxg7 23. Qxe5 ;

(b) 21. ...dxe4? 22. Bxg7 ;

(c) 21. ...Qc7 22. Nd6, Kf8 [(c.1) 22. ...Ke7/Kd7? 23. Bxg7 ; (c.2) 22. ...Qxd6? 23. Bxg7 ; (c.3) 22. ...Kd8? 23. Bxg7, Qxg7 24. Qxe5!, Qxe5 25. Nf7 ] 23. Rhf1, Kg8 24. Bxg7, Qxg7 25. Nf7!, Nc6 26. g5! .

<<> 22. Qxe5, O-O >

With both rooks under attack and no safety in ...Kd7/e7/f7, this is practically compulsory.

<<> 23. Nf6, Rxf6 >

Black can also try (d) 23. ...Kh8, but after 24. Nd7, Bg7 25. Qe2, White wins the exchange anyway.

<<> 24. Qxf6, Qb6

25. Rhe1 >

White is the exchange ahead and Black's central pawns will soon fall.

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