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Robert James Fischer vs Robert Eugene Byrne
New York ch-US 1965  ·  French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Guimard Defense (C03)  ·  0-1
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Given 9 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-29-07  euripides: Hard to tell what happened here. At first, as <marmot> says, it looks as if Fischer missed the zwischenzug 12...Bd6 when he played 12.Nxc6. But he must have seen this idea a move earlier, or he would have played 11.Nxc6 to win the e7 bishop. Perhaps he confused the move order in one of the lines.

Anyway, Byrne's 3...Nc6 works very well in this game. Petrosian later tried 3...Nc6 against Fischer's usual 3.Nc3 but Fischer did much better:

Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971

Apr-01-07  Peter Nemenyi: <Robert Byrne's personal score against Fischer: +1 -2 =6. Pretty respectable, especially considering the years in which they played.>

Byrne was a hard man to beat, and it's not surprising that he could usually hold the draw against Fischer when he was on form. What's interesting is that he was able to draw with Bobby in three U.S. Championships--1958, 1960, and 1966--in which he didn't play well, scoring below 50% in each case.

Apr-20-07  ChessNe1: <iron maiden: Robert Byrne's personal score against Fischer: +1 -2 =6. Pretty respectable, especially considering the years in which they played.>

CG.Com has the written record as being R. Byrne +1 -4 =6 v. R. Fischer in their game collection.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ChessNe1> the extra two Fischer wins are blitz games.

Of Fischer's two official wins, the first is of course an all-time classic, and I think the second is pretty amazing too. Then there is this game:

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1959

Apr-20-07  ChessNe1: <keypusher> do blitz games count? If Byrne had won the two, would he have been seen as the better player? I dunno. Blitz games decide tied scores in tournaments, right?

Now, that 1959 game you showed me had all the energy of a fist fight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <do blitz games count?>

Not to me, or to most people. If you look in Wade and O'Connell's book of Fischer games, which includes his scores against all his opponents, his score against Byrne is given as +2-1=6.

<If Byrne had won the two, would he have been seen as the better player?>


<Blitz games decide tied scores in tournaments, right?>

Rarely in major tournaments, never in the 1960s or 1970s. People make more of blitz now they did in Fischer's time, but it's still not a big deal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: This was payback to Fischer for the brilliancy loss that Fischer inflicted on Byrne the year before:

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963

May-01-09  WhiteRook48: and it was also payback for the Fischer's win over his brother.
Jun-01-09  Petrosianic: <do blitz games count?>

Define "count"? Are they rated? No. Are they in some databases? Yes. Does count them when tallying up player's lifetime scores against each other? Yes. Do most players take them seriously? No. Why not? Well, in addition to the haphazard nature of blitz itself, and the misleading-ness of mixing them with classical games, there's also the fact that records are so incomplete. As fellow Manhattan Club members for years, Fischer and Byrne may have played hundreds of blitz games against each other, of which we have only 2.

Incomplete records are of little value. And that happens even with classical games sometimes. Fischer played a short match against Matulovic in 1958, which he won 2½-1½, but the game Fischer lost is the only one that survives. Chessgames doesn't have the three other classical games from that match, but does include two blitz games from 1970. Although, in that case at least, the two fudges almost cancel each other out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: In this tournament Fischer lost to Byrne and Reshevsky yet won the tournament by a full point. The reason? Fischer's remaining nine games ended 8 1/2 to 1/2. Anyone know what round this game was played? Maybe Fischer had already won the tournament when this game was played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <technical draw> Fischer's score in this event was 6.5/7 entering this round, and his loss to Reshevsky came in the next game.
Jul-26-10  goodevans: All players play the odd stinker, but this must rate as one of Fischer's worst. Aside from the dreadful 12 Nxc6, did he really give up all three Q-side pawns in the hope that Byrne would fall for 30 ... Re1? I can't see any other reason for 28 Rc1.

There must be something horribly wrong with <28 Nd4> otherwise I'm sure even an off-colour Fischer would have played it. Can't see what it is, though.

Jul-26-10  Petrosianic: <There must be something horribly wrong with <28 Nd4> otherwise I'm sure even an off-colour Fischer would have played it. Can't see what it is, though.>

28...Qxb1! looks pretty convincing. White's Knight needs to keep guarding the e1 square.

Jul-26-10  Petrosianic: <Marmot PFL> <Looks like one of Fischer's 60 Forgettable Games. I would expect a 1600 player to see 12...Bd6 (threatening MATE)>

The odd thing is that Fischer apparently HAD seen Bd6 a move earlier (else, why not play 11. Nxc6?, which seems to win a piece if you don't see Bd6). He saw it then, but forgot it a move later, when it was even stronger for Black.

Jul-26-10  Call me Ishmael: <The odd thing is that Fischer apparently HAD seen Bd6 a move earlier>

How do you know what Fischer saw? Who the hell do you think you are always making these grand pronouncements as if you're all knowing. 99% of the garbage you spew on this site is false. Take your childish act someplace else.

Jul-27-10  Petrosianic: <How do you know what Fischer saw?>

If you'd read the post you're replying to, you'd have seen the answer to that question: If he hadn't seen Bd6, then Nxc6 appears to win a piece.

Look, I'm sorry if I've embarrassed you, but you're not going to get your own back by throwing these hysterical fits over every comment, and hoping to get lucky and make a valid point. It's like the bit with the monkeys and the typewriters. They won't really produce a Shakespeare play no matter how long you leave them hammering away.

Premium Chessgames Member

<British Chess Magazine No.8
Volume 130
August 2010
Price: £4,05

This eye catching issue starts with the British Championship, where GM Michael Adams dominated the event with five straight wins ,Robert Eames had the courage to open with the King’s Gambit but the opening was in no time a fiasco, included in this issue is a interview with Michael Adams. Grandmaster Matthew Sadler digs in the Albin Counter Gambit ,with the day I played the Albin part 1.Ponomariov wins the Sparkassen tournament in Dortmund,in games department I found a fine game from Luke McShane with the King’s Indian Defence, against Alexander Shabalov: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 Na6 7.Bd3 e5 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.d5 Ne8 10.0-0 c5 and 0-1 on move 51.

<<<Mihail Marin analysis in his contribution, understanding development part one the game Robert Fischer – Robert Byrne,USA Championship 1965.>>>

Other readable columns are:News in Brief,Quotes and Queries,Endgame studies,Fortcoming events,Book reviews etc.

Conclusion: A well made issue!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  JohnBoy: <goodevans: ... did he really give up all three Q-side pawns in the hope that Byrne would fall for 30 ... Re1? I can't see any other reason for 28 Rc1.> After black's 27...Qc2 Byrne threatens ...Rxf2. White is really hog-tied. It looks to me as if 28.Rc1 is a way to get the rook into the game and maybe get some play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Call me Ishmael: <The odd thing is that Fischer apparently HAD seen Bd6 a move earlier> How do you know what Fischer saw?>

To a degree (very much dependent on circumstances), one can infer what Fischer, or another strong player, might have seen. <Petrosianic> is more than capable in that respect.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: How many losses had Fischer against the French defense?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Eduardo Bermudez><How many losses had Fischer against the French defense?>

The home page advanced search functions work quite well!

Looks like 6 classical losses, 1 blitz and 10 simul. Just look how many of them were Winawers. Instead of that nonsense about the human touch, Fischer's last words should have been, "Fine-- the Winawer is sound. There, I said it."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Our database gives 17, but ten of those were from simuls and one from a blitz tournament:

In all, I make his record against the French to be +33 -17 =15, or 62%. Discarding simul and blitz games, it comes to +20 -6 =6, or 72%. His overall record with White was 74%, so the French was no panacea even if he did lose some horrible games against it.

It may seem from these numbers that the French was a good weapon against him in simuls, but remember that games preserved from those events are mainly losses by the simul giver. Fischer's record against any opening would improve with the simul games omitted.

Jan-26-13  RookFile: I think that some praise of Byrne is in order for his play in this game. 3...Nc6 was a shrewd choice, and he almost certainly had the whole ...Bd6 business worked out when he played 8..... Nf6! A more typical French arrangement would have been 8..... Bd6 with the idea of 8....Nge7. If Byrne didn't have the little trick he played, it's not hard to see him getting into trouble - it certainly appeared on move 8 that he would have problems castling after 8..... Nf6. Finally, it's one thing to win the exchange against Fischer, but another to win the game - here Byrne showed excellent technique.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: RIP Robert Byrne

I have video annotated this game here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kdogphs: What a wonderful game! An American legend for sure, RIP
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