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Robert James Fischer vs Ratmir Kholmov
Havana (1965), Havana CUB, rd 18, Sep-20
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  0-1


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Given 37 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-05-08  Resignation Trap: <Fusilli> Your line, 26.hxg4 Qd8 27.Qb7 Qd7 28.Qxa6 Rxf2! would have been a fantastic way to finish Fischer off. At first I thought that White had a better defense than the one you proposed: 29.Kxf2 Bh4+ 30.Ke2 Bxe1:

click for larger view


I thought that White would be able to muddle through with 31.Bf4, but that also fails: 31.Bf4 Bc3 32.Rh1 (32.Rf1 Rd2+ 33.Bxd2 Qxd2+ 34.Kf3 Qd3+ 35.Kf2 Bd4+ 36.Ke1 Qb1+ 37.Kd2 c3+ 38.Ke2 Qc2+ 39.Kf3 Qd3+ 40.Kf4 g5#) Rd2+! 33.Bxd2 Qxd2+ 34.Kf3 Qd3+ 35.Kf2 Bd4+ 36.Ke1 Qg3+ 37.Kd1 Qxg4+ 38.Ke1 Qe4+ 39.Kf1 Qb1+ 40.Ke2 Qc2+ 41.Ke1 Qxg2 42.Rh3 c3!

Oct-05-08  Resignation Trap: Here's the position after Black's 37th move:

click for larger view

Hans Kmoch in the January 1966 issue of <Chess Review> proposed:

38.Rf7+ Kg6 39.Rb7 Kh5 40.Ra2! Bh4 41.Ke4 Rg3 42.Bc5 with the point that either 42...Rxh3 43.Rb6 or 42...Rxa3 43.Rxa3 Rxa3 44.Rb6 leads to the fall of the Black Pawn on e6 "and a probable turn of the tables".

Position after 43.Bc5 (Kmoch's analysis):

click for larger view

The best I can find for Black is 42...Rgf3 43.Ra1 (43.Rb6? Bg5! 44.fxg5 hxg5 followed by ...Rf4#) Bg5! 44.Rf7 Bd8. I can't find a forced win for Black, however.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <<Resignation Trap>, 38.Rf7+ Kg6 39.Rb7 Kh5 40.Ra2! Bh4 41.Ke4 Rg3 42.Bc5 Rxh3 43.Rb6 is quite an interesting line. How about 43...Bg3. For example:

a) 44.Be3 Bh2! and 45. Re2?? loses to Rxe3+! 46.Rxe3 Rxe3+ 47.Kxe3 Bg1+. Then if 45.Bc5 Bxf4 46.Rxe6 (taking the bishop gets white mated, of course) and the white e-pawn is threatening, but black has passed pawns too. For example: 46...Be3 threatens 47...Rh4+ winning, so white has to move the rook from e6 and black can exchange bishops and I think he might be fine.

b) 44.Rxe6 Bxf4! 45.Rxa6 (45.Kxf4?? Rh4+ 46.Kf5 Rf3#) Be3 and I'm not fully sure what's going on.

Oct-14-08  jerseybob: This was one of two ugly losses as white in a Lopez that the out-of-practice Fischer suffered during this tourney, the other being against Ivkov. Kavalek played the recommended improvement 19.b3 against Cuellar at Sousse 1967 and lost, maybe not the fault of the move. Nonetheless, Fischer seems to have discarded this line and gone for 17.Nf5 in later games, like against O'Kelly at Buenos Aires 1970. So also Reshevsky in his magnificent win against Smyslov in the 1970 USSR v World Match.
Dec-22-08  zzzzzzzzzzzz: the rat catches a fisher
May-29-09  totololo: In the same tournament Bobby lost two games in the closed Spanish with d column opened because of the black rooks penetration on D and after that on the G column.The oponents were Holmov and Ivkov from the same chess school. In '67 L.Stein payed the price of the hard learned lesson in one of the best played games bu Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <The oponents were Holmov and Ivkov from the same chess school.>

Same school? They're not even from the same country.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Apparently it was the "penetrate on the d-file and then on the g-file in the closed Spanish" school...
May-31-09  totololo: To keypusher

Ivkov(Serbs) and the Russians had a coordinated system of chess training byb their national federations under the control of the Soviets.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think Bobby was intimidated by his opponent's name. The Kholmov region is part of Siberia, near the arctic circle. In the 20th century the Russians sent many thousands of political prisoners to the labor camps there. Alexander Szholzenitsyn wrote about it in his series of books "The Gulag Achipelago".
May-31-09  AnalyzeThis: Either that, or Kholmov played a great game.
May-31-09  Lt.Surena: Now Yugoslavia was part of Soviet Union? lol !! Western Propaganda machine at its best ! The same spin that created Bobby vs. Russians (Oh yea, Keres, Tal, Petrosian were Russian in the eye of the liers not Estonian, Lativian, Armenian). All to demonize the opponenets. The lunatic loses 7 games in 63, complains/bi@tches/moans about everything and still the spin masters aligned with him. Well, the one-time wonder put his tail between his legs and ran in 72 when he ran out of bag of tricks. The spin master were left with eggs on their faces !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think Bobby was caught up in "Freezer Fear"! ahhhhh
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <totololo: To keypusher

Ivkov(Serbs) and the Russians had a coordinated system of chess training byb their national federations under the control of the Soviets.>

No, they didn't. And the Yugoslavs would have beaten you black and blue if you suggested anything of the kind to them.

Is Tito forgotten so soon?

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The Yugoslavs were always independent. Tito advocated a 'rotating presidency', whereby each Balkan country would hold the title of president of the Yugo federation for, I think, one year apiece. Such power sharing was unheard of in Moscow.

The Yugos are slavs, and have a kinship with russian slavs (as opposed to the Croations or muslims in the Yugo federaton) but Tito's bunch were never owned by Moscow.

Jul-08-09  Ulhumbrus: After 18...fxe6 White has the bishop pair and Black's e pawn is doubled. White has no need to pay an undue price in order to gain more. On the other hand Black threatens ..Nd4 followed by ..exd4, ...d3 and ...d2. 19 Ng4 Nd4 20 Nxf6+ Bxf6 21 cxd4 exd4 22 Qg4 d3 23 Qxe6+ Kh8 24 e5 Be7 25 Bxd3 cxd3 26 Bd2 may be adequate.
Jul-21-11  Eduardo Bermudez: Kholmov and Korchnoi the only players non-world champion to beat both Fischer and Kasparov
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Kholmov and Korchnoi the only players non-world champion to beat both Fischer and Kasparov>

Thats an incredible trivia question. Is the answer accurate?

Aug-16-11  Eduardo Bermudez: a very special trivia question !!
Jun-22-12  Call Me TC: <When Kholmov played 19 ..., Nd4, everyone suspected that Bobby had run into a prepared variation.>

<How did I beat Fischer? That was in '65 in Cuba, when Fischer was playing by telex and they were transmitting his moves from New York. I was under a lot of pressure during that game, understanding that if I lost, they'd all set the dogs on me, they'd remember everything, and the evening before the game in particular. Why? The bar in the hotel was open all night and I was drinking Bacardi as you do. This rum is marvellous in Cuba. It was already very late when Smyslov came looking for me. Let's go, Ratmir, he says, I'll show you a variation that you can play against Fischer tomorrow. We went up to Smyslov's room and he showed me a new idea in the Chigorin Variation of the Spanish, but I was so drunk that Vasily Vasilievich was sure I wouldn't remember anything.

I sit down to play the next day and think to myself, what did you do yesterday, there'll be hell to pay for your behaviour, and it had to be right before the game with Fischer. They'll say, you son of a bitch, you were drunk as a skunk. I sit there, gritting my teeth and clenching my fists, not getting up from the chair. So you can imagine, the entire variation we'd looked at that night came on the board. After the game Fischer congratulated me, but we didn't discuss the game.>

Jun-22-12  Petrosianic: Absolutely disgraceful.

The very idea of a Russian drinking Rum. That's like James Bond having his martini stirred. In the privacy of his own home, maybe, but in public, it should be Vodka or nothing.

Jun-22-12  RookFile: Fischer remembered games like this when he played Spassky in 1972. That's why he didn't let Spassky see the exact same opening twice.
Jun-22-12  Call Me TC: Maybe that's why he skipped the Karpov match too.
Jan-05-17  Pedro Fernandez: Since 2012 this game has not been analyzed anymore. It is very interesting the analysis that Stockfish 8 makes, now in 2017.
Jan-06-17  Howard: How about sharing it with us when you get a chance ?
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