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Robert James Fischer vs Lajos Portisch
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 2, Jul-19
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-18-06  erad1288: I cant help but think that Portisch had a win here somewhere.
Jul-18-06  paladin at large: <erad1288>Good idea and a very interesting game. I do not like 56.... Rc2. It is very complicated but my instinct would be to play 56.....Rc6 and perhaps Ra6 at some point and push the a-pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: In the book of the tournament, instead of 50 f3? Portisch gives the variation 50 Ne3 ( attacking the Rg4 which defends the Bg7 but also trapping it) 50...Bxe5 51 Nxg4 Rxg4 52 f4 52...Ba1 53 Ng5! and wins. Now the second Rook is trapped and on 53...hxg5 54 Kf3 will win it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: According to Portisch, after 43 a3 <Black's position is very difficult>.

One possible improvement on 44..Bf8 is 44...Ra5 for three reasons.

Firstly, the move 44...Bf8 removes the bishop from its defence of the c1-h6 diagonal and so allows White's Knights to come to g5 and to e3.

Secondly, in the event that White's Rook on a1 attacks and pins the Black bishop on a3, Black can break the pin ny the move ....Bb4 as the B will then defend the R on a5 eg 45 h4 Bc1 46 Rd1 Bxa3 47 Ra1 Bb4

Thirdly, the Rook vacates the square a4 for its colleague in the event that White attacks the other Rook by h5 followed by Ne3 eg 44...Ra5 45 h5 Rg4 46 Ne3 Rg4-a4

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < erad1288: I cant help but think that Portisch had a win here somewhere.>

Portisch was actually fortunate to escape loss and wouldn't have done, had Fischer played 49.h5 R6g4 50.Ne3 Bxe5 51.Nxg4 Rxg4 52.f4, an idea which I believe was mentioned by Wade in his collection of Fischer's games.

Sep-19-14  MarkusKann: What's the point of 19.Qh6 ?, he is just giving a R :/
Dec-12-14  zydeco: Yeesh. This is a torturous, high-level game. Here are Portisch's notes from the tournament book:

Portisch follows Petrosian's play from Santa Monica, 1963. Petrosian showed that, even with the doubled f-pawns, his king was perfectly safe. Fischer deviates from the Gligoric-Petrosian game with 16.Qxd4.

Portisch says he saw the line in which he wins the exchange (with 17....Rd8 and 18....Nd3) but didn't realize that it was actually good for white. "Unfortunately I did not know that the whole line had been published in the May, 1966 issue of Chess Review." So -- a rare secret analysis from the American chess community!

Black can win a whole piece with 19....Nxe1 20.Rxe1 Bf4 21.Qxf6 Rxd2 22.Nxd2 Bxd2 only to be mated immediately with 23.Rd1 B moves 24.Rd3. Portisch defends precisely from move 20 to 25.

Portisch criticizes 27.Kg2 and 28.e5 and says that Fischer should have immediately played Nb3 and seized the queenside dark squares.

Portisch calls the possibility of 32.Rd2 "an astonishing threat" (with black's queen trapped in the middle of the board.

With 31....Rf4, black has the initiative.

Portisch miscalculated with his reasonable-looking plan of 33....Qc6 and 34....c4 - simply missing 36.Ned2 when the c-pawn falls.

38.Nxc4 would lose to 38....Rxf3 39.Rxf3 Rf7. So Fischer finds the pretty move 38.Rd3!

Fischer threw away the win with 50.f3. 50.Ne3 Bxe5 51.Nxg4 Rxg4 52.f4 Ba1 53.Ng5 would win.

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