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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 19, Dec-06
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. Modern Line (B44)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-12-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Instead of 44.Rxb4, perhaps better is 44.Rb3 Rxb3 45.Rxb3 (threatening 46.Rxb6) 45...Nd7 46.c6 Ne5 (46...Nc5 47.Rxb6 Rc8 48.Rb5 Nxa4 49.b3) 47.Bd5 (threatening 48.c7 Rc8 49.Rc3 and Bb7) 47...Rc8 48.Rxb6, followed by Ra6 and Rxa5.
Nov-25-13  jdc2: I remember looking at the position after move 41 about 5 years ago and noticed that the engines I had at the time (Fritz 6 I believe and a beta version of Rybka) with a 333 Mhz machine took about 3 minutes to find Fischer's 42.c5. On my 2.1 Ghz laptop this is what happens with various engines today:

Stockfish 4 not more than 1 sec (1 CPU)

Houdini 1.5a x64 3 sec though it changed briefly after 17 sec before changing back. (1 CPU)

Ruffian 1.05 10 sec (1 CPU)

Fritz 13 29 sec (1 CPU)

Rybka 2.2n2 mp 30 sec (2 CPU)

SOS 5 for Arena This one initially picked 42.c5 after about 17 sec, but then changed to a transposed line with 42.Kg1 Rxh4 43.c5, then after about 2 min decided it like 42.Kg1 Rxh4 43.g3 instead. (1 CPU)

Spike 1.2 Turin picked the c5 line after about 8 sec but then after 17 sec changed to the transposed line, then after about a minute decided that the line 42.c4-c5 Rd4-b4 43.Rb5xb4 a5xb4 44.Rc3-c4 b6xc5 45.Rc4xc5 b4-b3 was strongest. (1 CPU)

Crafty 23.05 I gave up after a minute and a half (2 CPU's!) Herman 2.6 same as Crafty with 1 CPU

Stockfish is pretty amazing.

Jun-28-14  sicilianhugefun: We'll-timed squeeze
Oct-24-15  jerseybob: <Gouki: on move 32....Bxd5?? I think, seems to be the blunder by Taimanov.> Vasiukov, annotating in the 1971 BCM, criticizes 35..Rdb8 as the loser, and claims 35..Ne6 should draw. Fischer prevents that next move with 36.Bf5!
May-15-17  Mithrain: Another Bishop vs Knight from Fischer. I wonder if he did learn to play this position so well by himself or it was inspired but another great player. Nevertheless, great game by Bobby!
Feb-13-18  hudman653: Isn't this a Maroczy Bind opening? I thought Fischer hated this opening based on his comments in My 60 Memorable games against Lombardy ??
Feb-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: there's no line where black can play N-d8 to win the b pawn and break out his Rook? After that, he swaps off the last white pawn on the kingside through pawn advances, maybe forcing a passed pawn of his own? It could be drawish if not played correctly by white.
Feb-14-18  morfishine: After this debacle, Black was asked to take some "Time-n-off"
Jul-11-19  Knightcarver: Informant 10 and most online sources give 58 Kb5 as the final move. However a tournament book on this event by Walter Kuehnle and Heinz Schaufelberger, Zurich 1971, gives the final move as 58 Kxb4, which seems to make more sense. Is there any official record to verify this?
Jul-11-19  Granny O Doul: The Wade & O'Connell collection gives one move 58 but notes that it was more likely that the other move was played. I remember thinking that odd at the time.
Jul-11-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Knightcarver>,<Granny O Doul> 58. Kb5 does look like the best move (so if 58...Nd8 59. Rxd8 Kxd8 60. Kb6).

Why are people thinking 58. Kxb4 makes more sense? What's the follow-up after 58...Nd8?

Jul-11-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I agree with <Marmot> about 46. Kg7. I wonder if 46...h5 was playable.
Jul-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: I think the evidence is strongly in favor of White having played 58.Kb5!.

Chess Life & Review for March 1971 gives White's 58th move as 58. Kb5.

My copy of The Complete Games of Bobby Fischer, by Wade & O'Connell, gives White's 58th move as 58.Kb5!, but does add the comment, "some records give 58.Kxb4 as played".

In Kasparov's, My Great Predecessors, and in Plisetsky's & Voronkov's, Russians versus Fischer, White's 58th move is shown as 58.Kb5. In both books, some comments by Taimanov were included. In the book, Russians versus Fischer, Taimanov concluded his commentary for this game by saying, 'In the final stage Fischer was simply magnificant!'.

Also, as noted by <beatgiant>, the move 58.Kxb4 would have been a major blunder. White's only winning move was 58.Kb5!.

Jul-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: 26.f4 is a difficult move to understand. Obviously it worked but can anyone explain the reasoning behind it?
Jul-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Obviously white threatens 27.fxe5 but one can hardly expect a GM to miss that.

As near as I can figure Fischer wanted to liquidate the central pawns to open up the game for his Bishop. So Fischer's plan may have been to open up the position, trade queens and then play with the Rooks and Bishop against Rooks and a knight.

Any thoughts?

Jul-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: This game was annotated in a detailed and very interesting article by Evgeny Vasiukov in the magazine '64', (#52 1970). This article is available on the internet, see (Fischer - Taimanov, Palma de Mallorca Interzonal, 1970). The game score from Vasiukov's article matches the game score on the chessgames.com site.

At the time Vasiukov wrote the article, he was Taimanov's trainer, and during the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal tournament, he was Taimanov's second.

In the article Vasiukov mentions that the move 11....Bd7 was the beginning of a new piece regrouping, which had been prepared by Taimanov and Vasiukov for the Palma de Mallorca tournament.

Vasiukov also mentioned that the position after 16....Rb7 had been part of their tournament preparation.

Vasiukov highly praised Fischer's play during the final 17 moves of the game, from the point after Taimanov's sealed move, 41....Rd4, up to and including the game's final move, 58.Kb5.

Jul-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Well I looked for Vasiukov's article and couldn't find it. Probably I'm not good at searching.

What does Vasiukov say about 26.f4? Does he explain the reasons for this move?

Jul-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Ha ha! Found it. Vasiukov makes no comment about 26.f4. Maybe he didn't know why Fischer played it either. He does say Fischer had a worse position shortly after that.

It's too bad Fischer didn't write more books about his games, Like My 60 Memorable Games. They'd have sold like hotcakes.

Jul-14-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <gezafan: Any thoughts?>

I think you have answered your own question. As I see it, it seems quite clear that Fischer wanted to open up the game for his Bishop, as you yourself noted. You know, strategy101 is activating your pieces! And in this particular position, the only way for White to get more scope for his bishop is to play f4. The reason for that is that both the <a4-d1> and the <a6-f1> diagonals are effectively blocked by his own pawns. So I think he felt compelled to play 26.f4, even though the move has its severe downsides; damaging his healthy kingside pawn structure and consequently weakening his king's safety.

Jul-14-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Thanks CW. I wonder if Fischer assessed his position as worse at this point and was trying to open things up for potential counterplay.
Jul-14-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <gezafan> In Vasiukov's article, he states that Fischer, during the subsequent joint analysis, assessed the position after 27.Qxf4, as very unpleasant for White.
Jul-14-19  devere: < gezafan: Thanks CW. I wonder if Fischer assessed his position as worse at this point and was trying to open things up for potential counterplay.>

26.f4 was risky and dynamic, while 26.b3 would have been safe and dull. Fischer assessed that he was a better player than Taimanov, so he wanted to open the position to create winning chances. It turned out that his judgment was correct.

Jul-14-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Count Wedgemore: <gezafan: Any thoughts?>

I think you have answered your own question. As I see it, it seems quite clear that Fischer wanted to open up the game for his Bishop, as you yourself noted. You know, strategy101 is activating your pieces! And in this particular position, the only way for White to get more scope for his bishop is to play f4. The reason for that is that both the <a4-d1> and the <a6-f1> diagonals are effectively blocked by his own pawns. So I think he felt compelled to play 26.f4, even though the move has its severe downsides; damaging his healthy kingside pawn structure and consequently weakening his king's safety.>

I agree.

Stockfish considers it equal before f4
and -.15 after. Doesn't seem like Fischer took a lot of risk opening the position.

(This was round 19, so there is also the question where he was in the standings)

Jul-14-19  SChesshevsky: <gezafan: ... I wonder if Fischer assessed his position as worse at this point and was trying to open things up for potential counterplay.> I don't think Fischer thought he was worse at 25...Nc5. Black has the backward d-file pawn to always worry about. Plus, after the d6 pawn is taken or liquidated, White's got the Qside majority. Fischer's 26. f4 puts a tricky question to black as to does he want to allow f5 which binds him, maybe dangerously on the kside? But then 26...exf4 just opens up another line of attack to d6 and gives white access to the e5 square. While 26.f4 does open up line for the B, it's main task looks to be on c2 helping to hold pawns until d6 is taken care of and then position to help on the qside majority. Which Fischer artfully accomplished. All in all, at 25..., Fischer probably thought he wasn't seriously better but sees he has some initiative and clear strategic goals where it's up to Black to find correct defense or some sort of counterplay.
Jul-14-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Vasiukov stated that Black obtained an inferior position by fighting for the initiative with 40....Rd7. Instead, Vasiukov indicated a draw could be achieved by playing 40...Rc7!.

Houdini 3 shows: (.05) (30 ply) 40...Rc7! 41.b3 Kf8 42.Rd3 Rd7; or (.41) (30 ply) 40...Rd7 41.Rb5 Rdd8 42.b3 Kg7.

Stockfish 9 shows: (.00) (32 ply) 40...Rc7! 41.Rb5 Nd7 42.b3 Kf8; or (.61) (31 ply) 40...Rd7 41.Rb5 Rd4 42.c5 Rxh4+.

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