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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Down The Exchange" (game of the day Aug-16-2018)
Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971), Denver, CO USA, rd 5, Jul-18
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: <Eyal: Since you don't mention any more specific games besides the one vs. Gligoric, I'll probably have to go over all of them myself if I really want to find out. Right now I don't have enough time and patience to do that, but if I do and find some more I'll post them here - you might do the same yourself if you happen to remember any.>

This one from a simul, but should still count for the collection:

Fischer vs T Hartwell, 1964

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: This is a great one in a sicilian, Rxc3 but with white castled kingside:

R Reyes vs Fischer, 1967

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Garech: Fischer vs T Hartwell, 1964>

I noticed this game (actually already a while ago, when I was going over all of Fischer's games against the Dragon), but didn't include it for the same reason as the game vs. Redolfi - the "sacrifice" (or simply blunder) is incorrect, Fischer was in a losing position for quite a while, but got lucky when his opponent made an awful blunder (here, 41...Rb4??). To paraphrase his famous "sac, sac, mate" commment on the 1958 game vs. Larsen, that was more like - "pry open the h file, sac, sac... ooops - I'm down an exchange with no compensation, ooops - there goes another exchange, well - luckily he missed mate in 4".

But the game vs. Reyes is very nice - somehow I missed it in the "survey". Btw, like most of the other games I went over, when you look at it with an engine, as far as the engine is concerned it's not "really" a sac (or at least not a "speculative" one) in the sense that 12...Rxc3 is considered to be the best move and to give Black a clear, "objective" advantage. As for your question about the game collections - no, I don't think you have to be a premium member to make them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Another one, this time most of the middlegamme down the exchange due to an early oversight, I think.

Minic vs Fischer, 1967

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Also, it would be a travesty to forget this one, although it's an example of one of those where it leads to almost immediate vicroty:

Fischer vs Spassky, 1972

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: A very creative one that leads to a winning position some ten moves later:

Fischer vs S Hamann, 1968

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <I actually had a quick look at all the KID and Sicilian wins by now, so here are the remaining candidate games that I found:

A Pomar-Salamanca vs Fischer, 1966

<Minic vs Fischer, 1967>

<Fischer vs S Hamann, 1968>

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1971>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: In the Minic vs Fischer game, btw, the sac seems pretty sound although not decisive. In fact, I think that's the only sac of those I've seen so far that truly belongs to the "speculative" or long-term positional class - rather than being a blunder, part of a forcing combination, or leading immediately to a clear advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: This is a nice one that leads to a winning position, although I haven't analysed it with Fritz but it certainly looks like it was the strongest move:

Fischer vs H Camara, 1970

Nov-16-09  Eduardo Leon: <Garech>, in the Fischer-Camera game, the exchange sacrifice was justified by the fact that black hadn't castled. He lost a precious tempo by playing 10... ♕a5 only to retreat the queen later with 14... ♕c7. Instead, 10... 0-0 would have been better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: A blitz game, but nonetheless - still a nice one:

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1971

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: <Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1961;

An accidental one! (I think). But still, he wins!

Oct-29-10  BobCrisp: From a ringside report by a <Robert Sandberg> which appeared in the September 1971 <BCM>:

<The observer looks on with fascination as Larsen, the supreme tactician, is outplayed at every turn. As incredible as it may seem, he is simply no competition for Fischer. He sets up solid positions, with sound strategic goals, and then loses his way, his attention diverted by a tactical flurry. One senses in position after position, that Larsen has run out of ideas. Fischer's chess simply does not allow Larsen to demonstrate the beautiful chess which he has repeatedly demonstrated in recent tournaments. When insightful moves are made, they are generally Fischer's; when tactical skirmishes occur, they are to Fischer's advantage; when the endgame is reached, it is always Larsen struggling to hold on. In the fifth game, Larsen played perhaps ten moves in a dead lost position, uncomprehending. When the game was over, as Fischer was receiving an enthusiastic handshake from one of the judges and rolling applause from the audience, Larsen looked out into the crowd with a pinched, drawn expression, bewildered, confused, and then shambled off, the picture of defeat. With all regard for Fischer's remarkable play, what a sad sight it was to see this other great player so humbled.>

Oct-29-10  parisattack: <BobCrisp: From a ringside report by a <Robert Sandberg> which appeared in the September 1971 <BCM>:>

I watched this match live and can indeed attest that by the third game almost everyone saw 6-0 as a foregone conclusion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Garech>: Looking at the board after 24. c4 the power of piece centralisation is blindingly clear. I wonder what an engine eval of that position would be, seeing as objectively speaking he is one pawn down in material. Great game in any case.>

<<Eyal>: A good engine should recognize a big advantage for White without problems. My own Fritz 10 (which is already a bit outdated) recommends immediately 21.Rxe6 as the best move by far for White, and evaluates the resulting position at about +1 in his favor.>

To bring the discussion about engine evals somewhat up to date, Rybka (Deep Rybka 4 w32.exe dated 5-24-10) evaluates the position as [+0.94] at d=22. Likewise Houdini (Houdini_15_w32.exe dated 12-15-10) evaluates the position as [+0.42] at d=26, and Stockfish (stockfish-201-32-ja.exe dated 1-08-11) evaluates the position as [+1.41], d=35. So all 3 engines evaluate white’s position as being better and all 3 engines suggest that black’s best move is 24...a5.

And, yes, great game in any case.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Fischer plays the Fischer Attack... and wins
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: And by move 40 it is HOPELESS for BL but he keeps fighting until the bitter end.
Mar-11-15  PJs Studio: By move 25. White is already in a much better position. After 25. Ra7 blacks pieces are left defending material with little mobility. Regardless of the exchange sacrifice, white wasn't "losing".
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Maybe: "All Bent out of shape"?
Aug-16-18  7he5haman: Is 25...Bc5 26.Bxc5 Rxc5 a better try for Black?

If 27.a3?! Rb8! 28.Bxf7+ Kg7! And Black will win the b-pawn If 27.Rb7! Rcc8 28.b3! And Black still has problems

Aug-16-18  AlicesKnight: A few days ago we had a title "One pawn is not enough" - Wade and O'Connell comment at the end of this game; "One pawn IS enough"....
Aug-16-18  Atking: Each time I see this game I'm deeply impressed. Fischer gives the feeling that the slightest mistake will be fatal.
Aug-16-18  Ironmanth: Masterful maneuvering!
Aug-16-18  Howard: It's been pointed out before that Larsen had good drawing chances in Games 5 and 6, but he chose to go down fighting rather than just quietly back out of the match by playing for draws.

In other words, he was trying to get at least one win under his belt before inevitably losing the match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As Levy noted, Larsen was an outstanding practical player who realised that to take draws would be merely pushing Fischer one step closer to the inevitable end; to Larsen's credit, it was never in his nature to go quietly, but as with Bogoljubov in his matches with Alekhine, Larsen's optimism foundered in the face of brilliant judgement backed by superb calculation.
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