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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
"Fischer Scientific" (game of the day Feb-12-2007)
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Vancouver CAN, rd 4, May-25
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-16-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Y'all ever heard of an endgame expert by the name of Botvinnik?
May-16-15  Karposian: <TheFocus: Y'all ever heard of an endgame expert by the name of Botvinnik?>

Of course Botvinnik, like all the World Champions, mastered the endgame better than most players. But he is not generally regarded to be among the absolute best endgame players.

In my opinion Botvinnik's greatest strength was in his opening play. His meticulous opening preparation is legendary. He is surely one of the greatest opening players of all time.

May-17-15  RookFile: I think Karposian said it perfectly. By definition, you don't get to be champ without being terrific in the endgame.
May-30-15  ndg2: A knight is the only piece that is absolutely pinned when defending a pawn (other pieces still can move at least in some direction). This makes the knight vs. bishop endgame especially prone to zugzwang situations.

Fischer converts this positional advantage with super-exacting precision.

May-30-15  RookFile: I'm not a fan of these defenses where black gives up the f8 bishop. A lot of times he loses on the dark squares. More often than not, I think black should put it on e7 and leave it there.
May-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SChesshevsky....Also Fischer's endgame skill was probably a lot better than believed....>

What, exactly, does this mean?

Even before Fischer wrested the title from Boris Spassky's grasp at Reykjavik, authors such as David Levy wrote of Fischer's endgame virtuosity.

May-31-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Lasker was the greatest endgame player ever. Absolutely no one else is in his league.

Rubinstein, Fischer, Smyslov, Botvinnik, Petrosian, Capablanca, Karpov fill out the top eight.

Jul-09-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <<<<TheFocus: Lasker was the greatest endgame player ever.>>> Absolutely no one else is in his league.>

I got a gook chuckle out of this. No one else in his league? Carlsen is as good or better.

Jul-09-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 10. Bf4! and 14. Bxc5! are yet more examples of how the greats are better than everyone else in no small part due to their excellent understanding of the zwischenzug.

Carlsen is the best at it right now.

IMO the zwischenzug is <the most underrated aspect of grandmastery by far>.

Jul-22-15  ToTheDeath: One of Fischer's greatest games, in many ways THE quintessential Fischer game. His trademarks are all over it.
Mar-24-16  Garech: One of my favourite all time Fischer games, especially the endgame, of course.

Interesting debate about the greatest endgame players of all time. Capablanca often gets mentioned in these debates - but Fischer had an interesting view on that inasmuch as it was Capablanca's 'dazzling' middlegame play that resulted in winning endgames moreso than the endgame skill per se that resulted in this reputation for Capablanca. Fischer, too, is way high up on that list of the greatest endgamers ever. Carlsen could already be called the greatest of all time; he is just on a completely different level. And let's not forget Kramnik - I was very surprised not to see his name mentioned above.

-Garech

Mar-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Garech> Kramnik is a most interesting name to mention in this connexion, if not someone whom I have thought of in that way.
Mar-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here are two really good endgame players: Larsen and Miles. There is a lot to be learnt from them.
Mar-25-16  Turtle3: You forgot about Capablanca!!
Mar-25-16  Howard: There's always been a minority of experts--Pal Benko being one of them--who have said that contrary to popular belief, Capablanca was NOT the endgame wizard that most people have made him out to be. Yes, he was certainly good at endgames (He never would have been WC, otherwise.), but he was not as phenominal (sp) as some say.

Ironically, Fischer was in that minority! He stated once that Capablanca's greatest strength was....in the middlegame, not the endgame.

Mar-25-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Yes, Capa won a lot of games in the middlegame, but was far enough ahead of everyone that they didn't realize it was lost until the endgame.
Mar-26-16  Howard: That's exactly what Fischer said, in his (controversial) list of the 10-greatest players of all time.

Andy Soltis said likewise in a 1984 CL&R column. He stated that in a lot of Capablanca's endgame wins, he already had the deck stacked in his favor going into the endgame---in other words, he wasn't magically taking balanced endings and transforming them into wins.

Soltis also stated in that column that Pal Benko had recently made a list of the top-10 endgame players of all time....and Capablanca didn't even make the list, much less place highly on it.

Jun-17-16  Ewen: It's actually 57 ...Ng8
Oct-11-16  Howard: The best analysis of this intriguing endgame that I've seen so far, is in Learn From the Legends.

Incidentally, Mueller's book states that according to Charles Sullivan, Black probably could have drawn with 42..Rf6. The idea is to keep the rooks on the board at all costs.

Oct-11-16  RookFile: That's probably right. When you want to draw, keeping rooks is a good move.
May-25-17  Mithrain: A classical ending which every chess player can learn from.

While I was reading the countless comments of this game, 10 years later the following comment made my day (referring to White's plan of sacrificing the Bishop on the g6-square):

<Sneaky: That's one difference between grandmasters and players like you and me:while we go on fishing expeditions hoping to find that winning shot, these guys actually know what they are going for>

Oct-11-17  PJs Studio: Fischer, like Botvinnik was a very scientific player. Small advantages culminating in wins. Both intending their play to be without risk. Fischer was always a strong endgame player but by 71 he was ultra sharp.

As to the comment about Capa’s middlegame virtuosity, Like Fischer, they were both dangerous tacticians. Literal magicians in the middlegame.

Oct-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <PJs Studio: Fischer, like Botvinnik was a very scientific player. Small advantages culminating in wins. Both intending their play to be without risk. Fischer was always a strong endgame player but by 71 he was ultra sharp.>

<Both intending their play to be without risk.>

It's 11:07 pm, so I'm pretty confident that's the stupidest thing I'll read today.

Oct-11-17  sudoplatov: It's "Two connected Passed Pawns on the sixth rank are about equal to a Rook." One of the first terms I put in LACHEX's evaluation function. It also allows one to more accurately evaluate the weights to Passed Pawn locations.
Oct-11-17  sudoplatov: I'd agree with those who noted that Black was in great danger of losing starting with move 24.
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