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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
"Fischer Scientific" (game of the day Feb-12-07)
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 239 times; par: 126 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-18-14  Eduardo Leon: 187, but I had analyzed this endgame previously from Polugaevsky's excellent book The Sicilian Labyrinth (2nd volume), so I already knew the main ideas.
Aug-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  SamAtoms1980: They kept giving me full credit for moves that RJF didn't actually play. When it was over, I had 152 points.

During the game it seemed like Taimanov was just sitting there as Fischer rolled up the board and ran him into oblivion. And yes, I saw 62.Bxg6, the winning balance that would ensue. On the other hand, I bit on 21.Qxd5+ <*cough*>.

Aug-18-14  Howard: Marin's excellent book Learn From the Legends analyzes this endgame quite thoroughly.

Would it be accurate to say that once the rooks were exchanged off at the 44th move, that the game was a forced win for White ? Or could Uncle Fritz find a way for Black to hold the draw ?

Jan-27-15  thegoodanarchist: <thejack: Fischer at his endgame best, of course. Still, to this day I find it rather ridiculous to claim him to be "the greatest endgame player ever"!>

Who is the greatest endgame player ever? I know several of the Soviets spoke highly of Rubinstein.

My money is on Carlsen becoming known as the greatest endgame player ever, in a few more years from now.

May-16-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  julillo: Fischer usually speak in Mohamed Ali style :)
Endgame players clearly greater than Fischer are Capablanca, Lasker, Rubinstein, Karpov and now Carlsen
May-16-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Rubinstein
May-16-15  Karposian: <julillo> Don't forget Smyslov. He's arguably the greatest endgame player of them all. Apart from that, I agree with your picks. Fischer belongs to be mentioned amongst the best also, though.
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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
Premium Chessgames Member
  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  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  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  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
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