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Pal Benko vs Robert James Fischer
Portoroz Interzonal (1958)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  1-0
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Given 27 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-19-04  aragorn69: Benko comments this game in his new book "Pal Benko: My Life, Games and Compositions".

[About 11.-g5?] : “The impatience of youth! Here Bobby couldn’t stand the pin on his f6-Knight any longer, and breaks it at huge cost: his f5-square is now seriously weakened. An experienced tournament player would think twice before making such a move. Though f5 can’t be exploited right away, it is bound to lead to further concessions in the long run.”

A long, very favourable review of the book is at

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: Good game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: I bet Fischer was upset losing this game. He played worse in this game than any other games he played against Benko.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: After 29.♘d5 it is quite clear that the black position is not the best one.. :-)
Apr-03-06  ycensor: A great positional game by Pal Benko.
Beginning with 26 Qg5!, he shows how
not to be a material grub but instead put pieces on devastating squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Blacks position looks pretty shaky but it is hard to believe that 18..c5 is the right move. Benko did not play 24 Bxf6..Bxf6 25 fxg because the bishops of opposite colors would have given black good defensive chances. Benko doesn't mention 26 Bxd8 though it clearly looks suicidal for white. After 28..f6 Fischer had clearly lost the strategical battle. 39 Kh2 would have won even quicker.
Sep-22-07  D4n: I'll have to read that book...
Jun-09-12  GrenfellHunt: 38. Rd7! is a lovely move. Put that one in a tactics book. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A good win by Benko -- I'm surprised that there hasn't been more commentary on it, given the popularity of Fischer. Or maybe that's the reason -- Fischer fans don't like to see losses? I used to have a copy of Mednis' book 'How to Beat Bobby Fischer'. Not that I ever got the chance to try...
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  john barleycorn: <domdaniel> "How to Beat Bobby Fischer"? Is it another try to swing out a dollar of Fischer's name? Looks like those "funny" books on gambling that show you how to become a casino's worst nightmare. And of course, a fan doesn't like to see losses of her/his hero. What do you expect? But losses are part of the game.

What exactly is your point?

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  Domdaniel: <JB> Uh, read the Mednis book. It's about 30 years old.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zoroastre1o1: I read this in chess-com yesterday:

" The famous American grandmaster and chess composer has probably played hundreds of thousands of moves throughout his illustrious chess career. Which one is the best?

Here is what Pal Benko wrote in Chess Life magazine (April 2016).

"With my long career it is difficult to pinpoint a single 'best move'. I find it more interesting to give my best move against Fischer, which occurred in our first meeting." "

Mr. GM Benko enphasises on 19. h4!, as the topic of the article in is "best pawn move". "Waekening the king side" he says, even when both players castled king side.

This is exemplary lasting initiative carefully conducted to brilliant conclusion. Against strong player, even Bobby Fischer could do nothing against a bad position.

Now on DVD
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