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Fridrik Olafsson vs Robert James Fischer
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 11, Aug-22
Queen's Gambit Declined: Ragozin Defense (D38)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 23 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-04-05  Halldor: <iron maiden: Would the immediate 13...Ba3 have been better?>

This was stated in the book on this tournament, but Frišrik Ólafsson himself denies it in his chessbook on 50 of his attacking games ("Viš skįkboršiš ķ aldarfjóršung", Skįk, Reykjavķk 1976).

Olafsson gives the following argument (my rough translation):

"This <13... Ba3> can hardly be true and is also badly supported with the annotations there. After for example 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Rb1 black can't win the exchange except for two pawns (15... Bf5 16. Nxd5 etc.) and 15... cxb3 16. Qxb3 Bb4 17. a3 leads to permanent initiative for White.

Same is for 15... Bb4 16. Qc1 Bxc3 17. Qxc3 b5 18. bxc4 bxc4 19. Hb5 etc. Fischer must therefore play 13... g5 at once if he wants to get the exchange."

Apr-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 29...Qf5 was a bad move. Olafsson's 30.g4 looks fine but 30.Qxf5 Rxf5 31.e4 and 32.f5 seems to be even better.
Apr-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Where was Olafsson from? Iceland?
Apr-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <RookFile> Yes he's from Iceland.
Apr-06-05  Saruman: <rafaelluiz><Fisher was crushed by olafsson :)> True, but then again the location was "Bad" Portoroz!
Apr-15-05  DWINS: Can anyone verify the moves to this game.

Irving Chernev in "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played" gives the exact same moves as shown here, but Reuben Fine in "The World's Great Chess Games" has an entirely different ending. He gives 37...R8e5 instead of R8e4. This is possibly just a typo, but then from move 40 until the end of the game his continuation is entirely different. He gives 40.Kh2 Rc3 41.Be6 Re2 42.g5 Rcc2 43.Bd5 Kd6 44.Bf3 Resigns

Can any one verify the correct move order? Personally, I feel that Chernev/Chessgames is probably correct, but who knows?

Also <Halldor>, I know that you translated Olafsson's analysis into English. Can you please make sure that in the last line given that Olafsson meant to say 16.Qc1 and not 16.Rc1, because 16.Qc1 appears to be a mistake as Black can play 16...Nxd4.

Apr-15-05  sneaky pete: <DWINS> Fine has it wrong. The score here can also be found in the official tournament book by Gligoric and Matanovic. Black played 37... R8e4 and 40.Kh2?? .. makes no sense because of 40... Rexg4.
Apr-15-05  DWINS: Thanks <sneaky pete>. I figured Fine's version was wrong. His 40.Kh2 only makes sense if you also play his 37...R8e5.

Regardless, his game score is incorrect. I just picked up his book tonight and there are lots of great games included, but I hope mistakes like this aren't common.

Jun-23-05  Halldor: <DWINS> Sorry that I haven't seen this page for months. I checked the book, my translation of moves is at least right as in the book. Your comment is good.

The move order in the viewer here is correct according to Ólafsson's book.

(The last comment by Frišrik: "Fischer preferred to resign rather than be mate after 44...Kf7 45. Bh5.")

Oct-28-05  e4Newman: Chernev annotates that 5...Qxd5 is better. I don't see how on account of simple moves like 6.Bd2 and 6.Bf4. Any thoughts?
Oct-28-05  BobbyBishop: I think I recall reading that prior to this game, Fischer had had a bad game with his usual KID and was temporarily disillusioned with it..hence his choice in this game. I also think it was said that he had never played this variation before which seems very risky since Olafsson was very likely thouroughly familiar with the ins & outs of the kinds of positions that could arise.
Jun-06-06  The17thPawn: Chernev also recommends 15...cxb3 16. Nxb3 (if axb3, Nxb4 corners the rook), Bf5 17.Rd2 (Bd3, BxB 18.QxB,Nb4 is not good for white), Bb4 18.Qa1, BxN 19.QxB, Ne4 and Chernev states "the King Knight does the trick this time". He feels this line is superior. Any thoughts from the public?
Aug-18-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9..c4 is frequently played in this variation; it certainly leads to a sharp, unbalanced middlegame. 13 b3 invites black to win the exchange; perhaps Fischer should have played 15..cxb before going after the rook. Fischer must have underestimated 21 Bxc4; he had no time for 21..Ba5 22 Qg6+..Kh1 23 Qxh6+..Nh7 24 Bd3..Rc7 25 Be5+..Kg8 26 Bxh7+..Rxh7 27 Qg6+.
The queen exchange does not help black much; the extra pawns on the kingside prove impossible to stop. Olafsson and Fischer tied for 5th in this tournament (behind Tal, Gligoric, Petrosian and Benko). They both qualified for the 1959 candidates tournament.
Sep-13-07  Autoreparaturwerkbau: <saruman> There's only "Portoroz" existing. I don't have a clue what "Bad" stands for. Maybe for german name bad=spa, but then again, Portoroz is not a spa, it is rather a coastal tourist resort in Slovenia.
Aug-30-08  A.G. Argent: Ok, wouldn't normally comment on a post that's 4 1/2 years old but I gotta say that Olafsson didn't exactly "crush" young Bob but he certainly showed him what's what. A very nice combination to seal off the 2 connected white pawns from two free ranging Rooks at the same time protecting his King in order to put the pawns to work. Good stuff.
Dec-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Honza Cervenka: 29...Qf5 was a bad move. Olafsson's 30.g4 looks fine but 30.Qxf5 Rxf5 31.e4 and 32.f5 seems to be even better.>

Indeed - and Olafsson's choice of 30.g4 might have made a difference later if instead of 38...Rg3? Fischer had played 38...Rf4! and the win is not easy for White.

Nov-26-10  LIFE Master AJ: Apparently Fischer made mistakes on moves 38, 40, and 43 as well.

43...K-K3?? loses on the spot.

My copy of Chernev's book has many notes on this game, some (of my notes) date back to the 1970's.

Jun-01-11  abstract: 42.Bf3 safety first :)
Aug-22-11  BiggCojones: Dude,
Fischer got out-Fischered by Olafsson!
Dec-12-12  Chris1971: At the time of this game Fischer had been reading the classic work ‘Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky. The original edition of this work had an in depth look at the Ragozin Defense of the QGD. Fischer was influenced by this work for a short while hence he began toying with the Ragozin.
Mar-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  eggert13: One of "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played"
Feb-19-14  ChessYouGood: Brilliant long term strategy here by Olafsson. 20.Nxe6 and 21.Bxc4 are smart moves after which the e6 pawn is always going to fall with long term possibilities for connected passed pawns to more than compensate for the exchange. Fischer, on the other hand, is materialistic and short sighted: apparently his only plan after taking the rook on c2 is to swap off as many pieces as possible wrongly assuming the exchange leads to a win. I think <BiggCojones> unfairly detracts from the achievement here saying <Fischer got out-Fischered by Olafsson!>. A simpler statement is far more apt: Olafsson, playing as Olafsson, beat Fischer, playing as Fischer.
Apr-02-15  Resignation Trap: According to this post card from Fischer to Jack Collins, Bobby "botched" it in time trouble: https://scontent-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/h...
Jul-26-15  ToTheDeath: 38...Rf4! does seem to hold. Nice catch Resignation Trap
Mar-19-17  Howard: If 38...Rf4 does indeed hold the draw, then it illustrates a rather well-known issue with some of Chernev's books, including TMIGOCEP. His annotations often left a lot to be desired.
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