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Pal Benko vs Robert James Fischer
"Hungary for a Win" (game of the day Sep-02-2014)
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 1, May-02
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-02-04  morphyvsfischer: Black should have played 8 ...a5 so he wouldn't be so bottled up.
Feb-23-05  Whitehat1963: Before Fischer was FISCHER.
Feb-23-05  aw1988: I don't know... 8...a5 looks rather ugly.
Feb-17-06  blingice: Was this Fischer's loss because of the two pawns?
Apr-03-06  ycensor: OK, let's all compare this with
Speelman-Williams from ENG 1974:

After 8 a4 in that game, Williams
played ...A5!

Apr-03-06  ycensor: And it is amazing what one tiny
little move placement can do.
Jun-26-06  tonsillolith: If black had played 8...a5, how could white have taken advantage of the ugly move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: For some reason, my software says this should be B07 Pirc defence.
Jun-26-06  RookFile: I think 8.... a5 looks pretty good, maybe at some point black will entertain parachuting his knight to b4.
Jun-26-06  RookFile: Wanna be: it's pretty funny, if Benko had played d3 instead of d4, it would be like BOTH sides are playing the Pirc defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <8... Nbd7>
Yes, Virginia, at the higher level of master play, apparently insignificant opening inaccuracies can take on gigantic proportions.
Jul-14-07  RookFile: Benko of course was deeply familiar with the normal King's Indian for white (and had even beaten Fischer previously in his career with this). Going into this game, I think Benko had a scheme that would essentially lead to an improved variation of this for white, and take Fischer away from the stuff that he normally liked to do.

Profound stuff.

Jul-16-07  simondt: Isn't this opening named after the man himself and called Benkö's opening?
Jul-16-07  Petrosianic: Yeah, that's the way it's listed in Horowitz's "Chess Openings: Theory and Practice". Never heard it called Hungarian Opening before, though I've occasionally seen it lumped as a King's Indian Attack or somethign.

Mednis' notes to this game in "How to Beat Bobby Fischer" are solid gold. If you have a copy, check his discussion on the similarities and dissimilarites of this variation to the long variation of the King's Indian.

Nov-03-07  ketchuplover: null???????????????????? :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What does this bulk of <??>'s mean, <kl>?
Sep-06-08  wrap99: was this a loss on time? it ends on move 40; did Fischer resign? Is the position lost for black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <it ends on move 40; did Fischer resign? Is the position lost for black?>

Yes and yes. The game was adjourned and Fischer resigned without resuming; White's connected passers are too strong, and Black cannot conjure up perpetual check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Position after 7.Nbc3:

click for larger view

From Mednis' "How to Beat Bobby Fischer":

<7...c6? The philosophy of the King's Indian is to accept a somewhat cramped position to be able eventually to strike at White's, the defender hopes, overextended center. Fischer here voluntarily accepts the cramped position, but White's central buildup has been so cautious that he has nothing extended (much less overextended) for Black to later attack. Meanwhile White simply retains and builds on his natural space advantage.

The fundamental disadvantage of White's setup is that it is slow and innocuous and thus Black has an immediate opportunity for central pressure with 7...Nc6! this threatens the combinational 8…exd4 9.Nxd4 Nxe4! And after 8.d5 Ne7 we get the type of position where White's chances are on the queenside and for that he needs his c-pawn on c4 rather than hemmed in on c2 by his knight.

8.a4! Nbd7? The Losing Moment. In the so-called "long variation" of the King's Indian (Black plays Nbd7 and c6 against White's king's bishop fianchetto), Black's play is on the queenside via Qa5 or a5, a4 and Qa5. After White's next move all these possibilities are closed off and White together with his usual central superiority achieves a bind against Black's queenside [...] Black's only correct response, as Tal played under similar circumstances in round 3 [Benko vs Tal, 1962 ], is 8...a5. Black's position is still bad, but he has significantly more breathing room than he gets here.

9.a5! exd4?! Opening the position allows White to accentuate his positives with greater ease. Black should try to keep the position closed as long as possible and play 9...Re8.

[...] 11.h3! Taking away as many squares as possible from Black's pieces. Development of the queen's bishop becomes a special problem. [...] 12...Nfd7 Starting here, I don't have any more recommendation for improving Black's play. He suffers from chronic weakness of his d-pawn and has absolutely no play anywhere.

[...] 25.Kf2! [Benko's] play is outstanding in every respect and the text move is a mark of real grandmaster. Instead of "routine" safe 25.Kh2, White centralizes his king to exert control over the important f3 square. White sees that Black is in no position to start any kind of an attack.

[...] 31.Qxe4 Benko crowns his fine positional play with some sharp tactics. If now 31...Rxd6 32.Qe5 Rd8 33.Rd7+! and Black has a choice of losing his king or queen.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Does everyone realise what Pal Benko did for Fischer later?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <kingscrusher>: Of course, though it should be noted that Benko's chivalrous gesture would have amounted to naught, had any of those who placed below him in the 1969 zonal declined their rights to the spot vacated by Benko.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <perfidious> I think that you meant to say "had any had any of those who placed below him in the 1969 zonal <not> declined their rights to the spot vacated by Benko." Still, it was a great gesture, and I doubt that either Reshevsky (1st place) or Addison (2nd place) would have made it (certainly not Reshevsky!), and he should be commended for it.

I wonder if Fischer ever thanked him or even acknowledged this gesture?

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <kingscrusher: Does everyone realise what Pal Benko did for Fischer later?!>...

You mean what Benko did for chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AylerKupp>: That may well be, as I just read back what I hen-pecked and realised instantly that it conveyed precisely the opposite of what I intended.

That idiot internal editor, falling asleep at the wheel again! Retribution shall be swift and severe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Perhaps this opening should be classified as "Benko's Opening" to respect Benko ....'...

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