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Samuel Reshevsky vs Robert James Fischer
USA-ch (1965), New York, NY USA, rd 9, Dec-25
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-18-05  JohnnyRambo: JohnnyRambo: Actually, it's humorous that this is called the "Fischer" variation of the Nimzo, when you consider that Reshevsky played this opening variation against Alekhine in 1938, varying with 9. Bxe4 in that game. This was a few years before Fischer was even born. It's not like Alekhine was some fringe player...
Jul-03-05  calman543: So what happens after Kxh5?
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  iron maiden: Then Qh7#.
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  KingG: Fischer doesn't play very well, but i still like the way Reshevsky patiently builds up his attack, it's quite instructive.

It's a bit strange that at no point does Fischer play ...c5, which is quite thematic in this opening. As a result, White gains a massive mobile pawn centre, and Black has no counter play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  drukenknight: was this game really lost before move 30? What if 43....Nc3? Just beginning to look at this...
Sep-12-07  D4n: It just goes to show that Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation isn't just good for Fischer..
Sep-12-07  RookFile: Reshevsky was awesome with white in the Nimzo Indian, and scored a lot of wins over big league opposition.
Oct-14-07  Erdkunde: <drukenknight> 43. ...Nc3 44. Re5 seems to prevent most of Black's drawing or forking ideas; e.g. 1) 45. ...Nd2+ 46. Rxd2 Rxd2 47. e7 and Black can't stop White from Queening; 2)45. ...Rg5+ 46. Kf3 Rg2 47. Bxc3 again leads to a lost position...if Black tries some other move then White simply captures on c3 next and prepares to Queen his pawn. But it does look complex and would offer Black definite counterchances if White weren't as good a player as Reshevsky, or was in time trouble.
Apr-15-08  mistreaver: Hmm i am maybe bad but how can white capitalize on advantage if black just moves his rook from f5 to e5 or king from h7 to h8 around move 57/58?
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  Jim Bartle: Was this game played with an adjournment?
Aug-29-08  Helios727: Back then, I think all the US Championship games had adjournments after the first time control.
Aug-30-08  Pawn and Two: <Jim Bartle & Helios727> Yes, this game was adjourned. The sealed move was 42.Re4. Later, Reshevsky indicated this move was not the best, and recommended 42.Qd7 Rc7 43.Re4, as being more precise.
Sep-25-08  zb2cr: To belatedly answer <mistreaver>'s question: "Hmm i am maybe bad but how can white capitalize on advantage if black just moves his rook from f5 to e5 or king from h7 to h8 around move 57/58?"

It seems to me that if Black plays 58. ... Kh8, White can play 59. Qd3, Kh7; 60. Qxb5, Rxb5+; 61. Kxb5 with a straightforward Queening race that White wins. The tripled Black Pawns would get picked off from the rear and White mates.

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  AnalyzeThis: Fischer resisted well in a lost cause in this game. He couldn't quite set up a fortress at the end that might have drawn the game. It was close.
Sep-25-08  Peter Nemenyi: In How to Beat Bobby Fischer Mednis agrees that Fischer was beaten out of the opening here, choosing 10...d6 as the losing move, and claiming that 10...d5 would have been better. He explains Bobby's spiritless play this way: "Bobby had lost in the preceding round to R. Byrne. For this reason, in one of the very rare instances in his career, Bobby here decided to play safely for a draw. To achieve a draw, what is required is not safe moves, but good moves!"
Sep-25-08  RookFile: I'm sure you're right. The decision is odd for a couple of reasons. First: Reshevsky with white against the Nimzo Indian awesome. He put big league victories up on the board against the most famous names you can imagine, who tried this against him.

Second - Fischer had already, on multiple occasions, succesfully defended against Reshevsky's method of playing against the King's Indian, which often involved an exchange system. He could have just played this way again, and probably would have made his draw.

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  drukenknight: erdk: I am not sure what position you are looking at but if 43....Nc3 44 Re5 leads to mate in one after 44....Nh5+ . Hmm maybe this game wasnt lost in the opening?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Long ago, Mednis suggested 10....d5 as an improvement over the text; while I don't recall his supporting analysis, the positions arising from lines such as 11.cxd5 Qxd5 can hardly be worse for Black than the static, strategically disadvantageous situation he faced in the actual game. Any GM would be happy with the position White got in this game, and Reshevsky made a living from these!
Mar-21-11  gazzawhite: <drukenknight: erdk: I am not sure what position you are looking at but if 43....Nc3 44 Re5 leads to mate in one after 44....Nh5+ . Hmm maybe this game wasnt lost in the opening?>

There is no knight that can move to h5. The only knight is on c3.

May-30-12  kasparvez: The Nimzo Indian had caused Fischer a few hiccups. His record against it [as Black] is 9 wins and 6 losses, way below his winning average in other openings.
May-30-12  RookFile: Of course, I would love to have the problem of only getting 9 wins for every 6 losses in any black defense I played.
Mar-19-13  minibikeguy: Sammy's four pawn row at move 17 was the turning point in this game.... look at Sammy's overwhelming concentration of firepower aimed at Fisher's King. I also like and agree with JohnnyRambo's comment, "... it's humorous that this is called the "Fischer" variation of the Nimzo...when you consider that Reshevsky played this opening... in 1938, varying with 9. Bxe4.... a few years before Fischer was even born."
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  perfidious: <RookFile> If only-especially if we were playing opposition of this calibre!
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  hudman653: I must be missing something here but why doesn't Fischer play 56. RF3 Check winning the queen ??
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  stoy: I assume that white wins the king & pawn ending after black captures the white queen.
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