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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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Given 8 times; par: 104 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Sep-25-08  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.

Sep-26-08  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."
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile> If only-especially if we were playing opposition of this calibre!
Jul-02-16  hudman653: I must be missing something here but why doesn't Fischer play 56. RF3 Check winning the queen ??
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: I assume that white wins the king & pawn ending after black captures the white queen.
Jul-16-18  Owl: If Fischer didn't move his king to kh6... he could of create a drawish blockade
Jul-16-18  Albion 1959: To Peter Nemenyi - I cannot possibly believe that Fischer had a lost game as early as move 9 after playing d6, instead of d5. I can guarantee that if I put this through any search engine, the losing move will occur much later than move 9! To Hudman 653. At first glance it looks as if 56 Rf3+ win the queen, which hit does, but...after 57. Kb4 Rxb3+
58. axb Reshevsky will win the pawn race, since Fischer's tripled pawns cannot create a passed pawn on their own. To think that this was only third (and last game)that Fischer lost in the US Championship !
Jul-16-18  ewan14: What if 30 ..... Nf6 ?
Jul-16-18  Nerwal: <What if 30 ..... Nf6 ?>

30... ♘f6 31. ♕g5 intending to sac on h6 is crushing.

Jul-16-18  ewan14: Thanks
Jul-17-18  DWINS: Bobby was off his game here and was lost in the opening. Stockfish 9 had Sammy at +1.5 after 16.Nf5. It's rare to see Fischer lost so early in a game.

Sammy handled the rest of the game well and the win was never in doubt, but he missed a killing shot with 34.e6!! and Black's game completely collapses.

White threatens the decisive 35.exf7! and Black has no way to defend since his f-pawn can't move because of the mate in two starting with Qxg6+ and the knight on g6 can't retreat to the back rank because it's all over after Rg1. Black has to lose material and shortly there after the game. Stockfish 9 was showing mates all over the place. I love this move!

Jul-17-18  Howard: In Mednis' excellent book How to Beat Bobby Fischer, he makes the comment regarding this game, "The length of this game is somewhat deceptive. It's Sammy's game all the way."

In other words, it's like this was a tooth-and-nail struggle for 61 moves. Sammy was in charge most of the way and merely missed at least a couple quicker wins.

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