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Pal Benko vs Robert James Fischer
"Pal Mal" (game of the day Mar-01-2016)
US Championship (1966), New York, NY USA, rd 1, Dec-11
Hungarian Opening: Symmetrical Variation (A00)  ·  0-1


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Given 17 times; par: 77 [what's this?]

find similar games 18 more Benko/Fischer games
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-01-16  newhampshireboy: A nice game! Howard asked if Benko missed a win. Since I am only an amateur I would love to have strong players comment on this if possible. Thanks
Mar-01-16  devere: < Howard: Benko missed a win early in the game, didn't he ?> It seems that Fischer erred with
21... Nxf3+? (Bxf3 is equal) 22.Kf2 Nd4 23.Nc7 Bh6?, since 24.Nxe8 Bxc1 25.Nc7 Bxb2 26.Rb1 Rc8 27.Nd5 Rc2 28.Ne3 wins for White

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Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <thegoodanarchist> Yes, splendid idea, somebody should submit a pun for this game....I couldn't agree more

BTW: Excellent game


Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: Outstanding...AND they are mild!
Mar-01-16  mikrohaus: I'm not sure White's position is playable after 16...Qa5.

Pal being Pal, he put up the good fight, but it's over IMHO.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <mikrohaus> Your move 16...Qa5 is impossible since the Black Queen is already on <a5>


Premium Chessgames Member
  gars: Where can one find an analysis of this games? Thanks a lot.
Mar-02-16  Howard: The closest thing that I know of is Mueller's book on Fischer's games---it has very brief notes to this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <gars> and <invisible poster> As I noted above, the collection by Wade et al has some notes on this.
Mar-02-16  TheFocus: Wonderful game by Fischer!!

I thought Benko had the advantage for a long time, but Fischer is Fischer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Pal Mal" needs to be erased for the sake of humanity. Do us all a favor <CG>
Mar-02-16  TheFocus: Yep. It's not even a pun.

I know the reference is to Pall Mall, but...

Mar-03-16  Granny O Doul: Another possible reference is to Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk of 927 Fifth Avenue. No better a joke perhaps, but at least it's another one.

Anyway, there can't be a shortage of "Pal"-based titles. "Pay, Pal", "Thanks, Pal!", or "Pal-o-mine-o", after "F-Troop"'s Corporal Agarn's joke, "any palomino is a pal o' mine-o".

Mar-05-16  ToTheDeath: Why didn't I take one of his rooks? Because I didn't analyze far enough. I saw 24.Nxa8! Bxc1 25.Nc7! Bxb2 26.Rb1 Rc8 27.Nd5! Rc2 and I didn't like my position. Had I looked one move further, I would have seen the winning move 28.Ne3!

And why did Fischer offer to sacrifice the exchange if 3 moves later he would get a lost position? For the same reason: he didn't analyze far enough. Even when I told him the next day I could have won with 24.Nxa8!, he refused to believe until I showed him 28.Ne3"

- Pal Benko, Winning with Chess Psychology p.228

Mar-05-16  Howard: So, Benko DID miss a win in this game--I was almost sure I'd read that somewhere.

Winning with Chess Psychology was a decent book, as I recall. It included a position from Larsen-Portisch, 1976 (Biel interzonal). Larsen won that game, and went on to take first place in the event.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < morfishine: "Pal Mal" needs to be erased for the sake of humanity. Do us all a favor <CG>>

<TheFocus: Yep. It's not even a pun.

I know the reference is to Pall Mall, but...>

Holy cow, guys. I am not the first person to have a GOTD title approved without it being an actual pun.

Anyway, I like it and I am honored that selected it.

Mar-12-16  ToTheDeath: "Mal" is Spanish for "bad". It's also a Latin root and is used in everyday English all the time. So the pun is perfect. Morfishcake and his ilk should try not to be so malinformed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < ToTheDeath: "Mal" is Spanish for "bad". It's also a Latin root and is used in everyday English all the time. So the pun is perfect.>

That was my line of thinking when I came up with it.

And I used to have a firm understanding of what a pun is, but after coming to almost daily for over a decade I am now sure I have no idea what a pun is :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I thought the pun was obvious and was surprised people weren't getting it. I forgot to explain it, and am glad <TTD> did.
Mar-13-16  luftforlife: In Part Two of her "Life Gambit à la Benko," a well-written narrative briefly recounting GM Pal Benko's remarkable career and admirable triumphs over adversity (and featuring some excerpts from her interview and photo session with Benko in 2013), Diana Mihajlova wrote:

"They met in a chess club, when Fischer was a fourteen-year-old boy. Their relationship was complex, but very special and long lasting, with Benko assuming ‘a father figure’ role to his much younger chess pal."

Here's the link to the second part of the article, which appeared in Chess News on July 18, 2013 and is hosted on ChessBase:

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: < morfishine: "Pal Mal" needs to be erased for the sake of humanity. Do us all a favor <CG>>

<TheFocus: Yep. It's not even a pun.>

Pal Mauled?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <diceman:

Pal Mauled?>

Probably better:

Fischer's Pal Mauled

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Fischer Breaks his Pal Benko
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Benko Almost Hooks a Fischer.
Mar-26-16  Howard: Benko alludes to this game in an excellent article on him in the latest issue of New In Chess.
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