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Samuel Reshevsky vs Robert James Fischer
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 6, Nov-15
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-27-08  RookFile: Yes, this is absolutely true, and I published parts of this article on this website some 6 months ago. The obvious point is at that time, Fischer was head and shoulders above every known person in the world, and the world didn't really care much who Anatoly Karpov was - he was seemingly just another talented GM.
Jan-27-08  Paraconti: Reshevsky was bitterly jealous of Fischer right from the late 50s. He was the ultimate chess king in the USA, winning the national championship with mechanical repetition till Bobby showed up, won all the acclaim that Reshevsky never really got, and then smashed the Soviets and became the legend in life that Reshevsky dreamed of becoming.
Jul-23-08  RookFile: Is that true? Reshevsky went to the trouble of playing a match against Fischer, and was even declared the victor. There are stories that in 1970, Reshevsky and Fischer hung out for a while before the tournament started. Of course, by this time, Reshevsky knew that he was already well past his prime.
Jul-23-08  RookFile: Reshevsky's blunder at the end of this game was tragic, but his opening idea of 11. f4 and 12. f5 was a terrific idea that should have gotten him at least a draw in this game.
Jul-23-08  RookFile: The funny thing about this game is that when you see it annotated, usually 28. Qd7 gets a ? mark, as in 28. Qd7? . Fritz 10 says it's the best move! It was just necessary, after 28. Qd7 Qf4, to play 29. Qb5, and then a very natural draw by repetition happens.... or black prefers 29. Qb5 Qe3 30. h3! Qe2 31. Qxe2 Rxe2 32. Bb4 Rxa2 and his chances of winning are problematic.
Jul-23-08  zev22407: - Those two disliked each other and refused to play in the same American Olympic team, so the idea that Reshevsky wouls lose on purpuse is totaly unbased. -
Jul-23-08  Petrosianic: <littlefermat> <It's a 1973 article in the NYtimes.>

Any idea what month it was published? Better yet, what day? I imagine Robert Byrne's column must have dealt with the question a lot, too. Larry Evans was unusually quiet about Fischer in those days.

<zev22407> <Those two disliked each other and refused to play in the same American Olympic team,.

In fact, Fischer and Reshevsky DID both play on the same Olympic team that year.

Jul-23-08  littlefermat: The following is a link to the article:

Date: June 4, 1973

Unfortunately, you can't read it unless you purchase it. However, you can get a trial premium membership (the link is on my profile), and then use one of the premium membership features, searching for old kibitzes, to find the article. Parts of it were posted by Rookfile, somewhere.

Kind of roundabout way though.

Jul-23-08  Petrosianic: <Unfortunately, you can't read it unless you purchase it.>

Thanks. That's no problem, I can always go down to the library and check the microfilm, if nothing else, as long as I've got the date.

Jul-23-08  Petrosianic: I just had a look at it. Nothing really new in it, but it provides a source for some things that have been told and retold before.

The last two paragraphs seem to be the most important bit.

<Any person in occasional touch with Fischer says that for the first time in his life Bobby is not keeping abreast of the chess literature. he used to play over every major tournament. Now he is unfamiliar with the latest theoretical innovations.

"That," said the friend, "is a bad sign.">

That adds some credence to the oft-floated idea that he couldn't and wouldn't have played Karpov under any circumstances in 1975 because he simply wasn't wasn't ready.

Jul-27-08  zev22407: To PETROSIANIC
It was the first and only time that the both of them played in the same team but to suggest that Reshevsky lost on purpuse is a simple lie.
Aug-21-08  Helios727: Reshevsky refused to play on the same team if he was not top board, and I think Fischer made the same demand. However, I don't know when that started. It might have been after their aborted 1961 match.
Oct-22-08  2Towers: Sometimes, I feel like Fischer was the end of a chess generation and Karpov was the beginning of another. I have great respect for both because of their individual qualities. Fischer is a legend. So is Karpov. Karpov has won the most number of tournaments on record and has held the throne for so many years and even at different period to my recollection. I think a total of 17 years. That's quite an achievement. Fischer on the otherhand has the widest gap in terms of chess strength to any of the GMs of his generation. Fischer played so simply as they said. Karpov played a3 or h3 and the opponent collapsed. Their mystifying skills.

What about Kasparov? Well, ELO 2850...that's what I remember him for.

Dec-13-08  Everett: <2Towers> When quoting Kramnik, be respectful and site.
Feb-22-09  PinnedPiece: Guess the move--
Score 59 par 40.

28..Qf4! My God, I lost a point with my move on that one.

Nov-19-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: Heavy pieces on back rank easily overworked

Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1970

[Event "Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 6"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca iz Rd: 6"]
[Date "1970.11.15"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "6"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Samuel Reshevsky"]
[Black "Robert James Fischer"]
[ECO "A32"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "60"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. e3 Ne4 7. Qc2 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O a6 11. f4 d6 12. f5 exf5 13. Nxf5 Bxf5 14. Qxf5 Nd7 15. Bf3 Qc7 16. Rb1 Rab8 17. Bd5 Nf6 18. Ba3 Rfe8 19. Qd3 Nxd5 20. cxd5 b5 21. e4 Bf8 22. Rb4 Re5 23. c4 Rbe8 24. cxb5 axb5 25. Kh1 Qe7 26. Qxb5 Rxe4 27. Rxe4 Qxe4 28. Qd7 Qf4 29. Kg1 Qd4+ 30. Kh1 Qf2 0-1

Dec-25-14  Dave12: got to love the way Fischer won without his dark B who was stuck in its place almost tha all game
Dec-25-14  sfm: What a shocker! Did White think he was the one that was making threats on the f-file? Well, realities turned out a little different.

As <rookfile> points out below, it is not 27.Qd7 but 28.Kg1?? that loses the game. Quite a blunder for a GM, but we are all so wise afterwards.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Fischer's famous concluding combination, beginning with 29... Qd4+, is #188 in the "Black Book", aka The Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames. I wonder if it is still in print.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Black to Play and Win after 28. Qd7 is a good weak back rank puzzle for students, to see if they find 29. Qb5 which holds instead of 29. Kg1? which loses, albeit brilliantly. Note Black plays 29 ... Qd4+ leaving the e file open for the Rook (30. Rf2 Re1#) versus 29 ... Qe3+ 30. Rf2.

<The silly thread can be ended if ughaibu and RookFile each retract their arguments on the stipulation that the other one does. But that's not very likely, because it looks like this whole debate is prearranged - as evidenced by the absurdity of the reasoning.>

This is hilarious.

Jan-28-15  SimonWebbsTiger: @<tpstar>

the last thing we need is more Bobby Fischer teaching people back rank mates....

Sep-11-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: The final move involves the same idea as

Tal vs Larsen, 1965

Sep-22-17  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Two points, in response to comments made by others above: first, it was Fischer who refused to play in the Munich Olympiad in 1958, unless he were placed on top board.

Secondly, it is obvious from what happened subsequently in the first Karpov v Kasparov match that the Fischer v Karpov match would have had to be abandoned.

Sep-23-17  dannygjk: I think Fischer vs Karpov games would have gone similarly to Kasparov vs Karpov.
Oct-29-17  RookFile: Consider this position:

click for larger view

This is Reshevsky vs. Kotov, 1953. Reshevsky has been crushing Kotov positionally throughout the game, but he's low on time. With Reshevsky's flag hanging, Kotov goes "all in" with 34....Qe2 !?

This shocking move catches Reshevsky by surprise, and it's a nasty one. Naturally, taking the queen is out because ...Rd1 mates. But you can't play 35. Rf1 either because of ...Rd1 from black.

Reshevsky's mind is racing. He reaches out... and out comes 35. Qxf8+ !! deflecting the rook off the d file. There is an insane rush of moves while Kotov tries to win on time. But Reshevsky makes it and wins the game.

The point of all this is ...Qe2 is similar to Fischer's ....Qf2. I wonder if Reshevsky had some hallucination about how he could deal with Qf2 based upon his experience with Kotov?

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