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Vasily Smyslov vs Robert James Fischer
Herceg Novi blitz (1970)  ·  Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Ultra-delayed Exchange Variation (D79)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Given 16 times; par: 98 [what's this?]

Annotations by Robert James Fischer.      [17 more games annotated by Fischer]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-17-08  AAAAron: But white could respond with 11.Qxb7, answering 11...Bxd5 with 12.Qxc6.
Jul-17-08  Granny O Doul: <Aaron> then 12...Bxc6 is the quietus.
Jul-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: What a beautifully played game by Fischer! Simple, logical.

And then Fischer's great endgame technique makes it look easy to win a rook ending a pawn up, even against Smyslov!

I just love Fischer's comment after 30 Re5-e3?? (Fischer).

White to play: 30 ?


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<30 Re5-e3 ?? 30 d5 gave real chances for a draw, the rest is easy.>

Position after 30 Re5-e3??


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Position after 30 ... Rc4xd4


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Once again we see the value of good endgame technique. Fischer says that the final position above is an easy win! No doubt that Smylov would hold the draw against a patzer like me.

Jul-17-08  Petrosianic: <What a beautifully played game by Fischer! Simple, logical.>

One of the secrets of Fischer's success is that he realized that the difference between White and Black is only one tempo. Some GM's hunker down and just try to survive their games with Black, while others realize that the advantage of the first move is relatively small and easily lost through imprecise play.

Of all the world champions, the best ones with the black pieces were Steinitz and Fischer (while Kramnik was probably the worst).

Jul-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic> <Of all the world champions, the best ones with the black pieces were Steinitz and Fischer (while Kramnik was probably the worst).>

You probably know this, but <whatthefat> uncovered a pretty amazing Botvinnik statistic: from 1944-1946 he was +23-5=1 with Black. Of course, he wasn't world champion yet. Steinitz certainly had no fear as Black, but that led to some horrible beatings as well as lots of wins. I'll have to try to track down <whatthefat>'s numbers. I did overall percentages with White and Black for a few world champs and others. Maybe I can find those too.

Jul-17-08  whatthefat: <keypusher>

Here are my findings:

<White score>

1. Alekhine 0.89
2. Capablanca 0.86
3. Lasker 0.82
= Fischer 0.82
5. Botvinnik 0.80
6. Karpov 0.75
= Kasparov 0.75
8. Tal 0.73

<Black score>

1. Botvinnik 0.81
= Capablanca 0.81
3. Alekhine 0.78
4. Lasker 0.76
5. Fischer 0.74
6. Karpov 0.64
7. Kasparov 0.63
8. Tal 0.59

<White bonus>

1. Tal 0.14
2. Kasparov 0.12
3. Alekhine 0.11
= Karpov 0.11
5. Fischer 0.08
6. Lasker 0.06
7. Capablanca 0.05
8. Botvinnik -0.01

<White losses>

1. Alekhine 0.00
= Capablanca 0.00
3. Kasparov 0.01
4. Botvinnik 0.03
5. Fischer 0.05
= Karpov 0.05
7. Lasker 0.09
8. Tal 0.10

<Black losses>

1. Capablanca 0.00
2. Alekhine 0.05
3. Fischer 0.07
= Karpov 0.07
5. Kasparov 0.10
6. Lasker 0.12
7. Botvinnik 0.17
8. Tal 0.21

<Comments>

Over time, scoring rates as both colours have declined due to the stronger competition. Nonetheless, Tal notably underperforms here.

As expected, scores as Black are generally lower. The more tactical players seem to derive the most benefit from the white pieces. Botvinnik is an unusual case, scoring slightly better with Black. In fact, from 1944-1946 he scored +23 =1(!!) -5 as black!

The loss percentages are less meaningful for players of the distant past, although Capablanca's 42 games without loss is impressive. Tal's risky style of play does not serve him well here. Most notable is the difference between White and Black loss rates for both Kasparov and Botvinnik.

Jul-17-08  RookFile: There has never been a modern professional would could put wins up on the board with the black pieces like Fischer could.
Jul-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <whatthefat> Thanks! Remind me, please: you're looking at these players at their peaks, correct? Not over their careers?
Jul-17-08  whatthefat: <keypusher>

That's right. I used Big Database 2005, and the following 3 year peak periods:

Lasker: 1896-1900 [given 5 years, since he was inactive for 2 of them]

Capablanca: 1918-1921 [4 years, since no serious games in 1920. N.B. Only 42 serious games during this period, making his statistics far less reliable than anyone else's.]

Alekhine: 1930-1932

Botvinnik: 1944-1946

Tal: 1959-1961

Fischer: 1970-1972

Karpov: 1976-1978

Kasparov: 1989-1991

Jul-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RookFile: There has never been a modern professional would could put wins up on the board with the black pieces like Fischer could.>

Doesn't look that way...unless there is some reason that Botvinnik, whose career ended 38 years ago, <is not> a modern professional, while Fischer, whose career ended 36 years ago, <is> a modern professional.

Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <RookFile: There has never been a modern professional would could put wins up on the board with the black pieces like Fischer could.>

And Fischer's attitude was a big part of that: Fischer simply wanted to crush you whether he had the White or Black pieces, every game.

If Kramnik had won the first three games of the Taimanov and Larsen matches like Fischer, he would have crawled into a shell and tried to draw out the match. Fischer, on the other hand, proceded to win the next three games in a row as well(!), beating both Taimanov and Larsen by identical, incredible scores of 6-0(!!!).

Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <notyetagm>

<If Kramnik had won the first three games of the Taimanov and Larsen matches like Fischer, he would have crawled into a shell and tried to draw out the match. Fischer, on the other hand, proceded to win the next three games in a row as well(!), beating both Taimanov and Larsen by identical, incredible scores of 6-0(!!!).>

As it happens, Spassky beat Larsen in the first three games of their 1968 match, but played unambitiously the rest of the way, winning +4-1 with some draws. Now let's be honest: Spassky is a despicable, cowardly little pantywaist for not trying to annihilate Larsen 6-0, isn't he?

Jul-18-08  RookFile: <keypusher: Doesn't look that way...unless there is some reason that Botvinnik, whose career ended 38 years ago, <is not> a modern professional, while Fischer, whose career ended 36 years ago, <is> a modern professional. >

I'm thinking in terms of the whole career. Of course, Botvinnik had impressive results. Maybe he did have a remarkable 3 year run. Over his career though, his results with black don't measure up to Fischer's results with black.

Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RookFile>

<I'm thinking in terms of the whole career. Of course, Botvinnik had impressive results. Maybe he did have a remarkable 3 year run. Over his career though, his results with black don't measure up to Fischer's results with black.>

You are mistaken. Here are their career figures with Black.

Botvinnik

+265/43.7%
-96 /15.8%
=245/40.4%

Overall percentage with Black: 63.9%

Fischer

+211/47.5%
- 79/17.8%
=154/34.7%

Overall percentage with Black: 64.9%

So, slight advantage to Fischer. He also won (and lost) slightly more often.

But this isn't fair to Botvinnik, since he played until he was 59, and Fischer retired at the age of 29. To get a fairer comparison, I measured Botvinnik through his winning of the world title in 1948:

+142/52.6%
-37/13.7%
=91/33.7%

Overall percentage with Black: 69.4%

Now he wins more often, and loses less often, than Fischer. He also has a higher overall percentage.

Jul-18-08  RookFile: Well, nice work. I think it's fair to say that they were comparable. That's the main thing. Various points could be raised - for example, Botvinnik was 29 in 1940, so maybe that should be his cutoff date. The scary thing about Fischer is, if he wasn't insane the next 10 years for him after age 29 would have been even stronger than his previous 10. So, when you factor all this in, it's probably best to say that Botvinnik and Fischer were comparable in their ability to win with the black pieces.
Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <keypusher: ... Now let's be honest: Spassky is a despicable, cowardly little pantywaist for not trying to annihilate Larsen 6-0, isn't he?>

Indeed.

Glad you agree with me.

Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <notyetagm> Let's see how many others are on board.

Who else thinks Spassky is a despicable, cowardly little pantywaist for not trying to annihilate Larsen 6-0?

And who, on the other hand, believes only a creep who has issues with his masculinity would think that Spassky is a despicable, cowardly little pantywaist for not trying to annihilate Larsen 6-0?

Jul-18-08  Alphastar: <keypusher> I think it is very logical to draw out the rest of the games. The only thing that is important is that the match is won, and when you have a 3-0 lead draws will do just as well as wins. Why take risk when you don't need it?
Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <keypusher: <notyetagm> Let's see how many others are on board.>

Must I always place a :-) after my posts to show that I am not serious.

Of course drawing out a match is the correct thing to do for 99.9999999% of chess players. I was using the Taimanov and Larsen matches as examples of Fischer's -UNBELIEVABLE- will to win damn near every game he played: he was still playing Siclians and King's Indians though he was way ahead in those matches!

Just incredible fighting spirit, will to win, crush the opponent every single game mentality by Fischer.

Jul-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <notyetagm> OK, fair enough. Sorry for going overboard.
Jul-21-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <keypusher: <notyetagm> OK, fair enough. Sorry for going overboard.>

No problem.

:-)

Sep-12-08  joelsontang: where can i get notes by fischer apart from his 60 memorable games???
Oct-12-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Many players believe that you have to get equal before playing for the big 0-1 as black.

Fischer's strength was his attitude.

He was playing to win from move one as white or black!

Jul-04-11  Damianx: the stats are warped cause Fisher had maybe what ten years at his best cut short to tidy them up
Jan-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Could someone let Houdini run wild over this game?
What puzzles me is that Fischer gives white loads of ?s and black loads of !s and then at move 30 says that white should have drawn.

I believe the notes are from Chess Meets Of The Century; they give the impression of having been done very quickly.

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