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Mark Taimanov vs Robert James Fischer
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971)  ·  Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <At adjournment of the fifth game, Bobby had an extra pawn, but his position was difficult.>

Not really true. Taimanov's sealed move was the obvious 42. Bxc5, establishing material equality, and Fischer wasn't really in trouble anymore.

<Then, apparently, the Soviet system of chess by committee broke down. When play resumed, Taimanov regained the pawn and went on the attack. Suddenly, disaster struck. Taimanov blundered away a Rook. One guess at the time was that the Soviet GM had transposed a move in the variation cooked up during overnight analysis.>

Here's what Taimanov said happened after 45. Kh6:

<For a few minutes I was puzzled: "Why has Fischer sacrificed a pawn?" And then I found an "explanation": Fischer dislikes passive defense and for this reason he preferred 44...Qe4 to 44...Qe5 [which the Soviet team expected]. Now after 46. Rxf6 he will replay 46...Ra2, I will have to exchange the queens -- 47. Qf4+ Qxf4 48. Rxf4, and his rook will take up an active post at c2, assuring Fischer of a draw. "Well," I decided, at least I'll have the moral satisfaction of being a pawn up." The following occurred literally in seconds:

46. Rxf6??

And with the words, "I'm sorry," as if ashamed of the cruel role for which he was cast by fate, Fischer played 46...Qd4+ 47. Rf2 Ra1+ and again I resigned.>

Sounds plausible.

Jun-22-07  Petrosianic: <"In Fischer's hands, a slight theoretical advantage is as good a being a queen ahead".

-- Isaac Kashdan>

And when they throw away Rooks, as in this game, that helps too.

>>
Fischerissweet: Kasparov is not the greatest chess player ever, Fischer is. >>

Depends what you mean. Kasparov was stronger, Fischer was more dominant at his peak.

>>
TIMER: <lopium> The same thing could happen in chess- if you choose your moves randomly, there is a remote chance that you play the best move every move of the game and may beat anyone. But these chances are so remote that they aren't realistic. >>

I remember a really awful short story along those lines in Boy's Life years ago. Called "Flasher Fever" (Like Fischer Fever, get it?) Flasher was a guy who knew nothing about chess, but got gang-pressed into a game or two, and by pure chance, played great moves, beat somebody really strong, and got put on top board of his team. He won a few more games because people were intimidated by his reputation (Fischer Fever again).

The ending was equally ridiculous. He booked up heavily for the team's big match, and started following a Fischer-Najdorf game from 60 Memorable Games (I think it was this game, the one that Fischer said in advance that he'd win in 24 moves).

Fischer vs Najdorf, 1962

But his opponent, had caught Flasher Fever, and, playing as though hypnotized, was following all Najdorf's moves, and was obviously going to play the entire game in Najdorf's shoes, right down to defeat.

All Flasher is doing here is following home prep, which is perfectly reasonable, but he somehow decides that this constitutes illegally receiving outside assistance, and deliberately varies from Fischer's move order, by playing a less than best move. This shakes his opponent out of the grip of Flasher Fever, and Flasher gets rolled. The End.

The story gets an A for research, but an F for plausibility. I probably still have it out in the garage somewhere.

Nov-29-07  rusich: >Fischerissweet: Kasparov is not the greatest chess player ever, Fischer is. >>

Fischer fainted at the sight of Karpov.
Karpov is one of the best.At lest he had courage to take up a challenge and lose in a decent chess match.He needed no excuses to defend his title.-That's a proven fact.

Nov-29-07  D4n: I really don't see the point of fighting about who is better, that is something that will never be known. Fischer and Karpov are both strong players (were, I guess).
Nov-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Instead of 38...Ra8, why not Qxf4, also attacking c4? Unlike in the game Taimanov had no easy way to regain the pawn although he has compensation. Maybe only needing to draw by this point Fischer was not interested in winning material.
Nov-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Well, if it goes 38.... Qxf4 39. Bg3 Qxc4 then 40. Qe3 is dangerous. But black could play 38....Qxf4 39. Bg3 Qe4.

So, it would seem that either 38.... Qxf4 or 38.... Qxc4 would be fine for black. Whether or not they actually win is another question.

Dec-26-07  Chesstalesfan: I do not doubt that Fisher is or was a giant of Chess. As it is or was Karpov , or as it is or was Tal, or anybody else of the Great Players you admire. But in this very game, the fatal mistake of Taimanov in the 46th move does not make necessarily his opponent a Genius. After 46Qf4+ who is going to struggle for a draw? In this case the Genius I am afraid.
Dec-26-07  Petrosianic: It's true that this particular game doesn't show Fischer's genius. On the other hand, he didn't do anything <wrong>, either. Had the game been agreed drawn after move 45, nobody would think less of Fischer for having drawn a game with a world class GM as Black.

One thing Fischer knew better than most GM's is that **** happens, so to speak. That, although the adjourned position was objectively drawn, that in the heat of battle, stress, momentary lapses of concentration, premature relaxation, and things like that <can> sometimes result in blunders just like this one.

A win is a win. This counts just as much as a brilliancy would. But if you agree to a draw too easily, it won't happen. So, though this game doesn't show Fischer's genius, it does show part of the reason for his success. Being able to keep the intensity turned up high, to unbalance the situation.

Fischer once said that when he went in, he gave 100%, but most people didn't. Larry Evans once asked why Fischer's opponents so often seemed to play like complete idiots. Well, this is why. Fischer maintained the heat of battle better. The drawback was that he couldn't keep up the energy level indefinitely. When he played, he gave 100%, but he couldn't play all that often, and once he'd reached his goal of a lifetime, he couldn't play at all.

May-19-08  echever7: "The drawback was that he couldn't keep up the energy level indefinitely. When he played, he gave 100%, but he couldn't play all that often, and once he'd reached his goal of a lifetime, he couldn't play at all".Brilliant analysis, Petrosianic, but for me there was another drawback. In Fischer's games there was no fantasy. All of them were pretty technical. There were not mad, unexpected moves as in Talh games, or the early Kasparovīs fantasy. All was reduced to "a win is a win".
May-20-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Evidently, Fischer's games with the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf, Benoni, King's Indian, etc. as black are just run of the mill positional struggles to echever7.
May-20-08  dejavu: IQ or no IQ all what Fischer is saying I Qrush U.
May-28-08  echever7: No. Fischer played brilliantly, especially that Benoni and King's Indian games. But again, in Fischer's games the sport side of the chess was everything. He did almost all he could to try to win every game he played. In fact,it was the essence of the beauty of his game . But there's another kind of beauty. I invite you (and everyone) to take a look at the game Portisch-Tal (Amsterdam 1964). That kind of moves and crazy ideas you dont find in any of the Fischer's games. It's beyond the sport side of the chess.
Jun-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: http://www.chesscafe.com/mueller/mu...:

<E86.01 M.Taimanov - R.J.Fischer Candidates qf3, Vancouver 1971


click for larger view

What did Taimanov miss, when he took on f6 with his rook?>

46 ...♕e4-d4+ <queen fork> 47 ♖f6-f2 <f2-rook is both pinned -and- loose> ♖a8-a1+ <REMOVES THE GUARD> by <DRIVING OFF> the White g1-king from the <LOOSE> White f2-rook.

Position after 46 ... ♕e4-d4+ 47 ♖f6-f2 ♖a8-a1+


click for larger view

Taimanov (White) seemed to overlook the rather trivial tactical point that not only is his White f2-rook <PINNED (MISPLACED PIECES)> but it is also <LOOSE (LACK OF PROTECTION)> and <LPDO - LOOSE PIECES DROP OFF>.

White can meet Black's attempts to <REINFORCE THE PIN> with 47 ... ♖a8-a2? 48 ♕c7-f4+ or 47 ... ♖a8-f8? 48 ♕c7-g3 but White cannot meet the simple <REMOVAL OF THE GUARD> 47 ... ♖a8-a1+, exploiting the <LOOSENESS> of the White f2-rook and not its <PINNED> nature.

Dec-03-09  Hesam7: << 21. ... Rb8>


click for larger view

Taimanov said it was not until "many years later" that he realized this was the critical stage of the game. With 22. Rff2! he would have had strong winning chances.> -- Soviet Chess 1917-1991 by Andrew Soltis

Mar-22-10  birthtimes: One wonders why Taimanov chose the 4. Bg5 line over the 4. Nf3 line, since he had had better success with the latter. Also, it looks like Taimanov had never gone against the 6...dxc4 line, as he had only previously played against the 6...c5 line once in 1969...
May-18-10  Damianx: But look at it this way how brilliant and special to do the ordinary the expected and yet crush every other GM. Kasperov said Fisher completely changed opening theory was light years ahead of the rest without Fisher modern chess would have evolved at a lot slower rate
Sep-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <birthtimes: One wonders why Taimanov chose the 4. Bg5 line> coz that's the <Taimanov Variation<>>, his pet line.
Aug-17-11  DrMAL: Fischer went +10 -4 =6 with Grunfeld as black, where one loss was in blitz. I covered his two most important losses with it before, this was an unmemorable but important win.

8.Rb1 is less common than 8.Nf3 but also strong. GM Akobian employed it twice in 2007 (1 win, 1 loss). The same was used by Mecking vs Fischer, 1970. Here, 9.Be2 was played instead of (more common) 9.Nf3 and Fischer's 9...Bh6 (instead of 9...Bg7) was new (he played 11...Bg7 anyway).

12.f4 shunned taking a pawn (via 12.Nxc4) for a sharper "stonewall" but it created K-side looseness as well. After 15.c5 black's Q-side pawn structure is better, typical in Grunfeld. Along these lines, 16.Ne5 is positionally questionable.

After a long battle with only a few slight inaccuracies by both sides, the game is drawn until white got greedy with 46.Rxf6?? missing simple 46...Qxd4+ maybe Taimanov was in time trouble?

Apr-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <keypusher: ***
Here's what Taimanov said happened after 45. [Ö] Kh6:

<For a few minutes I was puzzled: "Why has Fischer sacrificed a pawn?" And then I found an "explanation": Fischer dislikes passive defense and for this reason he preferred 44...Qe4 to 44...Qe5 [which the Soviet team expected]. Now after 46. Rxf6 he will replay 46...Ra2, I will have to exchange the queens -- 47. Qf4+ Qxf4 48. Rxf4, and his rook will take up an active post at c2, assuring Fischer of a draw. "Well," I decided, at least I'll have the moral satisfaction of being a pawn up." *** >>

I donít know whether the thought was in Taimanovís mind, or whether the fact mattered to Fischer, but as of the start of this game Fischerís winning streak (which eventually extended to 20 games) stood at 11 games. A draw would have broken that streak.

Fischer probably was predominantly concerned with closing out the match victoriously, but given the possibility that he cared about extending his streak, the Soviet GM should have considered the possibility that there was poison in the move [<44. Ö Qe4>] and taken time enough to search more carefully for traps.

Dec-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Amazing. Of course 46.Qf4+ (among other moves) draws with great ease, so no 6-0 match win and no 20-game winning streak for Fischer. Of course Taimanov was desperately trying to find a way to <win> a game, not draw one.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: 46. Kh1 is probably ok too. White could lose the c pawn outright and still hold a draw in a rook and pawn ending - although in that case you sign yourself up for more torture by Bobby Fischer.
May-24-13  andrewjsacks: <FSR> Right. This loss is colored by desperation and despair. Had it been Game One of the match, I wager it would have been drawn.
May-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: With David Letterman retiring, I have to say that 46. Rxf6 has to be one of the top 10 worst moves ever played in top professional chess.
Oct-06-15  gabriel25: Bobby because personally he was a very nice guy was very unjustly dealt by the American media and shamefully by the American government also by the criminally sycophantic attitude of the Japanese government to the American government imprisioning him. It seems he should had some grievances.
He was the only good action in the Cold War for the American side, and no recognition of it was ever aknowledged by either media or government. If your opinion of his chess depends on your personal feeling your chess oppinion is of very little value.
Oct-11-16  Howard: Regarding Petrosian's comment about the Boys' Life short story, that was in late 1973/early 1974. Still remember it fairly well. Petrosian's recollection of the plotline isn't entirely accurate, but that's no big deal.

But, he was right about one thing---the short story was rather dumb. Whoever wrote it obviously didn't know much about professional chess.

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