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Robert James Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
"Four Queens" (game of the day Dec-01-05)
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)  ·  Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-04-10  eightbyeight: How exactly is "Four Queens" a pun?
Oct-25-10  elohah: I thought this was an amazing game when I was analyzing it the other nite at the Jug. Voted the Most Unobjective notes in 60MG ( I can't believe there was actually a contest like this), I have rushed in to defend my hero's honor, only to discover...all right, look. Bobby made a lot of mis - assessments in his notes here, but let's explain:

Early in his career, Bobby had a slight problem with stubborness regarding his variations. But ask yourself why he never played this line in any US Ch. game? Did he?

why not? I'm almost grasping at straws here in trying to suggest that he KNEW this was a second rate line, which for some reason he only tendered against the world's strongest Grandmasters - maybe to toughen himself up, and see how they punished it??

That is reaching, isn't it? But hey, you never know! Bobby was a complicated guy.

I do know that even very early in his career, he tried to focus on becoming expert in the endgame phase, having observed (mostly correctly) that the Russians were not as proficient in the endgame as they could have been (Korchnoi a prominent exception, of course). Bobby was also really big on PAWN STRUCTURE - the importance of this - and here he is facing a player who also really focuses on pawn structure - I mean, Petrosian is really the Grandmaster in this area...

But Bobby - Jesus - Mednis is right. This IS just a BAD line....

Oct-25-10  elohah: And just WHY is it so bad??

3...! Well, let's start right here.

This is the well known strategical principle (maybe not so well known in Bobby's day) of TRADING OFF THE 'RESERVE' (typically, queenside) PIECE. Typically, your Kingside pieces come out first, because you have to castle, and so these are the pieces that are controlling IMPORTANT CENTRAL SQUARES - such as here, White's KN that is controlling e5, d4. Generally, in the opening, you don't want to just drop control of important central squares, so why is White allowing this?

And even encouraging it??

4 ? And encouraging this is outrageous! (cribbing from my marginal notes in 60MG). Better is: 4 ed! cd 5 Bb5+ Nc6 ( 5...Bd7 =) 6 Ne5! Bd7! =. ( 6...Bxd1? 7 Nxc6 Qb6 8 Ne5+ Kd8 9 Nxf7+ Kc8 10 Kxd1 Qxf2
11 Rf1 Qxg2 12 Nxh8 (note that this knight will get back out - a key reason this will end up favoring White) 12...Nf6 13 d4 Qg4+ 14 Ne2, and here White is better. Just to continue a sample line - Black traps the knight but ends up dumping his own, and so remains down material: 14... Qh5 15 Bf4 a6 16 Bd3 Qe8 17 Bf5+! ( a MUST move to find) e6 18 Bh3. Plus for White.

What have we learned?

Trading off the 'reserve' piece is here ALSO trading off the 'minor exchange'. When will it be good?

It will....NOT be so good in cases where White smartly keeps his KB ACTIVE.

It WILL be good in cases where White is playing a VARIATION rather than PLAYING CHESS and stupidly corrals his KB, locking it in, and turning it into a pawn!. In this second case, you stand a good chance of getting drubbed by the world's leading Grandmasters about three games straight!

Oct-25-10  elohah: 60MG, p. 107, note after Black's 5th:

'The old 5...e6 6 d4? ( my mark) de
7 Nxe4 Qxd4 8 Bd3 gives White a good attack for the pawn.' (?) No it doesn't. White is down a pawn, and doesn't have Jack for it, as Bobby himself indicates as much in this very same note below the diagram.

Oct-25-10  elohah: To be cont...
Oct-28-10  elohah: 60MG p. 109: Between busses, I suddenly notice that Bobby has baited note [C, so that only [B will be the bust. But I draw ahead...

5... If 5...e6, 6 ed cd 7 d4 is reasonable, since 6 e5 Ne7! will only get, at best, Nimzo-Capa [NY '27].

After 5...Nf6 [text move], we're not that impressed with Spassky-Reshko, since Black can still kick d4 hard. So just 6 ed cd 7 d4 again. Bobby gives 6 g3, then doesn't mention 6...d4! as a response. But after 5...Nf6, Bobby actually plays...

6 ? Nooooo, Bobby! This move is just fundamentally wrong - turning White's KB into a pawn.

6... d4!

7 ? [Yes, I have given BACK TO BACK question marks on Bobby's moves!] 7 g4 [Bobby later played this at Netanya '68], or 7 e5 [Spassky-Reshko, without d4].

13 (note after diag. ) Bobby convincingly refutes a comment I made on his other game with Petrosian, where the ...g5 cipher was played, tho Simagin thought 14 f4 as well.

60MG p. 109 [top note]: Evidently on 17...g4? 18 Nd2 Rg8 19 Rfc1, Black lacks a long term strategical plan.

Note after Black's 15th: 17 b5! is an improvement over 17 Nc4. This is again given in the very next note.

17 Remove Bobby's question mark to the text move, remove the exclam to 17 fe, and place a question mark after it.

Note [A: The weakest of Black's alternatives. Bobby fails to mention 18 Qg4+! Qe6 19 Qxe6+ fxe6 20 ab (plus), or 18 Nc4 Qxg3 19 ab (or 19 Rxf7), with 19...b5 being answered in either case with 20 e5! bxc4 21 Qe4! [with the dead hand B still playing anchor relay.]

[B: The strongest line, busting 17...fe?, since Bobby misses the obvious 18...b5! (after his 18 Nc4). Then 19 Nxa3 a6 (idea ...Nxe5), sets up a solid enuf defensive screen, and Black is up a pawn.

[C: Bobby's parenthesed note (beginning with 20...Qxb4) is key here. Apparently 'penetrates' also means making a backward diagonal retreating move, so that after, for example, 22...Qd6 23 Rfb1 Rd7 24 Qc4! (preventing the necessary consolidating move ...a6), or 23... Qc7 24 Qb3!, etc. (plus for White).

Oct-29-10  elohah: [D: isn't good enuf either, so only [B busts.

38 Why doesn't Qd8+ win? I don't know, and I'm not up to an extensive analysis just now. It doesn't get all four Q's off, is one problem. And you don't really need to analyze it. Just analyze it like Purdy suggested doing endgame analysis. Just set up various positions in the single Q ending with the g-pawn, ex: WQ/h6; p/g4 (or even g5), or...WQ/f6; p/g4, or...WQ/g8 (the placement that maybe is best) p/g4 (even g5?), and see whether White can (A) shepherd the pawn home , at the same time as (B) he also stops all the BQ's counterplay along the h and f files as well as behind the pawn! There! In this case, the Purdy 'talking analysis' was indeed quicker! We're done. And as you can see, it's a tall order for White. Specific moves? 38 Qd8+ Qac7, and if 39 Qxd6+ Kxd6! 40 Qf6+ and g5 is nothing, since ther'll be counterplay with ...Qh7! to stop. That's one example. Another is 39 Qxc7+ Qxc7 40 g5 Qf7! Another is 38 Qd8+ Qac7 39 Qdf8 Qce7, etc. (pointing at g5, f6 later...). So I don't think it wins.

Oct-29-10  elohah: 60MG p. 113, (note after diag.)

'The tournament bulletins suggest 42 c5! Qxc5 43 Qg8+ Ka3 44 Qc2 Qb4 45 Qa8+ Qa4 46 Q2xa4+? (my mark)

What about 46 Qc1+!, Bobby?
46...Kb3 (not 46...Kb4? 47 Qb2+, winning a piece) 47 Qg8+ Kb4 48 Qb2+ Kc5 49 g5.

This looks like it wins.

Oct-29-10  elohah: Sorry for the express analysis at the end here, but the library's closing. This last note could probably be the most important of all...
Nov-25-10  Toliman: Strange how when the 4Q are onboard they don't need to be moved. 39.g5! won. White's Q are on the propper squares.
Nov-25-10  Toliman: 42.c5! Qxc5 43.Qg8+ Ka3 44.Qc2 Qb4 45.g5! would have won
Nov-25-10  Toliman: The "longer you wait" the harder the win becomes. The win in elohah last line is certainly problematic but if instead 47.Qb8+ Qb4 48.Qg8+ Ka4 49.g5! does indeed seem to win
Nov-25-10  Toliman: After 42.c5 Qde6! 43.Qb8+ (Be2 Kb4!) Nb5 44.Be2 Kc2! 45.Qa8 Kb1 46.Qa5 Qxc5 47.Qe1+ Qc1 48.Qxc1+ Kxc1 49.g5! may still win
Nov-30-10  elohah: Bobby just didn't want to win!
Jun-01-11  say it with a smile: The King Walk reminds me of the song "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Fischer apparently believed the Two Knights against the C-K was the way and the light early on but finally decided to move on as the bottom line never looked too good.

There is a sideline C-K with 3. Qf3 leaving the KN for later development. I always thought it had some potential and there is a small book on it with some fascinating lines.

Mar-12-12  Paraconti: Fischer just liked to play this line back then because it brought him into a sort of reversed KID plus a tempo as white.
Mar-12-12  King Death: <parisattack: Fischer apparently believed the Two Knights against the C-K was the way and the light early on but finally decided to move on as the bottom line never looked too good...>

His stubbornness was so well known that even Keres played the Caro Kann against him when normally he'd have played 1...e5.

<There is a sideline C-K with 3. Qf3 leaving the KN for later development. I always thought it had some potential and there is a small book on it with some fascinating lines.>

Who published a book on 3.Qf3? If I remember right 4.Ne4 Nd7 5. d4 Ndf6 does well against this.

Mar-12-12  ephesians: I think Fischer hadn't had time to really come up with his best weapon yet against the Caro-Kann, but had spent a lot of time studying King's Indian games. He figured he could transpose the game into that type of a game. Only the very best in the world could show him that it wasn't quite correct.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: This is game 16 in Fischer's <My 60 Memorable Games>.
Oct-29-12  Conrad93: I don't see what's remarkable about it. The second queen was useless being stuck behind her own pawns.
Apr-05-13  VivaCristoRey: True, Fischer traps in his KB, but it is more than just a pawn - in addition to supporting the weak d3 pawn that keeps his position together, it guards the king, particularly when 31. ... a1=Q would otherwise be a tempo-gaining check and win for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <WhiteRook48> <48.Qf2?? White could have won the black queen with 48.dxe4> I don't think so, 48...Nxe4+ 49. Kh4 Nxd2 50. g5 Nxf1! 51. g6 Ne3! 52. Kg5 d3 wins. Fischer in his notes from 2007.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The idea behind the Two Knights line is to discourage the development of the Black queen bishop to f5; Fischer gives 3..dxe 4 Nxe4..Bf5 5 Ng3..Bg6 6 h4..h6 7 Ne5..Bh7 8 Qh5..g6 9 Bc4..e6 10 Qe2 with a huge advantage for White. Fischer used this system a lot early in his career with little success though, overall, the system has scored pretty well for White. The variation is completely out of fashion today; it isn't even mentioned in any of the Caro Kann books that I own. Fischer was partial to 7 g3 though he had little success with it; 7 Bd2, 7 a3 and 7 Be2 are all more popular and have scored better as well. This game was played in round 16; in round 2 Petrosian had played 13..g5 against Fischer and had gone on to win. Petrosian had several opportunities to contest the f-file with ..Rdf8 but instead played for complications with 24..Qxb4 which led to White getting a dangerous initiative. 28 Qf6 would have been a stronger move; ie. 28 Qf6..Qc5 29 Qg7..Ra8 30 Rb7+..Ka6 31 Qc7..Rhc8 32 Rb5! and wins.
Dec-30-13  Howard: So 39.g5 would have WON ?
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