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Robert James Fischer vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Right, Mr. Thomas!" (game of the day Dec-02-2011)
Fischer - Reshevsky (1961), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Jul-18
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HAPERSAUD: First of all you don't cure, aspergers, you mentor it and second of all it seems that once again the game isn't being discussed.

<chessgames> what is it with random commentary on the Fischer pages?

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <FSR: ...Allan Kaufman of the American Chess Foundation discussed with some others circa 1960 that Fischer had some psychological problems and that they should consider getting help for him. Then someone asked a question along the lines of "What if he gets better and gives up chess?" The room went very quiet and they never discussed that idea again.>

Right, Mr. FSR!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <thomascrown....I have always admired Sammy's play and this book, but one should separate the chess playing qualities from the personality.>

As with greats in any endeavour, but people everywhere wish to deify their heroes while simultaneously looking for their clay feet.

Feb-16-14  Sally Simpson: Reshevsky on Fischer.

Sammy's book on the 1972 Fischer - Spassky match is a tad cold towards Fischer. But of course that is possibly me comparing all the other books I have on this historic match.

In the forward he list all the reasons why Spassky lost rather than why Fischer won.

Fischer does get the credit for playing some good moves, especially good defensive moves (the chief reason why Fischer won according to Sammy was his opening prep and his defensive play.)

"He [Fischer] lacked brilliance, but his defensive play was good."

As always Sammy's notes are crystal clear but you do get the impression he wants the reader to think Spassky lost the title rather than Fischer winning it.

"The blunders comitted by Spassky were incredible."

"Fischer was also not in his best form, he made errors in a number of games."

On the whole Sammy says he was disapointed with the match. (Maybe he was disapointed with the result.)

A good book though with Sammy's usual clear analysis and thoughts. It's does the job.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Reshevsky's books seem to have disappeared. I never see any of them in used book stores, though I see many books by other chess authors.
Feb-17-14  SChesshevsky: The Fischer-Reshevsky match might offer some of the best "fighting" chess games out there. I don't know if there's another match between two players who absolutely hated to lose, especially to each other.

I always thought that was a major reason why they didn't get along that well. They were a lot alike. Both were rocks when they thought they were right. Fischer's attitude is well known but Sam could've been equally stubborn when he thought he was right. That Benko deal back in 1975 is a good example.

Maybe what made the situation worse with Fischer is that I believed Sam, though he respected his play, didn't feel Fischer's take on the game was correct. Resigning yourself to sitting in a room with a chessboard for hours, memorizing variations and games just didn't make sense and wasn't "real" chess.

Yes, an old fashion view but from a guy who would often rather listen to good music or cook his obligatory kosher meal rather than think about chess and still played a great game.

Feb-17-14  morfishine: <HeMateMe> I just purchased a copy of Reshevsky's book (Ebay) on the 1972 WC match for less than $10 [incl shipping]
Feb-17-14  Sally Simpson: Hi.

I mentioned Sammy's book on the '72 match because the lads were thinking Sammy's postional primer without a Fischer game was a bit odd.

I'm not sure at all it was pettiness.
Pettiness would have been including some of Fischer's losses and only his losses.

When selecting games of this nature the author will be looking for games he knows he can use and note up well.

He may have felt that Bobby's games were too well known so decided to give the readers something fresh or came in from the angle you do not have to be a World Champion genious to play positional chess.

One could go through any book and look at games used and left out and start to make a case.

Chernev has ('only') two Fischer games in his 'Most Instructive Games'. (published 1966) One Fischer win, one Fischer loss. Only one Alekhine game and yet six Capablanca wins.
He also includes 3 Marshall games...all losses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Johnnysaysthankyou: Believe it or not, 28. Nd2 actually LOSES to the astonishingly brilliant 28...Bxb2+!! Which leads to checkmate. (When I get home I'll post the line). This - ironically - means Fischer's instinct to take the bishop was correct.
May-23-15  Howard: Hold it !!!! I can't believe that that "checkmating" line has been overlooked all these years/decades.

Let me take a look at that, though someone else will no doubt beat me to it.

Sorry, but that's gotta be a mistake !

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: A checkmate after 28. Nd2 Bxb2+? Maybe for White.
May-23-15  Howard: Actually, you're probably right !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Johnnysaysthankyou: No, it doesn't work, but there is still one more try after 28. Nd2 and you are going to scoff at first but give me a chance.

Are you ready?


At first you might be confused and wonder why white has given up his queen for a rook, but this is honestly the only way to keep fighting, and its not so clear. After 29...Qxd1+ black should activate the knight with 29..Nf5 and try to bear down on white's position with the two bishops and rooks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <johnnysaysthankyou>

The queen is lost after 28.Nd2, so 28....Qxh1+ is as good as there is. But assuming after 29.Qxh1 you are recommending 29....Nc5, 30.Rxg7 wins immediately (30....Kxg7 31. Qg2+ Kf8 32.Bd6+ Re7 33.Bxc5) .

Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: In the USA psychiatrists are first MDs before they study psychiatry. Psychologists are not MDs.
Apr-27-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: After 28 Nd2,

28 ... Qxd1+

is not even a legal move.

Fischer did accept ARB Thomas' point that 28 Nd2 would have left black with a lost position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sally Simpson: Reshevsky on Fischer.

Sammy's book on the 1972 Fischer - Spassky match is a tad cold towards Fischer.>

Sounds like Sammy had some sour grapes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Thomas' suggestion of 28. ♘d2 probably would have induced resignation. But the Stockfish 8 calculates that Fischer's move 28. ♖xg7+ was as strong if it had been followed more strongly: 28. ♖xg7 ♔xg7 29.♖g1+! ♔f8 30.♕h4! Δ a deadly discovered attack with the ♗f4.
Mar-31-20  ewan14: Korchnoi and Petrosian did not get on post 1974
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Fischer showed that he'd learned Mr. Thomas's lesson by playing 19.Rc1 here, taking away all the queen's squares on the diagonal.

click for larger view

Fischer vs Greenblatt, 1977

Jan-05-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: <erniecohen: 28. ♖xg7 is in fact the best move; Fischer just missed the best continuation: 28... ♔xg7 29. ♖g1+ ♔f8 30. ♕h4, and white wins the ♕ for a mere ♗, instead of a ♖.>

That is incorrect; white still wins queen for rook:

29. Rg1+ Kf8 30. Qh4 Qxf4 31. Qxf4

but, in any case, in the game he won queen and piece for two rooks, not queen for rook.

ARB Thomas' suggestion, 28 Nd2, also wins a queen for a rook, as black is forced to take the rook on h1, which suggests to me that it is about as good as 29. Rg1+.

Fischer did not mention the apparent improvement starting with 29. Rg1+, which means he could not see anything as good as 29. Nd2, which suggests that his remark about it was not intended to be sarcastic at all.

Jan-05-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: <erniecohen:

After the game continuation of 28. ♖xg7 ♔x♖, best play is 29. ♖g1+ ♔f8 30. ♖g1+ ♔f8 31. ♕h4 ♕xf4 32. ♕xf4 ♔e7 33. ♘f5+ ♗xf5 34. ♕xf5 ♖d8 35. ♖e1+ ♔d6 36. ♕f6+ ♔c7 37. ♕xf7+ ♔b6 38. ♖xe8 ♖xe8 39. ♕xe8 and black is down a full ♕, with no forces left to fight with.>

Sorry, but I don't see why black is obliged to give up his rook on e8!

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: In this position

click for larger view

Fischer played 23. Qd2, and writes in <My 60 Memorable Games> "Overlooking his reply. Vukovich suggests 23.Qf3 but 23...Bf5! 24.Rxg3 Qc6 holds." However, he does not give any other continuations.
Stockfish tells that White is winning after 23.Qe2. This prevents 23...Bxh3, and if 23...Bf5 then 24.Rxg3 Qe6 25.Re3! Qg6(c6) 26.Ne7 winning material.

May-29-22  Granny O Doul: @keypusher: Well observed; that would make a nice item for "Mr. Thomas Teaches Chess".
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The game followed the famous draw Alekhine-Botvinnik Nottingham 1936 which Reshevsky certainly would have been familiar with. Alekhine had played 13 d6 which allowed Black a perpetual check; Fischer's 13 Bf3 sacrificed two pawns creating weaknesses in Black's kingside. 14 g5 had led to a sharp, unclear complications in Bondarevsky-Alatorsev 1937 USSR Championship where Black went on to win; 14 a3 was new. 15 axb..gxf 16 Qxf3..Bg4 would have won back material but would have allowed Black to activate his queen bishop transferring it to g6 to bolster the defense; Fischer's 15 Bg2! was much stronger.

An excellently played game where Fischer's clever offensive eventually wore down Reshevsky's dogged defense.

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