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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal
"Running on M.T." (game of the day Apr-27-2017)
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 11, May-19
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal (1962) Running on M.T.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-08-14  Petrosianic: <thegoodanarchist> <Get real. If we want to debate the hypothetical, you aren't going to stop us with your pointless pronouncements.>

If you didn't understand the point, I'll be glad to try to put it another way. I don't object to debating hypothetical questions, it just seems pointless to compare real players to hypothetical ones. You can say "My hypothetical player beats your real one", but so what? I can invent a hypothetical player that beats your hypothetical player. And you can return the favor.

I don't mind speculating on what Morphy or Fischer might have done, but my appreciation of them doesn't depend on hypotheticals. I don't appreciate Morphy because he woulda coulda shoulda beat Steinitz, but because of what he actually did do. Same with Fischer. Some people seem unable to appreciate Fischer without convincing padding his resume with fictional successes (beating Karpov in 1975, beating Nakamura now, defending his title against Kasparov in 1993, winning at Curacao, and scores of other things he never actually did).

Dec-19-14  ToTheDeath: Classic Fischer here- if you find yourself playing a knight against bishop endgame against Bobby you might as well resign.
Jul-22-15  brendonfire: I think Fischer considered computers to be the death of intuition. Him and Tal both had great respect for each other because they understood the game at an intuitive level. I think the rise of chess engines contributed to Fischer's resentment of the game in the latter years of his life. All we can do is speculate about how his games may have looked like and what lessons we could learn because he refused to play for the majority of his life. Politics and the need to attain a more civil society through technological enhancement deprived the world of the best that the pure human imagination may have been able to offer. R.I.P. Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi brendonfire,

Fischer & Computers.

Fischer would have embraced Databases as a real Godsend. Every players game at the click of a switch!

Even more grateful would have been Bob Wade who at Bobby's request wrote out 1,000+ of Spassky's games for him to study.

Fischer was not too pleased with the original layout so Bob (not Bobby) had to it all again.

Regarding todays's analysing machines. Like all good players Bobby would have looked at what was being offered and judged for himself if it was OK.

The majority of the click cut and paste brigade who post analysis with such great authority would not have a clue how to continue the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Fischer & Computers.>

Bobby would use a computer.

...if only to see if the rest of the world caught up with him.

Jul-22-15  john barleycorn: Fischer was given a computer and chess programmes/databases before the '92 match. I remember his girl Zita said so in an interview.

And of course he still had Greenblatt in the closet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> brings up a good point, there are different chess-related aspects of using computers. Surely Fischer, who had a voracious appetite for any games played by the top and not-so-top players, would have embraced game databases. I suspect that he also would have embraced endgame tablebases as a learning experience since many of them have uncovered possibilities in endgames that were not previously known until tablebases became prevalent. And, like it or not, there is no point in arguing against either perfect play or Einstein's theory.

Of chess engines I am less sure. What would he use them for? After all, this is a player who took pride that he never made a mistake in analysis. Perhaps after he played enough games against chess engines he might have convinced himself that they might be OK and had some use.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AJ....(Lombardy) was bored, and reading the book, "Jaws," while he destroyed just about everyone.>

When we met in the 1986 New England Open, he wasn't reading any book--he won only with difficulty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Jaws was on the cover of the book - inside the cover was MCO (well maybe not...Jaws is a much better read.)
Oct-13-15  PugnaciousPawn: Fischer's 10. h4 fascinates me for some reason. He was always on the hunt. Always hunting the king.
Dec-06-16  Ibisha Biscotto: oh my, that DSB put in werk.
Jan-24-17  Saniyat24: Should Tal have played 57...Ng7+ instead of Rf4+ ?
Jan-24-17  Nerwal: <Should Tal have played 57...Ng7+ instead of Rf4+ ?> No better since the h5 pawn is quickly lost in this line. With an extra piece the race black queenside pawns vs white h pawn is easily won by White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Zugzwangovich: In "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal", Mischa claimed he lost this game after declining a draw offered by Fischer...>

Fischer seemed even or better the entire game, especially after he centralized his king. I wonder if Tal was in the vodka, the night before and has a hazy memory of this game? Or, could Fischer have suffered some sort of illness or reaction to the heat? He withdrew from this event midway, I believe.

Apr-27-17  Pasker: Was fischer's last move 63. a3 a teasing move since Tal was not resigning?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Pasker>
<63. a3 a teasing move> I think it's simply the best move. Why should White trade a pawn for Black's b-pawn, instead of capturing it for nothing? (Black's only reply is 63...b2 64. Rb7 and the pawn falls)
Apr-27-17  ChessHigherCat: After 45. Rb2 it looks like zugzwang, but in fact Tal could have played Nd7 and if 46. Kxg6??? Rf6+ wins the bishop. I guess the reason why Tal didn't play 45...Ne7 was the threat of 46. Rc2+ Ke1 47. Bd7+ Kd1 48. Bxa5, or is there a better combination?
Apr-27-17  detritus: 45. … Nd7 is halfway to a helpmate after 46. Re2. If the Knight retreats back to f8, it's just lost to 47. Re8+ (47. … Kd7 and 48. Rxf8 anyways, and Black can choose whether to keep the rooks on the board). 46. … b6 and 46. … Nb6/Nf6 look like they'd all be met by 47. Re6, and Black's kingside goes up in smoke. Black's best try after 46. Re2 might be 46. … Nb8, but White can just trade the minor pieces on b8 and snag Black's g-pawn with his King, and with the minor pieces of the board there are no worries about a rook fork.
Apr-27-17  ChessHigherCat: <detritus> Thanks, I thought there must be some reason why Tal preferred to give a pawn instead. Still, 45....Nd7, 50. Re2 b6 51. Re8+ Kb7 and I don't see how that's so bad for black. The g6 pawn is admittedly weak,, but K still can't take g6 for the time being because Rf6+ wins the bishop
Apr-27-17  ChessHigherCat: <detritus> okay, I see you're saying: 45....Nd7, 50. Re2 b6 51. Re8+ Kb7 52. Re6 and g6 is indefensible. Got it (finally), thanks!
Apr-27-17  The Kings Domain: Didn't like black's opening one bit. Decent game and nice photo that accompanies it.
Apr-28-17  Mithrain: Chapeau! I find interesting the evolution/improvement of Bobby's bishop. A would resume it in 3 moments:

a) 21 ... Nd5 (Most part of us would agree that Black's knight is better than White's bishop)

b) 31 ... Nd5 (Same move again but now White's bishop at the very least is as worth as the knight)

c) 45 ... f4 (There's not much to be said about the f8-knight)

Nov-08-18  PJs Studio: I have a strong interest in playing this line with black. If white declines Nd6+ I guess black should be familiar with the Shvevnikov variations. That said, I’d really like a good book on the Lowenthal (w/Nd6+ And Qd2, Qd1, Qxf6 and the trappy Qc7 lines)

Is there a in-depth book on it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: There appears to be a typo in the analysis following White’s 41st move published by Jan Timman in <Curaçao 1962: The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World>, New in Chess ©2005 at page 90. I believe that comment should read as follows:

"Fischer correctly thinks better of going for the pawn ending after 41.Rxe6 Nxe6+ 42.Kxg6 Nxf4+ 43.gxf4 b5 , e.g., <44.Kxf5 b4 45.Ke6 a4 46.f5 Kd8> and Black wins." [Emended text <highlighted>.]

FWIW, it should be noted that 44. Kxf5 (as given above), although inadequate, is a better try for White than 44. Kxh5, as given on page 3 of this thread in a comment posted by <zydeco> on Mar-03-14.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Taking another look at the analysis in my previous post, 44. Kxf5 in the variation from Timman's book actually would have been sufficient for a draw (unlike 44. Kxh5, which leaves White lost).

In order to defend, in the position after 44. … b4 [from the analysis given above], i.e.,

click for larger view

White must immediately going on the defensive with either 45. Ke5 or 45. Ke4 (not 45. Ke6?), e.g.,

45.Ke5 Kd7 46.f5 Ke7 47.f6+ Kf7 48.Kd4 a4 49.Kc4 b3 50.axb3 axb3 51.Kxb3 Kxf6 52.Kc3 Kf5 53.Kd3 Kf4 54.Ke2 Kg3 55.Ke3 Kxh4 56.Kf4 Kh3=

To be explicit about the obvious, for Fischer to have gone into the line above (starting with the exchange of rooks on move 41) would have been a blunder since it would have required White to defend accurately to save half a point, whereas Fischer actually won the game after continuing 41. Kh6.

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