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Arthur Bisguier vs Robert James Fischer
"Asleep at the Wheel" (game of the day Apr-19-2012)
Western Open (1963), Bay City, MI USA, rd 7, Jul-07
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  0-1



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Given 35 times; par: 52 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It was a matter of time,that the breakthrough would come.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 35. Qf4 Qxf4 36. gxf4 Nxf1 37. Rxf1 Ba6 38. Rc5 Rac8 39. Rxc8 Rxc8 40. Nd6 Rc6 41. Rd1 Bd3 42. Nb7 and I doubt White can hold the endgame but it has to be better than 35. Kxh2.

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Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I thought for a second this was a pic of Fischer asleep at the board, but no.

Scott Thomson

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <OCF> That was just....User: bad
Apr-19-12  YouRang: One has to appreciate Fischer's depth in this game.

Stepping through the moves, when I saw 19...Ng5, I felt that it was heading for ...Nf3+, even though f3 was guarded by two knights at the time. But Fischer slowly eliminated the defense, positioned his forces, and eventually sprung the attack, 32...Nf3+.

A very tricky position, and between the threats of ...Ba6 and ...Nxh2, it's probably winning for black in any case. It's not terribly obvious to me, but apparently Fischer had it all worked out.

Thanks <Phoney Benoni> for the pun explanation. What a blunder! :-D

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Bisguier played Fischer 15 times and lost 13 of them, with one draw. The solitary victory was his first game with Fischer, when Bobby was 13. As this game proves, Fischer could beat Bisguier in his sleep.

I have to wonder, though, if Bisguier didn't exaggerate how close Fischer came to losing this game on time - by Bisguier's account, Fischer was only a few minutes away from his flag falling. Given Fischer's reputation for being a fast player who never got in time trouble, he could certainly afford to take a nap during a game. :)

Apr-19-12  sorokahdeen: With Bisguir playing the white side of a king's indian defense where white omits e4, Fischer ends up playing an attacking formation that is typical of the white side of a King's Indian Attack against the French defense with the pawns at e4 and h4 driving away the king's potential defenders while forcing the creation of weak squares in White's king position.

The position is so much a mirror-image of Fischer's most beloved K.I.A positions, that white even uses (and loses with) an attack on the queenside that black can, for the most part, choose to ignore because black's attack on the king makes any material sacrifice irrelevant until an endgame that white isn't going to see.

I want to play this way!

Apr-20-12  weisyschwarz: <OBIT>...funny! Pun of the Day "I Can Beat You In My Sleep"!
Jun-16-12  I play the Fred: Black to wake and win.
Jun-16-12  RookFile: Of course, if Karpov or Reshevsky has white, either one lets Fischer go right on sleeping. They won the game first and asked questions later.
Sep-03-12  Luigi Bros: WOW! The white is blind: 25.f4! Nf3+ 26. Nxf3. And great trouble for the black.
Sep-03-12  Shams: <Luigi> 25.f4? exf3 e.p.
Sep-02-15  NeverAgain: <Phony Benoni: You need to know the background story here. [...]
As a result, Fischer literally fell asleep at the board during the game.>

:citation needed:

Sep-02-15  Sally Simpson: Edward Winter has been on this one and although the time and place has been a bit confused he appears to have nailed as true.

Bisguer from his own book:

'The Art of Bisguier, Selected Games 1961-2003.' (page 69)

“Paired against Bobby in the New York State Open that year, I noticed that he was taking a long time to move. Then I saw that he’d fallen sound asleep.

In a few minutes the flag on his clock would fall, and he’d lose on time. That’s not the way I like to win games, tourneys or titles. So I made what some called my biggest blunder of the tournament.

I awakened Fischer.

Bobby yawned, made a move, punched his clock and proceeded to beat me.

It ended up as Game 45 in his My 60 Memorable Games.

Later I heard that Fischer had stayed up late the previous night playing speed chess for money.”

Sep-02-15  NeverAgain: Thank you, SS.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <NeverrAgain> But it's common knowledge! You don't need a citation for common knowledge!

Oh, please don't quote me on that. I'm just being silly again. Almost as silly as not providing a citation.

It's easy, when one has read much and remembered a little and no longer has access to the relevant information, to throw out such unsupported statements. And it' doesn't help that it makes one appear wise and encyclopedic.

Nor is it easy to humbly ask for help in confirming or denying such-and-such a report. But that's what this Village is for, and that's what should be done.

I've learned a bit in the three years since that statement. While still far from perfect, I do attempt to correct mistakes when they are pointed out.

So -- can somebody confirm or deny the report that Fischer fell asleep at the board during this game?

Sep-02-15  Sally Simpson: Hi. P.B.

"So -- can somebody confirm or deny the report that Fischer fell asleep at the board during this game?"

Two posts above yours, from Edward Winter and Arthur Bisguier.

Although it sounds like a myth cum joke. it's true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Sally Simpson> Thank you. I've known for a long time that my research methods can be sloppy, and that just confirms it.
Sep-02-15  Kangaroo: Light squares can be weak even when the LS bishop of a defending player is alive!
Sep-03-15  offramp: Either he's dead or my clock has stopped.
Sep-03-15  RookFile: He's dead, Jim!
Jun-05-17  Kent Swearingen: The quote from Bisguier does not support this being the Bobby takes a nap game, because this game is not game 45 in MSMG. In both Bisguier games in that book, Fischer played white. The little blurb written by Larry Evans for game 47 in MSMG hints that he thought that game, not number 45, was the one: "Still, he does catch Fischer napping..."
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This looks like a game of lc0 - thorn pawn strategy and overprotective of central square :)
Nov-01-22  Ninas Husband: This game was a real snooze! :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It might be a mistake to let someone park a pawn on your h3.
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