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Paul Keres vs Robert James Fischer
"Bled to Death" (game of the day Apr-14-2010)
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 1, Sep-07
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-05-16  Rookiepawn: << There are examples of Fischer not even respecting the conditions he himself agreed before, the guy was fond of changing his mind and think everybody else had to agree. > for example? what condition he himself agreed and then later changed his mind? let me give one ex: presence of cameras/spectators>

Thanks for posing both the question and the answer.

<but this example [of mine] does not suggest he did it conviniently to avoid someone...>

The example (not "of yours" but of reality) suggests what is enough: Fischer had a poor sense of reality, something that would affect him more and more.

As <perfidious> (A Fischer admirer, not a blind fan boy) points out, it is clear Fischer the human being ended up affecting Fischer the chessplayer.

I agree also with <perfidious> and seems logic from Karpov to admit it, Fischer would be the favourite in a first match. But if you start with speculation then you can go to the end: and what about a second match?

In 1975 Karpov was not at his peak. Fischer not only refused to play with him in '75, he just quitted chess, so he made no effort to beat him in any subsequent year. While Karpov played as many events as he could, Fischer just wasted his brain in who knows what nonsense. Blaming Karpov, the KGB, and the Evil Red Conspiracy for this is just frustrated fan boy talk.

Regardless the result, a rivalry Karpov-Fischer would have very probably rendered first class masterpieces from both sides. And this is why I don't like Fischer the man: his love of chess was significantly smaller than his love of his own gigantic crazy ego.

Mar-10-17  Howard: For those of us who are too lazy to wade through all the commentary on this game, exactly where did Keres go wrong in this struggle? Was the queen sac sound?
Mar-10-17  Petrosianic: Not unsound, but good for no more than a draw at best. Keres pushed too hard to make something out of nothing. Not sure offhand where the exact point of no return was.
Mar-19-17  Saniyat24: I did not understand why Keres gave up his Queen....!
Mar-19-17  Saniyat24: Is a bishop and a rook compensation enough for a Queen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Saniyat24> Usually 3 minor pieces, or 2 rooks for Queen is considered even.

So, I'd say no. And point (system) wise, Q is 9 pts, minor piece is 3, and rook is 5...

Mar-19-17  Saniyat24: A valiant fight by Keres....45.Nd3 was a wonderful move....!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Keres could have kept the advantage with 16. Bc6. His Q sac or exchange was an ingenious opening idea. He was a great player and easily the equal of Fischer but getting a bit on in the tooth (for a top level chess player) when he played Fischer in this game.

But his idea was intriguing and lead to a great game.

May-23-17  Petrosianic: <Richard Taylor>: <He was a great player and easily the equal of Fischer but getting a bit on in the tooth (for a top level chess player) when he played Fischer in this game. >

Are you aware that he finished 6 points ahead of Fischer in this tournament, and was surely much better than Fischer in 1959?

As for the Queen sac, it may be ingenious, but I agree with 60 Memorable Games on this. It was good for no more than a draw, but Keres couldn't bring himself to admit it.

May-23-17  Reisswolf: Did Keres just continue playing out of spite?
May-23-17  Howard: No, Fischer still had to work for the win. Furthermore, Keres still had drawing chances even at the adjournment.
May-24-17  Boomie: ->

According to Chessmetrics.

Sept. 1959

Paul Keres - 2743
Bobby Fischer - 2700

Oct. 1959

Paul Keres - 2764
Bobby Fischer - 2693

The rating difference due to this tournament. Keres was the #2 rated player in the world behind Tal at that time. Any wonder that a 16 year old Fischer might have some challenges with these guys? They all proceeded to play some great chess against each other.

May-24-17  Howard: True, but Chessmetrics needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt IMO.
May-24-17  Grbasowski: 16 years only!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < Petrosianic: <Richard Taylor>: <He was a great player and easily the equal of Fischer but getting a bit on in the tooth (for a top level chess player) when he played Fischer in this game. > Are you aware that he finished 6 points ahead of Fischer in this tournament, and was surely much better than Fischer in 1959?>

There you are, you said it, Fischer was no where as good as Keres he was 6 points behind! Fischer was a nut case, he's history...lets get back to reality. Keres was a real player.

Jun-19-17  Allanur: @Rookiepawn,
<The example (not "of yours" but of reality) suggests what is enough: Fischer had a poor sense of reality, something that would affect him more and more.>

First, what do you mean by "not yours?" In case you misunderstood, I did not mean "that example is created/invented by me and belongs to me, my own property" what I actually meant is "the example I wrote." 2. The example [of reality] in which way suggests Fischer had a poor sense of reality? It suggests he had better sense of reality.

His demands were to bring better and fairer match. Is that a sign of poor sense of reality? or did I missunderstand something?

for the rest of your post: no point. I am not gonna talk about his personality,his later life or his behaviour. You may see him evil, a bad example for children and e.t.c which I will not disagree. but I am sure of one thing: regarding chess his behaviour was good for the chess world. I too blame him for leaving us too early. He should have played more.

Jun-19-17  WorstPlayerEver: Yeah once I were a better player than Carlsen. It's true. Oh envy! Look at me now lol
Dec-29-18  PJs Studio: Fischer was a nutcase but he was better than Keres. And I’m a big Keres fan. Straight up, Fischer was the greatest and strongest chessplayer in history before Kasparov (and the subsequent stock of modern Super GM’s who stood on their shoulders). Heck, Fischer was still near 2700 in 1992 - 20 years away from the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Wow, mate on the board against Paul Keres! In a classical time control. For a 16-year-old boy, must have been the thrill of a lifetime (up until then).
Mar-13-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Note after White's move 16.Bxd5.

click for larger view

"Imagine being Fischer - playing the first game of your first candidates tournament and realising you are still in the prepared analysis of one of the greatest attackers in chess history."

Position after 54...Qe5 mate.

click for larger view

"Now imagine being Fischer - playing your first game in your first candidates tournament and realising you've just mated one of the greatest attackers in chess history in the centre of the board."

Andrew Soltis, game 10, 'Bobby Fischer Rediscovered' 2003 edition.


Mar-13-20  ewan14: IIRC Spassky was favourite to beat Karpov in their candidates match in 1974 (?). We know how that turned out
Mar-14-20  SChesshevsky: <...Imagine being Fischer...> The thing about Fischer, even before 1959, was that he thought he was at least equal to guys like Keres, Tal, Petrosian and even Botvinnik. With some part that felt he was likely better. He was lucky enough to get to Russia in 1958 and all he wanted to do was go and beat Botvinnik and Keres. No games were able to be set up, Fischer had a fit probably because he thought they were ducking him and left. I think early maybe from being mad or because the Soviets suggested it. So that's the mindset needed to "imagine being Fischer."

Given that: I'm guessing Fischer was surprised at the Queen sac but instinctively felt it was wrong. After calculating to at least 18...Qc5, he knew he'd be better, maybe a lot better, as long as he could activate his rook. After he was assured of that, Fischer's thoughts most likely related to how to correctly punish this guy who tries this garbage on me.

Jun-18-20  issakhalid: can't we just have a fischer game with normal comments?
Jul-05-21  Saul Goodman: Keres may have been better than Fischer in 1959, but the Soviet players? rankings and ratings in that era have to be taken with a grain of salt. In any case, Fischer was still learning about international chess. He was the best in the world within a few years.
Nov-11-21  PaulPetrovitj: Being a Keres fan myself, I must nevertheless admit that Fischer became the stronger player of the two. In the Candidates tournament of 1959 however, Keres was still stronger. This game was commented on by Kasparov in his My Great Predecessors. An outstanding achievement by Fischer; Keres was seeking revenge for his previous loss to Fischer just a couple of months earlier, in Zurich. In the same town of Bled, just two years later, Fischer would defeat Tal, Geller and Petrosian while drawing against Keres ...
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