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Samuel Reshevsky vs Robert James Fischer
Fischer - Reshevsky (1961), Los Angeles, CA USA, rd 11, Aug-10
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Classical System Misc. Lines (E98)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-31-06  RookFile: Well, that is very complex. I think for like 25 years it was believed that this approach would win the game. But, if I remember right, some analysis showed a miracle draw for white with the bishop, based on stalemate themes.
Aug-31-06  alaTurca: This game was part of a match that was arranged between Fischer and Reshevsky. After the 11th game, which is this one, Fischer stopped playing and the result was eventually declared in favour of Reshevsky. At the point both sides had two wins actually.

In an interview with Reshevsky that was conducted a few years before his death, he gives details of the game. According to Sam, when the game was adjourned, Fischer had no doubt of the victory and declared that he would win. Reshevsky 'stayed up a little bit that night' and found the way to draw. The next day Fischer was disappointed.

Reshevsky says that this incident was the reason Fischer quit. This supposedly broke his spirit. When the interviewer raised the objection that Fischer was a great fighter, Sam said: "Well it is something to declare that you will win but it is completely different when you say that you will and then get a draw."

Jan-28-07  norami: In his book Fischer claimed he could have won by trading rooks on move 53. That would leave a 6-man endgame which is now covered in the computer tablebase, so I checked it out and it said Black could force mate in 44 more moves.
Feb-16-08  HOTDOG: Evans suggested 53...Txe3+ 54.Bxe3 h5 as a win for Black,and Fischer gave a long variation until move 75 winning for Black.54...h5 is really winning in 45 moves,and now the best continuation for both sides is: 55.Kf4 Ra5 56.Bd2 Rf5+ 57.Ke4 Kf6 58.Bf4 Ra5 59.Be3 Ra4+ 60.Kf3 Kf5,as Fischer himself suggested.however Fischer suggested a long variation beginning with 55.Bf4,that's: 55.Bf4 Kf5 56.Bd6 Rb2(according to the database,56...Ra5! wins a move faster)59.Bf4 Rb3+ 58.Kg2 Kg4!(other moves draw)59.Bd6 Rb2+ 60.Kg1 Kh3 61.Be5(slightly better resistance with 61.Kf1)Rb4 62.Bc7 Rg4 63.Kf2 Kh2 64.Be5(but 64.Bf4! holds 4 moves longer)Kh1(and now 64...Rg5! wins four moves faster)65.Kf3 Rg8 66.Bf4 Rf8?(other rook moves as Rg6,Rg4,Rc8 and Ra8 are winning,as also 66...Kg1)67.Kf2?(67.g4!! leads to a draw)h4?(the best way to win is 67...Kh2,but a lot of rook moves are winning too)68.Kf3 h3 69.Kf2 h2 70.Kf1 Ra8 71.Kf2?(this move loses,but 71.Be3,Be5,Bd6 or Bc7 draw)Ra2+ 72.Kf1 Ra3! 73.Kf2 Rf3+!! 74.Kxf3 Kg1 75.Be3+ Kf1 and wins
Feb-16-08  RookFile: I wish I knew where it was, but my understanding is that somebody demonstrated a miracle draw, even still, in this line.
Feb-17-08  HOTDOG: Fischer's analysis in M60MG is wrong in the moves 66...Rf8?(66...Rg6!Rg4!Rc8!Ra8! or 66...Kg1!),67.Kf2?(67.g4!!),67...h4?(67...Kh2 or some rook moves win)and 71.Kf2?(71.Be3,Be5,Bd6 or Bc7)
Feb-17-08  MichAdams: <Rookfile>, are you referring to Murey's analysis?

In which case, <HOTDOG> has it covered.

May-09-08  CharlesSullivan: <HOTDOG> is right -- after 53...♖xe3+! 54.♗xe3, then Black has a forced mate-in-45 beginning 54...h5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: "Too often I have heard remarks such as "Fischer doesn't back up his comments with sufficient play", so for all those pundits try out this 48...e2 !! 49. Re1 Re7 50. Kg2 Rd5 51. a6 Ra5 52. Bd6 Re6 53. Bf4 Raa6 54. Bd2 Rad6 55. Bb4 Rd1 56. Kf2 Rf6+! 57.Ke2 Re1+ 58.Be1 Kg6 59. Bc3 Ra6 60. Bd4 Kf5 61. Kf3 Ra3+ 62. Kg2 Kg4 63. Be5 h5 64. Bd6 Ra2+ 65. Kf1 Kh3 66. Bf4 Ra4 67. Be5 Rg4 68. Kf2 Kh2 69. Bf4 Kh1 70. Bd6 Rg5 71. Bf4 Rg7 72. Kf3 Kg1 73. Be3+ Kf1 74. Bf4 Ra7 75. Bd2 Rf7+ 76. Bf4 Rf8 77. Ke3 Kg2 78. Bc7 Re8+ 79. Kd3 Re7 80. Bf4 Kf3 81. Bb8 Rg7 82. Be5 Rg3! and Black wins." Fischer and his notes from 2007, page 333 "My 61 Memorable Games"
Aug-11-09  PinnedPiece: <Joshka: Fischer and his notes...>

There is some grave doubt in the chess community that these are Fischer's notes.... For example, See:

User: M61MG Wrestler


Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <grave doubt> by whom? the chess community, as you say? a titled player who has read the book, and says it's forged??......we have IM Larry Day who will stand by the book's authenticity....score 1-0....wanna give your negative author's assessment??
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Doesn't matter what IM Day says about the book's "authenticity."

Einar Einarsson said Bobby did not write it.

Find someone, anyone, from the RJF group who can refute that statement, and the debate continues.

If not, it's all just idle speculation, and waste of time arguing over the issue.

Aug-16-09  robmtchl: < Joshka: <grave doubt> by whom? the chess community, as you say? a titled player who has read the book, and says it's forged??......we have IM Larry Day who will stand by the book's authenticity....score 1-0....wanna give your negative author's assessment??>

WHy don't you give us a number to call to buy a copy... other than Ed Trice. Maybe someone will. "The Publisher" has not made gratis copies available to reviewers for assessment.Bruce, please step back into the light. Don't play Vader to Trice's evil Emeperor.

Jun-15-10  elohah: Can't tell if 12 Bg4 is a good or bad idea yet.

But regarding 12 f3, Fischer in 60MG makes a comment that White could have played Ndf2 at one point, and Black would still be better after ...Nh5. So why play f3 at all then?

Jul-17-11  4tmac: One of several interesting endings from this match. Exchanging rooks and ...h5! would lead to this winning position:

click for larger view

...Kg4! wins by preventing White from getting his K to h3 and setting up a fortress. (...h5! would also help do this) This ending is particularly difficult because of the rook pawn. Another blockade to worry about down the road would be this drawn position where White's King keeps the opposing monarch bottled up almost single handed

click for larger view

but the rook pawn makes this ending very tricky and is probably why Bobby kept the rooks on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<norami>: In his book Fischer claimed he could have won by trading rooks on move 53. That would leave a 6-man endgame which is now covered in the computer tablebase, so I checked it out and it said Black could force mate in 44 more moves.>

Somewhat late perhaps but after 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 the following position is reached:

click for larger view

I don't know which tablebases you used but I used the on-line Nalimov tablebases from the following 2 sites and each of them indicated that the position above lead to a draw:

Of course, that doesn't mean that Reshevsky would have necessarily found the moves that led to a draw nor that, if Reshevsky faltered, that Fischer would have necessarily found the moves that led to a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<4tmac>: One of several interesting endings from this match. Exchanging rooks and ...h5! would lead to this winning position:>

click for larger view

That is correct up to a point. 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 Ra3 55.Bf4 h5 56.Kf2 Kf5 57.Kg1 Rb3 58.Kg2 would lead to the position you show with Black to move. And with Black to move the position is a win for Black per the Nalimov tablebases: 58...Kg4 59.Be5 Ra3 60.Bd6 Ra2+ 61.Kf1 Kh3 62.Bc7 Ra4 63.Bb8 Rg4 64.Kf2 Kh2 65.Bf4 Kh1 66.Bd6 Rg5 67.Bf4 Rg7 68.Kf3 Kg1 69.Be3+ Kh2 70.Bf4 Kh3 71.Be5 Rf7+ 72.Bf4 Rf8 73.Ke3 Kg2 74.Bc7 Re8+ 75.Kd3 Re7 76.Bb8 Kf3 77. Kc4 Rg7 78.Bd6 Rxg3 279.Be7 h4 80.Bxh4 Rg4+ 81.Kd5

But that winning position can't be reached by force. A more reasonable possible move order is 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 Ra3 55.Bf4 h5 56.Kf2 Kf5 57.Kg2 Rb3. And with White to move the position is a draw per the Nalimov tablebases: 1. Kh3 h4 2. Bd6 hxg3 3.Bc7. Basically, once the WK reaches h3, it can't be dislodged and the Black h-pawn can't queen, even if Black sacrifices its rook for White's bishop and pawn.

And with an even more reasonable possible move order, 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 Ra3 55.Bf4 h5 56.Kh3 (the most logical WK move) Kf5

click for larger view

This position is also a draw per the Nalimov tablebases, regardless of whose turn it is to more.

More to the point, as I indicated in my response to <norami> above, the position after 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 is a draw.

And Rybka 4.1 couldn't find a win after 53...Rxe3 54.Bxe3 even though it evaluated the position as winning at [-3.14], d=43: 53...Ra4 54.Kf3 h5 55.Kg2 Kf5 56.Kh3 Ra1 57.Bf4 Rh1+ 58.Kg2 Re1 59.Kh3 Rd1 60.Bh6 Rh1+ 61.Kg2 Rb1 62.Kh3 Rd1 63.Bf8 Ra1 64.Bh6 Rb1 65.Bf8 Rh1+ 66.Kg2 Re1 67.Kh3 Rd1 68.Bh6 Rh1+

click for larger view

So I think that a draw was the proper result to this great game.

Aug-29-12  TheFocus: This is game 28 in Fischer's <My 60 Memorable Games>.
Jun-04-14  norami: <Ayler Kupp> Somewhat late myself but the position you have after the rook exchange is not correct.
Apr-16-15  Howard: According to the tablebases, if Fischer had played 53...Rxe3, then it would have been a win regardless of which way White recaptured.
Aug-01-15  4tmac: 52...Ra2+! hoping for a mistake (RxR draws) 53. Kf3? (Ka3 for fine future fortress) Hard to see without comp/TB that ♔h3 better than f3 when black K on f5. Bobby learned a lot from this match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Plaskett: A rare technical ending results from the exchange of rooks at move 53. But an important one. Few would have anticipated that lodging the white king at h3 is the correct drawing method.

Reshevsky┬┤s story that it was after he announced that he would win, and then could only manage a draw, that Fischer was moved to quit the match does not strike me as all that implausible, neither.

Apr-18-16  Howard: But (see my earlier comment), "lodging the White king at h3" would NOT have drawn, according to the tablebases.

In other words, 53...Rxe3 would have definitely won---correct?

May-21-16  4tmac: After 53..RxR+! if white can lodge the White king at h3 he will draw....he can't do this with best play
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: What was the adjourned position?
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