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Robert James Fischer vs Efim Geller
"Under the Microscope of Analysis" (game of the day Feb-18-2016)
Skopje (1967), Skopje YUG, rd 2, Aug-08
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Main Line (B89)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 22 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-09-05  notyetagm: <aw1988: ...
20. a3?
White's instinctive desire to drive away the queen turns into a fatal weakening of the b3-square.>

In Gallagher's The Trompowsky, after Black has played ... h6 to gain control of the g5-square, he writes that "Every time you move a pawn it weakens squares. This time it is g6 and retribution is swift." A similar sentiment.

Nov-26-05  Karpova: <Honza Cervenka: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> By the way, another player who included his losses in a collection of his games was Siegbert Tarrasch. See his Dreihundert Schachpartien.>

Yates included this game Capablanca vs Yates, 1929 in his collection of his best games.

Mar-24-06  LIFE Master AJ: http://www.angelfire.com/games3/AJs...

My annotations of this game.

I also had a letter published in the USCF magazine, ('Chess Life'); about this game.

Mar-24-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In My60MG I amsure Fischer's note to 19.Qf1 was something like: "A very tough move to find. It took around 40 minutes..." Something like that.

Then after 19.Qf1 black plays the most obvious move on the board, 19...Nxe4. And then white blunders with 20.a3??

So what was Fischer thinking about for those 40 minutes?

Mar-24-06  ughaibu: Sucking blood from Geller's neck.
Mar-24-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp> based on my recollections of his analysis as printed in 60MG at this point, Fischer had quite a lot to think about...also, 20 a3 was a blunder, true, but not an obvious one (at least not to me). As I understand it the problem was that it weakened b3. I can't remember if Fischer underestimated 21...Ba4 or overlooked (until it was too late) the threat of 24...Ba2+ 25 Kxa2 Qxb2#.
Mar-27-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <keypusher: <offramp> based on my recollections of his analysis as printed in 60MG at this point, Fischer had quite a lot to think about...> I suppose so. I mean it's like, um, a chess game. Fischer played a - generally agreed - good move, Qf1. Geller replied with the only obvious reply, Nxe4, and then Fischer blunders with 20.a3. Perhaps when Fischer was thinking about Qf1 he only considered he reply ...cxb2. Not very genius-like.
Apr-06-06  LIFE Master AJ: See my letter, (The "Best Question" in Larry Evans' column.); in the DECEMBER issue, (Dec. 2003; page # 12); of 'Chess Life' magazine ... as concerns this game.
May-09-06  s4life: <This is a very good game. Fischer apparently could have won by 21. Qf4!! >

That's what Fischer actually played...

May-09-06  aw1988: He could have won by 20. Qf4!!, a move earlier.
Sep-26-06  mrjoshherman: I used to remember, but have forgotten. Why 8. Bb3? I feel like there's some big trouble that white gets into if he doesn't make this move.
Oct-20-06  draginoth: Fischer could have obtained an advantage with 16. Rxf6! instead of text move, followed by 16...Bxf6; 17. Bxf6, 17...gxf6; 18. e7
Oct-21-06  RookFile: <draginoth: Fischer could have obtained an advantage with 16. Rxf6! instead of text move, followed by 16...Bxf6; 17. Bxf6, 17...gxf6; 18. e7>

The only problem is, you can't play 16. Rxf6 because there is a pawn on f5.

Oct-21-06  RookFile: <mrjoshherman: I used to remember, but have forgotten. Why 8. Bb3? I feel like there's some big trouble that white gets into if he doesn't make this move.> At some point, you're going to need to play Bb3, because if not, black can play ...Nxe4 white answers Nxe4 and then d5. You might be able to wait another move, but Fisher got it out of the way right away.
Oct-22-06  draginoth: To RookFile, yes i meant 17. Rxf6, thus increment the moves by 1.
Mar-20-07  jyske: This is an interesting game. Fischer gave a win in 60MG with 20 Qf4 which he described as a problem like win. Later Samuel Reshevsky in an analysis of the game used it as an illustration of what he described as RJF' s over optimism and lack of objectivity he said the best he can hope for is a draw after 20 Qf4 cxb2 21 Rh5 Nf6 and now Reshevsky gave 22 Rxh7+ Kxh7+ (Nxh7 drops the queen) 23 Qh4+ with a draw by perpetual. Fischer's analysis in 6OMG was incomplete and Reshevsky was scathing. However the great Bobby was right because instead of 22Rxh7+ there is the amazing 22Rh6!! making room for the Queen on f5.Thus 22..Ne4 23 Qf5 wins Which leaves 22 .. Rxf7 23 Bxf7 and white will consolidate his material advantage after 23 ...Be4 24 Rh3. Incidentally 17 Rxf6!! should be met with 17..Bxf6!? when 18 18 Bxf6 gxf6 19 e7 Qe5 20 Bxf7 is probably winning but black is still fighting. The point of 17 Rxf6 is that gxf6 loses outright to 18 Qg4+ Kh8 19 exf7 with Be6 coming its all over. Black really needs the knight for his defence.
Mar-20-07  Atking: Good analysis ! <jyske:> I like your 22.Rh6! too
May-15-07  PolishPentium: Why does White not simply play 18 Bxc3, engaging in "clear-cut Queen harassment"? After all, the pawn that RJF leaves unmolested turns out to cause him considerable grief later. What is PP missing? It still seems to him though that the Rf5 move would be better after the pesky Black pawn has been summarily disposed of...
Jun-04-07  IMDONE4: according to Geller, Fischer was a tremendous player who you simply could not match in traditional positions and open games, with clean positional play. There were two main weaknesses Geller noted: Fischer's commonality in opening repotoire (he almost always played e4 and the najdorf), and the fact that Fischer would crack with very bad play in the sharpest positions. Geller was able to exploit both, and become one of the very few players in history to have a plus score vs Fischer
Jun-04-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <jyske> About your very last variation <The point of 17 Rxf6 is that gxf6 loses outright to 18 Qg4+ Kh8 19 exf7 with Be6 coming its all over>, Geller in his book, "The application of chess theory" says that Black can answer (instead of Kh8) ...Qg5! 19 exf7+ Rxf7 20 Qe6 Rf8 21 Qxe7 Qd2!!, so he suggests for White 18 exf7+ and the main line he gives is: 18...Kh8 19 Qg4! Rb8 20 Qe6 Qd8 21 Rf8 Rb4 22 Bxc3 Rxe4 23 Rxf6! Re1+ 24 Bxe1! Bxf6 25 Ba5!! with a spectacular win. (the ! and !! are Gellerīs).
Jun-23-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Fischer's collection is of memorable games, not best games, so it's not such a surprise that he included losses.>>

Perhaps Fischer decided to call his collection "Memorable Games" precisely because he was including losses, rather than deciding to include losses because he was calling it "Memorable Games".

Jun-23-07  Petrosianic: <<Fischer's collection is of memorable games, not best games, so it's not such a surprise that he included losses.>>

Well, you'll notice that the three losses are all games he feels he should have won. In that sense, they're best games in the "Ones That Got Away" category.

Jun-24-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Well, you'll notice that the three losses are all games he feels he should have won. In that sense, they're best games in the "Ones That Got Away" category.>>

Hey, I never thought of that. Good point!

Jul-03-07  jyske: Penarol you are right that 18 exf7+ Kh8 must be played first and only now 19 Qg4 wins very quickly because after 19 ..Rb8 simply 20 Bxc3 (not 20 Qe6)is killing.
Jul-03-07  Peter Nemenyi: <Fischer would crack with very bad play in the sharpest positions>

No doubt Geller was onto something here, but to word it this way, as though Fischer did badly in sharp positions or was afraid of them, is thoroughly misleading. (Bobby as Petrosian's brother in spirit--certainly a new concept!) Mednis was more convincing when he claimed that RJF was ill at ease in obscure positions, mutually dangerous but without any strategic theme to guide his thinking. I'd suggest that all three of the losses in MSMG fall into this category.

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