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Robert James Fischer vs Rodolfo Tan Cardoso
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 20, Sep-07
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack (B10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-26-03  drukenknight: Fischer/Carokann. ANother early one. THis one from the interzonal. This is a pois.pawn var. known in the books thought to be draw after 10 d4 Nb5 11 Bd3 Rb8 ...

I dont know if Fischer knew this line or tried to avoid it. so what? every main line is a draw, I guess.

anyhow what about 7...Ne5? one N move meets another N move, but the difference is one hits the Q. maybe.

8...Qb6 would set off some fireworks. Why not try to match up w/ white and develop the Q? Looking at the board the black Ns look strong together why not embark on complications w/ understanding that at least I (black) had a pair of connected Ns, when it began. Conencted Ns, another recurring theme.

Okay so he plays 8...e6 and the p.p. line begins. He probably could have avoided this so it is hard to say whether they are playing from memory or just ad libbing.

Okay so he gives up the a pawn. Supposedly this is book but in the end, the passed pawn on the a file will kill black. Maybe Fischer really is playing by memory?

14...Bxp is criticized (14...Rxp!?) but I think it makes sense to work on development since you are behind on pawns. Now the game really gets interesting. Just like Addison, black's pawn structure is not so hot but maybe he has gained enuf to develop in order to attack. Or maybe he wont.

15...00 I dont like. He isnt going to win this in the end game, and he isnt going to make a pawn storm. What is wrong w/ 15...Qf6? Doesnt it make sense to trade off whites only developed piece? Bring the g pawn over and connect central pawns. Again, trading Q would also help out pawn structure and take off a developed piece. HOw many players refuse to swap Q when there is on good reason not to? A lot. Lasker would be rolling in his grave to see this.

This is a recurring theme in carokann, white seems to win some material but may lack development.

16...Nc5 now he decides to swap Qs. Great one move later, what happens? white has got the B out. ANd he has a pin on e pawn. Guess what? Pins on pawns are going to haunt black for the rest of the game. See how one minor illogical move can mess you up? Black needs to break this pin asap.

now look at blacks 18th. Look at whites pawns that are pinned. again recurring theme. 18...Rd5 It appears black was counting on 19 Bb3 so that the R on f1 would be loose. Loose rooks another recurring theme.

I think the 18th is probably the blunder. What about 18...e3 19 fxe3 RxR 20 BxR Ne4 21 d4 c5; does that make sense? It makes sense to get something out of your pawn weakness yes? SInce the end game does not favor black he should use the messed up pawns to attack now.

Oct-26-03  talchess2003: < Okay so he gives up the a pawn. Supposedly this is book but in the end, the passed pawn on the a file will kill black. Maybe Fischer really is playing by memory? > I agree :) This is home preparation.. he found a strong continuation in the move Kd1. And in the end keeping the lightsquared bishop (along with the passed pawn) was what brought black to his demise =\ Fischer always was a master with bishops.
Oct-26-03  talchess2003: Swapping queens was stupid.. as Druken said.. I wonder how Fischer would have played it after the more agressive line for black to undertake: 16. ... Kh8 17. Qxe4 Nc5 18. Qxc6 Bxd2 19. Bxd2 Rxf2 0-1

White's king stuck in the middle is definitely a major problem for him, and he can't just go snatching pawns while black gains control of the d file and gets a 2nd rank rook. Black would get very much play and good chances for winning.

Oct-26-03  drukenknight: yeah, I like that line. pretty interesting game huh? Cardoso actually got a pretty good opening out of it, which is hard to do against mr. photographic memory.
Sep-19-04  ripper: The position after 18...Rd4 is strategically lost by white.
Aug-22-05  BobbyBishop: In Frank Brady's Profile of a Prodigy, he writes that at the start of the game Cardoso announced to all that he would beat Fischer. He even asks him if he would like to resign now and save time to which Brady says Fischer merely laughed and proceeded to win the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: "My God, he plays so simply!" -- Suetin
Jul-13-08  Jim Bartle: From an article by Frederic Friedel:

"In the previous 20th round Fischer had almost lost his place in the Candidates. Playing white against Cardosso he ran into some home preparation and, after taking a poisoned pawn on b7, found himself into a hopeless position. But with incredible determination Fischer managed to find all the right moves and, in a filigree 62-move effort he beat Cardosso to retain his chances for the Candidates."

Aug-17-08  ToTheDeath: Remarkable tightrope walking by Fischer. All the elements of Fischer's style are here: Grabbing the two bishops at first opportunity, risky pawn grab, computer-like defense in the face of a strong attack, and the classic light squared bishop vs. knight endgame.
Aug-17-08  Atking: It's an old note of mine but 10.Nxe6! looks interesting 10...fxNe6 11.Qxc6 White is nearly 4 connected passed pawns for a Knight!
Dec-16-08  Eyal: Position after 13.Qxa7:

click for larger view

Cardoso could have got a winning position with 13...Nd5! and White has no good way to save the knight:

14.Ng3 Nc5! with the threats of 15...Ra8 and 15...Rb7 16.Qa3 Ne4.

14.c4 Nc7! and now 15.Ng3 Bc5! (15...Nc5 16.Qa5) 16.Qa4/a5 16...Bxf2; or 15.Nc3 Nc5! and White has no good defence against 16...Ra8 17.Qb6 Ra6 18.Qb4 Nd3 and Nxf2+, as the queen cannot escape via a5-c3; or 15.Ng5 Bc5 (15...Qxg5?? 16.Qxc7) 16.Qa5 Bb6 and White loses the knight.

Interestingly, chessbase databse contains 6 later games that reached the position after 9...Qxb7, and in only one of them Black played the correct 9...Nd5! and went on to win. Four others were lost by Black and one was drawn - apparently, in all these cases the players believed White managed to outwit Black and win a pawn, not knowing that the pawn is poisoned and it should actually be a trap for White...

Dec-16-08  zanshin: <Eyal> It seems you are right. (Rybka 3; 4-PV)

click for larger view

[-0.76] d=16 13...Nd5 14.c4 N5b6 15.Ng3 Bc5 16.Nh5 O–O 17.Nf4 Qe7 18.Nd3 Bd4 19.c5 Bxc5 20.Nxc5 Qxc5 21.Qa3 Qe5 22.Qg3 f4 23.Qc3 Qd6 24.Qc2 (0:04.01) 24152kN

[-0.14] d=15 13...fxe4 14.cxb4 Rxb4 15.a3 Bc5 16.Qa6 Rd4 17.Qxc6 O–O 18.b4 Rd6 19.Qxe4 Nf6 20.Qe2 Nd5 21.Qe5 Bxf2 22.Bb2 (0:02.18) 14132kN

[+0.08] d=16 13...Ra8 14.Qd4 Nd5 15.Ng3 Kf7 16.Qc4 Qc7 17.a4 Be7 18.a5 Rhd8 19.d4 Ne5 20.Qe2 Ng6 21.Ke1 Rxa5 22.Rxa5 Qxa5 23.Qa6 Qc7 (0:05.02) 29633kN

[+0.56] d=8 13...Be7 14.cxb4 fxe4 15.Qd4 Rxb4 16.Bc4 Nc5 (0:00.01) 87kN

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Eyal> says black wins with 13...Nd5! 14.c4 Nc7!

Then < zanshin: > says <<Eyal> It seems you are right. (Rybka 3;

[-0.76] d=16 13...Nd5 14.c4 N5b6 ...>

Which is best?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Houdini 3 analyzes as best for both sides 13...Nd5! 14. c4 N5b6 15. Ng3 Bc5 16. f4 Nxc4 17. Qa6 Ncb6 18. Qe2 Qe7 19. b3 O-O 20. Bb2 Nd5 21. Rc1 Nxf4 22. Qf3 Nd5 23. Bc4 Ba3 24. Bxa3 Qxa3 25. Re1 Nc5 26. Bxd5 cxd5 27. Rc2 Rbc8 28. Qc3 d4 29. Qxd4 Nxb3 30. axb3 Qxb3 31. Qb2 Qxg3 32. Qe5 Qxe5 33. Rxe5 Kf7 34. Rxc8 Rxc8 35. Ra5 and Fischer would have had to try to grovel a draw in a pawn-down rook ending (-0.71).
May-28-18  jabinjikanza: Cordoso Bob's customer
May-28-18  ClockPunchingMonkey: You can see why the Russians wanted to play this against Fischer. At the least black could have gotten a clear advantage right out of the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Fischer seemed to violate all opening principles in this game as well as the art of war principle generally of "Put yourself beyond defeat before going onto the attack" or in chess terms try and complete development and castle before pursuing active operations.

The cruelty of this game is such that Black's inaccurate play actually led to a totally lost endgame for Black with White having a strong outside passed pawn and all the rooks coming off. A comedy-trajedy game really.

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