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Robert James Fischer vs Oleg Neikirch
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 1, Aug-05
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-09-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Chessgames lists this as being played in round 18, but I think it was really played in round 1.

In other words, this otherwise undistinguished game was Fischer's first game in a tournament involved with the World Chess Championship.

May-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <but I think it was really played in round 1.>

you are absolutely right <RookFile>.

<"At the <<start>> he (Fischer) drew with Neikirch, having had the inferior position as White as early as the 14th move. Two moves later the Bulgarian Champion unexpectedly offered a draw. When the journalists asked him why he had done this, Neikirch replied: 'It was somehow embarrassing to win against the lad, on my return home to Bulgaria they would laugh at me.'>

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal. (page 105)

Sep-22-09  Wayne Proudlove: I believe Fischer's favourite piece was the Knight. I played a couple of games this morning against some expert players where I more clearly realized its destructive potential. A few aha moments. One game was the Alekhine Opening where Black's g1 Knight moves 3 times in the opening. I controlled the centre but because there was such a difference in our skill level he just walked right through it.
Sep-22-09  docR: I believe fischers favorite piece was the bishop, karpov the knight kasparov the queen, capa the rook. any other ideas on gm favs
Sep-23-09  Wayne Proudlove: Thanks for the response. Although Fischer famously assigned the Bishop a marginally higher material value than the Knight I remember reading something along the lines of "Fischer loved his Knights."
Jan-10-12  dumbgai: Fischer's favorite piece was definitely the bishop. The endgame with bishop and pawns against knight and pawns is sometimes named the Fischer endgame, due to his ability to win with the bishop.
Jan-10-12  King Death: What <RookFile> says is right and I never knew there was a "Bad" Portoroz. Is there a "Good" one or do they have springs there?
Jan-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <dumbgai: Fischer's favorite piece was definitely the bishop. The endgame with bishop and pawns against knight and pawns is sometimes named the Fischer endgame>

Only by idiots and hacks trying to sell books to idiots.

Bishops had outplayed knights (and vice versa, when conditions were right) in thousands of games before Fisher was born, and in thousands more games after Fischer quit. (And besides, Fischer was just as good with N v. B as the other way around.)

Calling B v. N endings "Fischer endings" is as stupid as calling 1.e4 "Fischer's Opening."

Jan-10-12  AnalyzeThis: <Neikirch replied: 'It was somehow embarrassing to win against the lad, on my return home to Bulgaria they would laugh at me.>

This is a little over the top. He's certainly not winning in the game's final position, although black is equal.

Jan-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I believe Fischer's favorite piece was the king. Specifically, the opposing king. He stopped at nothing to collect them.
Jan-12-12  Atking: Fischer was still young. 10.Rd1 Bg4 11.RxQ BxQ 12.Nc3 is better.
Jul-15-12  ughaibu: Just a small nit-pick for RookFile; presumably Fischer had to play in a zonal on this occasion(?)
Dec-12-12  ozmikey: <ughaibu> In a way <RookFile> is right, inasmuch as the 1957/58 U.S. Championship simply doubled as the U.S. Zonal for the 1960 cycle.

At that point three countries had national championships that counted as zonals in their own right: the Soviet Union of course, the U.S., and, bizarrely enough, Canada. The latter was a bit of an anomaly and it's not surprising that their representative (Geza Fuster) ended up being a bit of a punching bag at this interzonal: not only did Canada's strongest player (Yanofsky) not compete in the Canadian championship that year, but Fuster wasn't even first!

Dec-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ozmikey> The 'punching bag' almost defeated Fischer the following day: G Fuster vs Fischer, 1958.
Dec-12-12  ughaibu: In what way does that make RookFile right? Fischer had to play in the zonal to qualify for the interzonal, on this occasion, so this wasn't his "first game in a tournament involved with the World Chess Championship".
Dec-12-12  ozmikey: <ughaibu> Matter of interpretation I suppose, some would consider national championships to be internal rather than external competitions, even if they have an "external function", so to speak.

<perfidious> I guess Fischer might still have been in the grip of first-big-event nerves.

Dec-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ozmikey> That may very well have been: he then played a long draw with Rossetto, where he never got much going, and was crushed by Benko in another Saemisch KID. With the bye in the fifth round, Fischer was on 2 and already a full point behind the group sharing the final qualifying spot.
Mar-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 8.Qe2?! is a lemon because of 8...Nd4! 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 as Neikirch played. Then 10.Rd1 is well met by either 10...Bg4 or 10...Qg4, in either case with a small advantage to Black.
Sep-04-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ozmikey....(As of 1957) three countries had national championships that counted as zonals in their own right: the Soviet Union of course, the U.S., and, bizarrely enough, Canada. The latter was a bit of an anomaly and it's not surprising that their representative (Geza Fuster) ended up being a bit of a punching bag at this interzonal: not only did Canada's strongest player (Yanofsky) not compete in the Canadian championship that year, but Fuster wasn't even first!>

Even Yanofsky, while clearly a strong player, would have been done over at Portoroz; that said, I agree--having Canada as a zone unto itself was silly and smacked of some type of political deal.

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