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Robert James Fischer vs Mikhail Tal
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 12, Aug-23
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C92)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-07-04  Whitehat1963: Why not 39. Re7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <whitehat1963> I think that if 39.Rae7 then 39...a3 is embarassing. If the other R moves to e7 then the two passed pawns are equally dangerous after swapping off a pair of R's. White is worse if he does not go for the repetition.
Jan-08-04  clifton: I thought Tal would win this one for sure.
Mar-03-05  jerry417: Iam studing Tal and fishers openings
Jun-28-05  lentil: doesn't 21. ..cb simply win a P?
Jun-28-05  Kangaroo: <<lentil>: doesn't 21...cb simply win a P?>

No, try to imagine what would happen after <22. Nf5> followed by <23. Qg4> threatening <24. Qxg7#> or <24. Nh6+> winning the queen

Jun-27-06  spirit: nice ending
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Wade's collection of Fischer's games, Leonard Barden cites subsequent analysis claiming a win for White with 35.Bh6 Re8 36.Bg7 Ne6 37.Bxf6, leaving Black defenceless to R6d7, Rxh7 and Rh8 mate.
May-23-07  Owl: Why doesn't Tal take the rook after 39.Rhg7+ 39...Nxg7 40.Rxa8+ and there is no way Fischer can stop those two passed black pawns.
May-23-07  newton296: Owl. I don't get that either . After nxr rxr+ it looks like a win for tal? just push the q side pawns!
Jul-28-07  talisman: 1st encounter....what would the world pay, at ant given point in time, to see a tal-fischer, 24 game championship match.
Sep-16-07  cn1ght: I'm not going to calculate it out because it'd be complicated with many variations and all, but it looks like the pawns cannot push. The bishop covers the pushing squares, the knight is too far away, the king is also far away, and white's rook is behind the pawns, where it should be, not infront like black's rook.
Sep-16-07  smarterthanbobby: you know these are two of the greatest minds chess had to offer at the time... I am sure they had a million reasons why they drew... each making a conclusion based on some exact reason... to any who posted why draw! black I feel looks to be in a tricky dilema, fisher was an end game artist... black only had 1 chance, promote or die and for fisher to break even on whites trade off's was more than a coin toss... leaving a lop sided king - pawn match up I feel tal was lucky fisher agreed to the draw.
( they are both great! ) would be nice to know 100% the conclusion to this puzzle... but who is at fishers level? wonder what THE BIG K, THINKS ABOUT this maze? anyone know is karsopov made thoughts on who would come out on top in this game? I would trust his thoughts!
Jan-02-08  Willem1984: And 27...,g5? Makes the bishop looks silly
Jul-13-08  firefly3: 27... g5 isn't that good. First of all it can be met soundly with 28. h4, necessitating 28... gxh4.

It could also be met with the sharper 28. Rd3. Then you could have

28. Rd3 Kf7 29. Rad1 Kg6 30. Rxd7 Rxd7 31. Rxd7 Kxh6 32. Rd6 or even 30. Bf8 Rxf8 31. Rxd7.


28. Rd3 Nb6 29. Rad1 Rxd3 30. Rxd3 Kf7 31. h4 Kg6 32. hxg5 fxg5 33. Rd6+

This is just a cursory analysis though. So my two responses after 27... g5 are the safer 28. h4 and the sharper 28. Rd3

Jul-13-08  RookFile: Yes, this is nothing at all like Fischer's famous ...Bxh2 against Spassky. The bishop gets out easy enough against ...g5.
Feb-16-09  WhiteRook48: why not 39...Nxg7?
Oct-18-09  WhiteRook48: 26...g5 27 g3 Kf7 28 h4 Kg6 29 hxg5 hxg5 30 Rd6+ Nf6 31 Rad1!!
Jan-01-11  keithbc: strange that we now accept that computers are so strong and, at least, give an unbiases evaluation of any position, but i recall reading at least from two sources that Tal was quoted as saying that he was sure he should have been mated in this game?!? Nothing here to suggest that. Perhaps psychology (Tal would use this to his own end) to make Fischer feel that he 'only' drew this game. In fact, at the end (if Tal wants to play Nxh7) it is only he that has any winning chances. Strange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Owl: Why doesn't Tal take the rook after 39.Rhg7+ 39...Nxg7 40.Rxa8+ and there is no way Fischer can stop those two passed black pawns.>

41. Bc5 seems simple enough

Feb-17-11  Kallahad: Donīt be so cocky. Itīs not simple enough...according to Houdini 1.5 black was ahead about 0.30 centipawns...bc5 would make things even worst for white... in fact, our beloved fischer was not with the advantage. Well, not a simple position as said, the draw was fair.
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