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Robert James Fischer vs Miguel Najdorf
Leipzig Olympiad Final-A (1960), Leipzig GDR, rd 8, Nov-04
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Robert James Fischer vs Miguel Najdorf (1960)

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-06-08  Pawn Ambush: <whiteshark> Those pics are sweet!! Like the way Fischer lined up all the captured black pieces.
Jun-06-08  sfm: I read about this game 30 years ago in "Skakspilleren" ('The Chess Player', Danish) - and it said something like "... and Fisher finally brushed all the pieces off the board. Such behavior means loss of the game by forfeit, but Najdorf demonstrated great sportmanship by accepting the outcome as being a draw."
Jun-06-08  sfm: I think it was at the same occasion:
Earlier Najdorf had nominated Fisher as the greatest chess genius the world had seen. After the game he was asked if he still had the same opinion. - Of course! said Najdorf.
- But your game ended in a draw?
- Ah! Against me nobody wins easily, I defend myself ingeniously!
Jun-06-08  aktajha: <pawn ambush> indeed, I saw the pics earlier, but now you mention it. I've never seen anyone do that before; most of the times there are two piles of mess next to the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: If the pieces are lined up in order of value, does that mean Fishcer valued Knights more than Bishops? FWIW, after 20 plies, Fritz rates 40. Nb5+ Kb7 41. <Rxa6> and 40. Nxf7 a statistical dead heat at 2.82 and 2.84. The next ply, Nb5+ spiked to 3.23
Jun-06-08  Snosko: What happens with 55. b6, with mate in 1?
Jun-06-08  euripides: <snosko> I guess you mean 51.b6 or 53.b6 ? if so, see my earlier post.
Jun-06-08  Gilmoy: Not only did Fischer line up all the pieces -- notice how he arranged the Knights so that they're facing the board. They're not quite perfectly parallel, though.
Jun-06-08  Riverbeast: Fischer was known to find even captured pieces distracting if they were in his line of sight....He tended to push them as far away as possible, which is probably why he lined them up on the far side of the table.

But it is interesting that he arranged the pieces the way he did, pawns together, knights together, etc....Maybe an indication of his subconscious desire for order (of course I'm no psychologist)

Great photos!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Fritz 10 comes up with:
40. Nb5+ Kb7 41. <Rxa6> Kxa6 42. c4

click for larger view

Jun-06-08  RookFile: This game is probably an example of why Fischer wasn't quite ready until later in the 1960's. That version of Fischer had beefed up his endgame play, and without fail would have won this.
Feb-22-09  ruelas007: its not that im bluffing or pretending to be something like fischer but i do the same thing with my pieces with a little variation: i put em knight side by side with the other knight etc (and in "piece value" crescent order like bobby) funny coincidence
Feb-22-09  AnalyzeThis: It is a beautiful picture, isn't it?
Aug-01-09  jbgaston: <euripides> Your sequence for defending 53...b6 results in the loss of a rook for Black. After your 55...Rd7, White plays 56. Rxd7 Kxd7 57. Ne5

I can't figure out a way to defend 53...b6. anybody want to enlighten me?

Nov-01-09  The Famous Chess Cat: Why, in the line of captured pieces on Bobby's side of the table, are the knights after the bishops, in an otherwise piece-value-based order?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I don't know, but I doubt that Bobby did it. This was an adjourned game, so some official had probably set up the pieces before the players resumed.
Nov-24-09  YouRang: <euripides: 50...Rxf5 looks very bold; I guess if 51.b6, threatening mate in one, Black has 51...Rg4+ 52.Kd3 Rd5+ 53.Kc2 Rd7.>

<jbgaston: <euripides> Your sequence for defending 53...b6 results in the loss of a rook for Black. After your 55...Rd7, White plays 56. Rxd7 Kxd7 57. Ne5 I can't figure out a way to defend 53...b6. anybody want to enlighten me?>

After <51.b6>, we have this [diagram:black to move]

click for larger view

White is threatening Rc7#.

BTW, 51...Rg4+ is no good because 52.Kd3 Rd5+ 53.Ke3! (making it impossible to keep checking with the g-rook) Rd7 (stopping mate, but...) 54.Rxd7 Kxd7 55.Ne5+! forking K+R

However, black has one clever drawing resource: <51...Rxc3!! 52.Kxc3 Rc5+ 53.Kb4 Rxc6 54.Kb5 Rc1 => (tablebase draw)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <AnalyzeThis: It is a beautiful picture, isn't it?> Agreed! And it's nice to see a picture of Najdorf at that age. Most pictures of Najdorf show him already in his 70s or older.
Premium Chessgames Member
  numbersguy70: Fischer gets hasty with 37....Rxh6 and misses a fine opportunity to press the issue with his passed pawns with 37...b5!! 45...Rh8 blows the win entirely, though, as keeping the king actively attacking the rook with 45...Kc4 holds an advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Unfortunately the above posted links don't work anymore. :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Najdorf gives some backround information (in Spanish)
Nov-11-12  paul1959: There was still bad blood between the two players more than 32 years after this game: See Chess Notes 7832. Only a contemporary press report can be trusted. My two cents is that those nicely lined pieces at the table edge would be good candidates for accidental knock-down by a frustrated player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Heureka, Kevin saved the pics for us: :D
Apr-21-14  Rookiepawn: According to Najdorf's account the position seemed hopless, and Fischer looked at him baffled when Najdorf did not resign but kept on the suspended game. Argentinean team's analysts told Najdorf it was hopless, but Najdorf couldn't sleep at night thinking about the position, so he woke Eliskases up (who was not so happy) and challenged him to win the game taking Fischer's side. Eliskases (not precisely a weak player) couldn't win, so Najdorf knew it was not so easy.

The day after, while Fischer was sure of an easy win, Botvinnik told the Argentinean team that it was no piece of cake.

So the game restarted and Fischer lost his advantage and his nerve, furiously wiping off the pieces from the board.

Strictly talking, he had lost this game, but the Argentinean team decided to concede him a draw due to sportsmanship.

Fischer fanboys should take into account his overall results may have been slightly lower had the rules been applied to him the same way they were applied to everybody else.

Dec-30-21  Albion 1959: A superb rear guard action by Najdorf. I wonder how many others would have been intimidated by Fischer and crumbled under pressure? Fischer must have missed a win somewhere, but did not have necessary technique to score the point. I wonder if the more-experienced and stronger Fischer 1970-72 would pulled off the win ? One more thing, Najdorf had a similar position against Bronstein in 1954 and lost. So this type of position was not exactly unfamiliar to Najdorf and yet he allowed Fischer the same opportunity to play the sacrifice on b5 and went onto lose - curious?
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