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Robert James Fischer vs Paul Keres
Bled (1961), Bled YUG, rd 16, Sep-28
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-29-04  Knight13: This is gonna be a Check game and Pawn game. Good game.
Oct-15-13  Owl: The Queen/Knight holds against the Queen/Bishop with passed b7 pawn. I think that's what Capablanca was talking about when he said QN slightly superior to QB if queens were off the board the passed pawn would be used as bait and the king would go gobble up the other pawns
Jun-22-16  Petrosianic: <I think that's what Capablanca was talking about when he said QN slightly superior to QB>

Maybe it is, but this game doesn't illustrate it. In this game, a Black Bishop on b8 would be even better than a Black Knight.

When a Knight is better than a Bishop in an endgame, it's usually because it can attack all the squares while the Bishop can't.

A knight is usually a better blockader too, but that's because it can stop a pawn from approaching on an adjacent file (not applicable in this game). But a Bishop isn't a bad blockader either. In this game an opposite colored bishop would blockade every bit as well as a Knight (which goes back to the weakness of the single bishop that we mentioned earlier: It can't attack all the squares. But the opposite colored bishop would be superior to the Knight here because of the pressure that Queen and Bishop would exert on White's Kingside (Qh2!).

Jun-23-16  Petrosianic: This game is actually quite worth a study. Optically White's game is quite good at several points. After Move 25, he appears to be better. But the more you study the game, the more it appears that Black never has any serious troubles at any point.

The Pawn sac with 26...Qg3 is even a winning attempt on Black's part. It's not necessary for him to give up that b pawn, and he's quite all right if he doesn't. Giving it up gives White those two dangerous looking passed pawns, but Black must have known from the beginning that his counterplay would be enough to neutralize them. Still, Keres must have seen very deeply into the position to be able to tell that at Move 26. I'd never have had the nerve to play a move like 26... Qg3.

Jun-23-16  RookFile: White would have had a clear advantage with 28. Kf1. After 28. Kf1, black can't just play the ....h4 and ...Nh5 plan. For example, 28. Kf1 h4 29. Qd4 Nh5 30. Qxe4 and white wins. Also, 28. Kf1 Qh2 29. Qd8+ keeps white on top. Everything is guarded, and white's king can go to f2 if needed.

So, white would have had time to regroup, and black cannot strengthen his attack. At this point, you start to ask exactly how black is going to stop the two queenside passed pawns. Whatever the answer is, you'd rather have the white pieces.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Rookfile>
What did you find on 28. Kf2 <Rxe2>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Following up: 28. Kf1 Rxe2 29. Rd8+ Kh7 30. Kxe2 Qxg2+ 31. Kd1 Qf1+. Black has many checks and will pick off a pawn or two, although the b-pawn can still be dangerous. 32. Kd2 Qxc4 33. Qa5 Qf1 for example. White may have an advantage, but I wouldn't call it a clear one.

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Jun-24-16  RookFile: 28. Kf1 Rxe2 29. Kxe2

The rook on d1 is helpful in allowing white to find shelter for his king.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
You're right, I underestimated your simple <29. Kxe2> and I can't make the sac work for Black. Nor does it work after your 28. Be2 h4 29. Qd4.

Obviously Fischer would have looked at 28. Be2. Why didn't he play it?

Maybe because Black has <28...Ra3>. For example, 28. Be2 Ra3 29. Qc5 Rxe3 30. Bxh5 g6, and now 31. Bf3 <Rxf3+> or 31. Be2 Qf4+ 32. Ke1 Qg3+ 33. Kd2 <Ra3> both look dangerous for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Sorry for the misprints. We are analyzing <28. Kf1>.
Jun-24-16  RookFile: 28. Kf1 Ra3 29. Qc5 Rxe3 30. Rd8+ Kh7 31. Qf5+ Qg6 32. Qxg6+.

Material is actually equal, but I think white can just push his queenside pawns and win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
In that case, probably Black's best after all is 28. Kf1 Rxe2 29. Kxe2 Qxg2+ 30. Ke1 Qxh3. I think White should win, but at least Black has counterplay in a sharp position.

Whereas in the game line, White has a safe advantage. For example, what if instead of 32. c5, he hangs onto the e-pawn a bit longer with <32. Qd4> or <32. Qc3>? I'm having a hard time finding ways for Black to survive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Fischer never beat Keres in this B11 version of the Caro-Kann. Surprising more GM's didn't try this weapon against Bobby!
Oct-04-20  pepechuy: In the Encyclopedia of Chess Endings, volume 4, the moves 50. Qg8 Kh6 51. Qf8 Kg6 are omitted (they just repeat the position). I wonder whether:
(1) this repetition was considered not important for the Encyclopedia; (2) they simply made a mistake;
(3) the moves were actually not played;
(4) something else.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Keres thus became the only 'Russian' to escape Fischer's wrath at Bled, a far cry from the result of the latter's previous visit to that city.
Oct-05-20  Brenin: <perfidious>: Bled is hardly a city: more like a small town, or large village, beside the beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia.

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