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Robert James Fischer vs Sharav Purevzhav
"Mongolian Barbecue" (game of the day Mar-21-2014)
Varna Olympiad qual-2 (1962), Varna BUL, rd 1, Sep-18
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Yugoslav Attack Sosonko Variation (B77)  ·  1-0



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Given 52 times; par: 23 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-01-09  WhiteRook48: so I analyzed 21...exd3 for nothing!!
Apr-12-11  nowo: I'm trying to find black's best reply to the mess he's in and everything I look at seems to spell disaster (which is of course why he resigned). Anyone care to offer black's best move anyway, and the continuation? Thanks...
Apr-12-11  TheFocus: <nowo> Just looking at the diagram after 22. Nxe4, we see that White threatens f6+ and then Qh3 wins.

To counter this, Black cannot play 22...gxf5 23. Qg3+ and mate next move.

If 22...f6 23. fxg6 Rh8 (If ...Kxg6 24. Qg3 mate) 24. Rh7+ Rxh7 25. gxh7 and wins.

Is my analysis correct, anyone? Did I miss something?

Apr-15-11  nowo: <TheFocus>
I believe you are correct. I had figured 22...f6 was black's best reply. I couldn't see from there what was white's best move. 23. fxg6 seems to work best for white with no real defense for black after playing out as you wrote. Thanks!
May-26-11  wordfunph: <refutor: this is the famous game where he couldn't make out his opponent's name on his scoresheet so for White he wrote "Fischer" and for Black he wrote "A Mongolian" :)>

yes, from Andrew Soltis book Bobby Fischer Rediscovered..

<In the first round of the Olympiad at Bulgaria's Golden Sands resort in Varna, Fischer found himself paired with an unknown Asian opponent. As he prepared his scoresheet, he tried in vain to figure out how to spell black's name. Fischer looked at his opponent's scoresheet but couldn't decipher the writing. Then he looked at the name card on the side of table but the Cyrillic lettering wasn't much help. Finally, he solved the mystery. In the place of the scoresheet for white he wrote "Fischer". And in the place for black he added, "A Mongolian".>


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Purevzhav got pureed here.
May-27-11  Cibator: That whole manoeuvre with the KN (to d7 and points west) was just too slow. But BobbyBishop is right: the theory of the Yugoslav was still a bit rudimentary at the time. It wasn't so long before this game that GMs were still castling short against the Dragon.
Aug-24-11  joshuap: A great attack by Fischer
Mar-21-14  RookFile: Well, I would have chopped that bishop off on b3 the first chance that presented itself. You guys are right, Fischer would win anyway because the whole thing was a time wasting maneuver.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I believe Fischer himself said that beating the Dragon was a matter of open the h-file, sac, sac, mate. Black refused both of them in this game, but it didn't make much difference.
Mar-21-14  offramp: That extra chromosome didn't help black at all.
Mar-21-14  superzee: Poor moves by black
Mar-21-14  alfiepa: this is the famous game where he couldn't make out his opponent's name on his scoresheet so for White he wrote "Fischer" and for Black he wrote "A Mongolian" :)

Not! was against Mjagmarsuren - Las Palmas 1970 :-)

Mar-21-14  ossipossi: Putting a Knight in a5 was for nothing, while 13.h4 was to be contrasted with 13...h5. I like Dragon, seems logical but has a lot of weaknesses.
Mar-21-14  gars: <An Englishman>: Good morning. You are right. I quote Fischer's words after his 16th move: "He won't get a second chance to snap off the Bishop! Now I felt the game was in the bag if I didn't botch it. I'd won dozens of skittles games in analogous positions and had it down to a science: pry open the h file, sac, sac ... mate!", as it is in "My Sixty Memorable Games".
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will seal in the black king and then force mate with queen and rook.
Mar-21-14  RookFile: It's kind of humorous, but it's possible that what black should do is 12.....Nxb3, followed by ....Nd7 and and ....Nf6. He's already in a tough spot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <offramp: That extra chromosome didn't help black at all.>

17... e5 tried to break the bind.

...but white had too much pull.

Feb-20-16  ZonszeinP: Why didn't ask Mr Purevzhav to write his name on his scoresheet?

Just asking

Nov-03-20  cameosis: <his is the famous game where he couldn't make out his opponent's name on his scoresheet so for White he wrote "Fischer" and for Black he wrote "A Mongolian" :)>

true. the united statesian could have simply asked, but that thought never crossed his limited mind. so sad.

Nov-14-20  redwhitechess:

you are welcome

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I just played through this ? it?s terrific. Too bad it?s slightly overshadowed by the scoresheet issue. But Soltis? story sounds a little fishy. Fischer had been studying Soviet chess magazines for years at this point. Could he really not read his opponent?s name in Cyrillic?
Aug-04-21  RookFile: I don't think Soltis is the only guy saying this happened.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < RookFile: It's possible to have bad handwriting in any language.>

Absolutely, and I find Cyrillic cursive really challenging even though I can sort of fight my way through printed Cyrillic. But, per Soltis, there was also a name card in Cyrillic on the side of the table (I suppose that could have been in cursive also).

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Anyway, you can find pictures from the Olympiad on this page (scroll down). It is an interesting site.

The name cards didn?t use cursive. But as RookFile says it is not as if Soltis is the only source for the story.

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