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Robert James Fischer vs Robert Burger
"Well Done, Burger" (game of the day Nov-08-2014)
Analysis (1964) (probably analysis)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Fritz Variation (C57)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Sometimes the lambs slaughter the butcher.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I want to point out (as was done here by <dukesterdog> ten years ago), that the final position of this game is very special. In spite that Black is going to have Queen for two pieces, it is a difficult position for him to play!

After 14...Nf4 15.Bxf4 Qh5+ 16.Kg1 Bxe4 17.Nc3 Black has several options. The point is, though, that his passive Rooks, the active position of the White minor pieces, and the latent possibility White has of advancing his central Pawns and attacking the poorly place Black King give very good chances for a draw. Check it out!

Jul-19-15  FSTIMJP: In Belgrade 1992, I asked Fischer about this game, he could not recall himself playing it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Non-Game of the Century (part 1 of 2)>

<FSTIMJP> I am not surprised since this "game" apparently never happened. As pointed out by <Gilmoy> above, "'Analysis' usually means that this was not an actual OTB result, but occurred only as a variation or potential sideline."

I don't see why this analysis, if indeed that's what it was, is included in the <> database. Their rationale for retaining it is because it is "interesting", and it doesn't affect either Fischer's or Burger's win-loss-draw record. But they start including any "interesting" analysis in the "games" database, I'm not sure where it would stop, if at all.

There is a similar game in the Opening Explorer database, A Kobelev vs A Khamatgaleev, 1996, which continued with 12.Qxf7 instead of 12.Qxe4 land also ended in a win for Black. I also found a game in the ChessTempo database which continued 12.Qxe4 Bd6 13.Re1 c6 14.Bf1 Kc7 15.Nc3 Rae8 16.Qxe8 Rxe8 17.Rxe8 Nf6 18.f4 Qxf4 19.g3 Qxd4+ 20.Re3 Ng4 21.Bg2 Ba6 22.Bf3 Bf4 23.Bxg4 Bxe3+ 24.dxe3 Qxg4 25.e4 g5 26.Bd2 f5 27.Re1 f4 28.Kg2 h5 0-1

click for larger view

Black is not only slightly ahead in material but seems to have an irresistible attack.

I found the following game in the 365Chess database, Fischer vs. NN, Montreal 1964 simultaneous exhibition which continued: 13...Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6 18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+ 1-0

click for larger view

So NN, in spite of the 0-1 assessment of 13...Bxh2+ 14.Kxh2 Nf4, decided to deviate from Burger's line and lost. Of course, I doubt that NN was familiar with the Fischer - Burger analysis.

The 365Chess database also has the following games after 13...Bxh2+ 14.Kxh2 Nf4:

click for larger view

Kurt Matthias vs. Horst Hellbing, Ruhr championship Seniors, 1996, ˝ - ˝

Enrico Paoli vs. Josef Boey, Siegen Men's final-C, 1970, ˝ - ˝

Lukas Cernousek (2346) vs. Jjiri Kratochvil (1679), Strmilov, 2005, 0-1

So the 0-1 assessment after 14...Nf4 seems questionable, particularly since 0-1 score in Lukas Cernousek vs. Jjiri Kratochvil may have had more to do with the 667-point rating differential (with a P(Win) = 0.99) than anything else.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Non-Game of the Century (part 2 of 2)>

And, FWIW, here is how 2 engines evaluated the position after 14...Nf4:

Stockfish 6: [-0.76], d=37: 15.Bxf4 Qh5+ 16.Kg1 Bxe4 17.Nc3 a6 18.dxe4 axb5 19.f3 Qh4 20.g3 Qh3 21.d5 Kc8 22.Ne2 f6 23.Kf2 g5 24.g4 gxf4 25.Rh1 Qxh1 26.Rxh1 Rxa2 27.Nxf4 Rxb2+ 28.Kg3 h6 29.Ne6 b4 30.Rc1 Rh7 31.Kf4 Rb3 32.Rh1 c6 33.Nd4 Rc3 34.dxc6 Rc4 35.Rd1 h5 36.Kf5 hxg4 37.fxg4 Rh6

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Komodo 9.1: [-0.70], d=28: 15.Bxf4 Qh5+ 16.Kg1 Bxe4 17.dxe4 Qxb5 18.Nc3 Qb7 19.b3 h5 20.Nd5 Rc8 21.Rac1 h4 22.f3 Qa6 23.Rf2 h3 24.Rfc2 Qg6 25.Ne3 hxg2 26.Rxg2 Qa6 27.Rgc2 f6 28.Nd5 c6 29.Nb4 Qa3 30.Nxc6+ Ke8 31.Nxa7 Rxc2 32.Rxc2 Rh5

click for larger view

Advantageous for Black to be sure, but not necessarily decisive. White's minor pieces and active piece play seem to pretty much compensate for Black's queen.

But of all the games this is my favorite which shows what can happen, in spite of the 230-point rating differential, if White does not respond to 13...Bxh2 with 14.Kxh2:

Valentin Prahov (2221) vs. Jean Picard (1991), Trois Rivieres, 2005, 0-1

13...Bxh2 14.Kh1 Bf4 15.Kg1 Bxc1 16.Na3 Nf4 17.Bc6 Bxc6 0-1

click for larger view

Don't mess with the captain of the Enterprise, no matter how much higher your rating might be!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: We need to establish some details about this game.

The "Analysis" designation appears to be based on the information available in 2002 (see the first few kbitized on page 1). Much has come to light since then. <crawfb5>'s kibitz from 2008:

Fischer vs R Burger, 1963 (kibitz #69)

And <malthrope>'s reminiscence from 2009:

Fischer vs R Burger, 1963 (kibitz #83)

appear to establish the authenticity o the game, though any newer information would be welcome.

Also, there seem to be questions about the exact score (as pointed out by <crawfb5> and others. Is there new information that can settle this question?

Also, there is a very similar game in this variation:

Fischer vs D Allan, 1964

which Fischer won. That game appears to have been played about six weeks before the attributed date of this game, meaning Burger would have had time to study the Allan game and make preparations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <PB>, page 111 says game ended 11...exd4 12.Qxf7 Nf6 0-1


Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: And this game needs a correction: Fischer vs R Burger, 1963.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: I updated it to 13 April 1964, which seems to be when Fischer held this simul in San Francisco.


Aug-19-15  Mudphudder: So what was this? A simul or just an analysis game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Mudphudder> <Tabanus>'s link goes the "California Chess Reporter", May 1964. On p.111, as part of the Games Section, there is a short article about simuls Fischer played in Califnonia, including a game he lost to Robert E. Burger in San Francisco.

The Games Editor, by the way, was Robert E. Burger. Ahem!

The good news is that <Sneaky> and <cg> appear to have gotten ir right back in 2002. The score that appears on this page appears to be analysis.

It's just not analysis of Fischer - Burger.

The score given in CCR agrees with this one up to Black's 11th move:

<1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 10.Qf3 Bb7 11.0-0>

click for larger view

Now the actual game concluded <11...exd4 12.Qxf7?? Nf6!>, and White resigned due to the threats of ...Qxg2#, ...Qxb5, and ...Bd5 winning the queen.

Now the game from Montreal six weeks earlier, Fischer vs D Allan, 1964, more closely follows the score we have here, though it varies a move earlier with <10...e4>L However, after <11.Qxe4 Bd6 12.0-0 Bd7, 13.d3> we have transposed back to the line on this page.

click for larger view

And Allan played <13...Nf4>, missing the importance of the interpolation 13...Bxh2+.

So it would seem the version on this page was analysis of the line from Fischer - Allan, or possibly yet another game that somehow became associated with Fischer - B urger.I remember seeing the long version in Irving Chernev's 1974 book, Wonders and Curiosities of Chess", so something happened in the intervening decade.

Mar-16-16  luftforlife: Several members have mentioned 13. . . . Bxh2 as a winning move for Black:

<keypusher>, on Mar-25-05 (Fischer vs R Burger, 1964 (kibitz #31));

<AylerKupp>, on Jul-19-15 (Fischer vs R Burger, 1964 (kibitz #134) and Fischer vs R Burger, 1964 (kibitz #135)); and

<Phony Benoni>, on Aug-19-15 (Fischer vs R Burger, 1964 (kibitz #141)).

Also, <tabanus> linked to Tim Krabbé's Open Chess Diary Entry No. 261, from October 10, 2004, entitled "Two small mysteries," which features analysis of Bxh2 as a winning move:

On his weblog "Tankeboxen," in his entry "Burger til Bobby" from February 2001, Sřren Dippel (whose helpful contributions early in this thread were duly recognized) iterated another winning line emanating from 13. . . . Bxh2:

"13. . . . Bxh2 14. Kh1 Bf4 15. Bxf4 Nxf4 16 Qxb7 Qh5+ 17. Kg1 Ne2#." (piece designations transliterated, annotations omitted).

I leave aside all questions about the provenance or the realistic likelihood of emergence of the proffered line and simply submit it here as an analytical alternative.

Here's the link:

P.S.: Other issues raised by the blog entry have been addressed and resolved above in the comprehensive and groundbreaking commentary, which is historically authoritative. Superlative research by estimable members is interlarded with valuable first-person accounts from primary sources. This is <cg> at its best.

Jun-27-16  BobbyDigital80: This "game" should not be in the database. If they want this analysis to be seen, why not include it in the actual game? Fischer vs R Burger, 1964
Apr-29-19  Burger7: Robert Burger is my father.
I would like to point out a few things about this 'game'. Fischer was playing at least 30 others in a Simul My Dad knew Fischer fairly well, as he and 'Mac' Maclain had taken him under their wing when he was just a teenager traveling to SF for a big tournament in the late 50's. Fischer did congratulate my Dad when he saw he'd lost. This was no fluke. My Father was a Master, and only because he had to work double to support 10 children Oh, and it is a fact that he was at Harrington's Bar, having a few when he was coaxed to take part in the Simul - so it wasn't Fischer that was drunk!
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Is this game a simul ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Just seen above post by Burger7 ! lol

Nice one Burger7 lovely post .. and speaking for myself as a Fischer fanatic I'm very much aware of your dad x

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Robert Fischer is the GREATEST ever chess player. Just sayin loike lol
Apr-29-19  Petrosianic: <harrylime: Robert Fischer is the GREATEST ever chess player. Just sayin loike lol>

Then why do you hate him so much lol? And why were you dumb enough to admit it lololol?

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <Petrosianic: <harrylime: Robert Fischer is the GREATEST ever chess player. Just sayin loike lol> Then why do you hate him so much lol? And why were you dumb enough to admit it lololol?>



Mar-31-20  Ediciones3jaques: In the magazine "Ajedrez revista Mensual" of September 1979 Number 305 Volume XXVI, page 509 Editorial Sopena Argentina S.A. It gives the following data of this line of play: San Francisco 1963
In simultaneous
Fischer vs Burges
13... Bxh2+ 14.Kxh2 Nf4!
Sep-15-20  login:

'.. Last night [13 Apr 1964] Fischer moved decisively in the middle of a big L lined with 50 chess boards and 50 chess players. Thirteen moves along Fischer lost to 22-year-old Bob Berger, an advertising man from Lafayette and one of the top players in the Mechanics Institute Chess Club [the oldest chess club in the US].

Then in rapid succession Fischer copped three victories as he moved through his third of some 40 exhibitions on a current nationwide tour. ..'

from 'Chess - 50 Against 1', The San Francisco Examiner, 14 Apr 1964, p.3

'Bobby Fischer and the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club'

by John William Donaldson

Nov-28-20  cameosis: the caption should actually read: burger, well done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: Turf Eats Surf.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: And I don't know why people object to analysis, composed games, studies or problems being in the database, as long as everything is clearly labeled. Perhaps a "super-advanced search" could offer filters that would let such people see only the kind of games they like, or for that matter would let problem junkies see only problems. I know I'd like to find a searchable database of studies.
Apr-08-21  FSTIMJP: So, it is confirmed. Fischer did play and lose to Burger in 1964, but these were not the game moves. "A Legend on the Road: Bobby Fischer's 1964 Simul Tour" has the whole story together with the game.
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