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Robert James Fischer vs Donald Byrne
"Bay City Rollers" (game of the day May-08-2014)
Western Open (1963), Bay City, MI USA, rd 6, Jul-06
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Main Line (B77)  ·  1-0



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Given 35 times; par: 68 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-01-09  WhiteRook48: the king is the dragon
Jun-18-09  Travis Bickle: A crushing game by Fischer.
Nov-21-09  Nexus6: I hope that D Byrne maintained a reasonable sense of humor when it came to his efforts against the hideously precise Fischer.
Nov-21-09  RandomVisitor: Rare miscalculations by Fischer:

After 15.Ndb5! Qe7 16.Bg5 Be6 17.Qd6 white is better,

After 17...Nxd1! 18.Bxf8 Nf2 19.Rf1 Nh3 20.Qe5 Qxf8 21.Nb5 Ra6 22.gxh3 black is slightly better.

Nov-22-09  RandomVisitor: After 15.Ndb5!

1: Robert James Fischer - Donald Byrne, Bay City Rd: 7 1963

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Analysis by Rybka 3 : <24-ply>

<1. (1.31): 15...Qe7> 16.Bg5 Be6 17.h5 Rfd8 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Qb4 20.hxg6 Qxd2+ 21.Rxd2 hxg6 22.d6 Rd7 23.Rh4 Rc8 24.Nc7 c3 25.bxc3 Ne8 26.Nd5 Rb8 27.Be7 b5 28.g3 f5 29.c4 bxc4 30.Rxc4 Bf8

2. (1.37): 15...Qxd2+ 16.Bxd2 Bd7 17.Nd6 Be6 18.Nxb7 Rfc8 19.Nd6 Rc6 20.Be3 Bf8 21.Ndb5

Mar-17-14  Meaux: One of my favorite games by Fischer.
May-08-14  RookFile: A good effort by Byrne, he was still in there swinging to the end against a world class GM.
May-08-14  newzild: For me, the most interesting point in this game is move 17. Instead of 17...Kxg7, my first instinct when clicking through the game was 17...Qxd4, e.g: a) 18. Qxd4 Ne2+ 19. Kb1 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 with an opposite-coloured bishop ending.

b) 18. Bxd4 Ne2+ wins a piece.

c) 18. Rxd4 Ne2+ 19. Kb1 Nxf4 looks good for Black, e.g., 20. Bxf8 Ne6

Anyone know the refutation?

May-08-14  vsiva1: I think making C7 is key here, preventig either Rb8 or Rd8 to give away check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: For those puzzled by the pun, the Bay City Rollers were a mid 1970s Scottish boy band ...

Apparently they chose their name by throwing darts at a map of the USA. It landed near Bay City Michigan and they thought the name sounded cool. All I can remember are the ridiculous short and flared trousers with tartan trimmings, the too-pretty lead singer, the drummer's inane grinning and the screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. Like World War Z with the zombie infection replaced by teenage girl hormones. And without Brad Pitt.

The game itself is powerfully played by Fischer. Two rooks can sometimes hold off a queen if they coordinate well. But here the rooks seemed to be fighting against a queen, a king and two passed pawns.

One surprising thing to note is that the black rooks somehow manage to swap places with each other. The rook that ends the game on a8 is not the queen rook, but the king rook - having taken the scenic route via the first rank and h file. To think that this poor rook visits three of the four corners of the board but still can't find anything useful to do.

May-08-14  morfishine: <Once> Thanks for the update on the band. I'm still puzzled by the so-called "pun"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The game was played in Bay City in 1963. A quick google suggests that it was the Western Open Championship - an 8 round swiss tournament won by Fischer with a score of 7.5/8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Once: A quick google suggests that it was the Western Open Championship....>

Indeed it was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's a superb pun!
May-08-14  mrknightly: "Donald byrned."
May-08-14  kevin86: while black's rooks are pinned back, the white queen can move quickly and chop up the opposition. A crushing Fischer win.
May-08-14  Peter Nemenyi: The background to Fischer's odd participation in this insignificant regional tournament, as given by Soltis:

"Fischer never explained publicly why he passed up the strongest tournament of 1963 [the first Piatigorsky Cup, with Petrosian and Keres making a rare visit to America] to play in a Swiss System open offering a $750 top prize. But his action was understood as a slight to Jacqueline Piatigorsky, who was sponsor of both the Cup and the ill-fated Reshevsky match two years before."

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The $750 Fischer snapped up for ploughing through the tournament was pin money by comparison with his reported take in a blitz match with Norbert Leopoldi:

Fischer vs Bisguier, 1963

May-08-14  Strelets: One of the best puns I've seen in awhile. "Donald Byrned," suggested by <mrknightly> definitely deserves to be used as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Newzild,

Interesting question. Myabe on 17 ... Qxd4 white can try 18 Qh6?

Then you are threatening the queen on d4, the knight on c3, and playing h5 with a mating attack.

Anyway, worth a thought!

May-08-14  sakredkow: After 28...f6 White threatens mate with the queen and thorn pawn on h6. So Black has to waste time capturing h6 with his rook and then laboriously bring it back into play while White's passer strolls to the seventh tying up the Black position. So is there anything better than 28...f6?
May-09-14  newzild: <Breunor>: Yeah, I had the same thought. But then I noticed 18...Qxg7, winning a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<sakredkow> So is there anything better than 28...f6?>

Yes and no. ...f6 can be delayed a move or two but White can get g4-g5 and once he does that, with the threat of protecting the Ph6 so that Qf4-f5 leads to mate, ...f6 is pretty much unavoidable, and the position will likely transpose to the actual game.

For example, at d=33 Komodo 6 suggested 28...a4 as Black's best move but evaluated it at [+2.05] (winning for White) after 29.a3 Re8 30.g4 f6 etc. It considered 28...f6 as Black's 2nd best move and evaluated it at [+2.48].

At d=28 Critter 1.6a also suggested 28...a4 as Black's best move and evaluated it at [+2.95] after 29.Ka3 (a more radical-looking way to prevent 30...a3) 30...b6 30.g4 f6. And Critter's 2nd and 3rd best moves, 28...Rc8 and 28...Re8, were evaluated more poorly than 28...a4, at [+3.08] and [+3.11] respectively.

Finally, at d=24, Gull 3.0 also suggested 28...a4 as Black's best move and evaluated the position at [+2.21] after 28...a4 29.Ka3 f6. Its 2nd and 3rd best moves, 28...Re8 and 28...b6, were also evaluated more poorly than 28...a4, [+2.31] and [+2.70] respectively.

So, according to these 3 engines, 28...f6 is actually Black's best move in this position even though it loses. Other moves are considered even worse. As it typically happens, Q+P vs. 2R endgames typically favor the queen unless the 2 rooks are coordinated, and in this game they are not.

May-15-14  sakredkow: Thank you, AylerKupp.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <newzild: For me, the most interesting point in this game is move 17. Instead of 17...Kxg7, my first instinct when clicking through the game was 17...Qxd4, e.g: a) 18. Qxd4 Ne2+ 19. Kb1 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 with an opposite-coloured bishop ending. b) 18. Bxd4 Ne2+ wins a piece.

c) 18. Rxd4 Ne2+ 19. Kb1 Nxf4 looks good for Black, e.g., 20. Bxf8 Ne6

Anyone know the refutation?>

17....Qxd4 18.Qxd4 Ne2+ 19.Kb1 Nxd4 20.Bxf8.

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