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Robert James Fischer vs William A Nyman
"Sweet Sixteen" (game of the day Jan-10-2017)
Simul, 50b (1964) (exhibition), Cicero, IL USA, May-20
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit Bledow Countergambit (C33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-12-17  Absentee: <Al2009:

3) Panno’s resignation after 1. c4

ah ah ah, put the issue as you want, however, Panno could simply forfeit the day before, by informing the referees that he did not want to play the day after. He preferred to resign after 1. c4, so it doesn’t matter whether he had an headache, or he was about to leave with the next Apollo mission, or he protested for the scheduled last round, or because he was so impressed to see 1.c4, what really matters – also for statistical purposes - is that he resigned after the first move>

I didn't think it could get any dumber than the reincarnation thing, but you just managed to lower my expectations some more. Bravo.

Jan-12-17  Petrosianic: As far as "Statistical Purposes" go, a game resigned on Move 1 isn't ratable. It's only ratable if both players have made a move. So, statistically it is the same as a forfeit, while a game like Akobian-So, on the other hand, is not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Al2009>

<It seems you have no idea about what "winning in opening" means. A "won opening" doesn't mean that a player is mating his opponent before 20 moves. A "won opening" means that a player got a CLEAR ADVANTAGE, before 20-25 moves, so that his opponent - at correct game (i.e. without further mistakes by both players)- cannot overthrow the situation, NO MATTER whether the losing player is resisting other 20-30-50 moves, before resigning. So, if you say that only Uhlmann - Fischer was won in opening by Fischer - out of that famous streak of 20 games - that is proving that you have no clue of what a win in opening is.>

"Won in [the] opening" means "won in the opening." "Clear advantage in the opening" means "clear advantage in the opening."

If, coming out of the opening, one player is guaranteed victory if he makes no further mistakes, that's not "a clear advantage." That's "won in the opening."

Of course no one thinks that "won in the opening" covers only "mated opponent in 20 moves or less". That is demonstrated by the Uhlmann game itself.

Uhlmann vs Fischer, 1970

Uhlmann blunders on move 13, and fights on to a hopeless endgame before resigning at move 34. Nevertheless, we can say that game was won in the opening, because that is when Fischer got a winning position.

Using terms correctly, in addition to the Uhlmann game, it's fair to say that Fischer won against Rubinetti in the opening (Fischer vs J A Rubinetti, 1970), and pretty much against Mecking (who really didn't play well -- that game is a great Nimzowitsch tribute, but hardly a monument to opening prep Fischer vs Mecking, 1970), and game #3 against Larsen (Fischer vs Larsen, 1971).

<4) How Fischer won his World Championship 1972 match

Fischer succeeded in winning 6 games out of 7 – outplaying Spassky – in OPENING. 3rd, >

he got an advantage, yes


Slight advantage, but he won on a blunder.


clear advantage, but still an amazing game.


Spassky made a dubious exchange sacrifice followed by a horrible blunder. Didn't really have a lot to do with Fischer's alleged opening dependence.


You're just wrong about this. Complicated Ruy Lopez, somewhat better for White, Fischer played better in the middle game and ending. Great game by both.

< 21st>

False. Fischer had a nice novelty, but it's not why he won.

<only exception was game 13th , where Spassky was so unwise as to silly throw away a drawn endgame.>

Errors by both sides, not to mention guile and resourcefulness. Even Botvinnik was impressed.

<In his turn, Spassky defeated Fischer in game 11th by outplaying him in less than 20 moves through a successful novelty in his longtime favorite “poisoned pawn” variation. That game is very important, because it was PROVING once more that Fischer’s weakness was that he was relying too much on opening schemes and home preparation, but he could be defeated – sometimes very quickly - (see his games with Tal, Petrosian, Keres, Geller) whenever top GM were able to find “holes” in his openings’ arsenal.>

Pretty much everything you say about this game is wrong. There was no hole in Fischer's preparation. Fischer just played terribly, as he did in #2 of the Petrosian match. Didn't have anything to do with Spassky's harmless novelty.

Spassky vs Fischer, 1972

Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971

Keres -- are you talking about the 1959 Caro-Kann games? When Fischer was 16? Not going to bother posting those.

The two Geller wins from 1967? They weren't because of holes in Fischer's prep. He went wrong and immediately got guillotined, as happens in positions like that.

Fischer vs Geller, 1967

Fischer vs Geller, 1967

Here are the 20 straight wins, if anyone is curious. Draw your own conclusions.

Game Collection: Fischer's Record 20 Straight Wins 1970-1971

Jan-12-17  todicav23: <Al2009: Fischer's strength was 90% based on openings deep study>

90%? Really? If you say something like that you definitely don't understand Fischer's play and chess in general.

Jan-12-17  todicav23: <Al2009: <1971> ah ah ah! Skill??? What can you do with yr. useless "skill" in modern top chess, when openings are theorized up to 25 moves and more? "skill" alone is enough to be a good player of chess club! Look at Kasparov's games,for instance, how is preparation in openings was superior to that of his competitors, and how his games show almost no mistake in openings. Moreover, FISCHER HIMSELF said that his "secret" was that he knew openings better than any other living GM! Take your ball of glass, and watch the snow inside, IDIOT. Forget chess, you deserve the ball of glass, it's a friendly advice.>

When did Fischer say that his "secret" was the openings? Provide references. Of course he was better in the openings than most of GMs. But that's because he studied harder than anyone and he was better in all the aspects of the game than the rest.

This is what Dvoretsky has to say about Fischer:

<Looking backward into chess history, what do you think about Bobby Fischer's non-computer-era endgame technique in comparison to other world champions and modern top grandmasters?

Fischer was fantastic in the endgame. He was fantastic in many areas but in the endgame he was absolutely great. I remember there is the story about when he was like sixteen years old, something like this, and in a tournament he played an endgame against Taimanov - bishop and pawn against bishop - and he knew how to make a draw. The analysis of this endgame was published in some magazine in the Soviet Union and he had studied this analysis. So he was fantastic in the endgame, he played brilliant endgames.>

This is the reference:

Stop calling people idiots. You are the biggest idiot here.

Jan-12-17  1971: <Al2009: A "won opening" means that a player got a CLEAR ADVANTAGE, before 20-25 moves, so that his opponent - at correct game (i.e. without further mistakes by both players)- cannot overthrow the situation, NO MATTER whether the losing player is resisting other 20-30-50 moves, before resigning.>

I get what you're saying; his opening advantages made the rest of the game easier. It's true.

It's a very good point but it actually proves how strong Fischer really was.

The Soviet GM's of that era, some of the best players ever, worked as a team and Fischer by himself was able to evaluate and analyze the lines better than them and always come away with an opening advantage. Of course he had the powerful technique to convert those positions.

To say that without openings he was a regular player is asinine though, I hope that's not what you meant, since it takes chess skill to know which are the best moves in the opening.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <todicav23....Stop calling people idiots. You are the biggest idiot here.>

With all respect, not remotely--there are plenty of contenders for that title.

Jan-13-17  ajile: <Absentee: I didn't think it could get any dumber than the reincarnation thing, but you just managed to lower my expectations some more. Bravo.>

With all the frauds and dishonest religions out there I can understand your sceptic point of view. The good news is not all mystics are frauds.

Jan-13-17  Everett: <He "got it" around the age of 13 because of his exceptional gifts>

... and hard work! There is nothing wrong with putting it in the same sentence. It's the most accurate thing to do.

And all work is not created equal. Perhaps some have an illusion that it is just "hard work." If it was all just determination, than anyone could be a great mentor and coach: just motivate! Simple.

all students, their teachers, and the relationship between the two, are not created equal.

May-04-17  FlashinthePan: <Al2009:> How could Fischer's play not have deteriorated after 20 years of not playing competitive chess? Besides, he beat Spassky, who never stopped playing tournaments, as easily in 1992 as in 1972, and his level dramatically improved over the course of their 1992 match, that is, in only a couple of weeks of playing again. He's definitely the all-time greatest, as Karpov narrowly beat Spassky and in turn was narrowly beaten by Karpov, who was narrowly beaten by Kasparov, which only goes to show that the latter three were very close, when Fischer was in a league of his own. Same goes for Carlsen, who toiled againt Karjakin to win in the tiebreaks, and often ranks second or third in major events, showing he's nowhere near Fischer, who was literally crushing the opposition.
May-05-17  PhilFeeley: <no GM played it again against Alekhine in important game, after 1970. >

True...sort of. Alekhine died in 1946.

May-05-17  alphamaster: To say that Fischer succeeded so much because of opening play only, especially regarding the powerful theoretically Soviet team, is the biggest nonsense. In fact Fischer was in danger to loose any match he played against the Soviets, going for WC title, only because of his opponents opening preparation and he was obliged to change dramatically his opening repertoire, playing openings for first time or inferior openings which he had played only against weak opponents. Also in many games in his carrier, after his opponents played special preparation moves against him, he had to find the best moves for surviving over the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <FlashinthePan>

<Karpov narrowly beat Spassky>

Presumably you meant "squashed"?

You are dismissive of Kasparov's dominance over the entire chess world for 20 years, despite playing continuously in the very toughest events. But that is to be expected.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Much of this line of discussion is as pointless and idiotic as that which has been carried on over in the Rogovian cesspool over the question of Alabama voter IDs; if that state had been fought over half as hard during the Civil War as has the jejune piece of rubbish at Rogoff, the war would have spun out well beyond April 1865.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Flash>

<You are dismissive of Kasparov's dominance over the entire chess world for 20 years, despite playing continuously in the very toughest events. But that is to be expected.>

If you ever come back and read this, please know I'm just making a stupid joke about your handle.

May-05-17  Petrosianic: <keypusher>: <FlashinthePan>

<Karpov narrowly beat Spassky>

<Presumably you meant "squashed"? >

Yes, arguably Karpov beat Spassky better than Fischer did. A better winning percentage 63.6% vs. 59.5%.

On the other hand, if we're discussing peak dominance, then Fischer does look better. Fischer's peak was 120 points above everyone else. Kasparov's peak was 120 above everyone EXCEPT Karpov (who Fischer avoided matching himself against).

So on that count, Fischer is better, but only if we count peak as a snapshot in time. If we count quantity, Kasparov enjoyed the kind of dominance Fischer had from 1970-1972 for longer than Fischer's entire career lasted.

May-05-17  Petrosianic: Actually, I just ran the numbers on both matches, and it looks like both Karpov in 1974 and Fischer in 1972 beat Spassky with the identical Performance Rating of 2760.

Fischer in 1992 beat Spassky with a Performance Rating of something like 2645, so comparing 1972 and 1992 isn't even close.

May-06-17  FlashinthePan: <keypusher> Not sure what the joke about my handle referred to: "flash memory", perhaps? My chess play may be made of (rare) flashes of inspiration, hence my nick, but I'm not as quick as a flash.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: You know what a flash in the pan is, right? Metaphorically?
May-06-17  savagerules: Thought I knew most of Fischer's games but I never come across this one. As Bobby would have said "Bee-yooti-ful!" Morphy-like brilliant put away of an amateur.
May-07-17  FlashinthePan: Yes I do, but I don't see how that meaning relates to your first post to me, unless you think maybe that being a flash in the pan implies being dumb.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <FlashinthePan: Yes I do, but I don't see how that meaning relates to your first post to me, unless you think maybe that being a flash in the pan implies being dumb.>

A flash in the pan wouldn't appreciate sustained excellence. Remember, I didn't say it was a good joke.

May-07-17  FlashinthePan: <keypusher> I see, thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: These discussions of Fischer's ultimate place in the pantheon of great players are so often based on longevity, losses to great payers early in his career, and other factors such as his off the board behavior. Too seldom is there an appreciation of the quality of his games, the actual moves played. Games of simple elegance and crystal clarity remind one of Capablanca and Paul Morphy.

Kasparov, who knew a little about the subject, wrote that hard work is a talent also, and Fischer had this talent and then some. He also had an extraordinary memory.

A friend of mine played Fischer. Years later, Fischer asked him if he remembered their game. My friend, a senior master, said he remembered they had played, but didn't recall how it went, so Fischer played the game over from memory! Bear in mind, this was not an especially good game on either side, no special reason to remember it.

Bobby Fischer, rest your troubled soul in peace, you were a chess god while you played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The Wade/O'Connell collection of Fischer's games provides essays by observers and opponents such as Keres which give great insight into Fischer's play. Amongst these is at least one which discusses, inter alia, the Capablanca-like clarity of Fischer.

Larsen was interviewed by Hugh Alexander in 1972 and stated that one of Fischer's strengths at that time was his greatness in analytical ability, as well as superb judgment.

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