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Robert James Fischer vs Vladimir Kovacevic
"Sweet Nothings" (game of the day Jun-18-2018)
Rovinj / Zagreb (1970), Rovinj / Zagreb YUG, rd 8, Apr-21
French Defense: Winawer Variation. Winckelmann-Riemer Gambit (C15)  ·  0-1



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Given 30 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <ughaibu> Since Kovacevic himself states that Petrosian's wife did say something to him, it is clear that Korchnoi wasn't lying, whether Kovacevic understood her or not.
May-20-18  Everett: <May-20-18 utssb: >Of course Fischer made it much tougher on himself due to his ambivalence toward creating a supportive team. That’s his own fault. Yeah, it is pretty odd. It's almost as if Americans didn't have the same support system that Russians had in chess. I wonder if there is any written chess history concerning Bobby Fischer and the Russian chess system that would address these issues.>

Nice try. Fischer was his own worst enemy regarding rapport with others who could have supported him. All in the history, indeed ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett....Fischer was his own worst enemy regarding rapport with others who could have supported him....>

For all Fischer's greatness, there is no doubt of this--and not only at the chessboard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: That is a good post Fischer vs V Kovacevic, 1970 (kibitz #99)

Cmrlec says:

"I see three rough options to interpret this story."

I see a 4th that does need a mention. Fischer shaking hands and saying 'Well Done.'

For all his faults, and Everett is 100% in saying Fischer was his own worst enemy, he was always gracious to his opponent in defeat.

I believe Vladimir Kovacevic's side of the story.

May-20-18  SChesshevsky: It was a lot easier for the top Soviets to have a supportive team environment back then. As basically employees of the chess federation, the players didn't have to worry about making a living but mostly staying in good graces by towing the political line and winning. Especially against non and lesser Soviets.

It was tougher for Americans since the first priority is making a living and friends are usually also competitors for prize money.

But even with Fischer's mostly go it alone attitude, there seems to be many stories of him analyzing with peer masters like Byrne, Zuckerman, Evans, etc. Also instances of just general analysis or just chess talk at the NYC clubs he went to.

I also heard that Fischer had a guy who actually did research. I think mainly openings, and presented it on index cards.

So, apparently Fischer wasn't a total loner chess-wise but I'm sure some of those NYC players of that time can give more accurate and detailed info on Fischer's interaction with other U.S. players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There is more than one story of Fischer's graciousness in defeat.

Lends weight to Kovacevic's side of the matter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Today's pun refers to something which may or may not have been whispered to the winner by someone's wife.

Fischer set a trap! If Black tried to win White's queen, then Black might have lost. But where is the trap? Where could Kovacevic have played to win the white queen.

AFAICS he does do that! He tries to trap the queen but she escapes. And Black wins anyway.

Jun-18-18  thegoodanarchist: Fischer won 10 and lost 1 in the tournament, and what do we get for GOTD? The 1 loss.

It's a Fischer hater conspiracy, I tells ya!

I bet the Bilderbergs are behind it...

Jun-18-18  morfishine: Sweet nothings are words exchanged between two lovers

What that has to do this game god only knows


Jun-18-18  posoo: MORFONGO, ur PETOLANCE is matched ONLY by ur lack of IMAGANATION.

Da Petrosan lady and Kuva were OVIUSLY Chesslovers at da time and for them, beating FUSHER was as good as having INTERCORSE.

Jun-18-18  cormier: 13.Bc1 c5 14.Bb5 Nd5 15.Qxe7+ Kxe7 16.Bxd7 Kxd7 17.c4 = +0.12 (23 ply) sf
Jun-18-18  morfishine: POSINGYOO The game title is completely accurate: it means nothing
Jun-18-18  weisyschwarz: Smells like demise here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Then he shook the young opponent’s hand, said ‘Very good,’ signed the score sheet, and left.>

Kovačević was born a year before Fischer.

Aug-23-18  Ricosupercapo: What is the trap Fischer set with 18. f3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The trap is here after Fischer played 18.f3

click for larger view

The 'obvious' 18...Nh4 hitting the Queen with a Knight sac coming on g2 after the Queen moves looks very attractive.

But 18...Nh4 19.fxe4 Rxg4 20.Bxg4 and White is getting another piece back for the Queen. The attack is dead, the crisis has passed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This pitfall, successfully eluded, was mentioned by Mednis in <How To Beat Bobby Fischer>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In this video Kovacevic reviews his win against Fischer at Rovinj/Zagreb 1970:
Aug-21-21  sudoplatov: I posted somewhere else something I read in a Russian (translated) book. The Soviet Chess Bureaucracy had discussions about how the US could produce such good players. The Soviets had a system that allowed anyone good to get coaching in positional judgment, openings, endings, tournament prep, etc. The Americans mentioned were Morphy, Pillsbury, Marshall, Reshevsky, and Fischer (skipping Fine and Kashdan and before Byrne and the current crop.)

Another article (I cannot find anymore) was something by Tartakover complaining (in 1937 or so) that the US had 160 million people and thus could put together a stronger chess team than any European team. Another author (Euwe or Bernstein?) pointed out that all the US team came from New York City which was smaller than most European countries.

Dec-21-21  Mathematicar: It was a clear win, without cheating. That story is rubbish. Kovacevic just outplayed Fischer in this one. Vlatko was also excellent french defense player so it's not that hard to grasp that one could beat Fischer on one day in one game and this was just Kovacevic's day. Period.
Sep-21-22  Chessius the Messius: Fischer almost trapped his own Queen, translated: "Opponent must've been cheating."
May-04-23  PJs Studio: These points are all cute but moot. Fischer had a fascination with this horrible system against the French (gambiting the e pawn for blacks activity�?) I�m not positive this was the last time he ever used this garbage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PJ....I'm not positive this was the last time (Fischer) ever used this garbage.>

The search feature is your friend.

This was the final voyage for this gambit in the hands of Fischer:

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If Rona Petrosian whispered the moves to Kovacevic, well, poor Bobby.

But Bobby's no Saint either:

<Ludek Pachman: "In the next round, I played Sanchez from Colombia. He is an opponent that plays each game 'uncompromisingly for a draw'. I was therefore overjoyed when I pulled him into Sicilian; moreover I pulled him into the variation where I had prepared my secret weapon. Of course I went for the complications, but then came a surprise and end---my king was in mortal trouble. Incomprehending, I stared at my opponent that showed such attacking genius. And, from behind my back, Bobby exploded in jubilation: 'That was not Sanchez that beat you; I blew that variant apart! He just played what I showed him. How very nice!!!...">

L A Sanchez vs Pachman, 1959

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Mednis' <How to Beat Bobby Fischer>, he related how Fischer had revealed his perfidy, and how Pachman exacted retribution, though the manner of the telling was somewhat less entertaining than the account given here.

Payback is a biyatch, and Jauregui was the biyatch....

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