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Robert James Fischer vs Bent Larsen
"Game of the Dane" (game of the day Jul-16-2009)
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 9, Nov-20
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-26-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

Honestly I'm not a nit-picker so please forgive me if I correct very slightly this bit:

" many things have changed about the way chess is played."

Can we read it as:

" many things have changed about the way chess is analysed."

I use to really enjoy the pre-computer days when some relatively unknown chap had a Mr Thomas moment in a magazine.

Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1961

See also here:

Mr Thomas was not the first to spot 28.Nd2.

In lesser well known cases an improvement was often followed by months of variations being swapped back and forth.

These days of course all arguments are settled on the spot with a miserable computer. They have taken the fun out of chess.

Regarding John Nunn.

Yes, but some things are best left alone as tinkering and tampering may indeed break it.

Him and his cronies sticking their snouts into Fischer's 60 was a disaster resulting in the book being withdrawn, pulped, reissued and apparently unsoiled by Nunn and his merry band of butchers.

Edward Winter had a field day.

It's a shame John has that on his CV his notes to games in BCM are brilliant. But that is just me highlighting one classic case where 'supplementing the analysis of historical games' blew up in their faces.

In his Book on the Four Knights he is looking at the Belgrade gambit and honestly admits a computer had found a line that busts one variation clean off the table. Others may not have been so honest and taken the 'glory' for themselves. (and don't tell me that has never been done....poor computer never gets any credit.)

I've also had a pot at the Doc here.

Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 (kibitz #782)

Seems he does not like the 'Morphy at Opera Game.' The game is one of his pet hates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I really love Nunn's book on Lasker - seeing games played 100 years ago through a modern perspective is interesting.
Aug-26-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Plang,

I have the Soltis book on Lasker which is very good.

Sep-01-16  Howard: Nunn's book on Lasker is probably even better---I have that one, and it's very well-done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have not seen Nunn's book on Lasker, but he is a fine writer, besides being able to play a little.
Sep-18-16  Howard: Come to think of it, I wonder if Kasparov's MGP has these above-mentioned corrections included. He does analyze this game, as I recall.
Sep-19-16  Howard: Nope! Those improvements, which Larsen and Kasparov apparently missed, are not included in MGP. Just consulted the book last night.

Computers have apparently come a way since 2005, when that volume came out.

Sep-07-17  Saniyat24: Not a single check against Larsen's King by Fischer...that's incredible...!
Sep-07-17  RookFile: I guess that's the advantage of this type of setup for black over the Dragon Sicilian Larsen chose in a famous game before against Fischer.

Fischer vs Larsen, 1958

Mar-04-18  Olsonist: "Taimanov (who, of course, bought his way into the Candidates)"

Taimonov came in equal 5-6th in the 1970 Palma de Mallorca Interzonal Tournament.

Aug-02-18  ewan14: Bent Larsen career highlights ; winning the first '' Chess Oscar '' in 1967 , playing board 1 for the Rest of the World v USSR in 1970 obtaining a plus score v Spassky and Stein , beating world champion Petrosian twice in 1966
Aug-02-18  sfm: <ewan14: Bent Larsen career highlights ; winning the first '' Chess Oscar '' in 1967 , playing board 1 for the Rest of the World v USSR in 1970 obtaining a plus score v Spassky and Stein , beating world champion Petrosian twice in 1966> Well, winning "Chess Oscar"s and playing first board is fine, but I think Larsen would have smiled. Let's instead mention the stream of tournament top placements and wins in among the world's elite, including every world champion of the days. See the tournament list on his page.
May-05-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I don't get this.

Presumably, Fischer intended to meet 26 … Qc8 with

27 Rxd6

but he decided that after 26 … Qc4

27 Rxd6 wouldn't work

I can't see where the difference lies.

After 26 … Qc8

. 27 Rxd6 Re7

what would white have played?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> On 26...Qc8 27. Rxd6 Re7? White has <28. Qxg7+> Rxg7 29. Rxg7+ Kh7 30. Rdxd7, and to stop the mate threat it looks like Black will have to play 30...Qxd7 31. Rxd7. White ends up with an extra knight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> While on 26...Qc4 27. Rxd6, Black can reply <27...b3> 28. c3 Rxa4. It looks like White will lose the knight with a worse position than in the game.
Jan-22-20  AliSawalha: Nxe6 pinned the knight and lose
Feb-01-20  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Thanks for your analysis, beatgiant, which I am ashamed to admit I have only just seen after all this time.

They do say that foreseeing a piece taking another piece backwards is one of the hardest things to visualise (cf. the tragic Reshevsky v Savon interzonal game) and that seems to be what happened here to Fischer.

It took me a while to realise that the difference between your two variations lies in the fact that in the first one, a rook is blocking Black's queen from taking the knight on e6.

I had realised that Fischer's blunder 26 Ne6 - instead of the obvious Nf5 - had to have something to do with targeting g7 and covering f8 at the same time, and that's what your first variation does.

Feb-02-20  Patszer: A Fischer loss in 1970 does not fall into the natural order of things.
Feb-02-20  SChesshevsky: <A Fischer loss in 1970 does not fall into the natural order of things.>

Might consider this more a Fischer experiment gone wrong. Don't think he ever played before or had since the 0-0-0, g4, h4 idea. Even just the 0-0-0 Sozin play seemed rare for him. Maybe for good reason after getting blown up by Geller earlier:

Fischer vs Geller, 1967

But you have to give Fischer some credit for experimenting against a dangerous opponent in a big tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One common thread shared between this game and the loss to Geller at Monaco in the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn is that, even at his zenith, Fischer's strength lay in clear, sharp positions, rather than murkier attacking lines such as the Velimirovic.

It is most revealing that Tal, that great master of horrific complexity, sussed out the way soon after Fischer had failed vs Geller in '67.

Feb-03-20  Petrosianic: Mednis makes the same point. Fischer was good in clear positions, and better at complex clear positions that others couldn't see through as easily. Not as good in speculative lines.
Jun-25-20  Howard: Yes, Kasparov made a similar point in MGP. One example is Fischer-Geller Skopje 1967—very complex game, and not exactly compatible with Fischer’s style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Yasser Seirawan reckons Karpov had this game sorted into an endgame from move 3 .
Jun-26-20  Howard: Ya sure ya mean KARPOV
Mar-23-21  thelegendisback: I've no idea what was Fischer doing in this game.
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