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Robert James Fischer vs Milan Matulovic
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 7, Nov-18
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack. Fianchetto Variation (B31)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Matulovic should have taken the exchange by 15...Nxf2+, although it probably only draw anyway.

Also 28...f5 might be better: 29.Rh4 h5 30.Nc3 Bh6+ 31.Kf3 Rxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 33.Rd1 Rxd1 34.Nxd1 g5 35.Nb2 g4+ leaves black on top.

Jun-13-05  CaptainEvans: Matulovic could have played 15...Nf2 resulting in a temporary rook sac for Fischer. Fischer would probably have then played 16.Ke2 Nxh1 17.d4 followed by 18.Be3 and 19.Nd2
Jun-13-05  RookFile: Ok. "The Complete Games of Bobby
Fischer", by Wade and O'Connell,
gives two exlams to 15. f4, saying
that if 15... Nf2+ 16. Ke2 Nxh1
17. d4, ".... and white not only regains the knight, remaining with only the exhange for a pawn down, but leaves black with a feeble bishop."

On the other hand, they feel that
40.... gxh4 gives black good winning

Feb-13-06  whatthefat: This game from the 7th round - and similarly Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 in the 9th - was a real mess from Fischer. His play was highly suspect in the patch covering the 7th-10th rounds. With the additional exception of his games in the 14th and 15th rounds ( Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 and Fischer vs E Jimenez Zerguera, 1970 respectively), the rest of his tournament was absolutely sublime. It is nonetheless interesting that even the best players in their best ever tournament performances, still have some off days! I think it should make us all feel a little bit better.
Apr-21-06  zev22407: Fischer took a "poisoned pawn" and got a bad position from the opening,Matulovic had to play 16)..0-0-0 holding the blokade.
Apr-21-06  zev22407: 42)..R-c2 it was better to play g5:h4 now Fischer played 43)h4:g5 and saved the game.
Nov-01-06  Peter Nemenyi: <whatthefat: This game from the 7th round - and similarly Fischer vs Larsen, 1970 in the 9th - was a real mess from Fischer.> I'd say that in the seventh and ninth rounds Fischer suffered the inevitable downside of fanciful play in the openings, as the Russians used to call it. Obviously he was concerned to diversify his openings in this tournament, with three Alekhine's Defenses and even 1. b3 twice. In games seven and nine, he decided to meet the Sicilian with peculiar lines he didn't know very well, and paid the price. Mednis in How to Beat Bobby Fischer is particularly scathing about Fischer's choice of the Velimirovic-like 9. Qe2 in his game with Larsen, pointing out that it produced the sort of sharp but strategically murky situation which didn't suit Bobby at all.
Nov-01-06  whatthefat: <Peter Nemenyi>
Thanks for that, I haven't read that book.
Jan-10-08  TheDude: In this tournament Fischer reach an performance of 2850 (scoring 18.5/23 (80%) vs 2643-rated opposition).

Only the Games vs. Larsen and Taimonov was higher (2887 and 2870).


There is an link of some interesting tournaments (include Palma de Mallorca Interzonal 1970): Enjoy!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: According to the article "Information and Objectivity" (From the book <Petrosian's Legacy>), which discusses Petrosian's preparations for his match with Fischer in 1971, Igor Zaitsev suggested that Fischer was expecting 7...Qb6 rather than 7...Nc7!, and in that case his idea was 8.d4 d6 9.exd6 exd6 10.Qe2+! and Black faces some serious problems (10...Be6 11.c4; 10...Ne7 11.d5; or 10...Kf8 which deprives him of castling).
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fischer is a genius. Probably every other player on earth at the time would have lost this game.
Apr-05-11  fab4: Apr-05-11
<FSR: Fischer is a genius. Probably every other player on earth at the time would have lost this game. >

You can only ever deal with your 'own' time but yep.. absolutely agree.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I bet Fischer really didn't like Matulovic...
Apr-13-12  PaulLovric: couldn't black have queened this?
Apr-13-12  King Death: < offramp: I bet Fischer really didn't like Matulovic...>

I'm not sure what point there is in this comment but I bet the players that had a chance for the Candidates going into the last round and didn't make it didn't like him or Taimanov either.

Taimanov vs Matulovic, 1970

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <PaulLovric>

From the final position, black to move:

click for larger view

There is no way for black to stop white from harvesting the pawn, so K+R ending is then dead drawn.

May-20-12  PaulLovric: thank you, <jessicafischerqueen> when i came back to this final position today (a month after my initial comment) it looked obvious that the game is drawn and i wondered why i even asked the question? maybe i get wrapped up in the fun, 'anticipation' and excitement as i am watching every move, click by click and 'think' or 'not think' of all the possibilities and eventually getting lost in the position
Oct-29-12  DrGridlock: Nf2 is Black's best option at move 15.

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. (-1.09): 15...Nf2+ 16.Ke2 Nxh1 17.d4 g5 18.fxg5 h6 19.g6 f6 20.e6 0-0 21.Bf4 f5 22.Nd2 Rf6 23.Kf3 Rxg6 24.Rxh1 Rxe6 25.Nc4 Rf8 26.Rd1 Kh7 27.Ne3 h5 28.d5 Rg6 29.dxc6 bxc6 30.Nc4 Re8 31.Rd7

2. (-0.87): 15...Rd8 16.Kc2 f6 17.exf6 exf6 18.Rf1 0-0 19.Na3 Rfe8 20.Nc4 Re2 21.Rf3 Ne1+ 22.Kd1 Ree8 23.Rg3 Nd3 24.Re3 Rxe3 25.Nxe3 Nxf4 26.d4 c5 27.g3 Nd3 28.Kc2 cxd4 29.Kxd3 dxe3+ 30.Ke2 Re8 31.a4

3. (-0.76): 15...0-0 16.Rf1 f6 17.e6 Rad8 18.Na3 Rd6 19.Nc4 Rxe6 20.b3 f5 21.Nb2 Nc5 22.Rf3 Rd8 23.b4 Ne4 24.Kc2 Nd6 25.Nd3 b6 26.a4 Kf7 27.Rh3 Re2 28.Rxh7 Nc4 29.b5 Kg8

Oct-29-12  DrGridlock: Black's exchange of his knight for white's bishop at move 16 threw away the rest of remaining advantage:

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. (-0.63): 16...0-0-0 17.g3 f6 18.exf6 exf6 19.Na3 Rhe8 20.Nc4 Re2 21.a4 Bg7 22.b3 Nf2 23.Rf1 Ne4 24.h3 f5 25.Rf3 Rh2 26.h4 Bf6 27.Re3 Rg2 28.a5 Rxg3 29.Rxg3 Nxg3 30.Ba3 Bxh4 31.Nd6+

2. (-0.56): 16...Rd8 17.g3 g5 18.f5 Bg7 19.Na3 Bxe5 20.Nc4 Bc7 21.b3 h5 22.Nb2 Nf2 23.Re1 Rd5 24.Nc4 Rxf5 25.Ba3 e6 26.Bd6 Kd7 27.Be5 Rg8 28.a4 Bxe5 29.Nxe5+ Kc7 30.d4 Rd8 31.a5 Ng4 32.Nxg4

3. = (-0.22): 16...Nxc1 17.Re1 Nxa2 18.g3 Nxc3 19.dxc3 g5 20.fxg5 Bxg5 21.e6 fxe6 22.h4 Bf6 23.Rxe6 Rg8 24.Re3 a6 25.Nd2 0-0-0 26.Ne4 Rgf8 27.Nxf6 exf6 28.Rf1 Kc7 29.Re7+ Rd7 30.Rxd7+ Kxd7 31.g4 h6 32.Kd3

Oct-29-12  RookFile: A terrific defensive effort by Fischer after getting into trouble.
Oct-30-12  DrGridlock: Especially commendable was the way Fischer was able to stare down Matulovic, and get him to play 15 ... Bh6 and 16 ... Nxc1. Without the "evil eye" from Fischer, Matulovic had an impressive attack.
Oct-30-12  RandomVisitor: After 15.f4

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[-1.10] d=24 15...Nf2+ 16.Ke2 Nxh1 17.d4 g5 18.Na3 f6 19.e6 0-0-0 20.Nc2 g4 21.Bd2 f5 22.Ne3 Rdf8 23.Rxh1 h5 24.d5 cxd5 25.Nxd5 Rh6 26.Nxe7+ Kb8 27.Nd5 Rxe6+ 28.Ne3 h4 29.Kd3 b5 30.Ra1 Kb7

Oct-30-12  RandomVisitor: After 10...Bf5, white might try leaving the Queens on the board one move longer, forcing black to play Nd5 instead of Ne6:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[-0.48] d=22 11.Na3 Nd5 12.Qxd3 Bxd3 13.b3 g5 14.Nxg5 Bxe5 15.Nc4 Bf6 16.Nb2 Bg6 17.Nf3 0-0-0 18.g3 Bh5 19.Ng1 Kc7 20.a4 e6 21.Ne2 Bf3 22.Rf1 Rhg8

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: ^^^

Thanks ..

But you've missed the boat by 42 years....

Oct-30-12  RandomVisitor: Final look after 10...Bf5:

[-0.50] d=25 11.Na3 Nd5 12.Qxd3 Bxd3 13.b3 b5 14.Bb2 0-0 15.g3 a5 16.Kd1 Rfd8 17.Re1 c5 18.Ng5 b4 19.Nc2 h6 20.Nf3 a4 21.cxb4 cxb4 22.Ne3 g5 23.Rc1

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