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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
"Fischer Scientific" (game of the day Feb-12-2007)
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Vancouver CAN, rd 4, May-25
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here are two really good endgame players: Larsen and Miles. There is a lot to be learnt from them.
Mar-25-16  Turtle3: You forgot about Capablanca!!
Mar-25-16  Howard: There's always been a minority of experts--Pal Benko being one of them--who have said that contrary to popular belief, Capablanca was NOT the endgame wizard that most people have made him out to be. Yes, he was certainly good at endgames (He never would have been WC, otherwise.), but he was not as phenominal (sp) as some say.

Ironically, Fischer was in that minority! He stated once that Capablanca's greatest strength the middlegame, not the endgame.

Mar-25-16  Petrosianic: Yes, Capa won a lot of games in the middlegame, but was far enough ahead of everyone that they didn't realize it was lost until the endgame.
Mar-26-16  Howard: That's exactly what Fischer said, in his (controversial) list of the 10-greatest players of all time.

Andy Soltis said likewise in a 1984 CL&R column. He stated that in a lot of Capablanca's endgame wins, he already had the deck stacked in his favor going into the endgame---in other words, he wasn't magically taking balanced endings and transforming them into wins.

Soltis also stated in that column that Pal Benko had recently made a list of the top-10 endgame players of all time....and Capablanca didn't even make the list, much less place highly on it.

Jun-17-16  Ewen: It's actually 57 ...Ng8
Oct-11-16  Howard: The best analysis of this intriguing endgame that I've seen so far, is in Learn From the Legends.

Incidentally, Mueller's book states that according to Charles Sullivan, Black probably could have drawn with 42..Rf6. The idea is to keep the rooks on the board at all costs.

Oct-11-16  RookFile: That's probably right. When you want to draw, keeping rooks is a good move.
May-25-17  Mithrain: A classical ending which every chess player can learn from.

While I was reading the countless comments of this game, 10 years later the following comment made my day (referring to White's plan of sacrificing the Bishop on the g6-square):

<Sneaky: That's one difference between grandmasters and players like you and me:while we go on fishing expeditions hoping to find that winning shot, these guys actually know what they are going for>

Oct-11-17  PJs Studio: Fischer, like Botvinnik was a very scientific player. Small advantages culminating in wins. Both intending their play to be without risk. Fischer was always a strong endgame player but by 71 he was ultra sharp.

As to the comment about Capa’s middlegame virtuosity, Like Fischer, they were both dangerous tacticians. Literal magicians in the middlegame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <PJs Studio: Fischer, like Botvinnik was a very scientific player. Small advantages culminating in wins. Both intending their play to be without risk. Fischer was always a strong endgame player but by 71 he was ultra sharp.>

<Both intending their play to be without risk.>

It's 11:07 pm, so I'm pretty confident that's the stupidest thing I'll read today.

Oct-11-17  sudoplatov: It's "Two connected Passed Pawns on the sixth rank are about equal to a Rook." One of the first terms I put in LACHEX's evaluation function. It also allows one to more accurately evaluate the weights to Passed Pawn locations.
Oct-11-17  sudoplatov: I'd agree with those who noted that Black was in great danger of losing starting with move 24.
Apr-30-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: In my opinion, although Fischer won many fine games in the opening and middle game, this ending was his most impressive win of all.
May-01-19  WDenayer: I don't understand Taimanov's play. Why the plan with 29 ... Nb8 and Nc6 after Fischer played c3 already? Then Ne6, then back to c6. Black is of course already substantially worse. Perhaps a better plan would have been Nd8 in combination with f6. Then the pawns are on black squares. Yes, it weakens e6 and it wouldn't have worked, but look what happened when the K-side pawn ended up on white squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <WDenayer>
Taimanov was probably trying to block the inroads of White's king toward the kingside, which would be open if he placed the pawns on black squares.
Jun-10-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think you're right, WD: if Taimanov could have arranged his kingside pawns like his queenside pawns - on black squares, he could have drawn the game.

I think he played ... h5 in order to try to deny white a spatial advantage, and then ended up with a weakness on g6, which Fischer exploited brilliantly.

Jul-21-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I wonder whether Black could have drawn by playing

52 ... Nd6+

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> 52...Nd6+ 53. Ka6, and White is threatening to go after the kingside pawns with Bg8-h7-xg6-xh5. How can Black meet that threat?
Jul-23-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I wasn't sure anyone would reply so soon!

I was going to add that I made the following calculation in my head:

52 ... Nd6+
53 Ka6 Ne4
54 Bf7 Nxg3
55 Bxg6 Ne2
56 Bxh5 Nxf4
57 Bf3 Ng6
58 h5 Nf8
59 h6 f4
60 Bd5 wins

or 55 ... Kc6
56 Ka7 Kc7
57 Be8 Ne2 etc.

I think White wins in both variations, unless I've missed something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Fischer was masterful at playing R+B vs R+N endings. He went for these endings a lot in his games and he played them extremely well.
Oct-12-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Fischer must have studied this game:

Capablanca vs J Corzo, 1901

Mar-17-20  N.O.F. NAJDORF: ... and this one too:

Capablanca vs I A Horowitz, 1931

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Was great to see Bobby explaining this game to Dick Cavet during an interview on his show!
May-19-20  Albion 1959: One of his finest endgames. Reminiscent of Capablanca at his best !
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