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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
"Lonely Knight" (game of the day Nov-14-2012)
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Vancouver CAN, rd 2, May-18
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-10-14  Petrosianic: Kd4 and Ke4 are both the wrong way. Kd6 is the right way. Granted, you can get to h8 in 5 moves with all three (if the way is unobstructed), but it won't be unobstructed if you try to go THROUGH the White King. You've got to go around it. You can do this with Kd6 because the King gets diverted capturing the Knight. Also, Ke4 approaches the pawn from behind. The King needs to be in front of it. Rooks belong behind passed pawns, Kings belong in front.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic>

<Kd4 and Ke4 are both the wrong way. Kd6 is the right way.>

That makes no sense. First of all, ...Kd4 isn't wrong. It draws. Second of all, the White king is just as much (or as little) in the way if the black king goes to d6 as if it goes to e4.

<Also, Ke4 approaches the pawn from behind. The King needs to be in front of it.>

Wherever it goes, Black's king isn't getting in front of the pawn without White's cooperation. The one thing for certain is that the king is closer to the pawn on e4 than on d6. And moving your king closer to your opponent's last pawn in an endgame is almost always a good idea.

I think you're basically trying to show that this endgame is drawable with nothing more than bromides, and therefore it's completely inexplicable that Taimanov lost it. I don't agree with either proposition.

Apr-10-14  Petrosianic: The anti-positional move that he didn't play might have drawn, but the anti-positional move the he did play loses. But why make an anti-positional move at all when the obvious positional one draws fairly easily? (Even if Kd4 somehow works, it's the wrong way to go, on general principle). Mind you, I'm not staking out some new and outrageous position here, just explaining why every book on this match was right to give 81... Ke4 two question marks. (Rxf6 in Game 5 deserves three.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <But why make an anti-positional move at all when the obvious positional one draws fairly easily?>

<Petrosianic> I think we've reached the repetition stage of our argument, so I'll stop with the observation that what you say above strikes me as begging the question.

Apr-10-14  Petrosianic: It may come down to annotating style. Some people don't like too many question marks on a move, and like to avoid triples.

I'm fine with up to three question marks. In Politifact Terms, one Question Mark is "Mostly False", two question marks is "False", and three question marks is "Pants on Fire". More than three is overdoing it.

May-22-14  john barleycorn: Actually, in this game Fischer followed a recommendation which Nikitin gave in his book on the sicilian, 1970. In a footnote he mentions 12.N1c3 a move Fischer analysed and prepared. Taimanov had not taken notice of Nikitin's remark and thus he was in theoretically new territory. By move 41 Fischer had an extra pawn and patiently converted it 48 moves later into a win.
May-22-14  TheFocus: <perfidious>< It's perfectly obvious-Fischer hypnotised Taimanov at the finish, a la Tal.>

Perhaps Taimanov should have brought his Ray-Bans with him, a la Benko?

Jul-30-14  posoo: AT LAST - a game dat reminds me of da why I play. Ovosly I cannot play as well as fischer in a tornamet. But 55 Bb3 is EXACTLY da type of move dat computers miss but I play intooitivly and immediately in a game of three minute WHOPPINGS.

Look at greedy tummanov gobbling up da pon! Big mistake, here comes da king to da other side!

Aug-30-14  1 2 3 4: <tarashi88> maybe... just maybe you forgot fischer had a pawn -.-
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < posoo: AT LAST - a game dat reminds me of da why I play. Ovosly I cannot play as well as fischer in a tornamet. But 55 Bb3 is EXACTLY da type of move dat computers miss but I play intooitivly and immediately in a game of three minute WHOPPINGS. Look at greedy tummanov gobbling up da pon! Big mistake, here comes da king to da other side!>

Not really fair to Taimanov, posoo. Fischer realized that he had reached a dead end on the queenside and there was just one way to keep the game going -- giving up the pawn. But his king was sure to reach the kingside before Taimanov's whether Black took the pawn or not. Taimanov was neither greedy nor mistaken to take it, since afterwards he could still could have drawn the endgame, as you can see from the kibitzing.

Be interesting to see what a really strong engine would play at move 55.

Jan-22-17  Clodhopper: 55. Bb3 was the move that caught my attention too - because it is the sort of move I would NEVER play.

Being simple-minded, my instinct is for the straightforward 55. Rb6+, after which it is hard to see how white makes much headway, and Fritz calculates a mere +0.47 for white.

After the game moves 55. Bb3, Nb5+, 56Ke3 Kxc5 it is +0.82.

But black has a better option than 56 ... Kxc5. If instead, 56 ..., Re5+, 57. Kf4, Rxc5 is possible, because 58. Ba4 is met with ... Rc4+. In this variation, black's rook has greater mobility, and Fritz calculates white's advantage at 0.38. e.g., a draw.

Jun-09-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 'Black ends up in Zugzwang,he cannot keep the knight protected,so it must be moved or lost.'

Black cannot prevent White's pawn from queening.

THAT'S why black resigned!

The thing that strikes me is the similarity to the fourth game, with the decisive factor being the dominance of White's king bishop and helplessness of Black's knight.

Nov-20-20  SChesshevsky: An interesting game and maybe an undeserved loss for Taimanov. But I always had a question about Blacks opening. For sure, it doesn't look good for black. But is it OK, giving reasonable drawing chances, or just bad?

After 11...Kd7, does look ugly and white seems to have compensation for the pawn. Better B's, easier and more effective development, and blacks awkward king. But does it make white seriously better? Black does have the pawn and probably faces a lot less danger with queens off.

After 21...Kc7, seemed to play out as assessed ten moves earlier. White has two good B's, much better rooks, and black passively defends but still with the extra pawn.

White probably has to be better. It's probably too optimistic for black to believe in holding the pawn. But white significantly better? Can black still have reasonable drawing expectations?

My first inclination is that the black accepting the gambit pawn line is just bad for black. But I'm not 100% convinced. Given all the wood chopped, and the more I look at it, might just be difficult but OK.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Not the only game in the match where Taimanov blew a draw - or worse. Fischer is one of the few world champions he never beat. Of course the prior world champions from Botvinnik on were Soviets, so Taimanov got to play them a lot more than he played Fischer. Taimanov beat Karpov once; Botvinnik twice; Smyslov, Tal, and Spassky thrice each; and Petrosian four times. In other words, he beat every world champion from Botvinnik through Karpov except for Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer is garbage according to Magnus
Jul-09-21  sourabhksdah: studying this amazing game in 2021
Jul-29-21  Stanco: @harrylime any proof or evidence?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <@harrylime any proof or evidence?>


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Stanco: @harrylime any proof or evidence?>>

See Carlsen's fave player stuff on I think Chess24 ...

Carlsen worships Kasparov.

I get the feeling he has no idea about Fischer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Carlsen is full of schiiit tho

He must be the biggest Chess WUM ever lol lol

Jul-29-21  Stanco: I know Carlsen used to love to play against himself and get nervous when he loses. I wonder if he still practices it?
Premium Chessgames Member

Carlsen is Da boss just now ...

He's a potential waaaaannka

But until someone can meet and greeet as they say ... he's the boss.

Jul-30-21  RookFile: It's been a while since I've seen this game. I gave this to myself as a problem and came up with 81....Nd3. The goal is to plant the knight on f4. Once you get the knight to f4 it's amazing how easy it is to hold this. For example, 81.....Nd3 82. h4 Nf4 83. Kg5 and you totally ignore the attacked knight and just play 83....Kd6, allowing 84. Kxf4 Ke7 with a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 81...Nd3 is very logical choice. Of course, the plan is to set the Knight on f4 but black is also threatening with 82...Nf2, for example after 82.Kf5 Nf2 83.h4 Nxg4 84.Kxg4 Ke6=. So 82.h4 is forced but then after 82...Nf4 white is unable to hold black King away from Kingside and to advance the Pawn at once. 83.Kf5 Kd6 84.Kxf4 Ke7 is just enough for black to reach critical area in time to hold the ending with King against Rook Pawn and bad Bishop. Tajmanov was apparently very tired and down psychologically at the moment, when he played 81...Ke4?? instead of that. But it is understandable, as this happened just after the heavy loss in the game number three.
Jul-31-21  Omnipotent00001: I was born in the wrong world. in the wrong universe. " There are these machines."
" There are these machines and I bring them to life."
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