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Joseph Tamargo vs Robert James Fischer
"Tamargo Never Knows" (game of the day Nov-25-2006)
Manhattan CC ch (1956), New York, NY USA, rd 2
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. Smith-Morra Declined (B22)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-25-06  sfm: Weird. As 40.-,Rg4(??) clearly leads nowhere I wonder why Fischer didn't play 40.-,Rc5 which to me appears to win rapidly, with the black king only two steps away from supporting the a-pawn and no counterplay for white. Could I really be wrong here?
Nov-25-06  Stellar King: Can anyone tell me what is wrong with 3...dxc3 (????) and why Fischer played 3...Nf6 (????)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a bizzarre finish! Immediately after the best player of his era makes a blunder-his opponent resigns. Then the opponent goes "on the air" to admit that he had made a horrific error and immediately resigned.

A little too hard to deal with on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

Nov-25-06  itz2000: very poor ending by white! could have gotten atleast a draw
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: For those confused by the ending of this game, please get with the program and read the post by Joe Tamargo below!!

If you're too lazy to do even that I'll summarize it for you:

(1) Tamargo offers a draw. (2) Bobby says "Are you crazy?" (3) Tamargo gets annoyed (4) Tamargo hangs a rook (5) The last few moves which include the blunder were crumpled up into a little ball and thrown at Fischer's head at 90 miles per hour.

OK, I made up that last part, but that's pretty much the scoop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Sounds like Tamargo did know after all.
Nov-25-06  shr0pshire: <Stellar King> There is nothing wrong with 3. ..dxc3. That is called the Danish Gambit.

In fact, many stronger chess players believe the Danish gambit doesn't offer very good results for white, in spite of the attacking chances white has.

I can't tell you for sure why Fischer declined the gambit, but I have a feeling that: 1. he knew the sicilian alapin well enough and it possibly may have suited his style of play better than the Danish Gambit accepted.

Many people feel that openings are a matter of taste.

Nov-25-06  Open Defence: <stellar king> probably Fischer did not want to go into a Morra Gambit with dxc3 ... the Morra has a quasi dubious reputation but some don't like it as there are many options for Black to go wrong... so he declined the gambit with 3..Nf6 .. in fact if you scroll down to the end you will see a box with "This game can be found in the following collections:" and one of the first collections this game is in is one called "Declining the Smith-Morra with 3..Nf6" by a user called Patzer2...
Nov-25-06  Maatalkko: It's too bad that <JoeTamargo> stopped posting here. I bet he had alot of other cool stories for us.
Nov-25-06  TTLump: 40 ... Rg4 was a blunder as Kevin86 has pointed out. Fischer had a clear win with 40 ... Rb5, but after 40 ... Rg4, 41. Rxa5 leads to a text-book draw. Why didn't Fischer accept the offer of the draw? Who knows for sure, but Fischer certainly has to be considered one of the most unpredictable GMs of all time.
Nov-26-06  sneaky pete: That wretched English descriptive again. 40... R-N4 = 40... Rb5; 40... R-N5 = 40... Rg4. Why would anyone give up all winning aspirations with 40... Rg4?? Fischer must have played 40... R-N4 here, but the move was recorded as 40... R-N5 by mistake.
Jun-05-07  Manic: Just to correct <shr0pshire> here, the opening with the move 3...dxc3 is called the Smith-Morra gambit. The Danish gambit begins 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2.
Oct-31-07  Riverbeast: Tamargo once told me (in comparison to another New York player, Larry Tamarkin) that he was the strongest player in the US with a last name beginning 'Tamar'.
Jul-16-08  CharlesSullivan: According to Zappa and Rybka, 40...♖b5 leads to a win for Black. (In fact, any rook move along that rank wins.) If 41.♔g2 then 41...♔c4 42.♔f3 ♔b3 43.♖e7 a4 44.♖e3+ ♔b4 45.♖e4+ ♔a5 46.♖e1 a3 47.♖a1 ♔a4 etc., <or> 41.♖c7 a4 42.♔g2 ♖a5 43.♖d7+ (43.♖c1 a3 etc.) 43...♔c3 44.♖c7+ ♔b4 45.♖b7+ ♖b5 46.♖e7 a3 wins.
Feb-15-10  sfm: So one version of the story is the following:

1. Fischer plays 40.-,Rg4??, as CG writes, leading to a beginner's book draw. This is supposed to happen in the same year where he played Game of the Century and many other brilliant games.

2. Mr. Tamargo plays 41.Rxa5. Or are we working with another unbelievable ??-move here?

3. Fisher insists on playing on from the resulting position, which I called a beginner's book draw. Actually it is so blatantly a draw that not not even beginners would play many moves. The black king is defenseless against checks from behind and from the side. I think you could train a monkey to draw this position.

4. Mr. Tarmago then offers a draw. Despite Fischers enormous strenght - and Mr. Tamargo is not exactly beginner either - Fisher still says "Are you crazy??"

5. Mr. Tamargo, instead of checking Fischers king, then manages, by mistake, to put his rook en prise.

Another version is that the move 40.-,Rg4 was never made, and that Fischer instead played Rb5, as Sneaky Pete suggests.

Now, which story to believe in? Let me think....

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: This post by Sam Sloan might be of interest:!t...

Jul-07-14  BobbyDigital80: In Robert Hubner's Chessbase CD on Fischer's games, it lists the last move of this game as 40...Rb5, but in the 2014 Mega Database it gives 40...Rg4. 40...Rb5 is the most obvious move so maybe it was played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Has the first page of kibitzing been taken into account by the latest posters?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Paul> Ah cain't account fer yesterday!

Still and all, a treat to have Fischer's opponent drop by this game.

Jul-09-14  Chris321: haha maybe Fischer hanged out the red cloth to the Tamar Bull an say"You see this rook i play it "there""now show me if you can draw this!" then Tamar saw red,instead of draw he wanne kill Fischer!...haha, big mistake!...then Fischer killed the Bull Tamar!.Thats one version of the story,the other version:"Once upon a Time in the a land of Draws there was a man who didnt like draws,so he invented ways to turn draws into wins..."yea your right the guy's name was you know his life story in this here land of Draws.(i played a clubgame with a similar idea in mind,bringing the game to a point where the draw was real(you could feel it with yer hand,the only thing is that guy was stronger than me,an he wanted none of this "draw"bussiness,i was playing black,i will post the game:1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. b4 b6 4. bxc5 bxc5 5. Bc4 e6 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Re1 a6 9. Rb1 Qc7 10. d3 Nc6 11. a3 Be7 12. Bf4 Nd4 13. Rb2 O-O 14. Nb1 Rfb8 15. c3 Nxf3+ 16. Qxf3 Bf8 17. Rbe2 Qb6 18. Bg5 Nd7 19. Qh3 Ne5 20. Ba2 Kh8 21. c4 Ra7 22. Bd2 Bc6 23. Bc3 Ng6 24. Rb2 Qxb2 25. Bxb2 Rxb2 26. d4 Rxa2 27. Qb3 Ra1 28. d5 Rb7 29. Qc2 Ba4 30. Qc1 Rbxb1 31. Qxb1 Rxb1 32. Rxb1 Bc2 33. Rb6 a5 34. f3 Kg8 35. Kf2 a4 36. Ke3 Ne5 37. Ke2 Nxc4 38. Rb8 Nxa3 39. e5 exd5 40. exd6 Bf5 41. g4 Be6 0-1
Aug-14-19  gambitfan: 40. ... Rg4 ?? is a terrible blunder committed by Fischer. From a winning position (Stockfish gives 1) -4.84 (27 ply) 40...♖c5 41.♔g2 ♔c4 42.♔f3 ♔b4 43.♔e4 a4 44.♔d3 ♖c3+ 45.♔d2 ♖c4 46.♖b7+ ♔a3 47.♖b1 ♖b4 48.♖c1 ♖xh4 49.♔c3 ♖h3+ 50.♔c2 h4 51.♖a1+ ♔b4 52.♖f1 ♖c3+ 53.♔b1 h3 54.♖f7 ♖b3+ 55.♔a2 h2 56.♖f4+ ♔c3) Fischer reaches a drawing position (1) =0.00 (108 ply) 41.♖xa5 ♔c3 42.♖xh5).

White should never had resigned !!!

He may have been impressed psychologically by Bobby...

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Gambitfan> Read the early kibitzing. Tamargo explains what happened.
Aug-15-19  Granny O Doul: If Fischer did actually play 40...Rg4, he must have been so short of time that questions of "why" are pointless. If he actually played ...Rb5, then "are you crazy"? seems just about right.

Anyway, RIP to both players, and to Shelby Lyman who reportedly died today, and to all of us, in case I forget later.

Aug-15-19  Granny O Doul: Let me update with a link: . You'll have to sign up for something to be able to read it, but it is confirmation.
May-26-23  KingsBischop: @wall Chess Life Magazine May 20, 1956 has Tamargo at a Rating of 1747 and Bobby Fischer at 1726
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