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Borislav Ivkov vs Robert James Fischer
Vinkovci (1968), Vinkovci YUG, rd 5, Sep-12
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  0-1



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sac: 57...R2xf4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 12. c5 would have left Fischer in real trouble according to Marovic and Parma.
Dec-20-06  whatthefat: Fischer's conversion of the ending was very interesting.
Mar-10-08  smarterthanbobby: wow what end play by fisher wow,
Nov-21-11  TheMacMan: if c5 then Nxe4!!
Nov-21-11  Shams: <TheMacMan>: 12.c5 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Qxc3+ 14.Kd1:

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Two pawns for the piece but I don't think it's nearly enough; am I missing a shot here for Black?

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer was bust in the opening..

The reality of this game is pyschological ... and how Fischer went on to win ..

The middlegame into the endgame Fischer's play is pretty awesome..

Dec-16-11  Albion 1959: Did Ivkov really have to play Rxd3 on move 36? Was Re2+ that much of a threat from Fischer? 36.Bc5 Re2+
37.Rxe2 Rxe2+
38.Rb1 Ra8
Is a possible line? The pawn on e2 is a thorn in white's side, but can black force a win from this position? Fischer's 57th move giving back the exchange to bring about a winning rook and pawn endgame was the only realistic way that he could have won this ending, since the bishop is too strong here and holds everything: I analysed this position with Rybka and it suggested 57.Rf8 instead of giving up the exchange, surprising in my view since it has shown itself to be very strong in simplified endings, but overlooks this possibility and yet I reckon an average club player would done this without too much thought !!
Nov-11-15  jerseybob: The kind of risky approach Fischer usually reserved for "fish", not players like Ivkov. Surely Fischer knew the safer moves like 8..00 and 9..d5, but might've feared Ivkov knew them too, and instead played the risky 9..b6. But after 10.Bd6! it nearly backfired.
Dec-16-17  Albion 1959: Time to revisit this game, after nearly six years to the day! I have had a much closer look at this ending and learned a great deal about rook & pawn endings. When Fischer gave up the exchange on move 57, he must have visualised the resulting position at around move 61 as winning for black. Key factors being more active and better placed pieces, the white king being cut off from the theatre of action. In many of Fischer's endgames, so often he demonstrates how the more active king position can be crucial and usually decisive. One more thing, this was the only game that Ivkov lost at this event, he finished = 4th on 8½ from 13, behind Fischer of course!
Dec-16-17  WorstPlayerEver: 12. c5 Qa4 and there is no easy win.
Dec-17-17  Albion 1959: One more revisit. At the point where Ivkov resigned, it is clear that after 76. Ke3 Re7+
Followed by Re1 wins. But how does Fischer win had Ivkov played the king to the g-file instead? However, upon closer analysis Fischer would have won anyway after 76.Kg2 Rf5
77.Re8+ Kd3
78.Rd8+ Ke3
79.Re8+ Kd4
70.Rd8+ Rd5!
Builds the "bridge" with a well known theoretical winning line! Nice one Bobby!
Dec-17-17  Muttley101: <Albion 1959: One more revisit. At the point where Ivkov resigned, it is clear that after 76. Ke3 Re7+ Followed by Re1 wins.>

If 76 Ke3 then 76 ... Ke1 and 77 ... d1=Q looks sufficient for black to win, but if I'm missing something please let me know. If after 76 Ke3 black plays 76 ... Re7+ 77 Kf2 Re1 as you suggest as the winning line, how does black then win? If you're not going to play the Lucena method to win, how do you get white's king out from d1?

The position after w plays Kg2 is a R+P vs R ending called the Lucena. It is one of the standard winning positions for R+P vs R. For reference, have a look at Nunn's book on R+P vs R- it is a superb piece of work, full of insight and many remarkable positions of reciprocal zugzwang, and positions where a series of only moves will win, where it is not immediately apparent that such precision is either necessary or should even exist.

R+P vs R endings are wonderful to study, and Nunn's book is the text for doing this. Everyone should know the Lucena, but compared to Nunn's discoveries across the totality of R+P vs R it is a pretty trivial win.

I had a look at reviews for the book- some understand how great this book is, others say it is only for fanatics. I don't agree. Nunn's research revealed so much insight into endgame secrets, as Nunn suggests with the title.

Dec-18-17  ewan14: What if 12 pxp ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ewan14: What if 12 pep ?>

12....Bxb5 and if 13.Qxb5 Qxc3+ 14.Kd1 Nxe4 wins, e.g. 15.Bb4 Nxf2+ 16.Kc1 Qf6.

As noted, however, 12.c4-c5 would have left Fischer in a bad way.

Dec-18-17  Albion 1959: To Muttley 101. Yes you are right, it was remiss on my part not to carry my analysis further. Of course Re1 is not the right move. The correct move was simply 75.Kf2 Rf7+
76.Ke3 Ke1! And not Re1
77.Rd8 d1=Q Wins
And if white tries
77.Rh8 d1=Q
78.Rh1+ Rf1 Wins
Thanks for your comments, I also enjoy these type of rook endings, however in more than 30 years of club and tournament chess, I only once ever reached the "Lucena" position ! It is always handy to know this stuff:
Apr-02-18  edubueno: El error de Ivkov es 36 Txd3. No se ve ninguna mejora negra después de 36 Ae3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <He played a completely horrible opening against me.> -- Fischer

(for source, see Troller's kibitz: Matulovic vs Fischer, 1968)

Bobby's not wrong, I guess, but played a whopper of his own with 11....b5. He got away with it, though.

Mar-22-21  Albion 1959: Had another look at this fascinating and hard fought game. This was a tough struggle all the way, where Fischer showed an indomitable desire to win this ending. I am surprised that he did NOT include it in my his classic "My 60 Memorable Games", it was a game worthy enough to be there in my opinion. One bit of unrelated chess trivia - the day before this game was played, the Beatles reached number one in the UK singles chart with Hey Jude !

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