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Mato Damjanovic vs Robert James Fischer
Buenos Aires (1970), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 2, Jul-20
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation (A31)  ·  0-1



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Given 20 times; par: 169 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-13-04  DhavalVyas: This is a facinating game that many players might not know about. Fischer once again shows his astonishing endgame technique, as he refues to draw and plays for a win, no matter how small the advantage. He slowly builds up small advantages and then his opponent crumbles. No other player in history could do it. His king moves a total of 25 times! I wonder if that is a record.
Nov-13-04  euripides: In the recently published book 'Bobby Fischer goes to war', it emerges that Botvinnik prepared a dossier on Fischer that included the claim that Fischer preferred knights to bishops in endgames - the opposite of the usual perception. Perhaps this is the kind of thing Botvinnik was thinking about.
Nov-13-04  Calculon: Was 66 axb4 the losing move for white? Would it be a draw if he didn't take the pawn?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Calculon> Indeed, after <66.Be6>, Damjanovic's position is still a tough nut to crack.
Nov-13-04  drukenknight: question for endgame buffs, isnt there a kasparov karpov game that ends like this and Gary has white and his B is in the b3 area...? he starts moving his B about....I think...
Nov-14-04  DhavalVyas: axb4 seems like the losing move. It looks like Damjanovic was pushing for a win too. He must have miscalculated and didn't see the threat of both the black queen and knight.
Nov-14-04  WMD: <In the recently published book 'Bobby Fischer goes to war', it emerges that Botvinnik prepared a dossier on Fischer>

Calling it a dossier would be going too far. It's a brief series of observations. You can find it in the book Russians vs. Fischer, along with several other critiques of Fischer's play, written by Tal, Bondarevsky, Keres, Polugaevsky, et al.

Nov-14-04  euripides: <WMD> thanks for the reference; it sounds interesting. Who is the author/publisher ?
Nov-14-04  sneaky pete: Sorry to interrupt, but some moves are missing. According to Wade and O'Connell's book 78... Qe7+ 79.Kg8 Ne4 was played before white resigned.
Oct-09-05  Kriegspiel: <sneaky pete> Seirawan (in another book) shows the same thing. Of course, it might be that Seirawan got his info from the book you cite (or ultimately from the source it uses) but it looks like you're right.


Jun-08-07  TaxiDriver: I think Fischer was possibly the best endgame player ever! Add that to a relentess will to win and play to the Kings desire and you have a shark at the board smelling blood! A quite smart Shark!
Jun-08-07  positional killer: 54.g4?
This is an error.
Jun-09-07  kingsindian2006: how many players would purposely put their queen in the bishops line of fire only to set up the trap on move 18. Beautiful to see a man's will through wooden pieces on a board.
Jun-09-07  syracrophy: Now the final technique is 80.♗xe4 ♕e8+ 81.♔g7 ♔xe4 82.h8=♕ ♕xh8+ 83.♔xh8 ♔f4 and "that's all, folks...!"
Jun-09-07  Wolfgang01: 66. bxa4 makes the win easy for Bobby. I doubt, if he would win with 67. … a3 or axb3 because in both cases the black king won't be able to enter white's defence via d4. White must only take care, that black's knight won't enter the field b5 to reach c3. The other pawns of Mato will be easily protected. If white can exchange his bishop against the knight, his king must protect d4. The result would be a drawn.

On the other hand – without errors and mistakes chess would be much poorer …

Jul-18-07  smarterthanbobby: this end game isn't close...
fisher makes him seem dizzy,
he clearly saw the horse protecting
the sweet spot of the pawns 12 moves
before he did... yes brillant...
Jul-18-07  SniperOnKN2: White took with the wrong pawn on move 16. In this Accelerated Dragon formation, 16. exd5 opens e-file and pressures e7, while the queenside remains closed. With queen flank and center stablized, white proceeds with h4-h5. Notice the black bishop is useless, 0 targets.
May-12-08  RookFile: Very cooperative by Damjanovic in this game to strive for an endgame where he has a light squared bishop, and then puts all his pawns in the light squares.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Cinco: 63...Nf6 kicks the white bishop off the a4-e8 diagonal, which forces black to defend his queenside pawns with his king as white rushes the queenside with his own. Classic Fischer endgame play.
Jun-18-09  marknierras: move 43... Nd6 locks white king in place- cannot move to create counterplay; moves 50 to 55 forces white to position pawns to white squares. (This closes down its own bishop; Notice also that all of blacks pawns are on the opposite color; white's bishop is useless
Aug-27-11  DrMAL: 26.f5! would have given Fischer a big advantage, after 26.Bd4?! and the exchanges the game was basically drawn. With 37...Nxd7 it was a dead draw. 66.bxa4+?! was a silly error, giving black some chances and then 67.Kc5?! made matters worse. 68.Bc8 was necessary, anything else lost quickly. Maybe after being in a drawn position for 40 moves white got bored to death.
Aug-27-11  Petrosianic: Yeah, White looks good early on. The ending starts on Move 37. It is basically drawn, but Black has the better minor. Most of the maneuvering revolves around Black trying to get a4 in, which White prevents with his Bishop. So Black finally fixes the pawns on the Kingside, and gets in a4 at a moment when the Bishop is occupied defending them.

66. bxa4+ is dumb, I don't know if he panicked at the thought of Black getting in a3 (it looks bad, but it should be safe), or if he was had a burst of aggressiveness. Visually, it LOOKS like White should be better after 69. Kxb4, since his King is closer to the remaining pawns, and Black's is out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe that's what White was thinking when he played bxa4. But it doesn't work out that way, since he can't really approach Black's pawns effectively, but black can make an end run on e4 and g4.

Still, White keeps it surprisingly close up to the end. He's about to Queen with Check, but has to play Bxe4, which takes Black's King off the crucial square.

Aug-27-11  DrMAL: <DrMAL: 26.f5! would have given Fischer a big advantage> Oops I meant WHITE. Guess I got confused because up to that point it looks like Fischer is playing white LOL, his play up to that point is well below his par (and white's play is really excellent compared to the rating CG has for him!).
Aug-27-11  Petrosianic: The last rating they have for him is from 2001. His rating in 1971 was 2490, which was pretty good for the pre-inflation days. Looks like he died only 5 months ago, in fact.
Aug-27-11  DrMAL: Pre-inflation days LOL no such thing. I see you too have been duped by Chessmetrics. Thanx for the info, but if "2490" comes from that ridiculous site where it's "ratings" are computed from the ludicrous assumption that world ranking implies the same rating regardless of era (as if chess never grew in knowledge or technique, or even population size), it's "rating" is truly "inflated."

In other words, the only "rating inflation" is at Chessmetrics, his artificial inflation grows ridiculously with time in the past.

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