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Tigran V Petrosian vs Robert James Fischer
"Tiger Bomb" (game of the day Apr-13-2008)
Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 6, Oct-17
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  0-1



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Tigran V Petrosian vs Robert James Fischer (1971) Tiger Bomb

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-15-19  John Abraham: Fischer plays with the coourage and heart of a true warrior
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Yet another R+B vs R+N game for Fischer. He played these a lot and played them extremely well.
Nov-20-19  mckmac: Excellent video by Daniel King on this game.

Nov-21-19  dashjon: Just watch part 1 of D.Kings excellent video. I had to see how Fischer converted his position into a win. A very complete victory by Fischer.
Aug-11-20  pepechuy: The following position appears in the Encyclopedia of Chess Endings, volume 5, diagram 946:

click for larger view

It is analyzed by Hort and Jansa, and is given as a possible variation from this game. I can see that after 42. f4 gf4 43.g5 fg5 44. ♘f3 ♖a6 45. ♖a6 ♔a6 46.♘xg5 a similar position appears, but I do not see how they get rid of the h-pawns. In the same volume, diagram 945 is obviously related:

click for larger view

It is attributed to Hort and Jansa, from the magazine Sahmaty, 1971. Perhaps somebody has that magazine? And can show us which variation from this game they meant.

Aug-11-20  pepechuy: About my previous post.
I see that on moves 39, 40 and 41 (white's turn) the following moves can be inserted, to get rid of the h-pawns: h4 h6 gh5 gh5

But I am not sure if they are good, or if the subsequent moves would still be good after the h-pawns are gone.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I've reached the opinion that Bob was a better endgame player than me. How many GMs would give up the second rank (let your opponent's rook occupy it) in a Rook-pawn endgame?
Jan-22-21  Allanur: This Karpov 'fans' are more confident in Karpov's skills than Karpov was/is about his own skills.

The fact is, as Karpov himself narrated, Karpov's seniors made it clear that if Karpov bets his head, he is allowed to play Fischer under any conditions Karpov himself accepts. If Karpov does not bet his head, then his seniors (KGB, Party/Government members) said do not accept Fischer's demands and let him no-show. Karpov's seniors told him that "if you 100% guarantee us a win in the match, then accept Fischer's demands and play Fischer. In case you do not guarantee it, do not play." Karpov did not play.

If Karpov was as confident in his skills as these internet 'experts' are in Karpov's skills, Karpov would have played the match. Unfortunately, Karpov was not as confident in his own skills as these omniscient Karpov experts are in Karpov's skills.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Allanur>
Hey, kids! We don't need no theatre!!
We can put on a show about the Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) RIGHT HERE!
Jan-22-21  RookFile: I enjoy listening to Karpov today when he talks about a match with Fischer. I find that he's quite honest and objective. He does say that he would have only have been allowed to play Fischer if he could guarantee a win.

I'll just say that if I was Fischer, and such a match ever happened, that in no case does <any> game last fewer than 60 moves - even the most dead drawn game. The goal would be to tire the frail Karpov out.

In other words, take a look at the Petrosian vs. Fischer game. You're Karpov, and you know that <every> game is going to more or less look like this one. You might be slightly better, you might be slightly worse. It doesn't matter - get ready for something this intense in every single game.

Yes, you think about this carefully, and say you can't guarantee a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's like the Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) page doesn't exist.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: It seems to me that White has a kind of fortress a pawn down but tenable if say 52.Ra2

Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian - Robert James Fischer 0-1 6.0, Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final 1971

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 13:

1. -+ (-2.17): 52...Rc7 53.Ra1 Be7 54.Kd2 Bc5 55.Kd3 Bb4 56.Ra2 Be7 57.Rb2+ Ka4 58.Rb1 Bb4 59.h4 gxh4 60.f4 Bd6 61.Rb6 Rd7 62.Kc4 Ka5 63.Rb5+ Ka6 64.Rb3 Rd8 65.Ng1 h6 66.Rb1 exf4 67.Nf3 Be5 68.Nxh4 Rc8+ 69.Kd5 d3 70.Nf3 Bc3 71.Ke6 d2 72.Rd1

Even though technically Black has advantage, it seems impossible to penetrate the fortress here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <kingscrusher> But can't Black play for the ...h5 break? For example 52. Ra2 Rh8 53. Ng3 Be1 54. Ra1 Bxg3 55. hxg3 h5 56. gxh5 Rxh5 57. g4 (otherwise Black himself can play ...g4) Rh2 58. Rf1 Rb2

click for larger view

White can hardly move and I really like Black's chances.

Now maybe you can find improvements over this hand-generated line, but I think this shows Black has ways to break through.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <beatgiant>

Thanks for that but in your variation 54.Ra1 seems to worsen the position.


92: Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian - Robert James Fischer 0-1 6.0, Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final 1971

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 13:

1. -+ (-2.42): 54.Nf5 h5 55.Rb2+ Kc5 56.Rc2+ Bc3 57.Ne3 hxg4 58.Nxg4 Kb5 59.Rc1 Rh3 60.Rb1+ Bb4 61.Ke2 Rh8 62.Kf2 Kc4 63.Nxf6 d3 64.Ng4 Bc5+ 65.Ke1 Kd4 66.Ra1 Rb8 67.Ra4+ Kc3 68.Ra1 Rb2 69.Nxe5 Re2+ 70.Kd1 Rd2+ 71.Ke1 Rxh2

Seems to keep the evaluation below 3 - which is a sign of fortress situation

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <kingscrusher> Here is the final position in the line you cited:

click for larger view

Now maybe one can argue that White can still hold on somehow, but it's hard to see it as a "fortress situation." Won't White have to give up his knight for the d-pawn in the near future?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <beatgiant> You make an interesting points there but that is just Stockfish "working analysis". I don't think that evaluation score is linked to that line actually - because that position has crashed through -3!

It is probably just "working analysis" - Checking it carefully:

On move 12 of it 12.Kf1

It indicates black is clearly better but now doesn't even go below -2

Line 0.0

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 13:

1. -+ (-1.98): 12...Kd4 13.Rd1 Rd8 14.Rc1 Bf8 15.Rc7 Bb4 16.Rb7 Bc5 17.Nf2 Kc4 18.Rc7 g4 19.Nxg4 d2 20.Nf2 d1Q+ 21.Nxd1 Rxd1+ 22.Kg2 Rg1+ 23.Kh3 Kd4 24.Rf7 Ke3 25.Rf5 Bd4 26.Rf8 Kd3 27.Rf5 Rg8 28.Kh4 Bc3 29.Rg5 Rh8+ 30.Kg3

2. ∓ (-1.43): 12...Kc3 13.Rc1+ Kd4 14.Nxe5 d2 15.Rc4+ Kxe5 16.Rxc5+ Kd4 17.Rd5+ Ke3 18.Kg2 Rf8 19.Rd7 Rf4 20.Rd8 Ke2 21.e5 Rf8 22.Rd7 d1R 23.Rxd1 Kxd1 24.Kg3 Ke2 25.Kg4 Ke3 26.e6 Re8 27.Kxg5 Rxe6 28.h4 Re5+ 29.Kg4 Kd4 30.h5 Re1

3. ∓ (-1.00): 12...Bd4 13.Rc1+ Kb3 14.Ke1 Bc3+ 15.Kd1 Rh3 16.Rb1+ Ka3 17.Rb6 Rxf3 18.Rf6 Rh3 19.Rg6 Kb3 20.Rxg5 Rh7 21.Nxe5 Rxh2 22.Nxd3 Rd2+ 23.Kc1 Rxd3 24.Rb5+ Bb4 25.Rd5 Ba3+ 26.Kb1 Re3 27.Rd1 Bc5 28.e5 Bd4 29.e6 Kc3 30.Rc1+ Kd2 31.Rc8 Rxe6

4. ∓ (-0.91): 12...Rh3 13.Nxe5+ Kd4 14.Rb5 Kxe5 15.Rxc5+ Kd4 16.Rd5+ Ke3 17.Kg2 Rh6 18.e5 d2 19.Kg3 Rb6 20.Rd8 Rb5 21.e6 Re5 22.Rd6 Ke2 23.f4 Re3+ 24.Kg4 Rd3 25.e7 Rxd6 26.e8Q+ Kf2 Black is clearly better

(Gavriel, 23.05.2021)

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <kingscrusher> Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I agree maybe White has some slight drawing chances here.

But as chessplayers generally use the term "fortress," it means a situation where the side with the advantage has no available plan to make progress and change the nature of the position over time. Not "the eval stays below -2 for a long time." Some winning positions really do take a long time to convert.

So it's not enough to run the engine for a while and see that the eval hasn't gone below -2. We also have to hand-evaluate the final position and see the prospects.

Here's the position after your first line above.

click for larger view

Clearly Black does still have a plan here to make further progress, namely try to drive White's king away and attack the pawns, aiming to win the f-pawn and e-pawn. So I don't think most people would call it a "fortress." Instead, we might call it an unclear position that requires deeper analysis.

May-23-21  macer75: <If he said Fischer would crush Karpov, folks would ask, "How come you
didn't over your years of rivalry?">

Oh shiiit... that's savage!

May-23-21  SChesshevsky: < beatgiant: ... But as chessplayers generally use the term "fortress," it means a situation where the side with the advantage has no available plan to make progress and change the nature of the position over time...>

Pretty sure that Petrosian considered a possible fortress with 52. Ra2. Idea being to not allow entry by mainly controlling the a-file with rook on a1 or a2 , c3 and c1 with N, c2 with K and maybe b-file with K if necessary. Plus king checks or invasion with rook if action moves to kside. N also can move toward kside as necessary.

I'm not convinced that it doesn't work. But like most of the defensive lines looked at, it is extremely passive. Though the computer line where white moves his K deep into black territory for counter play was interesting. Yet it's really doubtful Petrosian's thoughts were anywhere near that approach.

But can't blame Petrosian for going for active counter play with 52. Ra7 rather than a passive fortress attempt that may or may not work. One that would probably be difficult in any case and torture and somewhat humiliating if it crumbles.

But I'm not convinced the 52. Ra2 fortress idea with those square controls is doomed. Wonder if a computer can hold it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <SChessevsky>
In case you missed it, I pointed out above that 52. Ra2 allows Black to open the h-file with 52...Rh8 53. Ng3 Be1. That unlocks the "fortress," but whether it wins or not is another question. <kingscrusher> has been posting lines that lose a piece for two pawns and calling them a fortress.
May-23-21  SChesshevsky: <beatgiant> Think 52. Ra2 Rh8 53. Ng3 Be1 might be most dangerous for white not on the h-file but breaking through at the cost of a pawn with 54. Nh5 Rc8 55. Rb2 Bb4 56. Nxf6 Rc3, maybe Ke2. Black certainly better but seems considerable complexity. Lots of black pressure but pieces kind of in each other's way. Plus is the pawn and good white N too much a cost?

But can again understand Petrosian bypassing and going for more active counter play with 52. Ra7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <SChesshevsky> Interesting point. That line just seemed losing to me (again the d-pawn is going to cost White some material) but on second look, that might actually be a good try for White. For example:

52. Ra2 Rh8 53. Ng3 Be1 54. Nh5 Rc8 55. Rb2+ Bb4 56. Nxf6 Rc3+ 57. Ke2 d3+ 58. Ke3 d2+ 59. Kxd2 Rc6+ 60. Rxb4+ Kxb4 61. Nxh7 Rg6

click for larger view

It looks like White's knight will escape at the cost of the h-pawn, leaving him with a pawn for the exchange and yes, potential for reaching a fortress setup.

Is it not enough for a Black win? And if not, are there any major improvements on the line above?

May-23-21  SChesshevsky: <beatgiant...Is it not enough for a black win?...> Thanks for running out the line. Your play seems logical and may be best white can expect.

From the diagram, suspect black is very likely to get a win. But whites N is so slippery, whites king well placed, blacks pawns so weak and king and rook a bit misplaced, I'm not sure how.

Can black afford to drop another pawn, yet somehow keep winning chances? Or is an idea to try to best steer toward advantageous/winning N v. R endgame?

Feel black should win but beyond me how.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <beatgiant> Yes "fortress" is technically the wrong term - you are right. The original position I thought looked like a "fortress" but you found ways to kind of making trouble for White there and it ends up in just difficult to hold positions. Thanks for your input here.

I think though sometimes "fortresses" when using engines are detected when the evaluation doesn't go below a particular point - quite often reinforcing the visual aspect of a fortresses and the properties described here:

Cheers, K

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Schesshevsky> OK, I decided to take up the challenge. Is Black winning from the diagram above? I think not.

Why it doesn't work to chase White's knight directly:

1. Nf8 Rh6 2. Ke3 Kb5 3. Nd7 Re6 <4. Nxe5> Rxe5 5. f4 gxf4+ 6. Kxf4. It's a tablebase draw.

click for larger view

To prevent that, Black has to let the knight escape:

1. Nf8 Rh6 2. Ke3 Kc5 3. Nd7+ Kd6 4. Nb6 Rxh2 5. Nd5

click for larger view

Black's only apparent plan to make progress is to try to advance his king and approach the f-pawn. But White redeploys the knight to f5 and it nicely covers the approach squares. For example if we eventually reach a position like this:

click for larger view

I don't see a way for Black to make further progress.

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