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Robert James Fischer vs George Smith
Simul, 57b (1964) (exhibition), Houston, TX USA, Mar-28
King's Gambit: Falkbeer Countergambit. Staunton Line (C31)  ·  1-0

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Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <chancho>: <Maybe people should not talk about Adolf Hitler too, because he will be remembered, but us little guys will not be.>

Well, the principle only applies when capafischer wants it to. You left THAT part out!

But otherwise, yeah. Some people really do worship Celebrity for Celebrity's Sake. That's why some people are anxious to get into the news even if it's in a bad way.

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <capafischer1: Guys. I think Everett left with his tail between his legs.>

In 2008, no less. Your post was so powerful it intimidated him six years before it was written.

Nice game, by the way. Seems like Smith was a strong player who made Bobby find some good sharp moves. I guess 18....a5 was a mistake?

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: I've played the Falkbeer, but I don't know if I'd play it against Fischer. Look at how it worked out. On Move 10, Black is a pawn down and has absolutely NOTHING developed.

If I had Black in a simul against Fischer and was lucky enough to get one of his Kings Gambits, I'd do one of two things:

1) If unprepared for it, play the Kings Gambit Declined. It doesn't lead to the kind of positions he'd have been hoping for when he played the KG in the first place.

2) If prepared, I'd have known that Fischer will play 3. Bc4 if the gambit is accepted, even though it isn't objectively the best move, and tried to prepare the best line against that that I could find.

And oh yeah...

3) Brought one of those super cheap chess sets with the hollowed out pieces and the red and black checkerboards, so he'd think "This guy totally sucks", and take the game more lightly than he was taking the other boards.

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <keypusher> <Nice game, by the way. Seems like Smith was a strong player who made Bobby find some good sharp moves. I guess 18....a5 was a mistake?>

Smith obviously wasn't a fish, but I don't think he succeeded in setting Bobby any real problems in this game. Look again at the position after Move 10. Black is dead busted already. When you play the Falkbeer, you're supposed to get some play for the pawn. A lead in development and mobility that will compensate for the lost material. Instead, Black is behind in both of those things as well as behind in material.

So, where did Black go wrong? I don't remember my Falkbeer theory very well, but maybe as early as Move 5. Isn't Black supposed to play Bg4 there? It looks like 2 moves after playing a counter-gambit, Black suddenly got worried about material, and tried to recapture that pawn on d5 too quickly, leading to exchanges that were very unfavorable for him.

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic,

See this bit;

"I've played the Falkbeer, but I don't know if I'd play it against Fischer."

Bah! This is bad thinking. It has always bugged me.

Play what you play and do not adjust your style or be over-awed by anyone.

When I was a name I was astonished to hear lads I had beaten (sometimes without breaking sweat.) saying;

"Because it was you I was playing I thought I'd play something different."

Why?

You are not given yourself any chance at all. You are playing into the so called stronger player's hands.

I play the Latvian as Black, when I faced the good guys, they too got the Latvian. Won some, lost some.

(This Fischer game was a from a simul. I had fighting draws v GM's Leonard Shamkovitvh and Jacob Aagaard with the Latvian in simuls.)

It would have been 'won none lost the lot' if I had played something I have never played before and never went for their scraggy necks.

(think 'scraggy necks' before a game Petrosianic, that way you lose all fear of any opponent. You cannot possibly get beaten by someone who has a scraggy neck.)

The onus is on the stronger to player to prove he is the stronger play. Don't give him any help by going into a position you have never seen before because the chances are he will have and if not, he will handle it better than you.

The cheap chess set trick.

Same thing. Don't forget you are playing on it for the first time as well. Better to use the set you use at home to study with.

I always studied with a the bog standard UK tournament set with a roll up green/white board. This is the weapon I'll be fighting with. Get used to it.

So stop over-estimating these guys and under-estimating yourself and get out there and scud these scraggy necked individuals off the board.

(Fischer's 'unique' 5.Qe2 dates back to the 1870's and Steinitz. I too play the Falkbeer and I faced it sometimes v the Latvian dodgers, won some, lost some.....actually can only remember losing one. Loads of good wins as Black.)

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic> You're right, I can't count. Black seems to have a lot of good alternatives at move 5, but ...Nxd5 is not one of them.

Opening Explorer

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <Bah! This is bad thinking. It has always bugged me.

Play what you play and do not adjust your style or be over-awed by anyone.>

That's what I meant. When I have played the Falkbeer, it's usually been against weaker players. I don't remember ever playing it against a stronger one. So, that IS my style.

Generally when I want to experiment with a line, I Battle Test it against weaker players first, and if I do well with it, start to gradually play it against stronger and stronger ones. I never played the Falkbeer enough for it to advance along the Food Chain that way, so to speak.

<The onus is on the stronger to player to prove he is the stronger play. Don't give him any help by going into a position you have never seen before because the chances are he will have and if not, he will handle it better than you.>

That's all true, but my honest opinion is that the Falkbeer is not a good opening. I don't think it's positionally correct for Black to try to seize the initiative so early, and can only succeed against an opponent who plays weaker moves (either through lack of playing skill or lack of familiarity with the opening).

Smith's real problem here is that he adjusted his game plan too early . He played an aggressive line, but he didn't follow up in an aggressive way. Instead, he changed his game plan two moves in, and suddenly became defensive. If he was going to play that way, he chose the wrong opening.

Dec-02-14  capafischer1: CHANCHO , when you make a statement to prove your point you cannot be selective to only put comments that support your view. You have to look at the entire picture from childhood to death.I can give you several examples why he was a man of honor first of all he did not hate Jews he hated the government of Israel and United States support of Israeli government. by your definition he would have hated all jews. NOT TRUE. HE had great relations with LEONID STEIN A SUPER GRANDMASTER OF JEWISH HERITAGE. When Stein died in mid 70s fischer sent a telegram to the russian chess federation mourning the loss of Stein as a great person. Larry Evans his best friend was jewish. He loved Mikhail Tal. Another jew. So on and ......get your facts straight if he hated all Jews how was it that a lot of his close friends were Jewish??? matter of fact Jewish United States Attorneys offered to defend him for free to the end when he was supposed to be extradited to United States. They were chess players too. I don't know if you know this story of the man who offered Fisher $50,000 to play one game for his chess club in Europe they finally met after lots of negotiations because Fisher did not want to be seen in public and he hated reporters . so when they finally meet the guy gives him $50,000 five envelopes of ten thousand dollars each you know what fischer did he took three of them he left $20000 behind.He told him I like you I don't need the rest he judged you by your own actions that's what I mean when I say he was a man of honor also after he won the chess championship in 1972 he turned down many offers for advertisement it would have made many millions more. one was he had to sit in back of a Chrysler New Yorker and say this car is so comfortable that I can play a chess game back hhere without the ppieces being thrown all over the back seat because it's very nice and comfortable first he SAT there he said that would be like I would be lying to the public it is not comfortable you cannot play chess game back here he turned down the entire money, that's what I mean when I say he was a man of honor any other person would have jumped and took the free money so get your facts straight although he did say in the 9/11 tragedy something I don't agree with. He has a right to his opinion right or wrong. USA gives you freedom of speech. by then he felt abandoned by his country and he was like a lone wolf traveling different countries especially after that indictment in 1992 for playing a chess match in Yugoslavia. so you have to look at his mentality. that's what I mean you need to get your facts straight and look at the entire story before selectively picking up some statements here and there to prove your point. CHANCHO
Dec-02-14  capafischer1: key pusher. thx
Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic,

"....but my honest opinion is that the Falkbeer is not a good opening. I don't think it's positionally correct for Black to try to seize the initiative so early..."

White started it. Fight fire with fire. In my experience White has come to the board booked up the eye lids intent on saccing a pawn for an attack.

3 moves into the game and White is a pawn up and defending.

In the King's Gambit White is turning down a very good move. (2.Nf3) to loosen his King's position. There is no need for White to do this.

I play the Latvian but would never play a King's Gambit as White. There is no need to 2.Nf3 is the better move.

Agree Black played a lad caught in headlights. Maybe he was playing the Falkbeer for the first time because he was playing Fischer.

Dec-02-14  capafischer1: SALLY SIMPSON.your comments are completely accurate I agree with everything you said This fear chess players have of a much rated opponent is unfounded. You cannot play a stronger player and play scared or change your style to surprise him or her, you have to play your style you have to play with no fear you have to think of your past accomplishments on the chessboard. before a match with a much higher rated player I actually put myself in a state where I can destroy this app on it now I might lose to him but my mentality is seek attack destroy his position. that's how you should play with no fear now your chess style according to Bobby Fischer reflects your personality some players are very cautious people in life guess what they play chess the same way too for the most part.Some people are super high achievers when they play chess the try to play the same way aggressive lots of tactics counter attacks and so on......
Dec-02-14  Jim Bartle: <I can give you several examples why he was a man of honor first of all he did not hate Jews he hated the government of Israel and United States support of Israeli government. >

You have got to be kidding.

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Capafishcer,

Not too sure if personality really affects how we play chess though if pushed I'd agree.

However I know a few eccentrics who play a milder game and a few shrinking violets who throw pieces at you.

Speilmann (one the last great attacking romantics.) was by all accounts was a lad mannered lad.

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson> <Agree Black played a lad caught in headlights. Maybe he was playing the Falkbeer for the first time because he was playing Fischer.>

Yes, I think that's what happened. And to give Smith his due, it looks like his plan was to hit hard and fast, and try to catch Fischer by surprise. That COULD have worked. At a simul, where an exhibitor is playing like 50 boards, it may take him a few moves to get a feel for which boards he needs to really focus on, and which he can take less seriously. If the game plan was to catch Fischer by surprise in that early phase, then okay, that's a plan. But he's got to STICK with that plan and see it through to the end. Instead, he abandoned it immediately, not because it wasn't working, but because he just got spooked.

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson> <I play the Latvian but would never play a King's Gambit as White. There is no need to 2.Nf3 is the better move.>

2. Nf3 is objectively better, yes. But if we're defining "need" in that way, is there really any need to play the Latvian either? Surely Black has better 2nd moves (specifically Nc6 and Nf6, one of which must be the best).

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic,

The argument for the Latvian v The King's Gambit runs as follows.

After 2.f4 White is threatening nothing.


click for larger view

Give him another move (which is what a threat is all about) and if he plays 3.exf4 Qh5+ rips him to shreds.

However in the Latvian, where Black strives to break up the symetrical pawn structure.


click for larger view

Black really is threatening 3...fxe5. It hits the f3 Knight.

Which by the way brings us onto the bust of the Latvian.

3.d4!


click for larger view

Recognise it. A Falkbeer a tempo up!

Not convinced? How's about a Vienna?

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5!


click for larger view

A perfectly respectable opening set up for Black with White to play.

Put the c3 Knight back on b1.


click for larger view

And you have the 3.d4 line of the Latvian a clear tempo up. Can't be bad. It's the line Latvian Gambiteers fear the most. It's easy to play as White. You can outbook them on the popular Nxe5 lines and I often did.

But v 3.d4 they played chess instead of relying of a few moves they had seen somewhere which was meant to give them a good position (3.Nxe5). v 3.d4 you just cannot get them involved in a stramash. White has all the fun.

Recap:

d4 v f4 as Black and d4 v f5 as White.
No need to do anything stupid like 2.f4 as White.

As Black if you want to steal the initiative (and I always do as Black - with White I already have it.) then something off the well trodden path that upsets the pawn structure.

The Latvian suited me and did me very well - we were born for each other. You never choose your opening rep, it chooses you.

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: I usually play the 3. Nxe5 lines, but I'll have to look at this, and think Falkbeer when I do. The problem is I don't face the Latvian Gambit (which, in my mind is still called the Greco Counter Gambit) often enough to have much chance to experiment. Maybe I'll have to set up some theme positions against the computer.

<After 2.f4 White is threatening nothing.>

That's true, there's no direct threat. I always considered that the point of the King's Gambit was to try for play on the KB file, which meant advancing the pawn before blocking it with Nf3.

Dec-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic:

Not v the computer. Half the fun was seeing the human face drain of colour as his opening theory was drippling out his earhole.

This is lost on a box and they don't get flustered when they have to think for themselves on move 2.

Yes it's still the Greco to me but I am so used to calling the Latvian I go along with it.

Lasker was pretty scathing about the King's Gambit. Something about White has no right to weaken his King's position without a just reason.

Bronstein on the other hand loved it.

Each to their own. Two great players, two differences of opinion.

Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: I'm not a big King's Gambit fan, either. If I want Gambit fun with White, I like the Evans a lot better.

I'd much rather play <against> the King's Gambit. There are so many things Black can do, depending on his mood. You can go traditional with 3...g5. Or get feisty with the Falkbeer. Or play positional with the KGD. Or try the Cunningham, which I used to like the best.

But these days I feel like the best line OUGHT to be 3. Nf3 d5. The general rule of Double King Pawn games is that if Black can get in d5 without compromising his position, he's equalized. The catch is without compromising. There are some hitches and it hasn't worked out quite as well as I've hoped (but I haven't had much chance to practice it), but it just feels like opening up that line and challenging White's e pawn <ought> to be the best way to proceed. If I could be sure of a King's Gambit, I'd meet 1. e4 with e5 every time.

But that's another reason I don't like the KG as White: So many strategies that he has to be ready to meet. With the Evans, White can dictate the flow of play better.

Dec-04-14  capafischer1: I hope both Chancho and Petrosianic read my reply with an open mind regarding Bobby Fischer.First of all Bobby himself was jewsish through his mother Regina.But later on he became a follower of Jesus Christ through the world wide church of God. He furthermore wrote a letter to a Jewsish encyclopedia demanding to remove his name a jew immediately. If he wants to change his religion he can do that. it is NO BODY'S BUSINESS. But he still admired famous jewish chess players like Leonid Stein. A truly great player which Bobby played hundreds of blitz chess games with and beat in a famous ruy lopez in Sousse interzonal 1967. That game is in my 60 memorable games. Since I already explained and i will repeat one more time so that Petrosianic and Everett can finally understand, Bobby's problem was with the Israeli government and the powerfull jewish lobby which CONTROLS the media and Hollywood and tries to influence our government. NOT THE JEWISH CHESS PLAYERS!!!
Dec-04-14  Jim Bartle: <Bobby's problem was with the Israeli government and the powerfull jewish lobby which CONTROLS the media and Hollywood and tries to influence our government.>

False. He may have had no problem with Jewish chess players, but he certainly made many anti-Jewish statements. Not anti-Israel--anti-Jewish.

Dec-05-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson> <Lasker was pretty scathing about the King's Gambit. Something about White has no right to weaken his King's position without a just reason.>

On that subject, I just noticed that the Rice Gambit is Opening of the Day today. As you probably know, that was a King's Gambit piece sacrfice invented by a guy who had enough money to throw around to sponsor theme tournaments and matches using his variation. Except that the variation, for all the work they put into it, doesn't seem to be much good. (Tchigorin even beat Lasker in a Rice Gambit match in which Lasker was White in every game).

Maybe I don't understand it well enough, but I'm not even sure what the point of the Rice Gambit is supposed to be, or what White gets for his piece. I wouldn't want my name on a variation like that.

As I say, the way I see it, the point of the King's Gambit is to get play on the open f file, with an eye to putting long range pressure on Black's King position. It's mainly strategic, because as you say, there's no direct threat after 2. f4. So, all of these odd variations, where it's White whose King ends up in danger seem anti-positional even by King's Gambit standards.

And I think that's the real problem with the King's Gambit. If the point is to get play on the f file, then all of those odd lines where Black plays g5 are strong because they serve the purpose of keeping that file closed. The way White breaks up that plan is by weakening his own King position even further with h4 and sometimes g3. The KG is playable, good for a draw, and maybe more if Black doesn't play it right, but it doesn't really seem to make sense conceptually.

And I REALLY don't understand the Rice Gambit. Any thoughts on that?

Dec-08-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson> <Which by the way brings us onto the bust of the Latvian.

3.d4!>

I was looking at this over the weekend. It seemed like a decent line, but not really a "bust" as such. It doesn't seem to render the Greco Counter Gambit unplayable, although it may make Black uncomfortable. For that matter, the Falkbeer lines probably aren't to the taste of a King's Gambiteer either.

Dec-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Petrosianic.

It was the lne that gave me the most trouble when I faced it, it was the line I played against it.

I won an incredible amount of games with the Latvian/Greco (And a few on the White side with 1.e4 Nf6 2.f3! e5 3.f4! nobody played 3...d5!!)

3.d4 v my Latvian scored the best v me. What more can I say?

Me v the Latvian and 3.d4 (and sac the Knight)

G.Chandler - G.Bucher, Edinburgh Open 2007.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.d4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Bg5 d6 6.Nc3 dxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Rxd1 h6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Kd7 11.e6+ Kd6 12.Nb6+ Kc6 13.Nxa8 Bd6 14.Bc4 Re8 15.Bd5+ Kc5 16.a3 a5 17.b4+ Kb5 18.Bb3 Rxe6 19.Bxe6 Bxe6 20.Rxd6 1-0

Black has the option of playing 3...d6 going into a flaky variation of the Phildor. Which might be OK if your opponent does not realise this.

Dec-09-14  RookFile: Fischer played 5. Qe2 in a simmul because he knew he could play the rest of the game on auto-pilot.
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