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Robert James Fischer vs Mark Taimanov
Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Vancouver CAN, rd 6, Jun-01
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0



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Given 28 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-11-04  Shadout Mapes: The opening here does not look good. Taimanov lets his center get cut into bits and lets Fischer pick it off.
Jul-19-05  offramp: In earlier games of this match Fischer had shown how a bishop is better than a knight; here he does the opposite.
Feb-22-07  offramp: For losing this match Taimanov had all the black keys confiscated from his piano.
Jun-22-07  Petrosianic: Someone had once commented that a Reuben Fine would have played 15...Bxf5 to keep the two Bishops and dared White to make something out of the hole at d5. That looks a lot better, actually.
Aug-28-08  Ulhumbrus: After 26...Kd7 Black may have a winning advantage. He has the superior minor piece, and his King is ahead of White's King in development.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Ulhumbrus: After 26...Kd7 Black may have a winning advantage. He has the superior minor piece, and his King is ahead of White's King in development.>

After 26...Kd7 a winning advantage? Black is a a pawn down, and White has no pawn weaknesses.

After 27 Ne2 White is poised to defend for awhile and gradually bring his King toward the center. I only see drawing chances for Black.

Aug-28-08  Ulhumbrus: <tamar> I stand corrected: White has picked a pawn up on d4 earlier, and Black has to have the equivalent of 3 tempi at least to make up for that alone. Perhaps Black does: After 22...Kd7,Black's King seems three moves ahead of White's King in development. If Black can make count that asset as well as others, he may have winning chances.

After 22 Rd1, 22..e5 may be better.

Mar-22-10  birthtimes: Fischer played this line against Najdorf in 66, but deviated here with 12. Nc4 rather than 12. Bc4 which he played against Najdorf.
Mar-22-10  birthtimes: Was Taimanov familiar with the 11...Qb6 line that gained Black a previous two wins (against no defeats) prior to this game? Matulovic defeated Schmidt in 1964 in 39 moves, and Schmidt defeated Serwinski even faster in 1969, taking only 32 moves to win.
Mar-22-10  birthtimes: And was Fischer (and Taimanov) familiar with the 13...Bxf5 line that Basman played in 1967 against Stephenson, which continued 14. Bd3 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 Bg7 16. Ne3 O-O 17. O-O-O Rc8 with Basman winning in 27 moves.
Aug-05-11  whiteshark: Game related picture, after <13...Nxf5>:
Mar-27-12  RookFile: The opening approach is basically Paul Morphy's method of playing against the Sicilian:

Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858

Taimanov found a different way to get an early f5 in.

If it works out for black, he's got a super game.... if he survives first.

Nov-14-13  solskytz: A good pun for this one would be "at least I still have the piano"
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Mark at least could have played 43...Rxb2+ for spite...
Oct-11-16  Howard: Taimanov, for obvious reasons, would hardly have been in any mood to play this game.
Dec-05-17  Mazymetric: After the event, Taimanov was famously reported to have said, "At least I still have my music." He wasn't being merely melodramatic: the consequences of this loss were to haunt him for years. Taimanov later recounted in an interview with Joel Lautier:

"Until the match with Fischer in 1971, everything went smoothly in my chess career. This dramatic match changed my life into hell."

"As Fischer himself admitted at the time, the final score did not reflect the true balance of strength. The terrible feeling that I was playing against a machine which never made any mistake shattered my resistance. Fischer would never concede any weakening of his position, he was an incredibly tough defender. The third game proved to be the turning point of the match. After a pretty tactical sequence, I had managed to set my opponent serious problems. In a position that I considered to be winning, I could not find a way to break through his defenses. For every promising idea, I found an answer for Fischer, I engrossed myself in a very deep think which did not produce any positive result. Frustrated and exhausted, I avoided the critical line in the end and lost the thread of the game, which lead to my defeat eventually. Ten years later, I found at last how I should have won that fatal game, but unfortunately, it didn't matter anymore! I have written a book about this match, entitled How I Became Fischer's Victim, it represents an essay on the American player and describes how I perceived his style and personality, once the match was over."

"The sanctions from the Soviet government were severe. I was deprived of my civil rights, my salary was taken away from me, I was prohibited from travelling abroad and censored in the press. It was unthinkable for the authorities that a Soviet grandmaster could lose in such a way to an American, without a political explanation. I therefore became the object of slander and was accused, among other things, of secretly reading books of Solzhenitsin. I was banned from society for two years, it was also the time when I separated from my first wife, Lyubov Bruk."

Apr-30-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: When Taimanov's chess career was all but over in 1971, he still had his music.

When Fischer's chess career ended in 1972, he had nothing left except his anti-Semitism and descended into madness.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: It seems on 14...Ne7 black is actually having a clear advantage - but I doubt Taimanov was in the mood to find this resource. It seems Black has some potential with the central pawns but has to tread carefully.

Robert James Fischer - Mark Taimanov 1-0 6.0, Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfin 1971

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Analysis by Stockfish 13:

1. ∓ (-1.28): 15.f4 exf4 16.Qf3 d5 17.Nd2 Qb6 18.0-0-0 0-0-0 19.Ne2 Bg7 20.Nb3 Qe3+ 21.Kb1 Qxf3 22.gxf3 Be5 23.c3 Kc7 24.Rhe1 Bd6 25.Nbd4 Rdg8 26.c4 dxc4

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <kingscrusher>, after the psychological trauma of the match in general and the previous game in particular, one would rather imagine that Taimanov was indeed demoralised.

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