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W Stanley Davis vs John Fedorowicz
81st US Open (1980), Atlanta, GA USA, rd 1, Aug-03
Zukertort Opening: Queen's Gambit Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The ratings are correct.

Davis simply had the game of his life at the right time. The attack might not be fully sound, but nobody minded that much.

As might be expected, this first round upset caused quite a sensation. The tournament bulletin described it as a "barn-burner"--which turned out to be highly inappropriate when there was a fire in the tournament hotel that night. Nothing serious--just some oily rags spontaneously combusting in an unused elevator. But there was lots of smoke, everybody evacuated, and a few timid souls didn't come back.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Maybe he was buying Fed a lotta beers the night before the game?
Oct-27-11  TheFocus: Davis annotated this game in Chess Life. This was my first year in USCF and the game made quite an an impression on me then.
Nov-05-11  Robeson: BTW, Fed is said to have behaved like a true gentleman, even in defeat. It earned him a lot of new fans!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: I recall playing Davis in round 6 at the same tournament. Before the round, I asked him, "Wow, how did you beat Fedorowicz? Did he hang a piece or something?" To that Davis replied, "No, I outplayed him."

Needless to say, I went into the game really worried about this guy. As things turned out, my consternation was unfounded, as I checkmated him on move 11. This proves something, I think: any one of us can have a moment of brilliance, but that's all it is - a moment. What separates the truly great players from the rest of us is consistency.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <OBIT> It would be interesting to see your 11-move win. Can you submit it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Domdaniel> I gotta warn you, this game is ugly, but here it is:

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. d4 g6 5. Bf4 Bg7 6. Qd2 Bxd4?? (An insane pawn grab. Black is already lost.) 7. O-O-O c5 8. Nb5 Qb6 9. Nc7+ Kf8 10. Bh6+?? (After this lemon, Davis can not only get back in the game, he even obtains some advantage. I was planning on 10...Nxh6 11. Qxh6+ Kg8 12. Rxd4 cxd4? 13. Ne8! and wins, but correct is 12...Qxc7!, when Black stops all the mating threats and retains an extra pawn. Fortunately for me, Davis played:) Bg7?? 11. Qd8#

See, I TOLD you it was ugly. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fedorowicz was obviously playing the "Swiss Gambit." He ended up tying for first with Florin Gheorghiu! This was the only time Fedorowicz ever won the U.S. Open.

Houdini actually has a very hard time figuring out this game. It kept giving Black a winning advantage, then changing its mind to a draw or even a White win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <FSR> Swiss Gambit? I wonder. If Houdini was having trouble judging the position, might not Fedorowicz as well? After all, he was probably not taking this opponent seriously.

In the 12-round US Open, a first-round loss doesn't have quite the strategic advantage it does in shorter tournaments since you'll probably wind up playing most of the top players anyway. I certainly didn't see many examples in my experience. But I'll look up Fedorwicz's schedule in the tournament bulletin to see what it was like.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> Yes, I think your surmise is correct. White's attack may have been unsound, but if so it required extremely precise play to demonstrate that. The same could be said of many of Tal's attacks. Clearly Davis played this game far above his usual level, which the Fed could not have expected. (See <OBIT>'s comment for an idea of Davis' usual level - fatal blunder on move 6, then misses a save on move 10, instead blundering into mate in 1.) And I agree that the Swiss Gambit's efficacy is greatly diminished in a 12-round event.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <OBIT> Thanks for posting that game with Davis, amazing! I think Fischer provides analysis of 6....Bxd4?? in his notes to Fischer vs Robatsch, 1962 in 60MG. Your opponent should have studied the classics.
Premium Chessgames Member
  floryncd1970: Hi Phony Benoni,

I am a chess collector from Romania.
How can I get all Gheorghiu's game from Atlanta! I have only 8 of them!

Thanks, Florin

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <florcyncd1970>: Unfortunately, I only have eleven of Gheorghiu's twelve games from Atlanta. The game from round 7 was not published in my source, the tournament bulletins.

Here is a list of his games from Atlanta. If you could let me know which three you need, we can go from there.

Round 1: Lewkowski 0 Gheorghiu
Riund 2: Gheorghiu 1 Sadowski
Round 3: Murthy 1/2 Gheorghiu
Roud 4 Gheorghiu 1 Lucas
Round 5: Small 1/2 Gheorghiu
Round 6: Sokolowsky 0 Gheorghiu
Round 7: Gheorghiu 1 (Unknown)
Round 8: Gheorghiu 1/2 Shaprio
Round 9: Kastner 0 Gheorghiu
Round 10 Gheorghiu 1 Meyer, John
Round 11 Sulman 0 Gheorghiu
Round 12: Gheorghiu 1/2 Fedorowicz

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