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Robert James Fischer vs E Travis
"American Idol" (game of the day Jul-04-2011)
Simul, 57b (1964) (exhibition), Houston, TX USA, Mar-28
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

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sac: 16.Bxh6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Sneaky> I think you're right. After 17.Qd2 Ng4 18.h3 Nc4:

click for larger view

White will have to play 19.Qc1 anyway, and now the rook lift via e3 is not available.

And perhaps Black might consider 18...bxc3 (attacking the ♕d2) 19.bxc3 Nc4, when White no longer has b2-b3 evicting the knight.

Boy, that Fischer guy was good. You know, this might make a decent midweek puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Interesting question - 17. Qc1 or 17. Qd2?

I think <Sneaky> has called it correctly. Both moves keep the queen on the diagonal leading to the h6 square. But with 17. Qc1 the queen cannot be molested by a later Nc4. Something like 17. Qd2 Ng4 18. h3 Nc4

click for larger view

Okay so white still wins, but why give your opponent even a leetle bit of counterplay when you can avoid this line altogether?

The centre is blocked so white isn't going to lose out much with Qc1. He isn't going to be in a hurry to park his Ra1 on a central square. It's only a temporary layover anyway as Qh6 or Qxh6 is coming pretty soon.

I guess that's the genius of someone like Fischer. He sees a pair of moves that he wants to play - Qc1/ Qd2. Then he checks out the black defences to each, including Ng4-Nc4 plan to kick his queen off the juicy diagonal. So he adjusts his move to nullify those defences.

And all while playing a simul with only a few seconds per move.

17. Qd2 is the automatic move - grabbing the diagonal, attacking the h6 pawn and connecting the rooks. But Fischer doesn't play automatic moves. He thinks about his opponent's reply and adjusts to counter it.

I'd like to think that I would find 17. Qc1 over the board. I'd like to think that. But I've got a sneaking suspicion that I would play the "principled" 17. Qd2 and then wonder why my attack was harder than it should have been.

There's a lot of chess understanding in that one little move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <phony> our posts crossed in the ether! Luckily we are saying the same thing...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Eduardo Leon> Fritz calls 17... bxc3 as mate in 8 for white with 17... bxc3 18.Qxh6 Ne8 19. Ng5 Bxg5 20. Qxg5+ Kh8 21. Re3 f6 22. Qh6+ Kg8 23. Rg3+

19. Ng5 threatening Qh7# gives white time for the rook life Re3-g3 or h3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: So why didn't Bobby play 15. Bxh6 ?

Could it be that he didn't see it??

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: <al wazir: So why didn't Bobby play> <15. Bxh6 ? Could it be that he didn't> <see it?? >

Even the "best" miss tactical continuations over the board. Especially in a simultaneous exhibition!

Jul-04-11  Oceanlake: Against the Ruy, think long and hard before placing the Bishop on b7.

Richard Teichmann vs Carl Schlechter, 1911. Ed Lasker had a conversation about this in hi chess biography.

Jul-04-11  sofouuk: <Albertan> <al wazir> <Could it be that he didn't see it?? > surely with the DSB not on f8 and the LSB on b7 anyone would consider the h6 sac, it's just so thematic

... BUT it isn't obviously winning at first glance (rybka didn't find it immediately, so it can't be that straightforward) and you can't hang around for too long checking everything in a simul, AND this is fischer we are talking about, not tal, so, why not play the easy move that eliminates counterplay first? you know you're going to win anyway

Jul-04-11  kevins55555: 22. ♖xg5+! ♗xg5 23. ♕g7# would make a Tuesday puzzle. A little harder to spot than a Monday puzzle.
Jul-04-11  ColeTrane: another texas twister
Jul-04-11  UnsoundHero: 15 Bxh6 a move earlier is less convincing, because black doesn't have to capture the bishop. 15...cxd4 gives black counterplay on the c-file, with the center now open.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Great that this is GOTD!
Jul-04-11  Kiril Simeonovski: Reply to kevins55555:
By playing 21...Bh8 Black holds the position two moves longer, since now white mates after 22.Rxg5 Qxg5 23.Qxg5+ Kh7 24.Qh6+ Kg8 and 25.Ne7#.
Jul-04-11  swr: Nice game. Why is this not labeled as a Chigorin?
Jul-04-11  hugogomes: <swr> it's not labeled as a Chigorin because it is not the Chigorin variation, which would involve the Knight on a5 to go back to c6 attacking the pawn on d4, which did not happen.
Jul-04-11  David2009: Here's the position at the start of the combination:

click for larger view

Enjoy the pleasure of beating Crafty End Game Trainer from the diagram (link:

Confession: I couldn't do it first time round. Second time I got lucky and won an exchange on top of getting my piece back.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Focus> Since nobody else seems to have thanked you, I will.


Keep 'em coming.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Yes, thanks a lot, <TheFocus>.
Jul-04-11  muratski: <David 2009>
I managed to find the check-mate in 16 moves. Thanks for the links, very instructive. Here it goes: 1.Bxh6 gxh6 2.Qc1 Ne8 3.Qxh6 Nc4 4.Ba4 Bc6
5.Bxc6 Bd8 6.Bxe8 f6 7. Bg6 Qd7 8.b3 Nb6 9.Re3 Nd5 10.exd5 Rc7 11.Nf3h4 Qg7 12.Nxg7 Rxg7 13. Nf5 Rf8f7 14.Bxf7+Rxf7 15Rg3 Rg7 16.Qxg7++
Jul-04-11  positionalgenius: The cyrstal clarity in fischers games is alot like capablanca. Very fun to watch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Domdaniel> and <keypusher> You are welcome. I noticed that <CG> was missing a lot of Fischer's simultaneous games. Time to remedy that. I plan to submit daily until every Fischer game is here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Foischer wins big!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <al wazir: So why didn't Bobby play> <15. Bxh6 ? Could it be that he didn't> <see it?? >

<Albertan: Even the "best" miss tactical continuations over the board. Especially in a simultaneous exhibition! >

It's my guess that Bobby didn't even bother to calculate "tactical continuations" because in looking at the board he would have instantly assessed that a tactical shot like that is premature, and the possible replies by black would be far too many to permit, like cxd4 or a counter sac in the center with Bxe4 or something like that. It is better to close the center first, that way it takes black longer to maneuver defense around behind his pawn chain than it would take white to rush pieces to the Kside (like for example his rook as in the game). It must be remembered that very often the best tactical play is to restrain or eliminate any possible counter chances by the opponent.

Dec-26-14  gmelfranco: el evaluo todo a la intuicỉn sintio que podia ganar con ese juego nada mas!!!
May-07-16  rainingpieces: 19.Ng5 is a move to consider. If 19...Nxg5 then 20.Qxf6 threatening the knight and checkmate. Fischer probably saw this, but chose 19.Re3 because it is better?

But how can Black defend? 19.Ng5 Nxg5 20.Qxf6 Ne6 looks fine if White takes the knight, but White can play 21.Re3 with a threat of Rg3-Rh3-Rh8# in mind

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