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Robert James Fischer vs Attilio Di Camillo
Eastern States Open (1956), Washington, D.C. USA, rd 1, Nov-23
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-12-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: wow,where's ferocious beast when you need him? he could resolve all of this
Dec-17-07  RookFile: <beatgiant: The interesting point is, if h3 is a mistake, how can Black take advantage of it?>

Profile of a Prodigy says that Black can pursue a plan similar to the one used in this game.

Reshevsky vs Rubinstein, 1917

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
But some important specific characteristics of this game differ from the Reshevsky-Rubinstein game. For example, here Black has already weakened his queenside by playing ...b5.

So, to resolve the controversy, I think we need to look at concrete variations.

To get things started, I'll suggest 8...Bxf3 9. Qxf3 h6 10. a4. Now, 10...g5 is refuted by 11. axb5 axb5 12. Rxa8 Qxa8 13. Qxf6. But if 10...Rb8, Black loses the right to castle queenside, so I think the attacking chances will favor White here.

What say you?

Dec-18-07  RookFile: The first remark I would make is that black can be slow to castle here, is at all. It appears that the strongest move is 8... Bh5. The following game transposes into the Fischer vs. di Camillo position, and shows the risks white runs by moving pawns in front of her king before black has committed to a king location. There's probably a reason why I've only found 15 examples in my large database where white has ever tried this h3 before black castles idea.

[Event "BL2-SuedO 9899 (Women)"]
[Site "Germany"]
[Date "1998.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Lorenz,Oda"]
[Black "Klein,Sabine"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "C90"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 b5 6.Bb3 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.0-0 Nf6 9.d3 Be7 10.Re1 Qd7 11.Nbd2 h6 12.Nf1 g5 13.Ng3 Bg6 14.d4 exd4 15.cxd4 Nh5 16.e5 d5 17.Nxh5 Bxh5 18.g4 Bg6 19.Be3 Nd8 20.Rc1 Ne6 21.Bc2 h5 22.Bf5 hxg4 23.Bxg4 Bh5 24.Nh2 Bxg4 25.hxg4 0-0-0 26.Kg2 Rh4 27.Rh1 Rdh8 28.f3 f6 29.Qc2 fxe5 30.dxe5 d4 31.Bd2 Qd5 32.Qe4 Qxe4 33.fxe4 c5 34.Rcf1 Kd7 35.Be1 R4h7 36.Bd2 c4 37.Nf3 Rxh1 38.Rxh1 Rxh1 39.Kxh1 b4 40.Kg2 c3 41.bxc3 dxc3 42.Bc1 a5 43.Ne1 a4 44.Nd3 b3 45.a3 b2 46.Bxb2 cxb2 47.Nxb2 Nc5 48.Kf3 Ke6 49.Nc4 Nd7 50.Kg3 Bc5 51.Kh3 Bd4 52.Kg3 Bxe5+ 53.Kf3 Bd4 54.Kg3 Bc5 55.Kh3 Nb6 56.Nd2 Bxa3 57.Nf3 Bc1 58.Ne1 a3 59.Nd3 a2 60.Nc5+ Ke5 61.Nb3 Kxe4 62.Kg3 Ke3 63.Kg2 Bb2 64.Kg3 Nc4 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <The first remark I would make is that black can be slow to castle here, is at all.>

That's true only if White fails to open the center, as in the game you cited.

<There's probably a reason why I've only found 15 examples in my large database where white has ever tried this h3 before black castles idea.>

One reason is the d3 line itself is rare in master play, since it's a less aggressive try for an opening advantage.

Anyway, it seems your suggested improvement is 10...Qd7, hoping for 11. Re1 h6 12. Nf1 g5 transposing to the Lorenz-Klein game. But White can vary with <12. a4> b4 13. d4 exd4 14. exd4 g5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Ne4. The position opens up, it's hard for Black to keep delaying castling, and then there will be attacks on both wings.

Note that I'm not claiming a White advantage, nor even that 8. h3 is the best move. My claim is that active play by White would avoid the kind of one-sided Black kingside attack you were concerned about.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Sorry, a misprint in my last post. The line I'm suggesting is 10...Qd7 11. Re1 h6 12. a4 b4 13. d4 exd4 14. exd4 g5 15. g4 Bg6 16. e5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Nd5 18. Ne4.
Dec-18-07  RookFile: After your 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 b5 6. Bb3 d6 7. c3 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. d3 Be7 10. Nbd2 Qd7 11. Re1 h6 12. a4 b4 13. d4 exd4 14. cxd4 (not 14. exd4 like you typed) black plays 14.... Nxd4, and after 15. g4 Nxb3 16. Qxb3 Bxg4 17. hxg4 Qxg4+ we have a wild and wooly position where black has 3 pawns for a piece and white has an exposed king.

11.... h6 immediately may not actually be the best move. There are alternatives, like 11.... a5, or even the immediate 11..... g5.

<Note that I'm not claiming a White advantage.>

Well, that's really the whole point, now, isn't it. White should have a higher ambition than to reach a game game where black has as many chances as he does. If 8. h3 doesn't accomplish this, then it is a positional mistake, and should join the other 15 games in this line on the scrap heap of opening theory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
<Note that I'm not claiming a White advantage.> <Well, that's really the whole point, now, isn't it.>

As I mentioned, the whole d3 line itself doesn't accomplish the goal of agressively pushing for better chances for White. The lack of adaptation by masters shows that it's <on the scrap heap of opening theory>.

If you think after h3 there are chances for both sides, then we agree.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: For reference, here are two White successes with early h3/d3.

Keres vs F J Perez, 1943
Geller vs I Pogrebissky, 1949

In both cases White soon opened with a4 and d4.

Jan-13-09  WhiteRook48: why not 41. Bxf4?
Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: although 41. Kf1 makes Black resign
Aug-02-09  malu: Because it would just lose the passed pawn. 41. Bxf4 Rxd7 42. Qc3 ( for example ) gxf4
Aug-02-09  AnalyzeThis: <beatgiant: For reference, here are two White successes with early h3/d3.>

In other words, GMs for the last 60 years have felt that this approach isn't a good idea.

Aug-15-09  tentsewang: The late Fischer both predicts his opponent ahead, and catches up with earlier targets that came to be possible later. What a Magnificent game with pure precision!
Dec-13-10  BobbyDigital80: I can't believe some of the comments on this game. Of course h3 and d3 are good moves. Black's ...Bg4 is an inaccuracy. It's only good if white has already played d4 because then ...Bg4 puts added pressure on the pawn. With the pawn still at home, ...Bg4 looks pointless because white can play h3 and d3. That's the whole point.
Jan-11-11  Damianx: AS BObbyD80 points out H3 is a good move i,ve seen countless Fisher games where he plays it and i,ve read Fishers comments that Bg4 is a bad move almost a blunder again as BobbyD80 states
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <BobbyDigital80>,<Damianx> Interesting. What strategy is suggested if Black plays as <RookFile> suggested, with 10...Qd7, willing to delay castling, willing to respond to g4 with ...Bxg4 in some cases, and ready to play for ...g5 aiming to break open White's kingside?

Would 10...Qd7 11. g4 immediately be the right idea? At that point probably 11...Bxg4 is not quite good enough for Black, right?

Nov-17-11  RookFile: <BobbyDigital80: I can't believe some of the comments on this game. Of course h3 and d3 are good moves. Black's ...Bg4 is an inaccuracy. It's only good if white has already played d4 because then ...Bg4 puts added pressure on the pawn. With the pawn still at home, ...Bg4 looks pointless because white can play h3 and d3. That's the whole point. >

If Bg4 is an inaccuracy, h3 is the wrong move order to exploit it. Better is d3, waiting for black to castle. You've got other waiting moves with white possible, like Nbd2 or even a4. It's best to hold off on h3 until black actually castles kingside. Why give black a chance to storm your king?

Nov-17-11  tonsillolith: Watching White's smooth expansion using the passed pawn, it's easy to overlook how all the while, his e5 bishop is guarding the pawn on b2, which I'm sure is no accident. Furthermore, when the bishop is threatened with capture, White can retake with another pieces to guard b2.

The better I get at chess, the more I appreciate subtleties like that, watching how grandmasters have lots of details taken care of, even in the parts of the board where the focus is not.

Obviously if these are the subtleties that excite me, then I can't be that good at chess yet. But whatever!

Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: Tricky Camillo! Last move 40. ... Nf4+ if 41. Qxf4?? is total illusion even though all lines win except one and that move is Qxd7 by black with equal game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: After Fischers 41. Kf1! Ne6 counterattacking whites queen. White has winning move, the crusher is 42. Rxe6!! fxe6 43. Bxd8 winning easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: 41. Bxf4?? is met by Rxd7!! with equal game for black.
Feb-11-19  DansChessLounge: For analysis of the game check out the video here --->
Mar-09-22  Mathematicar: Today's daily puzzle. Happy 79th birthday, Bobby.
Mar-10-22  Granny O Doul: An old time master once played 7...Bg4 against me and I played 8. d3, as the books I'd read suggested, and it turned out ok. Still, I'm skeptical about Black's chances of punishing an early h3 with any queenside castling plans.

I first saw this game in Fred Reinfeld's "Great Games by Chess Prodigies" which based on dates must have been among his last two or three dozen. The book's four sections were on Morphy, Capablanca, Reshevsky, and Fischer. "Masterly play by White".

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