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Robert James Fischer vs Angelo Sandrin
North Central Open (1957), Milwaukee, WI USA, rd 2, Nov-29
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-10-04  wall: Here is a game with bishops of opposite color that wins. After 43.Kd5 Bh6 44.Ke6 f4 45.Kf7 Kb6 46.Kg6 Bf8 47.h6 Bxh6 48.Kxh6 wins for White.
Mar-07-05  Hesam7: The standard way of winning opposite colored Bishop endgames is to create two distant passers. It is astonishing that the 14 year old Bobby knew such technicalities 50 years ago.
Mar-07-05  azaris: <It is astonishing that the 14 year old Bobby knew such technicalities 50 years ago.>

For goodness sake, he was already a very strong player by then. It would be astonishing had he not been able to win. You sound like his mother.

Mar-07-05  Hesam7: <azaris> I don't think he was already a very strong player, according to "My 60 memorable games" Bobby became 6th in this open tournament.

I know the technique because of numerous chess books available now. Consider the year 1957; how many endgame books existed? How many of them were in English?

On the other hand I am a Fischer fan so it is possible that this may influence my judgement.

Mar-07-05  azaris: <Hesam7> In 1957 he was an IM, which counts as strong enough in my books.

Fine's "Basic Chess Endings" was published in 1941 so I imagine there would have been all sorts of endgame books written 16 years after that.

I just think it's pointless to go "ooh, aah, isn't Bobby clever" at every single Fischer game where his play is passable. I'd rather see some fresh and insightful analysis rathen than rehashing tired pipe dreams about the One True American World Champion.

Mar-08-05  Hesam7: <azaris> Euwe on teenage Fischer:

"His chess technique is nearly a miracle. In their youth, only a few players could handle the endgame so precisely. Only two such players are known to me, Smyslov and Capablanca."

Mar-12-05  RookFile: How did Fischer get the IM title?
Of course, he got the GM title by
qualifying for the Candidates tournament.
Oct-02-05  atrifix: <RookFile> Fischer got his IM title by winning the US championship in 1957.
Jan-10-08  uroboros: <atrifix, thnx for post this Bobby's masterpiece inspirated by God!>
Oct-16-08  Helios727: He did not win the U.S. closed championship until after it was over in January of 1958, so during late 1957 he was just a master. At the beginning of 1957 he was not even that. It was the Open Championship in 1957 that made him a master.
Jul-06-10  Damianx: Might not have bought the post card but if he wasn,t there he was just around the corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: In this game (1957) Sandrin, a strong NM and former US open winner, gives Fischer a good game. But a few years later (1964) Fischer beats him easily, twice, in two simuls! Fischer said that suddenly he "got good", I should also add that suddenly he got even better.
Jun-05-11  BobCrisp: The nearest <Bobby> ever got to a trial before the Sanhedrin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Actually Fischer went before the Sanhedrin thrice and won his case all three times.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: And this is the only mention of chess in the Sanhedrin rulings:

<The division of Jerusalem, the cessation of building in all of the neighborhoods of Jerusalem from after 5727. The agreement to distribute the Holy Land to foreigners, retreat (which for sure will be temporary, until the next surrender) to the borders of the Partition. Erasing the Jewish identity of the state, shaking off of the Temple Mount, the heart of the Jewish nation, and the settling of millions of foreigners in strategic locations, from which the communities will be evacuated. Behold these are all in all steps on the global chess board to eliminate the Jewish State >

Feb-08-12  Zugzwangovich: <BobCrisp> Sorry if I'm showing my ignorance all at once, but could you explain your comment about this game being the nearest RJF ever got to a trial before the Sanhedrin? This and the comments that follow it are above me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Zugzwangovich> A play on words on Sandrin and Sanhedrin. (I never heard of it either.)
Feb-14-12  Zugzwangovich: <FSR> Thank you! I missed the pun altogether.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Hesam7> Creating 2 separated passers, particularly if you're a pawn up, is a standard technique for winning almost any endgame, provided that you can do it. I knew that technique in 1965, 8 years later than this game, when I was 16, so I'm not surprised that Fischer knew it in 1957 when he was 14. And I don't think that there's anything astonishing about it.

Sigh, now at 63, my problem is remembering the technique. :-(

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <AylerKupp> Sandrin's 33...h6? 34.f4 g5 allowed White to get a second passed pawn and win. I wonder if Black could have drawn with 33...g5, intending ...Bd6 and ...f4. Certainly it's a draw if Black can get a setup with his bishop on f4 and pawns on g5 and h4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <FSR> Your idea has much merit. I had a similar thought; if the only way that White can win is by creating an outside passed pawn on the k-side, then it stands to reason that if Black can prevent that, he should be able to draw. But I couldn't figure out a way to do that as well as you did with 33...g5. Black's biggest defensive problem is that his pawns are on the same color as White's bishop and his king can't come over quickly and help out. 33...h6 might have been Sandrin's attempt to try to place his pawns on the same color as his bishop but Fischer foiled it by 34.f4.

But White can't easily attack Black's k-side pawns without giving up his Pc6 unless Black cooperates as he did in this game. True, White gains Black's Pf5 in return after Be6 but Black's king, freed from having to block White's d-pawn after ...Kxc6 is in a centralized position and can block White's king from advancing on the k-side.

I had Rybka 4.1 analyze the position after 33...f4 and the best it could come up with was an eval of [+0.57], d=34 after each of the following 5 moves: 34.Be6, 34.h3, 34.f4, 34.Bb3, and 34.Bg8. White is better, of course, because of his pawn advantage but doesn't seem to have a winning position, at least as far as Rybka is concerned. Maybe if I had let Rybka run longer it might have been able to find a better line, but I tried some sliding forward (not much) and couldn't get a higher eval.

In contrast, after 33...h6, Rybka had no problem finding 34.f4 as White's best move as early as d=9, and evaluated the position at [+0.93], d=32 but it preferred 34...Bd6 instead of Sandrin's 34...g5, with Rybka's suggested best continuation for both sides then being 35.h4 Be7 36.Kf3 Kd6 37.Bf7 g5 38.fxg5 hxg5 39.h5 Kxc6 40.Be6 Bf8 41.Bxf5 Kd6 42.Kg4 Bh6 43.Bd3 Ke5 44.Bc2 Kf6 45.a4 Bf8 46.Bf5 Bh6 47.Be4 Ke5 48.Bf3 where, in spite of White achieving his purpose of creating an outside passer, it's not clear to me how White can overcome Black's stranglehold on the dark squares. Maybe a better endgame player than myself (oh, how I sometimes long to be 16 again!) can figure out how. But Rybka in all variations was willing to give up White's passed c-pawn and at no time at these search depths did Rybka consider White's king marching to the q-side to support its passer as Fischer did. So it seems that Rybka still has a lot to learn about endgames.

To me the culprit doesn't seem to be 33...h6 but rather 34...g5. After 35.fxg5 hxg5 36.h4 Rybka at d=27 preferred 36...Be7 [+1.40] and 36...g4 [+1.43] over Sandrin's 36...gxh4 [+1.50] but it's clear that after 34...g5 Black is slipping into a losing position, if he hasn't done so already.

Dec-24-15  Robert Samuels: I wonder whether 29...Bf6 would have held for Black. White has an edge, due to the weak black h-pawn and White's control of the long diagonal; but is it enough to force a win?
May-07-20  andrea volponi: 36...g4=gm muller

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