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Wolfgang Uhlmann vs Robert James Fischer
Leipzig Olympiad Final-A (1960), Leipzig GDR, rd 11, Nov-08
King's Indian Defense: Four Pawns Attack. Exchange Variation (E79)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-04-03  drukenknight: Okay Dawg, but do you really think Lasker or Capablanca would not play simply 36 Rxp? that doesnt seem right.

At the end, I dont know if he can survive or not but surely he has to take the pawn on h5, w/ both pawns on the board the white K will have to travel too far to grab the a pawn then the black grabs h pawn.

When he plays 42 Ke3 his K leaves the box around the a pawn, and can no longer blockade that pawn. I dunno if he can save it but the N has to take the h pawn. if it gets down to K + B + RP. That's a B of wrong color ending isnt it?

Those are rook pawns remember, and white can draw if the lone K can get to the blockade square he doesnt have to grab them both.

Right? That's pretty basic endgame principles that Uhlmann seems to be violating, its hard to imagine Fischer/Lasker going down like that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I think this game could be one that I'd choose as representative of Fischer's style.
May-02-05  Milo: Keeping with your idea druk, 40.h3.

40.h3 hxg4 41.hxg4 must be a draw.
40.h3 h4 41.Ne5 looks drawish to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Contains a bit of footage of this game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Milo: Keeping with your idea druk, 40.h3. ...> But how can White ever force the desired knight for h-pawn trade, that is, unless Black plays daft? For instance, after

<40.h3> Kd4 41.Nf6 h4 42.Ng8 Bc6 43.Ne7 Be4 ...

click for larger view

the White knight is cut off and completely dominated by the Black bishop. Moreover, the a-pawn already walks home-free. As no other knight tour works any better, Uhlmann's predicament had to be hopeless for quite a while.

May-15-09  Eyal: Besides being a model B vs. N endgame (especially in demonstrating the bishop's superiority over the knight when there is play on both wings), this game was important for opening theory. Prior to it, people used to play 14...dxe5 - Uhlmann, who liked to play this line with White, scored 2.5/3 against it (in Uhlmann vs V Ciocaltea, 1956, Uhlmann vs J H Donner, 1957, and another game from the 1956 tournament where he reached a better endgame after 15.Qxe5 Qd3 16.Qg3 Qxg3+ 17.hxg3). Fischer's novelty 14...Qh4+! gives Black full equality - if White tries to avoid the queen exchange, he gets into trouble after 15.g3 dxe5! 16.Qxe5 Qh3, e.g. 17.Kf2 f5, or 17.Nd5 f6! 18.Nxf6+ Rxf6 19.Qxf6 Qg2. Instead of 12.Qd2, Qxg4(!) was shown to be better for White in A Pomar-Salamanca vs Geller, 1962.
May-15-09  Eyal: Uhlmann's other game from 1956 in this line which I've mentioned in the previous post is Uhlmann vs B Andersen, 1956.
May-08-10  jerseybob: Gypsy: Love that video for a lot of reasons: Uhlmann's smug look in the early stages of the Fischer game(his record against Bobby at that time was 1-0), Fischer's expression at about the 1:53 mark of the video, and the chance to see Tal as world champ, an era that sadly lasted only about 9 months, due to the Botvinnik second chance rule. And I love the part with the young U.S. team, Fischer, Lombardy, Byrne and Weinstein, who might've become an awesome grandmaster if not for his demons.
Jun-09-20  cwcarlson: 41.♘f1?-+; 41.h4= Houdini 6.02
Jun-09-20  Charlie Durman: <cwcarlson: 41.♘f1?-+; 41.h4= Houdini 6.02>

Eighty years later

Houdini indeed

Jun-10-20  C. Auguste Dupin: Fischer wins once again in his battle against knights !
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: You don't need a computer to see the point of <41. h4>, which is to fix Black's h-pawn so White can play Nf1-Ng3-Nxh5, even sacrificing the knight if necessary, leaving a draw by "bishop and wrong rook's pawn."
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: But maybe Uhlmann was worried about 41. h4 <Ke4> 42. Nc4 Bb3 43. Nxa5 Bd5, and the bishop dominates the knight.

click for larger view

It does look like Black is almost winning, but if Black's king goes anywhere, White's king can head toward d4, driving off the bishop and freeing the knight. So 44. Ke2 Kf4 45. Kd3, or 44. Ke2 Kd4 45. Kd2 Kc5 46. Kd3, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: This is 60 years ago now.

Respects to Bobby that folk are still disputing your genius.

Sep-15-20  pepechuy: The position after 39. Ng4 is drawn.

The decisive mistake is 41. Nf1, which loses.
Instead, 41. h4 draws.

White also had another draw a move earlier, with 40. Nf6 h4 41. Ng4

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Uhlmann was the primary expert on the Four Pawns Attack in the late 50s and early 60s. He had reached the position after 14 fxe in three previous games but may have been surprised by Fischer's innovation 14..Qh4+ (which has not been repeated). 15 g3?!..dxe! 16 Qxe5..Qh3 17 Kf2 (17 Nd5?..f6 18 Nxf6+..Rxf6 19 Qxf6..Qg2) 17..f5! would have given Black good attacking chances. 20 Ke3 looks more logical. White perhaps rushed the activation of his queenside majority as 17 a4?! was weakening. White's plan of decentralizing the king with 30 Kg3?!, Kh4 and Kg5 looks really odd. 41 Nf1? was a losing blunder; Kasparov offered 41 h4! (fixing the h-pawn) 41..Bd7 42 Nf1..Bf5 43 Ng3..Bg6 44 Nxh5!..a4 45 Nf4..a3 46 Ne2+..Kc4 47 Nc3 with a draw.

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