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Robert James Fischer vs Robert Henry Steinmeyer
US Championship (1963/64), New York, NY USA, rd 6, Dec-22
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-26-05  Alaric: 13...Qf4+?, 14...Nc5?, 16 Ne5!! 17 Rdf1! and then after 17...Qxg3, 18 Rxf2 black has to deal with the threats of Rf3 and Nxf7
Nov-02-05  lopium: Hmm yes but I guess black still have chances even if he exchanges his Queen for a knight, a pawn and a rook. After... umm yep look lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: This game was featured in Fischer's 60 memorable games.

The question of why this game was memorable - at least to Fischer, is explained here - or hypothesised at least:

Nov-06-07  RookFile: Well, in the book, Evans said in the preface to the game that it was a 'Complex Trap' - it was the kind of game that only a skilled opponent with black would play for - but it contained a trap at the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A very nicely conceived trap. I video annotated this game here:

Mar-26-08  Resignation Trap: In <Chess Review>, this short note appeared: <<Fischer blasted Steinmeyer's Caro-Kann in 17 moves. Games began at 2 PM, and Fischer had not yet eaten: he ordered and, as a wit said: breakfasted on orange juice, scrambled eggs and Steinmeyer.>>
Dec-18-08  PugnaciousPawn: I enjoyed your video analysis of this game, Kingcrusher. I had just studied it in Eric Schiller's book on Fischer's greatest games. It's a creative little gem! Got to love Fischer's 16. Ne5!
Dec-18-08  Travis Bickle: A genuis little miniature!
Jun-02-09  Petrosianic: The point that Fischer's "Memorable" games were ones memorable to him, rather than the reader necessarily, is well taken, but it's not clear even why this one is memorable even to him, and, oddly enough, the book doesn't shed much light on that question.

Fischer doesn't get much of a chance to shine in this game. Steinmeyer's 13... Qf4? and 14...Nc5? are semi-suicidal, and the refutation, 16. Ne5! isn't hard to see. In effect, Steinmeyer put a loaded gun in Fischer's hand and Bobby pulled the trigger. So, why is it in the book? If they wanted a miniature, Fischer must have played better miniatures than this one. And if they wanted a 4th game from the 11-0 tournament, I can think of several that would be unincluded ones that seem more interesting and memorable than this one, particularly the games with Evans, Reshevsky, and Saidy.

Maybe this is all explained in <My 61 Memorable Games> (Evil grin).

Jun-02-09  Petrosianic: <If they wanted a miniature, Fischer must have played better miniatures than this one.>

On that note, for sheer, unabashed suicide, I've always loved this game (Fischer's first in Olympic play), for its unrepentant blatantness:

Ghitescu vs Fischer, 1960

I don't know how you ever show your face back home after losing this one.

Dec-06-11  Leftywickedmisfit: Maybe it was bobby fischer 60 memo games up to now,and other games were yet to be plaued
Aug-29-12  TheFocus: This is game 49 in Fischer's <My 60 Memorable Games>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I really thought that Bob Henry was the one guy who would be able to stop Fischer's 11-0 run in this event.
Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: - this one?

Back to this game, Fischer's games in this U.S. Championship were surprisingly short, on average at least. Didn't Larsen remark something like "They played like children" or something to that effect?

Apr-09-15  Howard: You might be referring to a remark that Evans made to Saidy just before he sat down to play Fischer in the last round. He said to Saidy, "Show him we're not all children."

In other words, Saidy was the last player to have a shot at breaking Fischer's streak...

...but we all know what happened in that 11th round game.

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: I think Larsen made a similar comment after this U.S. Championship was over. I remember something like that because people considered it a sensation while Larsen made the remark.

The possibility of remembering it wrong is something I may have to consider in the nearby future. :P

Apr-09-15  Petrosianic: Larsen was commenting that Fischer's results had declined somewhat. The interviewer asked him about the 63/4 Championship? And Larsen made a comment to the fact that Americans played like children against Fischer. There may have been some amount of truth to that. Fischer was correctly seen as America's only hope for a world champion, but was semi-retired after Curacao, and Americans wanted to bring him back to chess, not deal him another defeat that would send him packing permanently. On the other hand, 11-0 is pretty hard to find fault with.

I don't think Saidy in particular was terribly motivated to stop the streak, although there were others in that tournament who were (cough, cough, Reshevsky, cough).

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: That's the one, thank you <Petrosianic>! I think that because of Fischer hype, Larsen's mid-60's stretch didn't get as much attention as he may have deserved. Easier for American chess star to find support during the Cold War.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Petrosianic> <I don't think Saidy in particular was terribly motivated to stop the streak, although there were others in that tournament who were (cough, cough, Reshevsky, cough).>

For whatever it's worth, in <The World of Chess> Saidy wrote that he played "resolutely" for a draw to try to break the streak.

<A.T PhoneHome:

Back to this game, Fischer's games in this U.S. Championship were surprisingly short, on average at least.>

I think that is a little unfair. He had three miniatures out of 11 games, which is a lot, but the Byrne game is mind-bogglingly great and the Benko game is awfully good. Then there's this Petrosianic has noted, the mystery is why he included it in <60MG>.

The other games were in the mid-30s up to 62 moves...all respectable length.

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: Sorry <keypusher>, I didn't intend to be unfair and you're right; he didn't have so many short games here. Just had a PROPER look and now I see it. Three games were short, the rest being from 35+ moves to 60+. Oh snap.

Hopefully I didn't appear ignorant!

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <A. TPhone Home> Well, looking closer I'm not sure you have anything to be sorry for...apart from the three miniatures there are four other games where Fischer's opponent gives up before move 40, meaning he didn't even bother getting to the time control and maybe adjourning the game. And none of those resignations looked premature to me (Evans, Bisguier, Addison, and Weinstein). So that's 7 games out of 11 that didn't reach the time control. That's got to be pretty unusual, doesn't it?
Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: Maybe so <keypusher>, but I admit that saying "Fischer's games in this U.S. Championship were surprisingly short, on average at least. Didn't Larsen remark something like "They played like children" or something to that effect?" doesn't sound so diplomatic.

That Larsen remark thing wasn't something I intended as a back-up for my OWN belief that Fischer's opponents here played like children (this is something someone might infer from my post above, who knows?).

I am not strong enough to evaluate their play here. But Larsen seemed to think that his opponents "played like children" which is what I referred to.

My emphasis was on the length of these games and not on the general level of play because these guys were/are obviously far stronger than I am.

And I agree that it is unusual that seven out of eleven games didn't reach the time control but once again I understand why you said my post was unfair.

And I thought that an apology was a polite thing to do.

Apr-09-15  Petrosianic: I don't know for sure if Larsen used the word "children". That might have been Evans only. Larsen might have only said something like "they play as if beaten before they start".

I believe the relevant comments are in Eliot Hearst's column in the July 1964 Chess Life, but I don't have it here to check.

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: Well I am paraphrasing so my wording isn't necessary the most reliable one. But he didn't speak of their play in an admiring manner, that's the bottom line.
Jun-12-19  Patzer Natmas: Game featured in "New in Chess - Tactics Training - Bobby Fischer"
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