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Robert James Fischer vs Pal Benko
"Break the Benko" (game of the day Aug-31-2012)
USA-ch (1965), New York, NY USA, rd 4, Dec-17
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Breyer Defense (C95)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: Un Mate de Gran Maestro, digan u opinen lo que gusten del Maestro Fischer, es un Gigante en su tiempo y aun más, rompe las barreras de ese tiempo, para ser inmortal en el ajedrez.
Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Geez.."break the Benko"? Horrible pun, great game.
Aug-31-12  Tiggler: <RookFile: I have to say, you look at White's king side pawn structure after move 22, it looks like a disaster area for White. It requires great judgement to realize it's ok for white.>

Actually, the opposite is true. 21. ... h5 was a real meathead move that only helps white, by giving him the half-open g file. A half-open file is one that only one side can profit from. The half-open h file in this case is of no possible future benefit to black.

Aug-31-12  lost in space: Wow! What a brilliant game!
Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Benko seemed hell-bent on self destruction here. I can't think why he gave away a pawn with 21...h5


click for larger view

Black has not the slightest sniff of a kingside attack, so the only one who is going to profit from the half open g file is white.

Then Fischer does what Fischer did best - he piles on the pressure on the weak pawn on g7. Triple heavy pieces on the file, push the h pawn, exchange off defenders and choose the right moment to exchange.

The finish is stunning, but I'm afraid it's another Benko mistake rather than a long-distance plan by Fischer. Here's the position after 36. Be4


click for larger view

White has a fabulous position, but he isn't yet ready for the final breakthrough. Black is just about hanging on.

From here, Benko commits suicide with 36...Qc8 allowing the finish we have seen. He really needed to keep his queen in the vicinty of e4 (say 37...Qd6) and then white's queen sac doesn't work because black is covering the subequent killer Bd5+

White would still win, but it would take quite a few more moves. Probably push the (other) h pawn up to h6 to protect the passer then play for piece exchanges to swap into a trivially won endgame.

A well played game by Fischer, although not a classic because of Benko's mistakes and the crude but effective "pile up on the g file" strategy Fischer uses.

Does Qe8+ deserve two exclams? Not for me. It's not particularly deep or hard to see and it only arose from a black error (36...Qc8?). But it's a pretty finish all the same and a worthy GOTD.

Aug-31-12  Garech: Beautiful game; very instuctive how Fischer exploits the light squares after 14...Bxf5.

The pun's a little esoteric for me, but I liked it anyway!

Cheers,

-Garech

Aug-31-12  Mudphudder: I felt like 31...Bc5? set off the cascade. Which, of course, ended with the spectacular Qe8+!!!!
Aug-31-12  Sem: It's all crystal clear.
Aug-31-12  Tired Tim: Monday problem - 37?
Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black will lose ROOK and QUEEN and will be mated soon after.
Aug-31-12  Tiggler: <Once: Benko seemed hell-bent on self destruction here.>

Perhaps you missed my earlier post about 21. ...h5? This might have been the weakest move of Benko's career until he topped it by giving Fischer his candidates' place in 1970.

Aug-31-12  Chessmensch: PlayPal
Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: A Mate of Grand Master, tell like you want the Maestro Fischer, is a giant in his time and even more, breaks the barriers of the time, to be immortal in chess
Aug-31-12  Tiggler: <juan31: A Mate of Grand Master, tell like you want the Maestro Fischer, is a giant in his time and even more, breaks the barriers of the time, to be immortal in chess>

Hmmm: ?How about the worst WC of all time who never played another rated game after he achieved his personal ambition?

Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: I dont now enof english but reach a dream like a World Champion to me is a Great acomplish, maybe for you is a litle one, but the Maestro is more far of any kind of discusion
Aug-31-12  Tiggler: <juan31> no problem with your english: your meaning is clear enough. But don't you think it was disappointing, to say the least, that he just quit playing? I think he had an obligation that went with his fame.
Aug-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Horrid game by Benko, particularly ...h5?? as <Tiggler> and <Once> said.
Apr-20-13  mig55: At all, after Re6 pf5xe6 wins also immediatly.
May-26-13  Damianx: how about the best of all time badly treated by others he isn,t the only one to tell them to jam it but it was 70s do you think Kasparov would of backed down
May-08-14  sicilianhugefun: Impressive, fantastic, stupendous, GENIUS.... What else!?
Jun-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Once:

Incorrect:

"From here, Benko commits suicide with 36...Qc8 allowing the finish we have seen. He really needed to keep his queen in the vicinty of e4 (say 37...Qd6) and then white's queen sac doesn't work because black is covering the subequent killer Bd5+

White would still win, but it would take quite a few more moves. Probably push the (other) h pawn up to h6 to protect the passer then play for piece exchanges to swap into a trivially won endgame."

White's plan is much clearer actually - get the pawn to h6 then prepare Re8+ with Bd5+ - this will be crushing when the g7 pawn is protected by the pawn on h6.

It is in fact a forced mate in 10 after 36..Qe5

Robert James Fischer - Pal Benko, New York ch-US Rd: 4 1965


click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 x64:

1. (#10): 37.h5 b4 38.h6 bxc3 39.Re1 Qxe4 40.fxe4 cxb2 41.e5 b1R 42.Rxb1 a5 43.e6 Rd1+ 44.Rxd1 Nf8 45.Qf7+ Kh7 46.gxf8Q# 2. (3.27): 37.Qg2 a5 38.a3 Qc5 39.Kh2 b4 40.cxb4 axb4

Jun-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl4...

Jul-24-20  phil master: I have seen this game in more than one you tube commentary. One question is what Fischer would have done if Benko had played 36...Q-d6 instead of Q-d8. I was following this tournament at the time as a young schoolboy. I had friends in New york who attended this tournament. They told me that Fischer at the end of the game said he had planned to march his king to h6 winning . This idea was later mentioned by Hans Kmoch inhis annotatios in Chess Review. There are many many remarkable ideas like this in Fischer's games
Feb-22-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: I would speculate that Benko played Qc8 to deny Bobby the immortal which would have been created with the king march to h6
Feb-22-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Carlsen recently missed a similar deflection in Carlsen vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2021
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