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Hans Berliner vs Robert James Fischer
United States Championship (1957/58), New York, NY USA, rd 6, Dec-26
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch. Closed Variation Main Line (E89)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-03-04  wall: If Black is looking for a draw, it looks drawish after 46...Qd4+ (the game move 46...Kf8 looks risky) 47.Kxa2 Qd2+ 48.Ka3 Qd3+ 49.Ka2 Qxg6.

The game ended a draw after 57...Qg7+ since 58.Qxg7+ Kxg7 59.b6 e3 60.b7 e2 and both sides queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A fascinating game during which both players seem to have missed wins. Instead of 39...a2+, Fischer could have played 39...axb2 40.Kxb2 Qd4+ 41.Kc2 Qxd5 with excellent winning chances. But the line he played is only equal, and gradually turns in White's favour when Black pushes too hard. Berliner's best chance was near the end: instead of 57.Kc7, 57.Qxh6+ Ke8 (or 57...Qg7 58.Qf4+ Kg8 59.Qxe4 etc) 58.Ka7 seems to win, eg, 58...Qa1+ 59.Kb7 Qd4 60.b6 -- when Black's own pawns and king impede his efforts to get a perpetual, while White is very close to promoting the g-pawn.

I suspect this game (between two future world champions, OTB and CC) would be better known if *either* player had won -- it gets overlooked as a 'mere' draw. It may also be significant that the critical missed wins, on move 39 and 57, were possibly both in time trouble.

Earlier, White's 31.Qxc1 was a mistake. 31.Kxc1 a5 32.Qb6 axb4 33.Qd8+ Kg7 34.Qe7+ is a draw.

Feb-15-12  Zugzwangovich: The Hays collection queries 56...Qf6 (giving 56...Qg7+) as correct) and marks White as having a winning advantage after 57. g7+. Is this correct? I guess the idea is that after 57...Qxg7, 58.Qxe4 and White's b5 passer will carry the day.
Jan-17-17  Howard: It appears that the just-deceased Berliner probably missed a forced win at the end, but it's hard to say for sure.
Jan-25-17  Howard: Can anyone elaborate here ?
Jan-25-17  Retireborn: <Howard> Houdini confirms the comments of the previous kibitzers: 56...Qf6 and 57.Kc7 are both blunders, whereas 56...Qg7 is equal, and 57.Qxh6+ or 57.g7+ would win. Also Fischer could have won with 39...axb2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Fischer knew he was lost near the end. It is in his first chess book ed. by Golombek which came out about 1959.

He outplayed Berliner but realised that a2+ was a mistake. And near the end both players, he thought, had missed wins. At one stage Berliner was in severe time trouble. He found a brilliant way to fight back when it was probably drawn, then he missed a win when Fischer went wrong, then Berliner missed that win after a complex and hard fought game.

Fischer and Berliner were aware of their errors soon after the game or during it. Fatigue played a big part. They were in the second time control at the end of the game.

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