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Pal Benko vs Robert James Fischer
"In Memoriam" (game of the day Aug-27-2019)
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 4, Aug-10
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-30-04  Knight13: Good game.
Jun-19-05  Knight13: I bet Fischer was upset losing this game. He played worse in this game than any other games he played against Benko.
Jun-27-05  sfm: After 29.♘d5 it is quite clear that the black position is not the best one.. :-)
Apr-03-06  ycensor: A great positional game by Pal Benko.
Beginning with 26 Qg5!, he shows how
not to be a material grub but instead put pieces on devastating squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Blacks position looks pretty shaky but it is hard to believe that 18..c5 is the right move. Benko did not play 24 Bxf6..Bxf6 25 fxg because the bishops of opposite colors would have given black good defensive chances. Benko doesn't mention 26 Bxd8 though it clearly looks suicidal for white. After 28..f6 Fischer had clearly lost the strategical battle. 39 Kh2 would have won even quicker.
Sep-22-07  D4n: I'll have to read that book...
Jun-09-12  GrenfellHunt: 38. Rd7! is a lovely move. Put that one in a tactics book. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A good win by Benko -- I'm surprised that there hasn't been more commentary on it, given the popularity of Fischer. Or maybe that's the reason -- Fischer fans don't like to see losses? I used to have a copy of Mednis' book 'How to Beat Bobby Fischer'. Not that I ever got the chance to try...
Apr-12-14  john barleycorn: <domdaniel> "How to Beat Bobby Fischer"? Is it another try to swing out a dollar of Fischer's name? Looks like those "funny" books on gambling that show you how to become a casino's worst nightmare. And of course, a fan doesn't like to see losses of her/his hero. What do you expect? But losses are part of the game.

What exactly is your point?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <JB> Uh, read the Mednis book. It's about 30 years old.
Jul-12-16  Zoroastre1o1: I read this in chess-com yesterday:

" The famous American grandmaster and chess composer has probably played hundreds of thousands of moves throughout his illustrious chess career. Which one is the best?

Here is what Pal Benko wrote in Chess Life magazine (April 2016).

"With my long career it is difficult to pinpoint a single 'best move'. I find it more interesting to give my best move against Fischer, which occurred in our first meeting." "

Mr. GM Benko enphasises on 19. h4!, as the topic of the article in is "best pawn move". "Waekening the king side" he says, even when both players castled king side.

This is exemplary lasting initiative carefully conducted to brilliant conclusion. Against strong player, even Bobby Fischer could do nothing against a bad position.

Aug-10-16  zydeco: Benko's notes on this game are very good and reveal his state of mind for his first game against Fischer. He knew that Fischer was a strong opponent but thought he could outfox him with a tricky opening.

Sure enough, the surprise move 7.Bg5!? (varying on Fuster's play against Fischer earlier in the tournament) provokes Fischer into unnecessarily giving up the centre. The right approach, says Benko, was 7....Nc6 8.d5 Nd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.Qxd4 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 with compensation for the pawn.

Benko felt pretty good about things after 11....g5 and 13....d6 - he felt that Fischer was playing like a typical teenager in a positional game, psychologically incapable of solid, passive defense and creating weaknesses out of impatience.

With 14....Qa5, says Benko, he began "to appreciate the skills of [his] young opponent." The move is a positional sacrifice: if 15.Qxd6 Rfd8 16.Qa3 Qxa3 17.bxa3 and white's queenside is "a shambles."

But Benko was a step ahead and switched back to the kingside, showing that Fischer's queen was misplaced.

Benko was also impressed by 17....Qc7 and 23....Qf8, both of which showed good judgment.

After 26.Bxd8 Bd4+ turns the tables, but 26.Qg5! is a complete answer,

39.Kh2 was much simpler. Benko says that he was in terrible time trouble and missed black's reply to 39.Kf2.

Aug-30-17  Toribio3: Good job by Benko. The kingside of Fischer was weakened by several pawn pushes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Pay Pal?

Marvelous work by Benko.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Here is a nice, little-known game by Benko. K Korody vs Benko, 1951
Aug-27-19  ACMEKINGKRUSHER: Rest In PEACE PAL BENKO! GALLANT CHESS WARRIOR! Beat "Bobby" '58,'60, & '62!!! Not many persons Beat "Bobby" once much less 3 Times! You're also known to have given your Spot" in the Inter-zonals where FISCHER went on to Become WORLD CHAMPION! Thanks from 1 player who appreciates your Generosity! What an effect on history that one deed has had! RIP to a Fine Man! p.s. "Benkos Baffler's" is also an EXCELLENT Piece of Journalism in CHESS LIFE Every Month! Thanks PAL!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Benko has passed away?
Aug-27-19  Pyrandus: Benkö Pál ( - 26. 8. 2019.)
Aug-27-19  Ironmanth: Superb game. RIP Grandmaster.
Aug-28-19  laskerdog: Nice gesture to put one of Benkös great games on display. I particularly liked the endplay from move 34. Regarding another GOD from a couple of years ago, does someone remember “Pawnmover man”? Please direct me to the actual game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DWTaylorSr: The "Chess World " has lost a great person with the passing of Pal Benko. We will all miss his informative articles. I still enjoy playing through his games against the masters of the previous generations. Rest in peace .
Sep-09-19  saturn2: <plang Benko doesn't mention 26 Bxd8 though it clearly looks suicidal for white.>

Indeed after 26. Bxd8 Qxd8 there are the threats Qh4 and Bd4+ (followed by Ne3+ winning back the exchange undergood circumstances).

Later Fisher recommended white to play Saemisch against Kingindian- maybe also under impression of this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: News to me re Benko.

I'm sad.

Bobby loved Benko and I'm sure the feeling was mutual.

I know Pal Benko thru Bobby but Pal Benko was a great chess player. Pretty sure he escaped the Ruskies clampdooooon in Hungary during the uprising there but will check it oooot.

Without ROBERT FISCHER he would have been chess champion of the USA many many times

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Why's nobody mentioning the time that Benko punched Bobby in the head!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Why's nobody mentioning the time that Benko punched Bobby in the head!?>

Did he hurt his hand?

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