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Milan Matulovic vs Robert James Fischer
Match (1958), Belgrade YUG, rd 1, Jul-??
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Good performance of white.
May-07-06  Nezhmetdinov: The plan with B4 seems to take Bobby by surprise rather.
Jan-10-08  Petrosianic: Bobby seemed to be counting on his kingside counterplay, but the whole Ba4-d7-h3 maneuver really stops him in his tracks.

For some reason, this is the only surviving game of a 4 game match between Fischer and Matulovic. I've never heard the story behind why the other 3 games are lost, or how the match was arranged in the first place. We can assume it was an Interzonal tune-up, but beyond that...

Jan-13-12  iking: 39. Ba4 was a winner. The game is over
Jul-03-14  gametheory: RJF won the match 2-1-1 but even MM does not know or forgot what happened to the other 3 records as per "THE UNKNOWN BOBBY FISCHER" by Tangborn & Donaldson.

In those hard scrabble times RJF procured travel to Moscow from his "I'VE GOT A SECRET" television appearance; it would seem that Yugoslavia, where the legendary PORTOROZ interzonal was being held, was part of the itinerarium; along with the Log Cabin Chess club travels, they were mysterious, weird days for one of the most brilliant chess players ever whose latter years turned very tragic.

Jul-03-14  Petrosianic: Not every top player hung on to every game he played. Keres did, but he was remarkable in that respect. Petrosian played Keres in the Georgian Championship at age 17, and was so proud of drawing the game that he carried the scoresheet everywhere until he lost it. 20 year later, Keres was able to give him another copy of the game, which is why it's in the database now.

In the case of Fischer-Matulovic, it was probably quite informal. Probably no sponsors or anything who would want copies of the games. It seems like just a training match that they could have played almost anywhere. Matulovic probably knows what happened to his scoresheets, but doesn't want to admit that he just pitched them in the wastebasket, or his cleaning lady threw them out, or something as unglamorous as that.

Jul-03-14  Howard: Excuse me, but I think you mean that "Matulovic probably KNEW (not "knows")what happened to the scoresheets."

The reason for the past tense is that he's no longer with us---he died last October.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Maybe <Petrosianic> did not <know> until now that Matulovic has breathed his last.....
Jul-03-14  Howard: That's probably true. By the way, why the duplicate comment ? I'm reporting that to the NSA !

On second thought....why bother ? They've probably spotted it already. They seem to know just about everything nowadays.

Jul-07-21  Petrosianic: <perfidious: Maybe <Petrosianic> did not <know> until now that Matulovic has breathed his last.....>

No, I didn't at the time. I'm not used to anyone dying without seeing a hundred people trumpet it on Facebook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: What a fantastic game by Matulovic who happens to be a major Smith-Morra gambit player or as it was called "The Matulovic gambit" :)
Nov-23-21  ndg2: Bobby back then had no idea how to find counter play on the queen side. Nowadays everyone as black would play c6, b5 or something just to rip open center and / or queen side.

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