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Samuel Reshevsky vs Robert James Fischer
United States Championship (1965), New York, NY USA, rd 9, Dec-25
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-25-08  Peter Nemenyi: In How to Beat Bobby Fischer Mednis agrees that Fischer was beaten out of the opening here, choosing 10...d6 as the losing move, and claiming that 10...d5 would have been better. He explains Bobby's spiritless play this way: "Bobby had lost in the preceding round to R. Byrne. For this reason, in one of the very rare instances in his career, Bobby here decided to play safely for a draw. To achieve a draw, what is required is not safe moves, but good moves!"
Sep-25-08  RookFile: I'm sure you're right. The decision is odd for a couple of reasons. First: Reshevsky with white against the Nimzo Indian awesome. He put big league victories up on the board against the most famous names you can imagine, who tried this against him.

Second - Fischer had already, on multiple occasions, succesfully defended against Reshevsky's method of playing against the King's Indian, which often involved an exchange system. He could have just played this way again, and probably would have made his draw.

Sep-26-08  drukenknight: erdk: I am not sure what position you are looking at but if 43....Nc3 44 Re5 leads to mate in one after 44....Nh5+ . Hmm maybe this game wasnt lost in the opening?
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  perfidious: Long ago, Mednis suggested 10....d5 as an improvement over the text; while I don't recall his supporting analysis, the positions arising from lines such as 11.cxd5 Qxd5 can hardly be worse for Black than the static, strategically disadvantageous situation he faced in the actual game. Any GM would be happy with the position White got in this game, and Reshevsky made a living from these!
Mar-21-11  gazzawhite: <drukenknight: erdk: I am not sure what position you are looking at but if 43....Nc3 44 Re5 leads to mate in one after 44....Nh5+ . Hmm maybe this game wasnt lost in the opening?>

There is no knight that can move to h5. The only knight is on c3.

May-30-12  kasparvez: The Nimzo Indian had caused Fischer a few hiccups. His record against it [as Black] is 9 wins and 6 losses, way below his winning average in other openings.
May-30-12  RookFile: Of course, I would love to have the problem of only getting 9 wins for every 6 losses in any black defense I played.
Mar-19-13  minibikeguy: Sammy's four pawn row at move 17 was the turning point in this game.... look at Sammy's overwhelming concentration of firepower aimed at Fisher's King. I also like and agree with JohnnyRambo's comment, "... it's humorous that this is called the "Fischer" variation of the Nimzo...when you consider that Reshevsky played this opening... in 1938, varying with 9. Bxe4.... a few years before Fischer was even born."
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  perfidious: <RookFile> If only-especially if we were playing opposition of this calibre!
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  hudman653: I must be missing something here but why doesn't Fischer play 56. RF3 Check winning the queen ??
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  stoy: I assume that white wins the king & pawn ending after black captures the white queen.
Jul-16-18  Owl: If Fischer didn't move his king to kh6... he could of create a drawish blockade
Jul-16-18  Albion 1959: To Peter Nemenyi - I cannot possibly believe that Fischer had a lost game as early as move 9 after playing d6, instead of d5. I can guarantee that if I put this through any search engine, the losing move will occur much later than move 9! To Hudman 653. At first glance it looks as if 56 Rf3+ win the queen, which hit does, but...after 57. Kb4 Rxb3+
58. axb Reshevsky will win the pawn race, since Fischer's tripled pawns cannot create a passed pawn on their own. To think that this was only third (and last game)that Fischer lost in the US Championship !
Jul-16-18  ewan14: What if 30 ..... Nf6 ?
Jul-16-18  Nerwal: <What if 30 ..... Nf6 ?>

30... ♘f6 31. ♕g5 intending to sac on h6 is crushing.

Jul-16-18  ewan14: Thanks
Jul-17-18  DWINS: Bobby was off his game here and was lost in the opening. Stockfish 9 had Sammy at +1.5 after 16.Nf5. It's rare to see Fischer lost so early in a game.

Sammy handled the rest of the game well and the win was never in doubt, but he missed a killing shot with 34.e6!! and Black's game completely collapses.

White threatens the decisive 35.exf7! and Black has no way to defend since his f-pawn can't move because of the mate in two starting with Qxg6+ and the knight on g6 can't retreat to the back rank because it's all over after Rg1. Black has to lose material and shortly there after the game. Stockfish 9 was showing mates all over the place. I love this move!

Jul-17-18  Howard: In Mednis' excellent book How to Beat Bobby Fischer, he makes the comment regarding this game, "The length of this game is somewhat deceptive. It's Sammy's game all the way."

In other words, it's like this was a tooth-and-nail struggle for 61 moves. Sammy was in charge most of the way and merely missed at least a couple quicker wins.

Oct-15-19  RookFile: Some players, when they are winning, just focus on denying any counterplay to the opponent. They want the sure win, even if it takes longer. Reshevsky was of that school.
Oct-15-19  RandomVisitor: After 10.Qxd3, the computer prefers a clever repositioning with d6, h6 and Nh7, calling the position even. <Whitehat1963> previously mentioned that Fischer played this line again against Reshevsky in 1970 Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1970, perhaps after working out these very details.

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<52/68 1:52:17 0.00 10...d6 11.e4 h6 12.e5 Nh7> 13.Re1 Qd7 14.Bf4 Re8 15.d5 Na6 16.Nd4 exd5 17.cxd5 Nc5 18.Qc4 dxe5 19.Bxe5 Nf8 20.Nc6 Ng6 21.Bg3 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Re8 23.Rxe8+ Qxe8 24.h3 Qe1+ 25.Qf1 Qe4 26.c4 Nd3 27.Bxc7 Qxc4 28.d6 Qxc6 29.Qxd3 Nf8 30.Kh2 Qa4 31.Qe2 Ne6 32.Qf3 Qc4 33.Qa8+ Kh7 34.Qc8 Qf4+ 35.Kg1 Qd2 36.d7 Qc1+ 37.Kh2 Nxc7 38.d8Q Qf4+ 39.Kg1 Qc1+

Oct-15-19  RandomVisitor: White could have improved, possibly with 9.Be2, possibly 9.Ne1

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<51/71 3:42:47 +0.35 9.Be2 Bb7 10.Nd2 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.f3> Bb7 13.Qc2 c5 14.Bd3 h6 15.f4 d5 16.cxd5 exd5 17.dxc5 Nd7 18.cxb6 axb6 19.Rd1 Nc5 20.Be2 Ne4 21.Bf3 Re8 22.c4 Qc7 23.Bb2 Qxc4 24.Qb3 Qxb3 25.axb3 b5 26.Rac1 Ra2 27.Rc2 Nd6 28.Rd3 b4 29.Kf2 Nf5 30.Rcd2 Nd6 31.Be5 Ne4+ 32.Bxe4 dxe4 33.Rd7 Bc6 34.R7d4 Rxd2+ 35.Rxd2 f6 36.Bd6

<49/77 1:57:40 +0.21 9.Ne1 Nc6 10.Be2> Na5 11.f3 Bb7 12.e4 Ba6 13.e5 Ne8 14.c5 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 d6 16.f4 Qd7 17.Nc2 bxc5 18.dxc5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Qd5 20.Ba3 Qc4 21.Qe3 Nc6 22.Rf4 Qa6 23.Rd1 h6 24.Qe4 Rb8 25.Rff1 f6 26.exf6 Rxf6 27.Bc1 Qxa2 28.Bf4 e5 29.Bg3 Qe6 30.Rfe1 Rf5 31.Qa4 Rb2 32.Ne3 Rg5 33.Qc4 Qxc4 34.Nxc4 Rc2 35.Nxe5 Nxe5 36.Rxe5 Rxe5 37.Bxe5 Nf6 38.Bxc7 Rxc3

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  marcusantoinerome: There was a second adjournment, too. Reshevsky sealed 61. h5 and Fischer resigned. According to an eyewitness, they then discussed the game amicably.
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  saffuna: Kasparov writes that Fischer's problems began with 12...Nbd7, allowing the white knight into h4.
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  perfidious: Believe Mednis mentioned Fischer's twelfth move as 'the losing moment'.
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  FSR: The game was played on December 25? Not a great Christmas present for Bobby, especially coming immediately after his loss in Fischer vs R Byrne, 1965. (Yes, I know that Reshevsky was Jewish and thus probably not in the habit of giving Christmas presents.)
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