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Dragoljub Minic vs Robert James Fischer
"Can't Minic This" (game of the day Jul-10-2008)
Rovinj/Zagreb (1970), Rovinj/Zagreb YUG, rd 3, Apr-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Main Line (B99)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-11-13  patzer2: Here's an analysis using Fritz 12 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6> The Najdorf variation was one of Fischer's favorites as Black. According to the chessgames.com database, 49% of the games Fischer played as Black against 1. e4 (77 of 137 gamses) were Sicilian Najdorfs.

<6. Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4> Fischer played this before in Smyslov vs Fischer, 1959 and Gligoric vs Fischer, 1959, where the final move 57...Kb8 = was the solution for last Tuesday's puzzle.

<10...b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. a3 Rb8 14. h4 b4 15. axb4 Rxb4 16. Bh3 O-O?> This was a mistake, overlooking the strong demolition 17. Nxe6! to .

Instead 16... Qb6! as analyzed by <Random Visitor> avoids this possibility and keeps a solid grip on the position.

<17. Nf5?!> White overlooks the strong 17. Nxe6! fxe6 18. Bxe6+ Kh8 19. Nd5 , when White maintains a lasting initiative after 19...Qc5 (19... Qc4 20. b3 Qxe4 21. Qc3 Qxe6 22. Qxb4 Bd8 23. Rhe1 Qf7 24. Qxd6 Qg6 25. Qb4 ) 20. Nxe7 Ne5 21. Qc3 Bxe6 22. Qxc5 dxc5 23. fxe5 Rxe4 24. Nc6 Kg8 25. b3 .

<17... Nc5!> Fischer wisely declines the poisoned Knight offer with this solid defensive and developing move.

If 17...exf5?, then 18. Nd5 Qa5 19. Qc3!

(weaker is 19. Nxe7+ Kh8 and Black has drawing chances after 20. Bxf5 Qa1+ 21. Kd2 Qxb2 22. Qh5 Rd4+ 23. Ke2 Qxc2+ 24. Ke3 Qc3+ 25. Ke2 g6 26. Bxg6 fxg6 27. Nxg6+ Kg7 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. Ne7+ Kh8 30. Ng6+ Kg8 31. Ne7+ Kh8 32. Ng6+ Kg8 =.)

19... Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Qxb2 21. Nxb4 Qxc3+ 22. Kxc3 to .

Mar-11-13  patzer2: <18. Nxe7+ Qxe7 19. h5 Bb7 20. h6 Bxe4 21. Nxe4 Nxe4 22. hxg7 Rc8!> This strong move combines defense and offense in wisely declining the poisoned pawn offer.

Weak is 22... Kxg7?, when play could continue 23. Bg2! Rc8 24. Rxh7+! Kxh7 25. Qh5+ Kg7 26. Qh6+ Kg8 27. Bxe4 Rxe4 28. Rh1 Re1+ 29. Rxe1 Qc7 30. Qh2 Kf8 31. Kb1 Ke7 32. g6 Qa5 33. Qh4+ Kd7 34. g7 Rb8 35. Qf2 Rg8 36. Rd1 Rxg7? (36... Qc7 37. Qd4 Ke7 38. f5 exf5 39. Re1+ Kd7 40. Qa4+ Kd8 41. Re3 f6 42. Qxa6 Rxg7 43. Qa8+ Qc8 44. Re8+ Kxe8 45. Qxc8+ ) 37. Qd4 Rg8 38. Qxd6+ Kc8 39. Qd7+ Kb8 40. Qxf7 Rd8 41. Rxd8+ Qxd8 42. Qxe6 .

<23. Rh2 Ra4 24. Kb1?> This natural move loses.

Black's last chance at resistance was 24. b3! (as posted by <Jimfromprovidence>) when play might continue 24...Ra1+ 25. Kb2 Rxd1 26. Qxd1 f5 27. gxf6 Qxf6+ 28. Ka3 Rc5 29. Qe1 Kxg7 30. c4 d5 31. Rh1 h5 .

<24... d5 25. c4 Raxc4 26. Bf1 Rb4!>

Also winning, with less complexity than the game continuation, is 26... Nc3+! 27. bxc3 [27. Kc2 Rxf4 28. Qe3 (28. Qh3 Nxd1+ 29. Kxd1 Rxf1+ 30. Qxf1 Qxg5 ) 28... Nxd1+ 29. Kxd1 Rxf1+ 30. Ke2 Rcc1 ] 27... Rxc3 .

<27. Qh3 Nc3+!!> This solution to our "insane" Sunday puzzle was probably anticipated by Fischer several moves earlier.

<28. Kc1>

If 28. Kc2, then Black wins after 28...Na4+ 29. Kb1 (29. Kd2 Rxb2+ 30. Ke3 Rxh2 31. Qxh2 e5 32. fxe5 Qxg5+ ) 29... Rxb2+! 30. Rxb2 Nc3+ .

<28... Na4+ 29. Kb1 Rxb2+ 30. Rxb2 Nc3+ 31. Kc1>

If 31. Kc2 (Crafty's reply at <David2009>'s link), then Black wins after 31...Qa3! 32. Bd3 Ne4+ 33. Kb1 h5 34. gxh6 Nc3+ 35. Kc1 Qa1+ 36. Kd2 Qxd1+ 37. Ke3 Qc1+ 38. Kf3 Qxb2 39. Qg2 (39. h7+ Kxg7 40. Qg3+ Kh8 ) 39... Qxg2+ 40. Kxg2 a5 .

<31... Qa3!>

This strong move is an essential follow-up to 27...Nc3+!!

<32. Bd3 Qa1+ 33. Kd2>

If 33. Rb1, then 33...Nxb1+ 34. Bc2 Na3+ 35. Kd2 Qd4+ 36. Ke1 Nxc2+ 37. Ke2 Qxf4 .

If 33. Bb1, then 33...Nxb1+ 34. Rc2 Nc3+ 35. Kd2 Qxd1+ 36. Ke3 d4+ 37. Kf2 Ne4+ 38. Kg2 Rxc2#.

<33... Qxb2+ 34. Ke1 Ne4 0-1>

Black resigns a clearly lost position in lieu of such possibilities as 35. Be2 Rc3 36. Qg4 Rg3 37. Qh5 Rg1+ 38. Bf1 Qf2#.

Mar-11-13  Boomie: <Garech: In the line you gave, how about 19...Qc4!?>

Hi, Garech. Thanks for the response.

This is truly a Talesque position in that the best moves are both difficult to find and beautiful.

19...Qc4 20. b3 Qc5

(20...Qxe4? 21. Qc3 Qxe6 22. Qxb4 Bd8 23. Rhe1 Qf7 24. Qxd6 )


click for larger view

White's position is overwhelming. Morphy would have loved to play this.

21. Bxd7 Bxd7 22. Nxe7 Bg4 23. Qxg4 Rxb3 24. Nd5 Qa3+ 25. Kd2 Rg3 26. Ra1 Qxa1 27. Rxa1 Rxg4 28. Rxa6 Rd8


click for larger view

22...Bg4 is a deflection move to remember. Black may be able to hold this but it won't be easy.

Mar-11-13  RandomVisitor: After 12...Nd7


click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.20] d=23 13.f5 0-0 14.Rg1 b4 15.Nce2 e5 16.f6 exd4 17.fxe7 Re8 18.Nxd4 Ne5 19.Qb3 Rb8 20.Nf5 Be6 21.Qe3 Bxa2 22.Rxd6 Be6 23.Rxa6

Mar-12-13  patzer2: Correction to analysis above:

<Black's> should be White's <last chance at resistance was 24. b3! (as posted by <Jimfromprovidence>) when play might continue 24...Ra1+ 25. Kb2 Rxd1 26. Qxd1 f5 27. gxf6 Qxf6+ 28. Ka3 Rc5 29. Qe1 Kxg7 30. c4 d5 31. Rh1 h5 > should be favoring Black.

<Black resigns> should be White resigns <a clearly lost position in lieu of such possibilities as 35. Be2 Rc3 36. Qg4 Rg3 37. Qh5 Rg1+ 38. Bf1 Qf2#.>

Mar-12-13  patzer2: <Boomie><Garech>

After <17. Nxe6!> (The strong demolition move White missed) <17...fxe6 18. Bxe6+ Kh8 19. Nd5 Qc4 20. b3 Qc5 21. Bxd7>, perhaps 21. Bf4! , threatening 22. Qh5 improves.


click for larger view

From here, after 21. Bf4!, practically forced is 21...Rxf4 22. Nxb5 Rf8 23. Nd5


click for larger view

when White, with two extra pawns both Rooks and a dominating position, has more than sufficient compensation for Black's extra piece.

Mar-12-13  patzer2: Correction: <From here, after 21. Bf4!, practically forced is 21...Rxf4> should be 21...Rxf5 <22...Nxb5> should be 22...Nxb4 <22...Rf8 23. Nd5 >
Mar-12-13  Boomie: <patzer2: After <17. Nxe6!> (The strong demolition move White missed) <17...fxe6 18. Bxe6+ Kh8 19. Nd5 Qc4 20. b3 Qc5 21. Bxd7>, perhaps 21. Bf4!>

Making some corrections to your post. Maybe you had the board turned around?

21. Bf5 Rxf5 22. Nxb4 Bb7 23. Nd5 Rf8 24. b4 Qc6 25. Qc3 Qxc3 26. Nxc3


click for larger view

21. Bf5 seems to work, too. White has a slight edge. Although engines may be able to play this down to a draw, I doubt humans could. Too bad we didn't get to see Fischer play this.

Mar-15-13  RandomVisitor: Final look after 12...Nd7:

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.23] d=27 13.f5 0-0 14.Rg1 b4 15.Nce2 e5 16.f6 exd4 17.fxe7 Re8 18.Nxd4 Ne5 19.Qf4 Qc5 20.Rg3 Rxe7 21.Nf5 Rc7 22.Rg2 Qa5 23.Kb1 Be6 24.b3 Ng6 25.Qf2 Rc5 26.Nxd6

Mar-16-13  Boomie: <<patzer2: After <17. Nxe6!> (The strong demolition move White missed)

<17...fxe6 18. Bxe6+ Kh8 19. Nd5 Qc4 20. b3 Qc5 21. Bxd7>, perhaps 21. Bf4!>

Making some corrections to your post. Maybe you had the board turned around?

21. Bf5 Rxf5 22. Nxb4 Bb7 23. Nd5 Rf8 24. b4 Qc6 25. Qc3 Qxc3 26. Nxc3>

Now I can correct my own darn mistakes. I mixed up two lines here. The line should read:

21. Bf5 Rxf5 22. Nxb4 Rf8 23. Nd5 Bd8 24. b4 Qc6 25. Qc3 Qxc3 26. Nxc3

Somehow I managed to put up the right diagram.

Oct-23-13  pixel pusher: just an amazing game. that annoying knight dances around the queenside helping with the rook "sac" and chasing the king until it prevents and threatens mate with the same move. this is one of my favorite fischer games. are there any other games where the last move prevents and threatens mate on the last move or any other move? what about with only the knight?
Aug-01-14  Ke2: A bit like Nakamura - Carlsen '14.
Aug-01-14  Ke2: Just in the pattern on the black Kside I mean.
May-04-15  Howard: For the record, Chess Life & Review analyzed this game back in late 1987 or early 1988 in a column called "The Chess of Bobby Fischer", but I don't recall anything that it said except that Fischer's 16...0-0 was a mistake.
May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Howard> 16...0-0 does allow an interesting sacrice 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Bxe6+ Kh8 19.Nd5, but find it difficult to believe that Fischer was unaware of this possibility and wasn't prepared for it.

Perhaps he would have played 19...Qb7, as Browne did in a later game from this tournament, while Houdini also finds 19...Qb8 and 19...Qc4 rather unclear.

Sadly this was the last time Fischer faced 10.g4 and we will probably never know now what his thoughts were.

May-04-15  Nerwal: <16...0-0 does allow an interesting sacrice 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Bxe6+ Kh8 19.Nd5, but find it difficult to believe that Fischer was unaware of this possibility and wasn't prepared for it.>

Polugaevsky strongly implies 16... 0-0 was a preparation as 16... ♘c5 was the usual move back then (13. a3 was the big main line at the time). Then he quotes a Kuzmin - Grigorian game played the following year featuring 19... ♕c4.

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Nerwal> I'm no Najdorf expert, but certainly my impression is that 13.a3 isn't played very often at a high level these days.
May-04-15  Nerwal: There was a gradual switch from 13. a3 to 13. f5 starting by the end of the 60s. Since the 80s 13. f5 is the overwhelming main choice.
Nov-19-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessdreamer: Game 483 in the book "Yugoslav Chess Triumphs" (authors Trifunovic, Gligoric, Maric and Janosevic), Chess Informant 1976.
Jul-04-20  pixel pusher: Picture from this encounter:
https://en.chessbase.com/post/tourn...
Mar-06-21  Gaito: After 16...O-O?! (⌓ 16...Qb6=), the following position was reached.


click for larger view

Computer analysis of the hypothetical move 17.Nxe6 with Stockfish 13 (at a rate of 30 seconds per move in a very fast computer): 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Bxe6+ Kh8 19.Nd5 Qb8 20.Nxe7 Ne5 21.Qc3 Bxe6 22.fxe5 Rc4 23.Qd3 Rf2 24.Nd5 Rcxc2+ 25.Qxc2 Rxc2+ 26.Kxc2 h5 27.gxh6 g6 (∞) (numerical evaluation: +0.11). See diagram below:


click for larger view

Mar-06-21  Gaito: In a comment above (8 years ago) patzer 2 showed an old analysis using Fritz 12. But now, eight years later, we are lucky to have some engines that are more powerful and more reliable than Fritz 12, and the conclusion is that 17.Nxe6 is not really as "strong" as it seemed long ago in the forgotten days when Fritz ruled the world of chess engines. Eight years ago patzer2 wrote:

"16...O-O? This was a mistake, overlooking the strong demolition 17. Nxe6!"

Stronger engines like LcZero and SF13 believe that 16...O-O was no mistake at all. It is a perfectly playable move, and 17.Nxe6 is far from being a "strong demolition". Apparently Fritz 12 did not consider 19...Qb8 in his analysis. Of course, as the years are passing, stronger chess engines are appearing and more powerful computers are substituting the old machines. If somebody should read this comment ten years from now in the year 2031, maybe they will already have AlphaZero27 or Stockfish 35 or something like that, and the analysis will be ever more and more conclusive and more accurate. But at this moment (year 2021) the most reliable engines are LcZero, Komodo 14 and SF13. And all of them are unanimous: 17.Nxe6 would not have been a winning move for White.

Mar-07-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Retireborn....Perhaps (Fischer) would have played 19...Qb7, as Browne did in a later game from this tournament, while Houdini also finds 19...Qb8 and 19...Qc4 rather unclear....>

Believe 19....Qc4 was mentioned as ! in the Wade collection of Fischer's games.

Mar-07-21  Granny O Doul: At the end of the Seventies, the popular line was 16...Qc5 17. Nb3 Qb6, intending ...Nc5. 13. f5 regained popularity a few years later when Bela Perenyi discovered the Rg1-g7 idea after 13...Nc5 14. f6 gxf6 15. gxf6 Bf8.

My memory is that this was the only defeat of a Yugoslav by a non- to appear in Yugoslav Chess Triumphs. Maybe Fischer had honorary status.

Sep-05-21  RookFile: To put it mildly, it's naive to think Fischer wasn't ready for Nxe6.
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