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Renato Naranja vs Robert James Fischer
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 8, Nov-19
English Opening: Symmetrical. Normal Variation (A34)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-19-09  Al2009: But what 25 Nb5??? and what endgame???

Naranja could forcedly win in center game, and in less than 10 moves with the beautiful exchange sac 19 Rd5!!

With three main variations:

1) 19...Nxd5 20. Nxd5, Bf6 (unique) 21. Nxf6+!, Qxf6 (if 21...gxf 22. Bd3! ) 22. Rg3+, Kh8 23. Qxf6+, exf6 24. Bb2!, h5 (unique) 25. Bxf6+, Kh7 26. Bd3+, Kh6 27. Bg7 #

2) 19...Qc2. 20. Bh6! (with the idea Rg5), Nxd5 21. Nxd5, Qxe2 (21...Bxh6 22. Qxh6, Qxe2 23. Rg3+, Bg4 24. Nxe7+! wins) 22. Nxe7+, Qxe7 (unique) 23. Qxe7, Bxh6 24. Qg3+, Bg7 25. Qf6

3) 19...Qg6 20. Rg5!, Qc2 21. Bb2!, Kh8 (unique) 22. Rxg7!, Kxg7 23. Nd5! and wins (if 23...Qb1+ 24. Bf1 followed by Bxf6+ or Rg3 winning).

Find a defence for Black to 19. Rd5!! and let me know if you find it.

Nov-19-09  Al2009: In the variation after 19.Rd5!!, Nxd5 20. Nxd5, if 20...Qc2 then 21. Bh6!, Qxe2 22. Nxe7+, Kh8 23. Bxg7+, Kxg7 24. Rg3+, winning.

The exchange sacrifice 19. Rd5!! is the best move and is quickly winning because it is the best way to turn away a strong piece (Nf6) from King's defence, and in the same time it opens the way to the mortal attack by Rb3 against the black castle.

Nov-19-09  zanshin: <Al2009> Rybka 3 after <19.Rd5?!>:


click for larger view

[+0.00] d=19 19...Nxd5 20.Nxd5 Qc2 21.Bh6 Be5 22.Bf1 Be6 23.Nxe7 Kh8 24.Bxf8 Rxf8 25.Re3 f6 26.Re2 Qb1 27.Re1 Qc2 28.Re2 Qb1 29.Re1 Qc2 30.Re2 Qb1 31.Re1 Qc2 32.Re2 Qb1 33.Re1 Qc2 34.Re2 Qb1 (0:10.16) 79635kN

In your line:

<1) 19...Nxd5 20. Nxd5, Bf6 (unique) 21. Nxf6+!, Qxf6 (if 21...gxf 22. Bd3! ) 22. Rg3+, Kh8 23. Qxf6+, exf6 24. Bb2!, h5 (unique) 25. Bxf6+, Kh7 26. Bd3+, Kh6 27. Bg7 #>

It seems that <20...Bf6> is questionable. I asked Rybka to analyze just the top preference (20...Qc2 at low ply) and compared it with 20...Bf6. Note the difference in numerical evaluation and how analysis is stopped after only 11 plies.

[+0.00] d=18 20...Qc2 21.Bh6 Be5 22.Bf1 Be6 23.Nxe7 Kh8 24.Bxf8 Rxf8 25.Re3 f6 26.Re2 Qb1 27.Re1 Qc2 28.Re2 Qb1 29.Re1 Qc2 30.Re2 Qb1 31.Re1 Qc2 32.Re2 Qb1 33.Re1 Qc2 34.Re2 Qb1 35.Re1 Qc2 (0:27.23) 217304kN

[+9.95] d=11 20...Bf6 21.Nxe7 (0:00.10) 1500kN

Nov-19-09  zanshin: <Al2009: In the variation after 19.Rd5!!, Nxd5 20. Nxd5, if 20...Qc2 then 21. Bh6!, Qxe2 22. Nxe7+, Kh8 23. Bxg7+, Kxg7 24. Rg3+, winning.>

In this line, <21...Qxe2??> loses. Better is <21...Be5>


click for larger view

[+0.00] d=18 21...Be5 22.Bf1 Be6 23.Bxf8 Rxf8 24.Nxe7 Kh8 25.Re3 Bg7 26.Bd3 Qd1 27.Kf2 Qd2 28.Kf1 Qd1 29.Kf2 Qd2 30.Kf1 Qd1 31.Kf2 Qd2 32.Kf1 Qd1 33.Kf2 Qd2 34.Kf1 Qd1 35.Kf2 Qd2 36.Kf1 Qd1 (0:09.47) 76209kN

Nov-19-09  WhiteRook48: Naranja seemed to press a bit hard for the win
Nov-20-09  Al2009: Sorry for you, zanshin + WhiteRook.

21...Be5 doesn't save Black at all.

After 22. Rg3+! Kh8 (the only one, if 22...Bxg3 23. Qg5+ Qg6 24. Nxe7+ etc.) 23. Qxe7! threatening Nf6, and now if 23.... Qxe2 24. Bg7+! wins, 23...Rae8 24. Qxe5!+ wins

If 23...Bd4+ 24. Be3 Qc1+ 25. Kf2 Bxe3+ 26. Rxe3 wins

Nov-20-09  Eyal: <Al2009: [19.Rd5 Nxd5 20.Nxd5 Qc2 21.Bh6] 21...Be5 doesn't save Black at all.

After 22. Rg3+! Kh8 (the only one, if 22...Bxg3 23. Qg5+ Qg6 24. Nxe7+ etc.) 23. Qxe7! threatening Nf6, and now if 23.... Qxe2 24. Bg7+! wins, 23...Rae8 24. Qxe5!+ wins>

Nice lines, but Black is winning nonetheless by 23...Rg8! (btw, the real threat of 23.Qxe7 is indeed Qxe5+; Nf6 would lose to Bd4+, where after Be3 Qxe2 there's no Bxd4 with check because the knight on f6 blocks the diagonal).

Nov-20-09  zanshin: <Eyal: Nice lines, but Black is winning nonetheless by 23...Rg8!>

This looks correct. After <19. Rd5 Nxd5 20. Nxd5 Qc2 21. Bh6 Be5 22. Rg3+ Kh8 23. Qxe7>


click for larger view

[-2.30] d=19 23...Rg8 24.Bf1 Rxg3 25.hxg3 Qf5 26.Be3 Bc6 27.Bf2 Re8 28.Qc7 Kg7 29.Ne3 Qg6 30.Qa5 a6 31.b5 axb5 32.cxb5 Be4 33.Qe1 d5 34.a4 (0:19.42) 148439kN

Nov-20-09  Al2009: After 23...Rg8 not 24. Bf1, but 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25. Bf1 Bd4+ 26. Be3, Bxe3+ 27. Qxe3 with complications.

However, there is a practical way to win without too many complications, for White, although with less beautiful lines:

19. Nd5!, Nxd5 (unique) 20. Bd3!, Bf6 (unique) 21. Qh6 Bg7 22. Bxf5, Bxh6 and White is winning at least an exchange, but without any compensation , and with a totally lost game for Black

Nov-20-09  shalgo: Yes, 19.Nd5! appears to lead to an endgame where black has only one pawn for the exchange. It should be a win for white or at least a chance to grind away with no chance of a loss.

By the way, Marmot PFL gave exactly the same line starting with 19.Nd5! in a comment from 2006.

Nov-20-09  Eyal: <After 23...Rg8 not 24. Bf1, but 25. Bf1 Bd4+ 26. Be3, Bxe3+ 27. Qxe3 with complications.>

After 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25.Bf1 not 25...Bd4+? but 25...Bh3! 26.Ne3 Qe4! 27.Bg5 Qd4! (threatening 28...Rxg5 29.Qxg5 Bf4) with a decisive attack (e.g. 28.g3 f5! aiming for f4).

<19. Nd5!, Nxd5 (unique) 20. Bd3!, Bf6 (unique) 21. Qh6 Bg7 22. Bxf5, Bxh6 and White is winning at least an exchange, but without any compensation , and with a totally lost game for Black>

Yes, <Marmot PFL> already mentioned this line - it certainly gives White winning chances, but Black does have a pawn for the exchange and a rather solid position, so it's still far from being "totally lost" for him (especially considering who was with the Black pieces, despite his poor opening/early middlegame play...). Btw, after 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bd3 Bf6 21.Qh6 it might be more accurate for Black to interpose 21...Bd4+(!) 22.Kh1 before 22...Bg7 23.Bxf5 Bxh6 24.Bxh6 (the point is that now after 24.Rg3+ Bg7 25.Bxd7 Nf6 26.Bh6 Nxd7 27.c5 Nf6 28.Bxg7 Ne4 29.Bxf8+, 29...Nxg3+ is played with <check>, otherwise White would be winning) 24...Bxf5 25.Rxd5 Bg6 26.Bxf8 Kxf8.

Nov-20-09  Al2009: 19. Nd5! was not suggested firstly neither by "Marmot PFL" nor by me, but by Gligoric or someone else, in the comments of the 1970 Chess Informant.

The point is: if Black played so poorly the opening, (having also the move disadvantage) and White can connect the Rooks so effectively as well, correctly playing Black is lost (even if you put together Kasparov + Carlsen + Hydra + Fritz etc), and 19. Bg5? as played by Naranja was recognized by all commentators as a mistake, allowing Black to change Queens and semplify.

Maybe the strongest move at this point can be a quiet one (rather than a sac) but terribly effective like: 19. Bb2! If, for instance, 19...Rfe8 20. Nd5 Nxd5 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Rg3+ Kh8 23. Bd3

Another possibility for Black (after 19.Bb2) could be 19... Kh8 but now again 20. Nd5 and if 20...Qc2 21. Nxf6 gxf6 22. Bf3! Qg6 23. Be4 and Black's position is disastrous.

Probably you don't have to look for a "brilliant" move here, but for a solid one, leaving Black almost in zugzwang and hopeless.

Nov-20-09  zanshin: <After 24. Rxg8+ Rxg8 25.Bf1 not 25...Bd4+? but 25...Bh3!>

<Eyal> What about 25...Qe4 as suggested?


click for larger view

[-3.49] d=20 25...Qe4 26.Bg5 Bd4 27.Kh1 Qxe7 28.Bxe7 Re8 29.Bh4 Bc6 30.Ne7 Be4 31.Nd5 Bxd5 32.cxd5 Rc8 33.g4 Rc2 34.a4 Be5 35.h3 Kg7 36.Kg1 Bd4 37.Kh1 (0:27.14) 216802kN

Nov-20-09  Eyal: <zanshin> Yes, in a way it's simpler than the line I gave earlier - Black forces an exchange of queens and wins easily with the exchange up and active pieces (this time, with White really having no compensation whatsoever); an important point is that after 25...Qe4, 26.Qxd7 loses immediately to 26...Bd4+ 27.Kh1 Rxg2! (28.Bxg2 Qe1+ and mate). Btw, how big an advantage does Rybka give White in the exchange winning line with 19.Nd5, or after 19.Bb2 (I suppose in that case the main line might go 19...Kh8 20.Nd5 e5 - rather than Qc2)?
Nov-20-09  zanshin: <Eyal> At move 19 for White, Rybka has always favored Nd5. I did not slide down the line, but the eval is steady at about +0.7:


click for larger view

[+0.69] d=19 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bd3 Bf6 21.Qh6 Bd4 22.Kh1 Bg7 23.Bxf5 Bxh6 24.Bxh6 Bxf5 25.Rxd5 Bg6 26.Bxf8 Kxf8 27.Rd4 Rc8 28.Rc3 b6 29.Kg1 f6 30.Ra3 Rc7 31.Kf2 Bf7 32.b5 Be6 (0:03.18) 30906kN

Nov-20-09  zanshin: <Eyal> Little numerical change in the evaluation after <19.Bb2>:


click for larger view

[+0.68] d=18 19...Kh8 20.Nd5 e5 21.Rg3 Rg8 22.Nc3 Qf4 23.Qxf4 exf4 24.Rf3 Ne8 25.Rxf4 Be6 26.Rh4 Be5 27.Na4 Ng7 28.Bd3 Bf5 29.Kf2 a5 30.b5 (0:11.15) 68032kN

Nov-21-09  Al2009: Gotcha!

Hi people, now I finally discovered the misundestranding in which we all have been...

All commentators were thinking that the turning point in this game was at 19th move, and White/Naranja had a winning position that he spoiled with 19.Bg5?!, and it was just a matter of finding a "brilliant" move. (19. Rd5 seems brilliant it but does not work, may be it could work in a rapid game, and also 19. Nd5 and 19. Bb2 allow a strong Black counterplay)

But if you check carefully the whole game, you discover that the spoiling move by Naranja was not at 19th but at 17th move! The pawn sac was doubtful.

Let me summarize the highlights of the game:

1) 12...Qc5?! first doubtful move by Bobby, (Rfc8 was better) losing a tempo.

2) 13...Qf5? clearly a mistake (better 13...Qc7, or 3...Qb6) losing a second fatal tempo, now Black's game is teoretically lost.

3) 17. f5?! why should White sacrifice a pawn, allowing more freedom to Black's Queen?

After 17. Bd3! Black cannot prevent f5, with a strong attack on the kingside. If 17...Qg4 simply 18. Qf2! leaving Black's Queen in a bad position. If 17...Bc6 now 18. Re1! and White's position is dominating (threatening both b5 and/or Nd5).

Conclusion: if I didn't miss something, the turning point (spoiled victory by Naranja) was not at 19th move, but the doubtful move took place with 17. f5?!, allowing Black to loosen the pressure.

17. Bd3! was a very strong and probably winning move, in my opinion.

Check and let me know, should you find a viable defence, but what?

Nov-21-09  Eyal: Yes, 17.Bd3 looks like a strong move; I'm not sure if it's stronger than 17.f5, but it also leads to a clear advantage for White (though, again, I would be wary of saying a definite win). Black's best course may be to ease the pressure a bit with 17...Qg4 18.Qf2 Ba4 19.h3 (19.Nxa4?? Qxd1+) 19...Qd7 20.Nxa4 Qxa4.

Speaking of Black's earlier mistakes, the idea of playing with the queen along the 5th rank may not have been bad in itself, but 13...Qf5, allowing e4 with tempo, was indeed bad - instead, it makes more sense to play 13...Qe5 immediately, hitting the knight on c3 as well as "threatening" ...g5 which forces an exchange of queens with reasonable play for Black. After White gets to play e4, thereby opening the diagonal for the bishop on c1, g5 is no longer an option. And a couple of moves later, if Black had seen how much trouble he could be getting into, it was possible to go into an endgame with two pawns for the exchange: 15...Bxc4(!) 16.Bxc4 Rfc8 17.Bd3 Rxc3 18.Bb2 Rxd3 19.Rdxd3 Qxe4 20.Qxe4 Nxe4.

Nov-21-09  zanshin: Well, we focused on <19.Bg5?!> because you were interested in <19.Rd5?!>. So let me have a crack at going over the entire game and pointing out other (possibly) critical positions at relatively low ply levels.

Move 16 for White - lots of choices. Rybka goes through c5 and Bf4 before setting for the move played.


click for larger view

[+0.75] d=15 16.f4 Qe6 17.f5 (0:02.48) 6233kN

I'll skip over move 19 where as I stated earlier, Rybka give +0.81 for <19.Nd5>.

Another important point, move 24 for White:


click for larger view

[+1.13] d=16 24.Nb5 Rfd8 25.Ra3 a5 26.bxa5 Bf8 (0:03.07) 7961kN

But even with the move played 24.Nd5, the eval is still close to 1.0.

Nov-21-09  zanshin: Move 26 for White, Rybka comes up with Ra3 (not sure where that's going, might have to look at the more closely later):


click for larger view

[+0.75] d=14 26.Ra3 f5 27.Nc7 Rac8 (0:00.10) 320kN

The pawn capture played is still ok but evals are now down to +0.5.

Maybe the last chance to keep the advantage is at move 27 for White:


click for larger view

Re4 and Ne4 may have been better than Nh7+

[+0.34] d=14 27.Rd4 b5 28.cxb5 Rc2 29.Bd3 Rd2 (0:01.22) 3555kN ...
[+0.44] d=12 27.Ne4 Bxc4 28.Bxc4 Rxc4 29.Nc5 Kg8 30.Nxb7 (0:00.04) 177kN

After move 31, the game is even. Imho, Naranja played on because he had the advantage for much of the game and felt a draw was not satisfying. He lost his advantage between moves 24 to 27. And he probably felt he let Fischer escape. He also knew he might not have another chance again.

Dec-30-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: story behind this game..

Pal Benko asked Bobby Fischer right after the game if he was lost. He answered "Probably."

Apr-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The only game where someone who was not a former world champion drew against Fischer's Symmetrical English (1.c4 c5). Petrosian and Smyslov were sometimes able to do so, but not always (each had one loss). http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...
Sep-24-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: A Clockwork Naranja
Nov-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Stockfish 12 gives 19.Nd5! Nxd5 (19...Kh8 20.Bg5! gets about the same assessment) 20.Rg3! Qf6 (20...Nf6 21.Bh6) 21.Bg5 Nc3 22.Bf3! Qg6 23.Rf1 Kh8 24.Bxe7 Qe6 25.Rxg7! Kxg7 26.Re1 Qf5 27.Bxb7 Qd3 28.Qg5+ Qg6 29.Qd2 Nxa2 30.Qxa2 +3.03. Don't ask me to explain any of this.
Nov-23-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <FSR >

Black has a better line: 19. Nd5 Nxd5 20. Rg3 Qf6 21. Bg5 Nc3 22. Bf3 Kh8 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Qh5 Nxd1 25. Bxd1 Bd4+ 26. Kf1 Be6 27. Bc2 f5 28. Rh3 Be4+ 29. Ke1 Bg8 30. Bxf5 Rf7 31. Rg3 Rg7 and Black is still somewhat alive, miraculously enough.

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