Friday, February 08, 2008

My Fischer's Most Memorable Games : Game 11, World Championship 1992 .

I must admit that i didn't study Fischer game to often as any serious chess player/addicts should have. The main reason is because i simply don't have any Fischer book now and before. One of my close friend- Rizal Ahmad Kamal however mentioned that Fischer is his first chess teacher. He has collected a few Fischer books among them is the famaous My 60 Memorable Games (photo right). When i was in secondary school in the late 80's my first resource of chess games is chess column in local newspaper such as Petak 64 in Utusan Malaysia and Jaguh in Berita Harian. At that time, Gary Kasparov game dominated the world chess and his game is published frequently in newspaper. But i still remember when i went to one shopping complex ( Subang Parade), i found a book titled Bobby Fischer Teach Chess (photo left). I don't have an idea who the hell is Bobby Fischer. I read the book briefly but didn't buy it because of two reason. First i prefer to buy Kasparov book because he is the World Champion back then and secondli and ..i simply can't afford to buy the book at that time :)

Many website, blog publish Bobby Fischer great games after the death of the great chess legend on January 2008. Majority of the site choose "The Game Of The Century" between Donald Byre - Fischer in 1956 which in fact one of my favorites too. But personally, i would prefer one game that have been played on 11 game of the Fischer Spassky "World Championship Match" in 1992. It's an event that all chess player have eagerly awaited for 20 years!

After "retiring" from chess for almost 20 years, 49 years old Fischer returned to play a "World Championship" match with 55 years old Boris Spassky in 1992.
The event was held at Sveti Stefan, Montenegro. The prize fund was 5.000.000 US$, of which the first player to win 10 games would receive 3.650.000 US$. In the event of a 9-9 tie, Fischer would keep his title as "undefeated champion of the world". Eugenio Torre - a GM from the Philippines, served as Fischer's second, while Spassky choose Borislav Ivkov as his second.

W: GM Bobby Fischer vs B: GM Boris Spassky
Game 11 World Championship 1992
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 If i'm not mistaken Fischer seldom or never play the Rossilimo variation in serious game. 3...g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 e5 7. b4 !?
Here, Fischer bravely sacks a pawn to blow open lines, despite having ceded the two bishops, and even the pawn sacrifices to dissolve Spassky's doubled pawns! At that time, even the I.B.M. super computer, Deep Thought II, which tends to prefer solid material advantages to slashing sacrificial attacks, gave rave reviews to White's intriguing gambit play. cxb4 8. a3 c5 Spassky might have considered 8... bxa3 9. Bxa3 d6 (9... Ne7 ?! 10. Bd6 !)10. d4 exd4 but he probably saw that after 11.e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Be6 13. Nxc6 Qd5 14. Nb4 Qb7 15. Nd3 Ne7 16. Nc5 Qd5 17. Nd2 he would have a difficult game especially with his king stuck in the center. 9. axb4 cxb4 10. d4 Another pawn thrust by Fischer -opening up even more lines! exd4 11. Bb2 d6 Had Spassky played 11... Ne7 Fischer could have positional advantage with 12. Bxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 O-O 14. Qxb4 d5 15. e5 since the d5 pawn hampers the black bishop. 12. Nxd4 Qd7 13. Nd2 Spassky could not rush his king into safety with 13 . . . Ne7 14 Nc4 O-O? because the fork 15.Nb6 wins rook for knight.13...Bb7 14. Nc4 On 14 Nc4, Spassky could not develop with 14 . . . Nf6? and let Fischer crash through with 15.Nd6! Qd6 16 e5 Qd5 17 ef Kd8 (17 . . . Kd7? 18 Qg4) 18 Nc6! Bc6 19 fg Rg8 20.Qd5 Bd5 21 Rad1, which wins a piece. Neither could he develop with 14 . . .Ne7? because 15 Ne6! fe (15 . . . Bb2? 16 Nd6! drops the queen) 16 Bg7 Kf7 (16. . . Rg8 17 Nd6 Kd8 18 Nb7 wins a piece) 17 Bh8 Rh8 18 Nd6 wins easily for white so Spassky played 14...Nh6 but Fischer landed a tricky blow with 15. Nf5! Now, 15 . . . gf 16 Bg7 wins heavy material, while 15 . . . Nf5 16 ef Kf8 17 f6 Bh6 18 Nd6 Qc6 19 Nb7 Qb7 20 Re7 Qb5 21 Raa7 Re8 22 Rf7 Kg8 23 Rg7! Bg7 24 Rg7 Kf8 25 Qd6 is killing. Still, Spassky hung on with15...Bxb2 and after 16.Ncxd6+ 16...Kf8 16... Kd8 17. Nxh6 Bxa1 18. Qxa1 Rf8 19. Rd1 with 17.Nxh6 was critical.

Spassky was sure that 17...f6? was the real mistake. The better move is 17 . . . Ba1 18 Qa1 Qd6! 19 Qh8 Ke7 20 Qg7 Qe6 and the stern struggle would not yet have been decided. Yasser Seirawan in his book on the match, No Regrets mention that right after the game Bobby and Boris held a postmortem and considered that the position after 17.Nxh6 he could have continued his excellent defense .The players immersed themselves in the forcing sequence 17...Bxa1 probably the best practical try 18.Qxa1 Qxd6 19.Qxh8+ Ke7. The next day Bobby, Eugene Torre, Svetozar Gligoric, Yvette Nagel and I spent a late afternoon analyzing this position. It is an excellent position for practical work. I suggest you take a few minutes and look at the lines following 20.Qxh7 and 20.Qg7. Initially, Bobby was strongly for 20. Qxh7!, munching a pawn. He got bogged down over the line 20...Rf8 21.h4 (to clear the back rank and pound home h4-h5) 21...Qd2 22.Re3. White seems to be on a joyful attacking crunch, but his pieces are misplaced: 22...Qxc2! 23.Qg7 (since 23.h5 runs into ...Qd1+ and Qxh5+) 23...Qc1+ 24.Kh2 Qc5!, again
restraining h4-h5. Now Black has two passers on the queen side and his king can trot to safety. Fischer spent a lot of time trying to make 25.e5 Bd5! 26.h5 work, but came away dissatisfied. At length he was talked into declining the h7-cutie. "Man, I really want that guy!" he exclaimed. We began looking at 20.e5 Rxh8 (20...Qd2!?) 21.exd6+ Kf6 22.Re7 Bd5 before Fischer's "Nah!" ended things there. Finally, 20.Qg7 Rf8 21.Ng8+ Rxg8 22.Qxg8 a5!? (White's queen is trapped) 23.Qg7 a4, when despite being an Exchange down Black is still kicking. Indeed, the whole line isn't forced, as Black doesn't have to sac the Exchange. Bobby was vexed. "You guys are busted. Give me a sec to find the killer!" Finally Bobby said, "First, give me my pawn!" and produced 20.Qxh7! Rf8 21.Qg7 Qd2. Bobby now uncorked his killer: 22.Qa1!! What a shot! Suddenly, White has a crushingly coordinated attack. He threatens 23.Nf5+ gxf5 24.exf5+ Kd7 25.Rd1, picking up Black's queen. If 22...Qxh6, then 23.Qxa7 regains the piece with an easy win. A line like 22...Rc8 23.Nf5+ Ke6 (23...gxf5 24.exf5+ Kf8 25.Qh8 mate) 24. Nd4+ Ke7 (White has gotten his knight back into the game, all with tempo!) 25.Rd1 Qc3 26.Qxa7 nets two pawns and the attack. We were forced into the ending 22...Qc3 23.Qxc3 bxc3 24.f3 a5 25.Ra1 Ra8 26.Ng4 a4 27.Kf2 a3 28.Ke3 a2 29.Kd4 Ra3 30.Ne3 - and this is hopeless for Black! (Fischer) We all had to concede that Bobby is as sharp an analyst as ever. 18. Ndf7 Qxd1 19. Raxd1 Ke7 20. Nxh8 Rxh8 Spassky must have overlooked Fischer's ingenious 21. Nf5+
and after 21.. gxf5 22.exf5+ Spassky had to give back a bishop and go into a lost ending 22...Be5 23. f4 Rc8 24. fxe5 Rxc2 25. e6 Bc6 it was useless to play 25 . . . Rg2 26 Kf1 Bc6 27 Rd7!Ke8 28 Rc1!, either winning the bishop or mating. 26. Rc1 Rxc1 26... Be4 27. Ra1 27. Rxc1 Kd6 28. Rd1+ Ke5 29. e7 a5 30. Rc1! This is a very important move by Fischer because the obvious looking move 30. e8=Q+ ? would be a mistake because black can escape with a draw.31... Bxe8 31. Re1+ Kd4 32. Rxe8 b3 33. g4 a4 34. Rd8+ Kc3 35. Rc8+ Kb4 The problem forwhite is black passed pawn gain a valuable tempo cause the a or b pawns will promote with a check!36. g5 a3)30... Bd7 .31. Rc5+it would have been wrong to play 31 Rc8? b3 32 e8/Q Be8 33 Re8 Kd4 because Black can no longer be defeated 31...Kd4 32. Rxa5 b3 33. Ra7 Be8 33... b2 34. Rxd7+ 34. Rb7 Kc3 35. Kf2 b2 36. Ke3 Bf7 36... Kc2 37. g4 b1=Q 38. Rxb1 Kxb1 39. Kd4 Kc2 (39... Bf7 40. Kc5) (39... h5 40. Kd5 Bf7+ (40... hxg4 41. Ke6) 41. Kd6 hxg4 42. Kd7 Kc2 43. e8=Q Bxe8+ 44. Kxe8 Kd3 45.Ke7) 40. Kd5 Kd3 41. Ke6 37. g4 Kc2 38. Kd4 b1=Q 39. Rxb1 Kxb1 40. Kc5 Kc2 41. Kd6 1-0 Spassky resign because the endgame was hopeless for example 41...Kd3 42. Kd7 Ke4 43. e8=Q+ Bxe8+ 44. Kxe8 Kf4 45. Kf7 is a won K&P endgame: 45 ... Kxg4 46. Kxf6 h5 47. Kg6 +-

This game will be my Fischer's most memorable game ever!


Rizal Ahmad Kamal said...

Actually, this game had been inserted by the author of MY 61 MEMORABLE GAMES just a few weeks before Fischer's death. This book eventually barred from the bid at ebay due to copyright issue.

Jon said...

61 Memorable Games never existed. It was a scam by Ed Trice and I doubt very much if Fischer even knew about it until he was told about the eBay auction. See this link:

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