MARK RUBERY CHESS

Daily News - - THE X- FILES -

In 1961 the 50- year- old Sa­muel Re­shevsky chal­lenged the 18 year old Bobby Fis­cher to a six­teen game match for a prize fund of $ 6000 which was at the level of world cham­pi­onship matches at that time. Al­though Fis­cher was the reign­ing Amer­i­can cham­pion and Re­shevsky was al­ready past his peak, many of the world’s lead­ing GMS all fore­casted a vic­tory for the older player as in a match ex­pe­ri­ence is a vi­tal fac­tor. Af­ter eleven games the scores were tied at 5.5- 5.5 and with the ten­sion ris­ing an eye wit­ness wrote the fol­low­ing:

‘ The two play­ers stopped talk­ing to each other and they would not ride in the same car from their ho­tel to the venue. Re­shevsky wanted air con­di­tion­ing in the play­ing room; Fis­cher thought it was too cold. Both were de­ter­mined to win and nei­ther would con­cede anything to the other.’

A dis­pute prior to the 12th game saw Fis­cher aban­don­ing the match ( the be­gin­ning of what was to be an un­for­tu­nate pat­tern) and thus giv­ing vic­tory to Re­shevsky by de­fault. The prob­lem arose when the sponsor, Mrs Pi­atig­orsky, changed the time of the game in or­der to at­tend a con­cert given by her hus­band, Grig­ory Pi­atig­orsky, who was a prom­i­nent cel­list of the time.

Re­shevsky, Sa­muel - Fis­cher, Robert [ E51]

New York/ Los An­ge­les m Los An­ge­les ( 7) 1961

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 ( Hav­ing strug­gled with the Kings In­dian in ear­lier games Fis­cher makes a switch to the Nimzo- In­dian) 5. e3 0– 0 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Na5 9. Nd2 c5 10.0– 0 b6?! ( 10… dxc4 11 Nxc4 Nxc4 12 Bxc4 Qc7 13 Qe2 e5 with equal­ity) 11. cxd5 exd5 12. f3 Re8 13. Re1 Be6 14. Ra2 Rc8 15. Nf1 cxd4 16. cxd4 h5?! (‘ With Ro­man straight­for­ward­ness Fis­cher pre­vents g4 and the ac­ti­va­tion of the white knight via g3. Med­nis in his book ‘ How to beat Bobby Fis­cher’ calls it the los­ing mo­ment but this eval­u­a­tion is too se­vere and ob­vi­ously comes from the re­sult of the game’- Kas­parov. 16… Qd7 was to be pre­ferred) 17. h3 h4 18. Rf2 Qd7 19. e4 dxe4

20. fxe4 Bb3 ( Black could have plunged into some in­ter­est­ing com­pli­ca­tions with 20… Qxd4!? where the ap­par­ently strong 21 e5 is con­vinc­ingly met by 21… Rxc1! 22 Bh7+? Nxh7 23 Qxd4 Rxe1 with a ton of pieces for the queen. With 21 Bb2 Qd8 22 Rxf6! gxf6 23 Qh5 Kas­parov demon­strates the White’s at­tack is al­most de­ci­sive- al­though such py­rotech­nics were not quite Re­shevsky’s style)

21. Qd2 Bc4 ( 21… Nc4!? 22 Qg5! - Kas­parov) 22. Bc2 Nb3 23. Bxb3 Bxb3 24. e5 Nd5 25. Qg5 Qe7

26. Qg4 Rc6 27. Bg5 Qxa3?? ( A fa­tal mis­take and a rare tac­ti­cal lapse from the fu­ture world cham­pion. Black could still re­sist by giv­ing up a pawn via 27… Qe6 28 Qxh4 Bc2 with the idea of a block­ade on the light squares) 28. Qd7 1– 0 ( 28… Rce6 29 Qxf7+ Kh7 30 Re4 is crush­ing)

From 1946 to 1956, prob­a­bly the best in the world, though his open­ing knowl­edge was less than any other lead­ing player. Like a ma­chine cal­cu­lat­ing ev­ery vari­a­tion, he found moves over the board by a process of elim­i­na­tion and of­ten got into fan­tas­tic time pres­sure. – Bobby Fis­cher ( on Re­shevsky)

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