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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How Fischer Beat Pachman In Another Player's Game

     The second Torneo de Arturo Alesandri Palma was held from April 20th to May 6th, 1959 in Santiago, Chile. Bobby Fischer was just getting started in his international career and he scored as many wins as the two first place finishers (7), but he suffered four losses while only drawing one. 
     Five of his wins were against the last five place finishers and the other two were against Pilnik and Sanchez. His lone draw was against Flores-Alvarez. He lost to Ivkov, Pachman, Sanguineti and Jauregui. 
     Previous to the Santiago tournament both Pachman and Fischer had participated in the 22nd Torneo Internacional de Ciudad Mar del Plata where Pachman had tied for first with Najdorf. Fischer tied Ivkov for third and despite scoring as many wins as Pachman (8), but lost two games, to Pachman and Letelier. Pachman lost only one (to 10th place finisher Emma). Najdorf was undefeated. 
     After Mar del Plata Fischer and Pachman spent two weeks in Buenos Aires where they lived in the same hotel and became friends. They even began preparing together for their next tournament which was in Santiago. 
     One day Pachman showed a variation on the black side of the Sicilian to Fischer, one that resulted in some complications stemming from a sacrifice. Fischer found a serious hole in Pachman's analysis that would have led to a win for white, but he didn't tell Pachman. Instead, Fischer recorded the analysis in his notebook with a memo, “Use on Pachman!”
     However, at Santiago it was Fischer who had black in their individual game which he lost. As he was known to do, Fischer flung the pieces off the board and fled the room without even bothering to sign the scoresheet. You can play over that amusing and somewhat unusual game HERE
     In the next round Pachman had black against Sanchez and employed the variation he had shown Fischer in Buenos Aires. Sanchez found the hole in Pachman's analysis and as Pachman sat staring at his King that was in danger of getting mated, Fischer was standing behind him. With great jubilation Fischer told Pachman that it wasn't Sanchez that beat him because he (Fischer) had showed Sanchez the winning line. 
     Going back to Buenos Aires, one wonders why Pachman showed Fischer his analysis because that's not something that is normally done in GM circles. Did he want to use Fischer to check his analysis, or was he just naive in thinking Fischer wouldn't do what he did and keep quite about any holes he discovered? As far as I know, exactly what Pachman's secret move was is unknown. Perhaps Pachman didn't reveal it because it was such an obvious blunder? 

1-2) Ivkov and Pachman 9.0 
3) Pilnik 8.0 
4-6) Sanchez, Sanguineti and Fischer 7.5 
7-8) Flores-Alvarez and Jauregui 6.0 
9-10) Letelier and Salas Romo 4.0 
11-12) Grunberg and Hausman 3.5 
13) Souza-Mendes 2.5 

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