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Monday, June 22, 2020

A Fischer Brilliancy

Lombardy watching Fischer
   The 19th Chess Olympiad took place between September 5–27, 1970, in Siegen, West Germany. The Soviet team with six GMs led by world champion Boris Spassky, lived up to expectations and won their tenth consecutive gold medal, although this time only by a single point.
     For the first time in the history of the Olympiads since London 1927 teams had to be rejected, because the playing schedule reached its capacity with 60 teams. Argentina, France, Ecuador and Venezuela were refused entry because they had sent their entry in too late. Panama pulled which allowed Argentina to take its place. France, Ecuador and Venezuela took a gamble and showed up hoping some teams wouldn’t show up. As it turned out there weren’t any no shows and so their teams had to return home. 
     The hot question was would Bobby Fischer play? At the end, he did.  Perhaps an even greater surprise was that Fischer was satisfied with the playing conditions and found them very reasonable. Of course he did have one demand...that his table to be moved 18 inches further away from the spectators. This was Fischer's last Olympiad. The USCF later tried to persuade him to play in other Olympiads but always failed because of Fischer's financial demands. 
     In the preliminaries the USSR team was, of course, the winner, but there was an amusing incident in round two. Spain lost to the USSR 1-3 with their only point being the one they they won by default when Korchnoi overslept and appeared too late and forfeited against Diez del Corral. There was no explanation as to why non-playing team captain Paul Keres or one of Korchnoi's teammates didn’t telephone his room when noticing he was late. In round 7 England’s Jonathan Penrose blundered a piece in his game vs, Ulvestad of Andorra and fainted at the board. Oscar Panno of Argentina drew a record 15 games; one wonders why he even bothered to play. 
     The finals began on September 16th. USSR and Hungary took an early lead while Argentina began a backward slide. In the 6th round the USSR played the USA and were extremely lucky to win 2.5-1.5. 
     The Soviet Union won for the tenth time in a row, but their margin was extremely slim this time. Two years earlier at Lugano they had won by 8.5 points. It was only towards the end the Soviet victory became apparent when they produced some high scores against weaker teams. 

     The highlight came with the game between Spassky and Fischer, which ended in a win for World Champion Spassky who thereby snatched first board prize from Fischer. It attracted 5.000 spectators! 
     The United States team, for the first time with both Fischer and Reshevsky playing, was given a real chance for first place, but they didn’t even manage to acquire a medal. 
     During this Olympiad, Folke Rogard who had been FIDE chairman for 21 years retired and Dr. Max Euwe was elected as his successor. 
     One of the more instructive games was the Gligoric-Fischer encounter which is a lesson by Fischer on how to play a Rook and minoir piece endings and the game also features a rare endgame sacrifice. There are a couple of minor tweaks by the engines, but overall Fischer’s concept and his conduct of the game was nothing short of brilliant.

Svetozar Gligoric - Robert J. Fischer
Result: 0-1
Site: Siegen FRG
Date: 1970.09.22
King's Indian: Classical

[...] 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘c3 ♗g7 4.e4 d6 5.♘f3 O-O 6.♗e2 e5 The Main Line or Mar del Plata Variation continues 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7. 7.d5 This is the Petrosian Variation who often played it in the 1960s. One advantage is that white can play it no matter what, leaving black without many choices compared to moves like 7.0-0 or 7.Be3, where black has choices like 7.. .exd4 or 7...Na6. With this move white gets a middlegame with a fisxed P-structure and so plans are defined early in the game.
7.♗e3 This is often known as the Gligoric System because he contributed so much to King's Indian theory and practiced it with both colors. The main idea behind this move is to avoid the theoretical lines that arise after 7.0-0 Nc6. This move allows White to maintain, for the moment, the tension in the center. 7...♘g4 8.♗g5 f6 9.♗h4 has worked out well for white.
7...♘bd7 Black has tried different moves, 7...Na6, 7...c5 and Fischer's move, but none of them have managed to bring an improvement to the main move 7...a5! 8.O-O ♘c5 9.♕c2 a5 10.♗g5 h6 11.♗e3 ♘g4 12.♗xc5 dxc5 13.h3 ♘f6 14.♘xe5 ♘xd5 15.cxd5 ♗xe5 16.f4 ♗d4 On his next move Gligoric avoided repeating 17.Kh2 as he played against Langeweg at Amsterdam earlier in the year for fear of an improvement and he was surprised to find out Fischer hadn'e seen the game. 17.♔h1
17.♔h2 c6
17...g5 18.♘b5 ♗e3 19.fxg5 ♕xg5 favors white. Walinder,L (2245) -Barkhagen,J (2429)/Vaxjo 2019
18.dxc6 bxc6 19.♗c4 ♖b8 20.♖ae1 is equal. Svetozar Gligoric-Kick Langeweg/Amsterdam 1970.
17...c6 18.dxc6 bxc6 19.♗c4 ♕h4 20.♕d3 g5 White is better and won quickly after some poor play by black. Ahlander,B (2410)-Jenull,M (2190)/Berlin 1998.
18.♕d3 c6 19.♕f3 h5 20.f5 Another idea was 20.d6 and 21.e5. 20...♗d7 (20...gxf5 is too risky. 21.exf5 cxd5 22.♘xd5 is unclear.) (20...cxd5 transposes 21.♘xd5 gxf5 22.exf5) 21.♗c4 g5 Fischer is going all out for a K-side attack whereas all Gligoric can do is sit tight and defend his position. 22.♖ad1 ♖ae8 23.dxc6 ♗xc6 24.♗d5 ♖e5 25.♗xc6 bxc6 26.♖d3 ♖fe8 27.♕g3 ♕xg3 28.♖xg3 f6 Black has to be considered slightly better here because of white's weak e-Pawn, passive Rs and his N is inferior to the B. Black's doubled Ps are of little importance because white is not in a position to attack the,...it's not a weakness if your opponent cannot attack it. 29.♖d3 h4 Fixing white's g-Pawn. 30.b3 ♖b8 31.g3 hxg3 32.♔g2 ♖b4 33.♖c1 ♔f7 Improving the position of his K by bringing it to the center.
33...a4 Fischer could have lured the N from the defense of the e-Pawn with this move. 34.♘xa4 ♖xe4 35.a3 ♖b5 36.♖c2 ♔f7 37.♔xg3 ♖e5 38.♖f3 but wite can probably hold.
34.♔xg3 ♔e7 35.♖e1 ♔d6 36.♖h1 ♖e7 37.h4 ♖h7 It's questionable whether or not this is better than 37...gxh4+
37...gxh4 Would have eliminated white's only form of counterplay the passed h-Pawn) but in the long run it is likely that doinf so would only have lead to a draw. 38.♖xh4 ♔e5 39.♔f3 a4 40.♘xa4 c4 41.♖d2 cxb3 42.♘b2 ♗xb2 43.♖xb2 ♖d7 44.♖xb3 ♖xb3 45.axb3 ♖d3 46.♔g4 ♖xb3 47.♖h8
38.h5 ♖h6 This looks imprecise. (38...♔e5 39.♔f3 a4 40.♘xa4 g4 41.♔xg4 ♔xe4) 39.♔f3 Gligoric misses his chance to equalize here by improving the position of his N with 39.Nb1! as discovered by Stockfish.
39.♘b1 ♔e7 (39...a4 40.♔g4 axb3 41.axb3 ♔e5 42.♘d2 and it's white who is winning!) 40.♘d2 ♗e5 41.♔g4 ♖d4 42.♖xd4 cxd4 43.♘c4 Suddenly the N has become better that the B and after 43...♗c7 44.e5 fxe5 45.♘d2 ♗d8 46.♘e4 it's white who has the winning chances.
39...♔e5 With good play white should be able to hold his position. 40.♘e2 a4 41.♘g3 After this black is again in the driver's seat! Correct was 41.Nc1
41.♘c1 axb3 42.♘xb3 and there seems to be no way black can make progress.
41...c4 42.bxc4 ♖b2 Astute play by Fischer.
42...♖xc4 43.♘e2 c5 44.♖d2 and you won't be able to find any way for black to make headway.
43.♘f1 Black is clearly better here and this move makes white's defense even more difficult. However, if black regains his P at once by 43...Rxa2 he will have to part with his excellent B. Fischer finds a clever way to avoid this and at the same time deal with the problem of his poorly placed R on h6.
43.♔g4 Keeps white in the game. 43...♖xa2 44.c5 ♖h8 45.h6 ♖b2 46.♖a3
43...♖xa2 44.♘e3 threatening Ng4+ 44...♗xe3 45.♖xe3 Technically black enjoys a big advantage, but double R endings can sometimes present difficult problems. Hence, Fischer prefers to keep is B which is better than the N.
44.♖xh5 ♖f2 45.♔g3 ♖xf1 46.♖h8 After this white is lost.
46.♖h2 ♔xe4 47.♖hd2 ♖g1 48.♔h2 ♗c5 Here, too, black is winning, but at least white can a fighting chance.
46...♔xe4 47.♖a3 ♖g1 Excellent! This and his next move drive the K to a square where it has little influence on the game and additionally it becomes a target. 48.♔h2 ♖c1 49.♖xa4 ♖c2 The point. White is dead lost. 50.♔h1 (50.♔h3 ♗e5 51.♔g4 ♖g2 52.♔h5 ♖h2 wins the R.) 50...c5 Technically black is still behind in material, but his pieces are centralized and well coordinated which is good enough to guarantee the win.
50...♗c5 Would have been even more forceful. 51.♖b8 g4 52.♖a5 ♖c1 53.♔g2 ♖g1 54.♔h2 g3 55.♔h3 ♖h1 56.♔xg3 ♗d6 57.♔f2 ♖h2 58.♔g1 ♗xb8
51.♖a3 Gligoric has to look after the safety of his K because of the possibility of moves like ...Kf4, ...Kg3 and he could find himself in a mating net. 51...♔xf5 52.♖h2 White's Rs can't find any action as there are no targets and black's K is quite safe. 52...♖c1 53.♔g2 g4 54.♖h1 ♖c2 Fischer refuses the offer to exchange his aggressive R. 55.♔f1 ♔g5 56.♖h8 f5 57.♖g8 ♔h4 58.♔e1 f4 59.♔d1 ♖g2 60.♖a6 f3 61.♖h6 ♔g3 62.♖hg6 ♔f4 63.a4 ♖g1 64.♔d2 f2 65.♖f8 ♔g3 (Gligoric resigned)
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