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Chess legend Bobby Fischer faces a materialistic Paul Keres within the dreaded London System – 1959 – jj

Chess legend Bobby Fischer faces a materialistic Paul Keres within the dreaded London System – 1959

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This is an Instructive game featuring the London system opening. It shows a way of playing against the London system. Keres adopted a somewhat Greedy pawn grab. The game was played in a Candidates tournament and features materialistic chess and how to play against materialistic play.

Fischer delayed using the d pawn and played instead an early c5 which led to a fixed center. Fischer later obtained a light square grip and used a Pawn sac. Keres won the ‘a’ pawn in the opening making it a kind of Gambit. You could call it a Fischer Gambit or Anti-London system gambit.

Keres later had a decentralised Queen and Fischer was able to punish the queen position with Pressure for the pawn. In particular pressure on d4 and concretely threatening Nxd2. Fischer was able to liberate the g7 bishop. With this bishop pressure and the White king in the center, there was also a loose bishop and Fischer was able to play an aggressive queen move pinning a knight and exploiting the king in center. Later there was opposite coloured bishops and the White king stopped from castling. Fischer then was opening a central file.

In analysing the game, engines came up with an exciting resource, in fact a completely amazing resource find. An amazing technical move. Instead Fischer played a move which potentially allowed near equality. There was a potentially loose rook. The game also shows how engine post-mortem and chess engine resources can help discover the more technical truths about a game. The key tactic of removing the defender was demonstrated. If you find any flaw in analysis, then consider this a Youtube chess challenge – an analytical challenge to test your chess engine to verify the interesting finding.

[Event “Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates”] [Site “Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG”] [Date “1959.10.03”] [Round “15”] [White “Paul Keres”] [Black “Robert James Fischer”] [Result “0-1”] [ECO “A48”] [PlyCount “54”] [EventDate “1959.09.07”]

Who is Fischer?

Robert James Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many consider him to be the greatest chess player of all time.[2][3]

Fischer showed great skill in chess from an early age; at 13, he won a brilliancy known as “The Game of the Century”. At age 14, he became the US Chess Champion, and at 15, he became both the youngest grandmaster (GM) up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship. At age 20, Fischer won the 1963/64 US Championship with 11 wins in 11 games, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament. His book My 60 Memorable Games, published in 1969, is regarded as essential reading. He won the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a record 3½-point margin, and won 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps, in the Candidates Matches. In July 1971, he became the first official FIDE number-one-rated player.

Fischer won the World Chess Championship in 1972, defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR, in a match held in Reykjavík, Iceland. Publicized as a Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR, it attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since. In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE, chess’s international governing body, over one of the conditions for the match. Under FIDE rules, this resulted in Soviet GM Anatoly Karpov, who had won the qualifying Candidates’ cycle, being named the new world champion by default.

After forfeiting his title as World Champion, Fischer became reclusive and sometimes erratic, disappearing from both competitive chess and the public eye. In 1992, he reemerged to win an unofficial rematch against Spassky. It was held in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo at the time. …

Who is Paul Keres ?

Paul Keres ([ˈpɑu̯l ˈkeres]; January 7, 1916 – June 5, 1975) was an Estonian chess grandmaster and chess writer. He was among the world’s top players from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s.

Keres narrowly missed a chance at a world championship match on five occasions. He won the 1938 AVRO tournament, which led to negotiations for a title match against champion Alexander Alekhine, but the match never took place due to World War II. After the war Keres was runner-up in the Candidates’ Tournament on four consecutive occasions.

Due to these and other strong results, many chess historians consider Keres one of the greatest players in history, and the strongest player never to become world champion. He was nicknamed “Paul the Second”, “The Eternal Second” and “The Crown Prince of Chess”.[1] Keres, Viktor Korchnoi and Alexander Beliavsky defeated nine world champions—more than anyone else in history.


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  1. There's a lot of stuff you didn't explain in this properly for me to understand when Fischer played C5 undefended what if pawn takes and at 7:39 how can you take the pawn with bishop when the knight can take it for free? It's hard to keep watchin been frustrated with all these unanswered questions

  2. Credit to Fisher who (in what year was this game played?) didn't have the benefit of 3300 rated chess engine to analyze with. Finding the absolutely crushing Bd2 followed by Be3 move over the board with time pressure is something that 99.99% of players will not be able to do. Great video. You uncorked a gem of a move which that even the great Bobby Fischer missed. Beauty of chess.

  3. It's all very fine and dandy finding all of this with a computer chess engine. But in the golden age of chess there were no such thing at your disposal only human brain power. Most likely Bobby Fischer did find his "blunder" after doing some post mortem analysis and chose not to use the game for his book.

  4. hi everyone, commentator is fantastic so I answer previous question, @ 22:15 Kg2 than Bxf3, Kxf3, Qc6+ and mate soon.Other thing, In this game Fisher had let's say two blunders because @ 11:20 instead of exd4 should Qg5If he o-o than Bh3 and exchange minimum if something else Rc2 and fisher will have material and position advantage soon. thx so Fisher blundered two times in this game, I am so sorry about him, hahaha

  5. surprisingly, the "best" engine response (Stockfish, at 6.6B nodes) to Bd2 is Rg1. This is followed eventually by near-forced loss of the exchange for white, and a won endgame for black after a queen exchange. Not crushing, but a win is a win.

  6. That was an amazing find! I never saw it till you showed it and, although I wouldn't have taken the pawn, I still wouldn't have used that bishop. Truly an amazing find! Great on you for that one!
    A Fan and A very Good Chess Player,
    Wolfy : (You'll be seeing me soon. I haven't done everything i want to to become a Grand Master yet… I still have weaknesses in my game and truly find your channel very helpful in getting to where I want to be. 🙂

  7. Great video.  One question, where can I find the "king's engine" described?  I hear it all the time in these videos but amazingly google comes up totally blank, putting up links on chess engines in general, instead.

  8. It's so easy to abuse some one from the other side of the internet.. I've listened to a lot of videos from this bloke.. sounds good to me..
    Qxa2, move Bishop then c8 to c2, seems to be effective. it was just a matter of time for Fisher as most of whites pieces could not move. Hit f2 pawn

  9. A blunder is generally considered as any move that turns a won position into a drawn position, or a drawn position into a losing position. Bd2 retains an advantage for black if played accurately, and since Qa2 is easily shown to draw, this is by definition a blunder, not a "sub-optimal move." A very simple example of a suboptimal move in a king + rook endgame could be placing the rook in a position where it is vulnerable to attacks, wasting a move in repositioning. A very simply example of a blunder would be leaving it there to be taken. In that, you've wasted a move in the first scenario which has no appreciable difference in the likely outcome of the game, and turned your winning position into a drawing position in the second.

    Fischer turned a winning position into a drawing position with his choice of move, and is a blunder, just as Keres then turned his drawn position into a losing one by blundering back. End of story.

  10. Thank you for video and your analysis. Your passion for the game makes watching your videos enjoyable.

    The a2 was not to the caliber play that we expect from Fischer. The a2 was not in play, not a threat, and would have cost him if Keres didn't blunder. The Bd2 is a move of the type of eloquence that we came enjoy seeing in Fischer games.

    Perhaps we can caulk it up be 1959 and Fischer is pretty young. Possibly they both are having time problems.

    Thanks again.

  11. 19:00 — "And it turns out to be absolutely crushing." — Since you pointed out that the blunder Fischer played was followed by an even more damning move, I suppose it can be argued that Fischer must have understood his opponent was focussing too much on the Queen; and if not the Queen's threat, the Queen's concern for material value, right? If it is crushing, it is probably because Keres realized he was actively helping Fischer to correct the blunder. To put it another way, he obliged the Queen's greed by making an effectively pointless attack on the other Rook, but when he does, he removes one of his own King's defenders from the area of greatest effect. Result: promptly forked.

  12. I am totally confused!!! Here's my question: Please look at the position at 26:28. Black has just played Bishop from C3 to D2, which King crusher keeps saying "this is an absolutely crushing move", But what exactly is black threatening here? In other words, why is the move Bishop to D2 a "crushing move" for black? He never explains this, and it's very annoying!!! Can anyone answer?

  13. Had to watch it a second time to understand what B-d2 actually accomplished: gaining control of the black squares on the kingside to empower both the h-pawn push and enable the tactical threats of R-c3. This very subtle positional move of the bishop entirely transformed the tactical landscape. Excellent game, excellent commentary, excellent discovery!

  14. Why can't I find that game (I believe Kasparov was the winner) where he takes a pawn with his queen: check? After his queen is taken, he puts the opponent in cheque about 9 times chasing it from the top of the board to the bottom before: MATE.

  15. I can't thank you enough. I just recently found your channel and I'm enjoying it more than any other that I've come across. This was FANTASTIC!!! I wonder if Fischer realized years later or even hours later that he blundered and just never said anything. Excellent job and thanks again.

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