13-year-old Fischer plays the GREATEST chess game of all time!

13-year-old Fischer plays the GREATEST chess game of all time!

Hi and welcome into the game of the century
played by R.J. Fischer. The first interesting fact about this game is that Fischer was only
13-years-old at that time. Yet, he played a really brilliant game which became his most
famous game, and even is considered to be the game of the century. Another thing is
that this game has been analyzed by more than a few authors. But I noticed that very often,
their analysis was somewhat misrepresenting. And even when I read the book of Gary Kasparov,
“My Great Predecessors” about Fischer, I noticed that he somewhat tried to criticize Fischer,
and rather present him in a negative manner. I’m not sure why this happened, but maybe
it is just that Kasparov feels envy towards Fischer, because whenever chess players were
asked “Who is the greatest chess player of all time?”, usually these two guys appear
on the top positions. Anyway, my goal for this lesson is just to show you the real situation
about this game, and also to highlight a few tips about the techniques used by Fischer
in his games, so that you can imitate his style and play the same tricks in your own
games! Let’s go ahead and get started. The game was played between Donald Byrne and Bobby
Fischer, where Fischer is Black. The game started with 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6. Here there
is the first interesting moment that I’d like to highlight. Fischer really loved to play
that fianchettoed type of positions against the closed openings. So whenever White plays
the first moves of c4 or d4, Fischer really love to fianchetto is kingside bishop and
that has been his main opening open for many years. So if you would like to imitate his
style, you can also employ his opening style. Here White played Bf4….I don’t comment on
the opening moves that much. In the opening, both sides are just brining their pieces into
play. There could be various ways how this can be done. It’s just different opening lines.
Anyway, if we talk about the Fischer’s opening preference, in this position, he chosen either
d6, with the Kings Indian Defense, and in this case, if Black plays d6, then in the
future his plan is usually to prepare the e5 advancement in the center. So that was
one idea of Fischer. And another idea is what happened in the game – he played d5 with the
Grunfeld Defense where Black is counter-attacking White in the center, directly. White played
Qb3 to protect his c4-pawn and also to put more pressure on Black’s pawn. So Black exchanged
the pawns. And now at the moment, Black’s c7-pawn is being attacked. Black needs to
do something about that and he played c6. White answered e4 to occupy the center. And
now he is really solid there. Okay, let me ask you the first question – how would you
play here as Black? What do you think? One of the popular lines is to start pushing the
b-pawn, play b5 attacking the White’s queen. And also Black, maybe, will keep pushing the
pawn forward to attack the White’s knight as well. So in this way, Black tries to start
the aggressive actions straightaway. However, Fischer took a different approach. And here,
I’d like to highlight this rule – while playing games, Fischer always tired to make sure that
every of his pieces is ACTIVE. He almost never had any bad piece, unlike other players. And
that’s why, in this position, he noticed that his pieces on the kingside have already been
developed. While, the pieces on the queenside are still on their initial positions. And
that’s why, he need to move them out..that’s what he did. He avoided unnecessary and unclear
complications, but just brought his pieces into play. So firstly, he developed the knight..the
knight goes to b6 attacking the White’s queen. Queen has to go away. By the way, I’ve noticed
that some commentators said that this was the awkward move of Qc5 and it’s one the reasons
for the White’s loss. I’d hopefully understand that it’s not true because, normally, whenever
you have a choice, you need to move your pieces forward. So Qc5 is totally okay. White lost
the game because of his further mistakes. Black played Bg4 – so he continues to bring
the pieces into the play. And here White really made a mistake – he played Bg5. It is widely
known that you should not move a single piece twice in the opening. And yet, White did that.
Probably, he wanted to put some indirect pressure on the e7-pawn. So in case if Black moves
away his knight from f6, White will be able to take the pawn of e7 and maybe, White was
hoping that it will restrain Black’s possibilities. But anyway, he was wrong. And at this point,
if you compare the White’s position and the Black’s position, you will notice that Black
has already castled and developed all his minor pieces, while the White’s king is still
in center and his kingside pieces are still on their initial positions. That’s what I
was talking about earlier, that Fischer has always made sure that all of his pieces are
active. Okay, so we know that there is something wrong with the White’s position. How to punish
White for this mistake? How to exploit Black’s advantage in development? Firstly, please
try to think about that yourself and try to guess the Black’s next move. It’s really amazing
and surprising move. But anyway, you can give it a try and try to find that yourself. By
the way, I noticed that different commentators explain the following Black moves just by
the fact that Fischer is a genius player and that’s why he plays powerful moves. But I
think this is exaggeration. At that time, Fischer was only 13-years-old. And at this
tournament, he lost a few games and I think, took only the eighth place. So it could be
exaggerating to say that Fischer was just so strong at that time..so genius..whatever
he did was so great….Anyway, let’s try to think more practically and decide how can
YOU find such attacking moves. And the rule is very simple – you need to focus your attention
on the White side of the board and think how you can move their and attack your opponent.
If you look at the position from this perspective, you will find the following move pretty simple
because, there are only a few ways how Black can possibly move to the White’s half of the
board. So it is the move of Na4! Black is trying to deflect the White’s c3-knight which
is currently protected by the e4-pawn. And in case, White really accepts the sacrifice
and takes the knight, Black will take with his knight on e4, making a double attack on
the White’s queen and bishop. And it’s very difficult to save all the hanging pieces of
White. For example, if White just simply moves his queen backwards, something like Qc2, then
really Black can take the bishop on the g5. So first we can eliminate the defender of
the bishop, the knight, and then Nxg5, now Black took back the piece. In the meanwhile,
he also won the central pawn on the e4. The White’s position is destroyed. And Black is
totally winning. So let’s make a few moves back..Let’s say White decided to move the
queen, not backward, but forward, and plays Qxe7. What can Black do in this case? In fact,
there are a few ways for Black to proceed with. One of them is Qa5+ which is very powerful.
It’s hitting the White’s king and the knight and also putting an extra pressure on the
bishop. It’s really a multi-functional move. And White crumbles here..after Nc3, there
is a new problem for White after Re8. White is losing the queen because of the pin. In
the actual game, White refused to take the knight. He realized how harmful it is, for
him. And he simply retreated back with his queen. Now after the exchange of the knights,
White’s e4-pawn became unprotected and Black can simply capture it. White replied with
Bxe7, attacking the queen, and the queen goes away. Here, there is another interesting situation
where White, once again, could take some material..could win the exchange. Let’s see what would happen
in case White would really take that..then Black recaptures with the bishop, because
that attacks the White’s queen and therefore, White has to react..has to spend time on making
defensive moves. And after Qb3, Black could simply trade the queens and it also advantageous
for him. But there is another little combination. And it’s again, with the knight. And once
again, if you focus your attention on the White’s half of the board, and think what
damage Black can do there, you can find the combination pretty easily. It starts from
Nxc3 and after Qxc3, Black can win the queen using the pin motif, once again. This time,
it’s Bb4 and White is losing the queen. That’s why for the second time in this game, White
refused to take the material. And instead of taking opponent’s rook, he played Bc4.
And generally, this is certainly the right idea, because you need to develop pieces.
Finally, Black, anyway, took that pawn wit Nxc3. This time, the trick is slightly different.
Although, we have seen a similar motif before..if White accepts this knight sacrifice, then
after Re8, Black will win the bishop, using the same pin on the White’s king. So Black
will take back the bishop, and he won the pawn on c3, and therefore he will just have
an advantageous position. After Nxc3, White didn’t take the knight. But he found quite
a creative way to continue fighting – he played Bc5. He wants to remove this bishop from eventual
danger, and them pick the Black’s knight in a come-position. However, Fischer was known
as a guy who always willing to go into complications..and in such complications, his main idea was to
try to refute the opponent’s idea. And let’s see how he did that in this case. First, he
played Rfe8+, so counter-attacking the White’s king. And now the king has to move and therefore,
will be unable to castle anymore. And now Black made another counter-attacking move
which is really brilliant, really shocking..because it seems like Black has to move the queen
somewhere..move it from danger. But all of a sudden, he just left the queen right there
and made a counter-attacking move. Can you find it? In fact, there are even two counter-attacking
moves here. One is Nb5, counter-attacking White’s queen. But the move Black played in
the game is much stronger. He played Be6! So, I have told you that normally, go into
the opponent’s half of the board and make some damage there. This move was exceptional
in all the senses. Here Black sacrifices a queen and is willing to counter-attack. Now
let’s see what happens if White takes one of the Black’s pieces. In case of Qxc3, there
is really a funny variation. Here Black can recapture the White’s piece using the pin.
But this time, the pin is different – it’s the pin on the White’s queen. So at the moment,
Black is a pawn up and White cannot really capture any of the Black’s material because
the White’s bishop is pinned by the queen. The White’s pawn is pinned by the bishop.
So it’s a very funny situation! Now let’s come back. If White tries to take, not the
knight, but to take the bishop on e6, there is another very famous tactical motif that
you are probably aware of, or if not, you definitely need to remember it! It starts
from Qb5+, where Black can deliver a smothered mate. And then Ne2+, the only way that can
White can go is Kf1, then Ng3+, it is double check with the knight and the queen. That’s
why, White has to move the king somewhere,. And after Kg1, Black can sacrifice the queen
and deliver a smothered mate. This is a really famous tactical motif which happens in different
positions. Therefore, it’s worth remembering! And here is the critical point of the game
where Black played a brilliant move of Be6 with a devastating counter-attack. White,
in the actual game, just took the queen. And let’s see what happened next….Black took
the bishop with a check (Bxc4+), so king has to move. And now there is another interesting
tactical motif known as the “Windmill” or discover attack/check. Here after Ne2+ and
Kf1, you can notice that Black can make lots of moves with this knight while delivering
a discovered check with the bishop. And there will be no way for White to do anything except
for just moving his king. And that’s why, by using this Windmill motif, Black collected
the d4-pawn and then move the knight back to c3 where it attacks the White’s rook on
d1. So here you can notice that the situation is the same as it was a few moves ago, but
with the difference that Black took the d4-pawn of White. Okay, here is another position and
once again, you need to decide what to do. How would you play here as Black? Will you
take the White’s rook on b1 or will you take the bishop? In the game, Black decided to
take the bishop and this is definitely the winning move and once again, I’d like to emphasize
this Fischer’s attitude towards the game. He always made sure that his every piece is
ACTIVE! And that’s the idea you really need to keep in mind while playing. By taking the
bishop on b6, Black not only collects a material, but also brings his rook into play. It starts
to attack the White’s queen and now, really all of the Black’s pieces are active. We cannot
say the same thing about White because his rook on h1 is in the corner, doing nothing.
And this position is already winning for Black. White played Qb4, attacking the bishop. Black
replied with Ra4, protecting the bishop with a tempo. And after queen goes away, Black
simply took the rook and now already, Black has this decisive material advantage. He has
the rook and two bishops against a queen! And for queen, a single piece, it is impossible
to fight against three powerful pieces of his opponent. So now Black starts to collect..simply
take everything..Rxe1..White made an intermediate check…and then took back the rook. And this
is the last instructive moment in this game where I’d like to ask you to think – how would
you proceed here if you are Black? Well, there could be different ideas. For instance, you
have the passed pawns..you can try to push them forward, create a new queen or maybe
you would like to keep attacking White’s king somehow. Anyway, Fischer took a different
approach. As we said before, his priority has always been to make that his every piece
is active. And at the moment, although Black has the decisive material advantage, his pieces
are unorganized. The bishop o f8 is pinned, it cannot move. Now the other pieces are doing
different jobs..they are not coordinated. They don’t serve any single goal. And that’s
why instead of just trying to push the pawns or protect the king, the first priority of
Fischer was to coordinate his pieces to make sure all of them are active. He started this
by putting his minor pieces in the center, Bd5 and then Ne4. Now his pieces are centralized,
protecting each other. It is impossible for White to create any counter-play. Then Qb8,
attacking the pawn. Black removed it and after Ne5, Black played Kg7 to unpin his bishop
and now, it’s ready to go Bd6, attacking all of the White’s pieces and his king. And White
is defenseless. He played Kg1 to remove the king from the eventual pin, but he fell into
the mating net instead. Here Black delivers a checkmate! Now let’s summarize the 2 main
techniques of Bobby Fischer, that he used in this game to play such brilliant chess.
The first thing is that, he always made sure his EVERY piece is ACTIVE. If you keep this
idea in mind while playing, you’ll never have bad pieces and your game will be consistent,
stable and very strong. The second rule – you need to attack, move your pieces to opponent’s
side of the board. If you keep this algorithm for finding attacking moves, in mind, you
will find lots of brilliant, tactical, attacking moves similar to Bobby Fischer. So keep these
rules in mind and play brilliant chess! πŸ™‚ If you want to test your skills and how well
you digested this information, I’ve prepared one puzzle for you from another famous game
of Bobby Fischer. You will a link to that puzzle below the video (in description). Give
it a try and test your skills. Thanks for watching! πŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “13-year-old Fischer plays the GREATEST chess game of all time!

  1. Glad to see you're back making videos Igor! Great instructive game, I've always admired how Fischer seemed to make it look easy. This was due to the fact that he always found the best squares for all his pieces so they worked together in harmony.

  2. Hey, is there any video of GM Smirnov playing an online chess game? If not, I would really like to see that, him playing and commentating at the same time beacuse it would be both really instructive and entertaining. Keep up the good work!

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