24 March 2008

Kasparov Stops Fischer's Attack

Continuing with Fischer - Larsen, Portoroz 1958, in the diagrammed position the game continued 22.Rxh5 gxh5. Here Fischer gave 22...Bxd4 23.Qxd4 gxh5 24.g6 Qe5 25.gxf7+ Kh7 26.Qd3! and ended with the comment '(intending 27.f4) should be decisive'.

Kasparov gave 22...gxh5 a '?'. After 22...Bxd4 23.Qxd4 gxh5 24.g6, he improved on Fischer's analysis with 24...Rc4 ('!!'). His own analysis, omitting the subvariations, ran 25.gxf7+ Kxf7 26.e5 a4 27.Qf4+ Ke8 28.Bxc4 Qxc4 29.Qf5 Rc5 30.Qxh5+ Kd8 31.Qf5 Qe2 32.Rg1 Rxe5 'with equality (weakness of the back rank!)', and 25.Qe3 fxg6 26.Qh6 Kf7 27.f4 Ke8 28.Qxg6+ Kd8 29.Bxc4 Qxc4 30.e5 Qe2 'and again the weakness of the back rank denies him any hope of success.'

Portoroz Interzonal 1958
Larsen, Bent

Fischer, Robert
(After 21...Nf6-h5)
[FEN "2r3k1/2r1ppb1/3p2p1/pq4Pn/1p1BP3/1B3P2/PPPQ4/1K1R3R w - - 0 22"]

The idea starting with the countersacrifice 24...Rc4, and resulting in a weak back rank is a grandmaster conception. Kasparov could have ended his analysis there, but remarked,

It is psychologically understandable why Fischer missed this possible defense in his analysis: it casts doubt on the entire conception of his commentary, beginning with 'the losing move' 15...Rac8.

In other words, Fischer missed the defense because he was not objective about his own play. This is the sort of gratuitous commentary that so often endeared Kasparov to his contemporaries.

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