07 February 2011

Portisch - Fischer, Santa Monica 1966

Continuing with 18 Memorable Games, the next game is no.53 in Fischer's 60 Memorable Games and no.74 in Kasparov's Predecessors IV. GM Evans' introduction to the game in 60 Memorable Games said,

Normally, two Rooks for the Queen is a good trade -- better than good when it produces a setting in which the scope and power of the Rooks may be formidable. But Portisch's judgement is faulty, he fails to take into account the weakness of his Pawns.

Once again, the PGN is given here with the punctuation of both Fischer and Kasparov.

[Event "Piatigorsky Cup"]
[Site "Santa Monica"]
[Date "1966.??.??"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Portisch, L."]
[Black "Fischer, R."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E45"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 {FIS: '!'; KAS: '!?'} 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 {FIS: '!'} 5.Ne2 Ba6 6.Ng3 {KAS: '!?'} 6...Bxc3+ {FIS: '!'} 7.bxc3 d5 8.Qf3 O-O 9.e4 {FIS: '!?'; KAS: '?!'} 9...dxe4 {FIS: '!'; KAS: '!'} 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 Qd7 {FIS: '!!'; KAS: '!'} 12.Ba3 {KAS: '?!'} 12...Re8 13.Bd3 f5 14.Qxa8 {FIS: '?'; KAS: '?'} 14...Nc6 15.Qxe8+ Qxe8 16.O-O Na5 17.Rae1 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Nxc4 19.Bc1 c5 {KAS: '!'} 20.dxc5 bxc5 21.Bf4 h6 {FIS: '!'; KAS: '!'} 22.Re2 g5 23.Be5 {KAS: '?'} 23...Qd8 24.Rfe1 Kf7 25.h3 f4 {KAS: '!'} 26.Kh2 a6 {KAS: '!'} 27.Re4 Qd5 {FIS: '!'; KAS: '!'} 28.h4 Ne3 {FIS: '!'; KAS: '!'} 29.R1xe3 fxe3 30.Rxe3 Qxa2 31.Rf3+ Ke8 32.Bg7 Qc4 33.hxg5 hxg5 34.Rf8+ Kd7 35.Ra8 Kc6 0-1

Fischer's use of '!' on his second and fourth moves is unusual; on 2...e6 he commented, 'To throw White off-balance. I felt Portisch was just too well-versed in the Kings Indian', and on 4...b6, 'Other moves have been analyzed to death'. Considering that the Nimzo-Indian 4.e3 variation is still going strong 45 years after the Portisch - Fischer game, Fischer's death certificate for the Nimzo-Indian was issued prematurely.

The game was also annotated by Portisch in the tournament book. He gave 11...Qd7 a '!', 23.Be5 a '?', and 25...f4 a '!'. To play through the complete game, see...

Lajos Portisch vs Robert James Fischer; Santa Monica II. Piatigorsky Cup 1966

...on Chessgames.com.

No comments: