Pawn Sacrifice Special Lesson: Fischer Channels Morphy

To celebrate the release of the movie Pawn Sacrifice, I have decided to put the spotlight on Bobby Fischer’s games in many of my group chess lessons. Below, I’ve attached my notes to the Fischer game that I presented this last Saturday at Achiever Institute in Fremont. If you missed this lesson there, I will be delivering a repeat performance at Achievements Academy in Dublin on Sunday, September 27th. Pawn Sacrifice is currently in theaters across the country.

Bobby Fischer playing a simul in 1964.

Bobby Fischer playing a simul in 1964.

[Event “Bobby Fischer’s Simultaneous Exhibition Tour”]
[Site “Chicago”]
[Date “1964.3.23”]
[Round “”]
[White “Fischer Robert J (USA)”]
[Black “Rouse T.”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Fischer Robert J (USA) +6 =0 -2}

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 {?} {This moves just asks for trouble. Much better is the 5… Na5 line where black gives a pawn to gain the initiative.}
( 5…Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Nd5 9.Nf3 Bd6 10.O-O Nf4
11.Re1 Nxd3 12.cxd3 O-O 13.Nc3 Re8 14.h3 c5 15.b3 Ba6 16.Ba3
Bxd3 17.Ne4 Bxe4 18.Rxe4 f5 19.Ra4 e4 20.Nh2 Nc6 21.Rc1 Ne5 22.d4
Nd3 23.dxc5 Bf4 24.Rc2 e3 25.f3 {…0-1, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2698 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2812 , Leuven 10/ 9/2011 Match (blitz)})

6.d4

Position after 6. d4.

Position after 6. d4.

{This is the Lolli Variation. White’s other tasty choice is known as the Fried Liver Attack and continues:}
( 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 ) 

6… exd4 

{Black’s most common move but certainly not the best. Other options include:} 
( 6…Be7 7.Nxf7 Kxf7 8.Qf3+ ) ( 6…Be6 7.O-O Qd7 8.Re1 )
( 6…Nxd4 7.c3 f6 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 fxg5 11.O-O
Bf5 {is black’s best bet.} )

7.O-O Be7

Position after 7... Be7.

Position after 7… Be7.

( 7…Ne5 8.Re1 f6 9.Qxd4
c6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.Bxd5 cxd5 12.Qxd5 Bd7 13.Qxd6 Kf7 14.Rxe5 fxe5
15.Nxe5+ Ke8 16.Bg5 Qc8 17.Qe7# {1-0, Holes Michal (CZE) 1882 – Stransky Pavel, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) 2008.04.30})

( 7…f6 8.Re1+ Be7 9.Qf3 Ncb4 10.c3 Nc2 11.Bxd5 Nxe1 12.Qh5+
g6 13.Bf7+ Kd7 14.Qg4+ Kd6 15.Ne6 Qd7 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Nxd4+ Kb6
18.Qe2 Rf8 19.Be6 Qe8 20.Na3 Bxe6 21.Nxe6 Bxa3 22.bxa3 Nxg2 23.Bxc7+
Kc6 24.Qe4+ Kb5 25.Rb1+ Ka6 26.Nc5# {1-0 Chris Torres – Iddo Zohar, Cupertino 2012.})

8.Nxf7 {and now it starts to look like a Fried Liver except that white is already castled.}

8… Kxf7 9.Qf3+ {Developing with threats just as in the Fried Liver Attack.}

9… Ke6

Position after 9... Ke6.

Position after 9… Ke6.

( 9…Ke8 10.Bxd5 Rf8 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Qxc6+ Bd7 13.Qd5 Rf7
14.Qxd4 Bg5 15.Qe4+ Be7 16.Bg5 Kf8 17.Bxe7+ Rxe7 18.Qxh7 Kf7
19.Qh5+ Kg8 20.Nc3 Bc6 21.Rfe1 Rf7 22.Re2 Qd4 23.Rae1 Raf8 24.Rf1
Bd7 25.Qg5 Bc8 26.Qe3 Qd6 27.Rd2 Qg6 28.f3 Bb7 29.Qd3 {…1/2-1/2, Krebs Caroline 998 – Hoffmann Paul (GER) 2338 , Hanau 3/22/2008 Ch Hessen (Gr. F)})

10.Re1+ {Bobby Fischer plays Re1 where Paul Morphy had previously played Nc3. Of course, both lines win.}
( 10.Nc3 dxc3 11.Re1+ Ne5 12.Bf4 Bf6 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Rxe5+ Kxe5
15.Re1+ Kd4 16.Bxd5 Re8 17.Qd3+ Kc5 18.b4+ Kxb4 19.Qd4+ {1-0, Morphy Paul 2680 – Amateur1, New Orleans 1858 Simultan (blindfold)})

Ne5 {Now both of black’s knights are pinned.}

11.Bf4 {Fischer adds more pressure to the pinned knight.}

11… Bf6

12.Nc3 {!} {And more pressure to the other pinned knight as well.}

Position after 12. Nc3!

Position after 12. Nc3!

12… c6 {Taking on c3 is also bad:} ( 12…dxc3 13.Rxe5+ Bxe5 14.Re1
Kf7 15.Rxe5 Re8 16.Bg5+ )

13.Rxe5+ {!} {Strong chess players love to sac a rook like this. Especially if we can reload the gun with the other rook.}

13… Kf7 {Had black cpatured the rook play could have continued:}
( 13…Bxe5 14.Re1 Rf8 15.Nxd5 Rf5 16.Ne3+ Kd7 17.Nxf5 Bxf4 18.Qxf4
Qf8 19.Re4 c5 20.Re6 Kd8 21.Rd6+ Bd7 22.Bb5 Qe8 23.Rxd7+ Qxd7
24.Bxd7 Kxd7 25.Qd6+ Kc8 26.Ne7# )

14.Nxd5 {!}

Position after 14. Nxd5!

Position after 14. Nxd5!

14… Be6
( 14…cxd5 15.Rxd5 {!} )

15.Rxe6 {!}

Position after 15. Rxe6!

Position after 15. Rxe6!

15… Kxe6 {Black has other options but they also lead to a checkmate for Fischer.}
( 15…cxd5 16.Bxd5 Qd7 17.Qh5+ g6 18.Re4+ Qxd5 19.Qxd5+ Kg7
20.Qxb7+ Kg8 21.Bh6 Rf8 22.Qb3+ Rf7 23.Re8# ) ( 15…b5 16.Qh5+
g6 17.Rxf6+ Qxf6 18.Nxf6+ bxc4 19.Qa5 Rhc8 20.Ng4 Re8 21.Nh6+
Kf6 22.Ng8+ Rxg8 23.Bg5+ Ke6 24.Re1+ Kd7 25.Re7+ Kd6 26.Qe5# )

16.Nxf6+ Ke7 17.Re1+ Kf8 18.Qa3+ {And the only option left is 18… c5 followed by 19. Qxc5 Qe7 20. Qxe7#}1-0

Position after 18. Qa3+

Position after 18. Qa3+

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