A care that never quits

Annotated Chess Game: Bobby Fischer Vs Samuel Reshevsky

Here is a famous game played between Bobby Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky in 1958 at the US Championship. While going over this game, I recommend you have a chess board and you need to know algebraic chess notation to understand these moves. Enjoy.

1. e4 As Bobby Fischer once said, “1.e4 is best by test”
1. c5 This is the Sicilian Defense. Black tries to control the d4 square and prevents white from getting the ideal pawn center.
2. Nf3 The most common follow up move to 1…. c5. White prepares to play d4 and then exchange off one of his central pawns for an active position.
2. Nc6 Black plays this move to save d5 for one tempo instead of two. He would normally play d6 as a second move and then later advance the pawn to d5 now he will play d5 later on and save a move.
3. d4 White intends to trade off this d4 pawn for an active position with his knight on d4.
3. cxd4 There really is no good alternative here.
4. Nxd4 Now white has traded one of their central pawns for an active position.
4. g6 This is the Accelerated Dragon Variation. Black prepares to fianchetto his bishop on g7 where it will breathe fire down the a1-h8 diagonal.
5. Be3 Developing a bishop to add another layer of protection to the knight.
5. Nf6 Black forces white to immediately play Nc3 to defend his e4 pawn so he doesn’t have time to play c4 and go into a Maroczy Bind.
6. Nc3 White defends the pawn.
6. Bg7 Black fianchettos the bishop on g7.
7. Bc4 White locks down on the d5 square so black cannot play d5 and instantly activate his pieces anytime soon.
7. 0-0 Black simply castles and gets his king to safety.
8. Bb3 White sets a trap by tempting black to play Na5 in which case he would be completely lost after a stunning tactical sequence and at the same time moves his bishop back to a more stable safe square.
8. Na5 So Black blatantly falls into this trap by the temptation of being able to lop off white’s powerful light square bishop. However he will have no time to do this and now you will see a brilliant tactical sequence by Fischer that secures him a winning advantage.
9. e5 Chases back black’s knight to the terrible e8 square which disconnects black’s queen and rook and occupying the only safe square black had to place his queen on…
9. Ne8 There was no other safe square to go to but now…
10. Bxf7+!! This brilliant sacrifice will soon win white the enemy queen.
10. Kxf7 The only decent response here. Rxf7 leads to Ne6 where white wins the queen.
11. Ne6! But this comes anyway. Black cannot take the knight with the king because he would be checkmated after Kxe6 Qd5+ Kf5 g4+ Kxg4 Re1+ Kh4 (Kf5 Rg5#) Bg5+ Kh5 Qd1+ Rf3 Qxf3#.
11. dxe6 The only way to get something for the queen besides the bishop.
12. Qxd8 Black can resign here. His king is in a terrible place, he is behind in development, his pieces are placed on terrible squares, and he is material down. Reshevsky however plays on.
12. Nc6 Repositioning the knight to a better square and attacking the queen at the same time.
13. Qd2 However this is easily dealt with.
13. Bxe5 Wins a pawn but black is still lost here.
14. 0-0 Why not?
14. Nd6 Again repositioning one of his bad pieces.
15. Bf4 When you are up in material trade down pieces but not pawns.
15. Nc4 Attempting to chase away the defender of the bishop.
16. Qe2 But now instead of the bishop white will capture the knight.
16. Bxf4 Black trades.
17. Qxc4 White recaptures the lost material.
17. Kg7 Gets out of the pin. It’s never good to stay in a pin as that is where tactics arise from.
18. Ne4 White centralizes his knight.
18. Bc7 Black repositions his knight to a better square. Bishops generally like to be far away from the action.
19. Nc5 Threatens the e6 pawn.
19. Rf6 Which black now defends.
20. c3 Reduces the effectiveness of a later Be5.
20. e5 Black opens up the diagonal for the light square bishop. All he can do in this position is to improve the quality of his pieces and hope for a tactical sequence to arise.
21. Rad1 White occupies the open e file with his rook. Rooks like to be on open files.
21. Nd8 Black is trying to reposition the knight to the d6 square via a d8-f7-d6 route where it will be more active.
22. Nd7 White will have none of this however and repositions his own knight to a more active square.
22. Rc6 Attacks the queen and forces it to move.
23. Qh4 Now white is the one making the threats, attacking the e7 pawn.
23. Re6 Protects the pawn.
24. Nc5 Attacks the Rook. The initiative is a dynamic advantage so you need to keep it by continuously making threats.  visit
24. Rf6 The only way to keep the e7 pawn protected.
25. Ne4 Continues the harassment of the enemy rook.
25. Rf4 Attacks the queen but now loses the pawn. If Re6 again then Ng5 wins white more material.
26. Qxe7+ White captures the pawn with a check.
26. Rf7 Defends the king and attacks the queen.
27. Qa3 White places the queen in a safe spot, away from further attacks.
27. Nc6 The time where the knight would have been good on d6 has long passed so it moves back to c6 where it is more active.
28. Nd6 White is trading down pieces.
28. Bxd6 Black is forced to accept.
29. Rxd6 White recaptures with the rook getting it into a more active position, possibly planning to double up his rooks.
29. Bf5 Black finally finishes his development, 29 moves into the game.
30. b4 White is going to chase around the knight.
30. Rf8 Preparing to play Rd8 where after the exchange of rooks, the black knight will not end up on d8.
31. b5 Forcing the knight to move.
31. Nd8 There aren’t exactly many good squares to move the knight to.
32. Rd5 Attacking the now undefended e5 pawn.
32. Nf7 Which black defends.
33. Rc5 Threatening to move the rook to the 7th rank.
33. a6 Threatening to take a pawn and win a tempo by attacking the queen.
34. b6 Fischer will have none of it and simply advances the pawn.
34. Be4 Protects the b7 pawn.
35. Re1 Moves the rook to a more active file with tempo.
35. Bc6 Blocks the rook from getting to the 7th rank.
36. Rxc6!! Black will recapture and then white will have a powerful passed b pawn.
36. bxc6 Black can’t afford to lose more material.
37. b7 Passed pawns need to be pushed.
37. Rab8 The only move that both gets the rook out of danger and impedes the advancement of the b pawn.
38. Qxa7 White is happy to win free pawns. This also protects his pawn.
38. Nd8 Black desperately wants to get rid of that pawn as it is completely locking up his pieces.
39. Rb1 Fischer simply defends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *