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   Welcome to a chess page, where I dissect a chess trap in detail. ENJOY!!!  (ct_an1-hdr.gif,  03 KB)

 GM Bobby Fischer (2515) - GM Samuel Reshevsky (2693) 

USA-Champ. (5th Rosenwald Tournament)
New York, NY {USA}  (Rd # 6),  1958.

[A.J.G. (May, 2000)]


Anatomy of a Chess Trap, # 1.


Most people will tell you that chess traps have no place at the very highest levels of chess ... and they would be wrong. Here we see the mighty Reshevsky - perhaps one of the strongest players in the world in the mid-nineteen-fifties ... done in by a cunning trap. 

This game may have decided first place in the U.S. Championship that year, as Fischer finished undefeated and won by just one point ... 
perhaps this point was the one in question?


1.e4 c5;  {Diagram?}  
In those days Fischer only opened with: One ... "Pawn to King's Four." 

Reshevsky countered with a Sicilian.

     [ I think Reshevsky may have been better off playing: 
       1...e6;  {Diagram?}  with a French. 
       (In the early years, Fischer's handling of the French 
        and Caro-Kann were not as strong as his other lines.) ]  

Fischer continues with an open Sicilian, the sharpest line. 
(Young Bobby played the  'Open Sicilian'  from BOTH sides.)
2.Nf3 Nc6;  3.d4 cxd4;  4.Nxd4 g6;  {Diagram?}  
The line known as: "The Accelerated Dragon."

This was actually a favorite of Reshevsky's for many years.
(He would even use it in five-minute.) 

My only question is ... ... ... 
did Bobby prepare this whole thing in advance?

    [ 4...e6!? ]  

Both sides continue to develop.
5.Nc3 Bg7;  6.Be3 Nf6;  7.Bc4 0-0;  8.Bb3!?, {Diagram?}  
A very tricky move by Fischer ... that avoids a well-known trap. 

     [ 8.f3!? Qb6!9.Bb3 Nxe4!!10.fxe4!? Bxd4!;  {Diag?}  
       and Black wins a Pawn. ]

  8...Na5?;   (Maybe - '??')  {See the diagram just below.}  
A horrible move, this had been refuted in printed analysis over five 
years prior to this game. 
(The problem was it was printed in Soviet Chess magazines!) 

     [ With the simple:  8...d6;  {Diagram?}  
       Black transposes back to book, and is probably fine. ] 


  Black has just played ...Na5. How does White respond to this move?  (ct_ana1_pos1.jpg, 28 KB)

 Fischer responded with his next move almost instantly. 
9.e5!,  {Diagram?}  
Fischer was ready ... with his prepared line. 

     [ Not as convincing was: 9.0-0 Nxb310.axb3 d6; "=" ]  

9...Ne8?!;  (Probably - '?' ... maybe even - '??'{Diag?} 
After this move ... Black is just plain lost, materially speaking.
(Black HAD to play ...Nxb3[].)

But the refutation is quite pretty.
(And obviously Reshevsky did not see it.) 

     [ In the line: >/=  9...Nxb3[]10.exf6 Nxa111.fxg7 Nxc2+;   
       12.Qxc2 Kxg713.Qd2, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
       White has a solid positional edge, and perhaps a won 
       game ... BUT!  ... At least Black is no worse off from a 
       material standpoint.  (Black has a Rook and TWO Pawns 
       for the two Knights he lost.) ]  

10.Bxf7+!!,  {Diagram?}  
An astounding shot ... but Fischer deserves no credit here, 
other than for his diligent preparation. 

     [ I think Reshevsky expected something like: 
       10.f4 d6; "=/+" {Diag?}  when Black has no problems.  ] 

10...Kxf7!?;  {Diagram?}  
Either he does not see it yet, or he has already given up. 

It might have been better to play ...Rxf7; and avoid the damage 
to his pawn structure that Black incurs with this move.

     [ Or 10...Rxf7; 11.Ne6 Qc7; 12.Nxc7 Nxc7; 13.f4, "+/-" ]   

11.Ne6!!;  {Diagram?}  

"Oh! Hmmm. <pause> OK." 
(What Reshevsky was heard to mutter when Fischer played 
 this incredible shot.) 

The great Reshevsky, whom I feel would have defeated Botvinnik 
in a set match in the mid-1950's; is done in by a (not-so) simple 
chess trap.

     [ Not 11.Qf3+ Kg812.Qd5+ Kh8; "-/+" ]  

11...dxe6;  {Diagram?}  
This is more-or-less forced.  

     [ After the moves: </=  11...Kxe6?; ('??')  12.Qd5+ Kf5; 
       13.g4+! Kxg414.Rg1+,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?} 
        Black is quickly mated. ]   

12.Qxd8,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}  
Reshevsky is completely 'busted.' 
And he should probably resign, shake Fischer's hand, and go get 
some lunch. (But he hangs grimly on until after the first session, 
perhaps to avoid the ignominious fame of being a world-class 
master & caught in such a trap.)

White wins in 42 moves.  


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2000.  Copyright () A.J.G; 2001-2003.  


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  This page was first posted on my web site - AS TEXT ONLY! - in 2000 or 2001. (Completely re-done in June, 2003. Posted here as an HTML page in July, 2003.)

   Last up-date:  Sunday;  September 20th, 2003.  Last edit or save on: 07/14/2012 .  

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