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  Fischer - Panno;  B.A. 1970 

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GM  R.J.  ("Bobby")  Fischer  (2685)  
- GM  Oscar Panno  (2496)
Buenos Aires,  ARG  (Round # 8),   1970  

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

   The "picture-graph" (medal) of the ChessBase document. You can tell at a glance the outstanding features of the chess game. (fisch-panno_ts_1.gif, 02 KB)

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Easily one of the greatest games ever played. (Certainly one of Bobby's best games.)

All the players who were present - many Top GM's were watching this game - failed to predict that Fischer would win. (Or how.) 

From one of the most dominating tournament performances of all time. (Fischer scored just four draws, a monstrous 13 wins, and no losses. He buried a field that included about 10 of the best players in the world ... of that particular time in chess history.)

Panno was a strong player, and was having a very good tournament. (He finished third here, just a half point behind second-place Tukmakov. {10.5})


My annotations are my own. But I based them on GM S. Gligoric's work, and the work of the book:  "The Games of Robert J. Fischer,"  edited by Robert G. Wade and also Kevin J. O'Connell. (Game # 523, page # 274.)

1.e4 c52.Nf3 e63.d3!?,   
The King's Indian Attack, a favorite of Fischer's since his youth. 
(See Fischer's book, "My 60 Memorable Games," for several examples  
 of his use of the King's Indian Attack.)  

Panno is a great expert (as Black) in the open systems of the Sicilian Defense. 
(Fischer decides to side-step Panno's best lines ...   
 and probably most of his preparation for this game, as well.)  

Wade and O'Connell call this move an effective  'second-string' 
answer to Black's opening system.

  [ One of the main lines is: 3.d4 cxd4; 4.Nxd4 Nc6; 5.Nc3 Qc7; {Diag?}
      with a good game for both sides.

      See the encounter: A. O'Kelly - O. Panno;
      Capablanca Memorial, 1969.
      (Black won a crisp game in just 32 sharp moves.)

       Fischer was undoubtedly familiar with this game and, perhaps
       having found no weaknesses in Panno's game, decides to
       avoid the entire line.
       (He also watched Panno's blitz games intently. Did he discover
        a weakness in his play?) ]   


3...Nc64.g3 g6!?;   
"Black avoids the French type of position a la
 Fischer - Miagmasuren;  Sousse Interzonal, 1967."
  - Wade and O'Connell.   (Fischer scored a crushing win.)   

To me, this fianchetto is both too slow and too weakening.
(But it is obviously playable, as dozens of titled players have
 used this system.)

   [ The main line is: 4...d5; 5.Nbd2 Nf6; 6.Bg2 Be7; 7.0-0 0-0;
, "+/=" {Diagram?}
White has just a very, very small edge 
     in this position.

     Checking ChessBase's on-line database, (as well as my own); we find 
     this position has occurred at the Master level over 1000 times! The first 
     example was a game of  Aaron Nimzovich  vs. L. Forgacs  from 
     Ostende, (B) 1907.

     A very good game is: V. Borjanovic - V. Cabarkapa;
     JUG Championship (T2), 1994. (29)  (Black won an interesting game.) ]  


5.Bg2 Bg76.0-0 Nge77.Re1 d68.c3!,   
Fischer plays both simply and elegantly ... and in the pure 
classical style.

(He goes for the simple and slow expansion in the center.)

   [ After the continuation: 8.Nc3 0-0; 9.Be3 Nd4; "=" {Diagram?} 
      White has little or no edge. 

      K. Warhid - B. Wexler;  FIDE Men's Olympiad, (Prelim.) 
      Leipzig/W. Germany/1960. (Drawn in 41 moves.) ]   


8...0-09.d4 cxd4!?;   
Black decides to open the game. As Wade and O'Connell 
note this is a monumental decision which determines the 
nature of the game for a very long time. 

In hindsight, it may have been wiser for Black to keep the
game closed. 

   [ Was  9...b6!?; "~"  playable? ]  


10.cxd4 d5!?11.e5('!')  {Diagram?} 
The correct response, fixing the dark squares on the King-side. 
(Fischer loves these types of position.) 

   [ The continuation of: 11.exd5!? Qxd5!?; 12.Nc3 Qd7
, "=" 
holds almost no promise of an edge for White. ]  


Black decides to keep the center closed, and play on the wings.

   [ According to Wade and O'Connell, Black could not have liked the looks 
     of a line like: 11...f6!?; 12.exf6 Bxf6!?; 13.Bh6 Bg7!?; 14.Bxg7 Kxg7; 
     15.Nc3, "+/="  {Diagram?}   White has a small, but clear edge. 
     (Black has many weaknesses for Fischer to play against.) ]  


12.Nc3 Rc813.Bf4 Na5!?;   
Last chance for ...f6?  (So says Wade and O'Connell.) 

Black gets almost nothing from this Knight sally here. 

   [ In my mind, too risky is: 13...f6!?; 14.exf6 Bxf6; 15.Bh3, "+/=" {Diag?} 
     with a comfortable game for White here. 

     I like the continuation of: >/=  13...Nf5; 14.Rc1 h5!; "~" {Diagram?} 
     with a playable game for Black here. ]  


White now plays slowly and logically to increase his edge. 
14.Rc1 b5
15.b3 b416.Ne2 Bb517.Qd2 Nac6!;   
Black avoids exchanges, as he probably feels he is not ready for to 
contest the c-file yet. 

   [  Interesting was: 17...Rxc1!?; 18.Rxc1 Nec6; 19.Bh6!?, "~" {Diagram?}  
       with a difficult game. ]


18.g4!(Excellent.)  {Diagram?} 
Since White has an edge on the King-side, and has ambitions there; 
it is natural - and good - for White to seek to increase his edge in 
that sector. 

(Several other authors also praise this move.) 

   [ 18.Bg5!? ]  


Black continues to play on the Queen-side. 

Wade and O'Connoll advise Black should play BxN/e2 here, but 
Panno said later he did not want to give Bobby the two Bishops! 

(Fischer fear?)  

   [ Maybe dangerous is: 18...Bxe2; 19.Rxe2 Qb6; 20.Qd3! a5; 
, "+/=" {Diagram?}  with a growing advantage. 
      (But maybe Black can defend.) ]


19.Ng3 Qb620.h4!,   
White continues his King-side demonstration, but later Panno 
said he was unconcerned. (Against Fischer?!?) 

   [ Maybe 20.Be3 Rfd8; "~" {Diagram?} with unclear results. ]  


20...Nb821.Bh6 Nd7;   
Black maneuvers to try and defend his King-side. The square, (f6); 
is very vulnerable. Additionally, White will soon be able to consider 
sacrificial ideas based on Nh5!? 

   [ An inferior line is:  21...Bd7?!; 22.Bxg7 Kxg7; 23.Rxc8 Rxc8
, "+/=" {Diagram?}
  and White is much better. ]


Best say Wade and O'Connoll, who also award an exclam. 

White continues to step up the pressure on the dark squares.  

   [ Also interesting is: 22.Bxg7!?  "+/=" {Diagram?} 
      with a slight edge for White. ]  


22...Rxc123.Rxc1 Bxh6!?;   
Black finally decides to exchange. 

This is maybe an inferior move, although six different Fischer 
books give no comment here. 

   [ Maybe a better defense was: 23...f6; 24.Qe3 Rf7; 25.Bxg7 Kxg7; 
, "+/=" {Diagram?}  but White still holds a sizeable 
      advantage in this position. ]


24.Qxh6 Rc825.Rxc8+ Nxc826.h5!,   
The best say Wade and O'Connell, who also award this move 
an exclamation point. 

White continues to probe the pawn structure around Black's King. 
He also softens Black up a bit and prepares a later tactical shot. 

   [ White could also play: 26.Qf4!? Qc727.Ng5 Ndb628.h5, "+/="  {Diag?}  
      with a clear, (small, but solid); advantage. {A.J.G.} 

      Wade and O'Connell give the variations of:  26.Qg5!?, "+/=" {Diagram?}  
      with a slight advantage. 

      They also provide the line of:  26.Ng5!? Nf827.N3e4?,  {Diagram?} 
      This is a mistake here.   (Necessary was: 27.Nf3, "=")    27...dxe4;   
      28.Nxe4 Qd8
; "-/+" {Diagram?}
  Black has a sizeable edge. ]  


26...Qd8!?;   (Probably - '?!')    {Diagram?} 
Black probably makes a slight error ... in an extremely difficult 

Wade and O'Connell state that Black has to play 
...Nf8;  in this position. 

  '?' - Wade and O'Connell

   [ Another line is: 26...Qc7!?27.Ng5 Nf828.Nxh7!!,  {Diagram?} 
and White has a virulent attack. 

      Forced was 26...Nf8[];  {Diagram?}  
      say Wade and O'Connell. ]


Blacks's faulty play now ... "enables Fischer to set in motion a most 
elegant storming of the Black King's citadel." 
 - Wade and O'Connoll.   
27.Ng5! Nf8;   {See the diagram just below.} 
Black appears to be defending and have all of his bases covered.

   The actual game position after Black's 27th move. (fisch-panno_ts_pos1.jpg, 30 KB)


28.Be4!!,    (Maybe - '!!!/!!!!')     {Diagram?}
An incredible move, surely one of the most brilliant and shocking 
moves ever executed on a chess board. In a GREATLY simplified 
position, Bobby is attacking! (Offering to sack a piece!!) And now 
he has found a way to involve all of his pieces in the assault. 

   [ Nearly all the computers find the win for White with: 28.hxg6! hxg6[]; {Diag?} 
     This is forced.  (Even worse is: 28...fxg6?!; 29.Nxh7 Nxh7; 30.Qxg6+ Kh8; 
       31.Qxe6 Ne7; 32.f4, "+/-" {Diagram?}  with a probably winning pawn-roller 
       for White.)    29.Qh8+ Kxh830.Nxf7+ Kg731.Nxd8 Na7; 
     32.f4, "+/-"  {Diagram?}  and White is probably winning. 

     This works, but Fischer's win is much more accurate and 
      vastly more impressive. ]  


This is both best and forced. 
(Black dies horribly if he captures the Bishop.) 

   [ A terrible blunder is: 28...dxe4?; (Maybe - '??')  {Diagram?}  
     This is a mistake, f6 is now indefensible.  29.N3xe4 Bc6; {Diag?} 
     There is little Black can do.   (29...Nd7; 30.Qxh7+ Kf8; 31.Qxf7#.   
        Or 29...f5; 30.Nf6+, ("+/-")  Or 29...Qe7; 30.Nf6+ Kh8;    
        31.Ngxh7, ("+/-")  and White gives mate shortly.)    
     30.Nf6+ Qxf6; {Diagram?}  
     What else can Black do?  (Except resign!)   (30...Kh8; 31.Nxf7#)    
     31.exf6, ("+/-") {Diagram?}  and it is mate next move. ]


29.Nxh7!!,   (NO FEAR!)    
Fischer continues his brilliant lesson in world-class tactics.  

     [ White could also play:  29.Bb1!, "+/=" {Diagram?}  
        with some advantage.  


        Apparently, Fritz likes a move ... that I tried to analyze 
        some 15 years ago. However, I always got lost in the   
        mazes of the different variations.  29.Nf5!!also will win 
        for White. See the FREE download (link) below ...  
        for more details. ]


29...Nxh7; 30.hxg6 fxg6;   
This is forced.

   [ Not 30...Nf8??; 31.g7, "+/-" {Diag?}
and White is winning easily.]  


31.Bxg6 Ng5?!('?')   {Diagram?} 
According to Wade and O'Connoll, this is Black's only real try. 
But actually the move is a mistake, and allows White to win quickly. 

To be fair, I should also point out Panno was running very low on 
thinking time on the clock. The move looks logical, and Panno 
thought he was winning here. But he is in for a very rude surprise. 

   [ Black had to play: >/=  31...Qg7!?32.Bxh7+ Kh8;  {Diagram?}  
     This is forced. 
      ( Bad is: 32...Qxh7?; 33.Qxe6+ Qf7; 34.Qxc8+, ("+/-") {A.J.G.} ) 
     33.Qxg7+ Kxg7; 34.Bb1! Ne7; 35.f4 Nc6; 36.Kf2, "+/" {Diag?} 
     White has a comfortable extra pawn, and basically a won game. 
     ( - Wade and O'Connoll) 

      A nice try, but one that comes up short is: 
      </=  31...Nf8?!32.Nh5 Nd733.g5 Ncb634.Nf6+ Nxf6;  
      35.exf6! Qc736.f7+ Qxf737.Bxf7+ Kxf738.g6+ Ke7;  
      39.g7,  "+/-"   {Diagram?}  
      and White makes a new Queen.  ]  


32.Nh5 Nf3+; 33.Kg2 Nh4+; 34.Kg3 Nxg6;  
Now if White takes the Knight, Black is clearly better. 

35.Nf6+!,   (Maybe - '!!')    Another sacrifice!  
Fischer pulls one more surprise from his bag of tricks. 

   [ Panno expected something like:  35.Qxg6+ Kf8; {Diagram?} 
     This is forced.   (35...Qg7??; 36.Qxg7#)   36.Nf4 Bd7; {Diagram?}
      and Black  < appears >  to be defending his position. 
(Actually, Panno is probably losing this position as well. 
       He said after the game, he thought he was holding. But a deep 
       computer analysis reveals he will eventually lose.)  ]  


Black Resigns.   (36...Kf8; 37.Qg8 is mate.) 

One of the most brilliant games on record. 

Surely one of the great Bobby Fischer wins.  
(And one of my favorite games.)


Copyright () A.J. Goldsby I.  Copyright (c) A.J.G, 2002. 

Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2009. All rights reserved.  

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This game is almost an exact copy of the ChessBase document, as it exists in my database. (I have not shortened it for publication.) If you want to obtain a copy of this to study on your own computer, you may contact me by clicking  here

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  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2012.  All rights reserved.  


Game first posted (rough version) sometime during the month of October, 2002. Up-Dated: Monday;  November 25th, 2002.  Last edit or save on: Saturday, July 14, 2012 02:16 AM .  

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