SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The 14th Olympiad was held in Leipzig, East Germany between October 26 and November 9 1960. Forty teams participated and the top 3 places went to, respectively, the USSR, USA and Yugoslavia. The Olympiad was a hugely successful event media wise, and attracted upwards of 10,000 spectators every day! Some of the attactions of the Olympiad included Mikhail Botvinnik, the 23 year old World Champion Mikhail Tal and 17 year old Bobby Fischer.
One of the most colourful matches was the USA against Argentina, played on Friday November 4th.
Fischer R. – Najdorf M.Leipzig 1960.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 a6 7. g5 Nfd7 8. Be3 b5 9. a3 Bb7 10. Qd2 Be7 11. h4
A photo of the game at this exact moment. Najdorf is about to make his 11th move.
11… Nc5 12. f3 Qc7 13. O-O-O Nbd7
Najdorf has not played the opening with precision, and now Fischer sacrifices a piece for 3 pawns and a solid endgame advantage.
14. Bxb5! axb5 15. Ndxb5 Qc6 16. Nxd6 Bxd6 17. Qxd6 O-O-O 18. Qxc6 Bxc6
White has 3 pawns for a Knight, all of those pawns being passed! In principle, the position is won, but Fischer encounters difficulty when Najdorf refuses to go down without a fight and puts up fantastic resistance!
19. b4 Na4 20. Rd6 Kc7 21. Rxc6 Kxc6 22. Nxa4 Ra8 23. Nc3 Rxa3 24. Kb2 Rha8 25. f4 Nb6 26. Bxb6 Kxb6 27. Rd1 R3a7 28. Rd6 Kb7 29. h5 h6 30. gxh6 gxh6 31. f5 Re8 32. Nb5 Ra4 33. c3 exf5 34. Rf6 Re7 35. Nd6 Kb8 36. exf5 Ra6 37. Rxh6 Kc7 38. Nb5 Kb7 39. Nd6 Kc7 40. Nb5 Kb7 41. Rh7 Rf6 42. Nd4 (here the game was adjourned for several hours,and when resumed Fischer lets Najdorf off the hook) 42…Re4 43. Kc2 Re3 44. Kb3 Re4 45. Rh8 Rh4 46. Re8 Rxh5 47. Re7 Kc8 48. Kc4 Rh3 49. b5 Rg3 50. Nc6 Rxf5 51. Na7 Kd8 52. Nc6 Kc8 53. Re4 Kc7 54. Nd4 Rf1
A visibly relaxed Najdorf, realizing that the worse is over
Fischer had just played Re7ch and Najdorf is about to move his King
Fischer has to take a draw now
56. Rd7 Rc1 57. Rd6 Kb7 58. Ne2 Rg4 59. Nd4 Rg3 [½:½]
”Realizing that he could no longer win, Fischer swept the pieces off the board and declared to an astonished Najdorf, ”I’ll take a draw.” Miguel accepted the proposal, but later, in the foyer, made it known that Fischer would have to wait a long time before being invited to a tournament in Argentina. Indeed, that only happened in 1970.” page 41 , Najdorf: Life and Games. (Batsford)
Fischer was usually a perfect gentleman at the board, and there is only one explanation for his behaviour: he was getting even with Najdorf! A few months before this game, on Saturday, the 6th of August 1960, in Caracas , Venezuela, Bobby Fischer participated in a blitz tournament, with Najdorf being one of the participants.
Each player had 10 minutes for the entire game. Fischer defeated Najdorf in the first round (see photo);
Najdorf immediately withdrew from the tournament! As a result, the score did not count and a frustrated Bobby Fischer only managed to finish in 2nd place!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS