The Bobby Fischer Chess Masterpiece
Tactics & Calculation

The Bobby Fischer Chess Masterpiece

The Bobby Fischer Chess Masterpiece

Today we’re going to see a chess masterpiece by Bobby Fischer. It’s a game that he played against Robert Eugene Byrne, an International Master, in 1963/1964. The game was played in the United States Chess Championship, held in New York, where Fischer defeated him in only 25 moves! At the age of 20, Fischer was already among the world’s very best chess players.

In his brilliancy, Fischer demonstrates how to inject multiple imbalances into a highly symmetrical position, how to properly highlight these differences to benefit himself, and how to accurately assess the true value of the pieces as they rest on the board.

You can also watch the video lesson here.

Game: Robert Byrne vs Bobby Fischer

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6!?

Bobby Fischer

Fischer was always a player devoted to the King’s Indian Defense, and we would generally expect him to play d6 at this point, consistent with the Indian scheme. However, c6 is a very logical move. White plans to fianchetto his bishop to g2, so creating a pawn barrier with b7, c6 and d5 seems quite understandable.

4. Bg2 (4. d5!? b5!? 5. dxc6 bxc4 6. cxd7+ Nbxd7 7. Bg2 Rb8 = This was other game between Byrne – Fischer which ended in a draw. You can watch the full game below.)

Now let’s return to our main game. 4…d5. A simple and logical move. 5. cxd5. Sooner or later, White has to play this move, otherwise Black has always the option of taking on c4 in the right moment. 5…cxd5 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. e3

Bobby Fischer

With the idea of developing the knight on e2 and not obstructing the action of the bishop on g2. Nevertheless, this move has two drawbacks: First of all, it weakens the f1-a6 diagonal, and second, it closes the c1-h6 diagonal for the dark-squared bishop. 7…0-0 8. Nge2 Nc6 9. 0-0 b6. With the idea of playing Ba6.

10.b3 Ba6 11. Ba3. White activates his bishop, but it doesn’t have the same effect because the black pieces are slightly better placed. 11…Re8

 Bobby Fischer

Black aims to play e5 on the next move. It’s important to notice the small differences between both sides. Compare the f6-knight and the e2-knight, or the e7-pawn and the e3-pawn, for example. 12. Qd2. Connecting the rooks and aiming to play one of them on d1. If White manages to do this, then the e5-pawn break will be impossible; so, Black must act immediately. 12…e5! Fischer strikes in the center.

The Critical Moment

13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Rfd1? It’s always a difficult decision whether the rook moves to an open or semi-open file. It turns out that this natural-looking move is a mistake because it weakens the f2-pawn. 14…Nd3!

Fischer took advantage of White’s last move. Also, notice the coordination between the bishop on a6 and the knight on d3. 15. Qc2. Perhaps with the threat of taking the knight on d3. Unfortunately, White overlooked the next move.  15…Nxf2!! A brilliant move! Fischer destroys White’s pawn shield. 16. Kxf2 Ng4+ 17. Kg1 Nxe3-+

Winning material. White is already lost here. 18. Qd2 Nxg2! This is the correct move. Now d4 is threatening. 19. Kxg2 d4!

Bobby Fischer

A very strong and multi-functional move. Fischer threats the c3-knight and the e2-knight as well because both knights are connected. But the major threat is to open the a8-h1 diagonal for the light-squared bishop. 20. Nxd4 Bb7+ The beginning of the end for the white king. 21. Kf1 Qd7! With the obvious threat of playing Qh3+. 22. Qf2 Qh3+ 23. Kg1

Bobby Fischer

At first glance, it seems like White managed to defend himself…..Nothing is farther from the truth. 23…Re1!! A spectacular move! Black deflects one of the white pieces and wins by force. 24. Rxe1 Bxd4 25. Qxd4 Qg2#.

If you want to go a little bit deeper in this game here, I attach the full game with more variations.



If you liked this game, surely you’re gonna love my course “Play like Fischer”. That not only analyzes Fischer’s games, it also teaches his thinking system. I will show you how Fischer found those moves and how to use them in your games, answering the unanswered questions before. 😃

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I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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