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Best Chess Games: Bobby Fischer Vs, Reuben Fine (1-0)

A Tactical Gem with Lessons on the Initiative, King Safety, and the Common Tactic: The Decoy
Charles Galofre, Yahoo Contributor Network

The following game we are going to examine is one between Robert James Fischer (Bobby Fischer, disputably the best player to have ever played the game of chess) and another notable player Grandmaster (GM) Reuben Fine. Fine was an elite player during the 1930's and 1950's. To view this game in a game viewer with board and pieces plus commentary click here: 1. e4 Fischer begins the game with 1.e4 as quotes, or previously stated by him "best by test" 1... e5 Fine responds in a symmetrical fashion indicating he is willing to play into a King's Pawn Game. 2. Nf3 A normal development move, with a simple intention, white is threatening to capture the pawn on e5. It is important to notice that this is the best development square for the knight. From the square f3 the knight influences, or radiates control over 8 squares. Look at the alternatives and see if you would agree. 2... Nc6 Defends the pawn and at the same time develops the queens knight. 3. Bc4 White develops classically and in a very logical fashion. He has maneuvered the bishop to a clean diagonal (a2-g8 diagonal) with intentions of targeting the weak pawn on f7. 3... Bc5 Black continues by developing his kings bishop to an active diagonal aiming towards the f2 pawn. 4. b4 ! an interesting gambit known in the chess community as the Evans Gambit. The sacrifice of the pawn is an investment for the sake of time and "energy" for his pieces. 4... Bxb4Black accepts the gambit by capturing the offer a la Wilhelm Steinitz ( first world chess champion ). "A sacrifice is best refuted by accepting it." - W. Steinitz 5. c3 White attacks the bishop opening lines for his queen but most importantly creating the threat of seizing the initiative in the center by playing d2-d4! 5... Ba5Black retreats keeping an eye on the white king from afar (on e1) 6. d4 ! notice the influence that whites pieces have compared to blacks. White has two paws in the center (also known as the classical center) compared to one pawn for black. In addition all of whites army have more squares for movement meaning they will soon have more "energy" or influence over the game. 6... exd4 Black captures the pawn. 7. O-O ! White castles. It might be difficult to understand the counter intuitive move. It would seem more natural to capture the pawn but this is not possible due to the pin on the c3 pawn ( the pawn cannot be recaptured because it exposes the white king to a capture, in essence, it is an "illegal move"). A further illustration over the decision of the world champion to castle is that by doing so he speeds up the development of his forces by putting his king to safety. Now that the king is safe, he can focus on mercilessly attacking the opponents king. 7... dxc3 Black continues capturing material. It would be advisable to play Ng8-e7 as most Grandmasters today do. This move in a very wise manner allows black to castle on the very next, putting the king to safety. 8. Qb3 ! very aggressively attacking the pawn on f7. Notice that the queen and bishop coordinate in mutually attacking the weak f7 pawn. 8... Qe7 Black defends with his queen. Notice that the natural Ng8-h6 would lose to Bc1-h6 capturing the knight and removing the defender. 9. Nxc3 Nf6 10. Nd5Opening lines for his pieces. This is advisable in these types of positions, when attacking, you want open lines for your pieces to reach the opponents king and targets. 10... Nxd5 11. exd5 Now the e-file ( squares from e-1 to e-8 ) is open and the pawn very conveniently threatens to capture the valuable knight on c6. In essence gaining time. 11... Ne5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Bb2 Attacking the queen and connecting the rooks on a1 and f1. 13... Qg5 You can now take stock of the position, even though white is down in material it is not a significant factor in the outcome of the game. Whites position is qualitatively better because: 1. the opponents king is in the center of the board

(with no refuge) 2. black is lacking in development, and his pieces on g5 (the queen) and a5 (the bishop) are not really in harmony with the demands of the position, they should be defensively placed due to the exposure of the king. 14. h4 A decoy. The idea is to force the queen to capture another pawn to surrender the defense of the g7 pawn. Once this pawn is gone there will be too many weaknesses in the black position. How you ask? Well the only hope for black is to castle bringing his king to safety by shielding him. Unfortunately for him, whites intentions have been to deter this plan. 14... Qxh4 15. Bxg7 Rg8 16. Rfe1+ White brings in his last pieces into the attack. The king is in check16... Kd8 17. Qg3 after this acute observation by white black resigned can you see why? The theme is a decoy once again on the queen in conjunction with the threat of playing Bg7-f6 checkmate.