Bobby Fischer was a world chess champion and a genius, despite what anybody might say about his life outside of chess.
He had what some people have called a “universal style” meaning that he can play all types of positions well and I think we can also emphasise his enormous strength in rook and minor piece endgames as well.
In these endgames he had no equal.
Here are a couple of famous examples from the 1971 match with Taimanov in which he got a 6-0 sweep.
As we can see in the games below, whether he had the knight or bishop in the ending, he could turn it to his advantage.
(Note: The notes to the above games are from the excellent book “Fischer: Move by Move” by Cyrus Lakdawala)
Fischer’s style was classical mostly and his assessment of chess positions was extremely objective to the point that he would sometimes take on openings which he’d had terrible results against, simply because he believed that opening to be incorrect.
One example might be the French Defence Winawer Variation which he always went into despite losing in this line more than any other line.
“The Winawer is anti-positional and weakens the kingside” – Bobby Fischer
Something about the style of Bobby Fischer just couldn’t prove the above statement true.
I think Fischer’s worst weakness (especially pre-1970) was that he couldn’t handle being attacked.
If he had a position with a known structure, a clear plan and strategic goals, he could outplay anybody in the world, but when things became irrational and violent on the chessboard he could definitely lose games too.
If he was forced to defend for long periods of time, he’d definitely be in trouble.
Here’s Fischer mistakenly playing the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf against Spassky – A swift execution!
That terrible loss proved to be a splash of cold water for Fischer in that match and he dominated Spassky for the remainder of the match.
Here’s a question for you.
How many moves do you think was Fischer’s shortest lost game ever?
I can tell you.
It was 14 moves and yes… It was in a position where he was forced to make accurate defensive moves in a messy, irrational position.
Here’s a quick video of me showing the game for you.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new window. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.