CHESS

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The Independent Culture
By far the greatest player the world has ever seen, Bobby Fischer was also a superb parodist. The following victory of his is often dismissed as a mere display of attacking imagination. Yet making such an assessment would be to overlook one of the finest achievements of the parodic art this century.

White: Bobby Fischer

Black: Ulf Andersson

Chess Olympics, Siegen 1970

1.b3?!

A pawn-to-king-four man down to his toenails, this move clearly indicated that Fischer was in playful mood.

1...e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.c4 Nf6 4.e3 Be7 5.a3!

What more evidence could we require that Fischer was not entirely serious?

5...0-0 6.Qc2 Re8 7.d3 Bf8 8.Nf3 a5 9.Be2 d5 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nbd2 f6 12.0-0 Be6 (see diagram)

White has achieved a position more characteristic of the black side of a Sicilian Defence. We should therefore expect one of two plans: a quick execution of d4, for action in the centre, or a laborious preparation for b4, intending a Q-side advance.

Had Ulf Andersson himself been operating the white men, we might have looked forward to Rac1, Rfd1, Qb1 and Qa1. But to adopt any of these plans would be mere imitation. Fischer's aim, remember, is parody, which explains his next superbly original manoeuvre.

13.Kh1!! Qd7 14.Rg1!! Rad8 15.Ne4 Qf7 16.g4!!

I am not normally one to distribute marks of exclamation freely, but in this case there can be no denying them.

16...g6 17.Rg3 Bg7 18.Rag1 Nb6 19.Nc5

When else did Fischer play 18 moves with the white pieces without once venturing on to his opponent's terrain?

19...Bc8 20.Nh4 Nd7 21.Ne4 Nf8 22.Nf5!

With 22...gxf5 losing to 23.gxf5, the game is already strategically decided.

22...Be6 23.Nc5 Ne7 24.Nxg7 Kxg7 25.g5!

Cracking open the a1-h8 diagonal.

25...Nf5 26.Rf3 b6 27.gxf6+ Kh8 28.Nxe6 Rxe6 29.d4 exd4 30.Bc4 d3 31.Bxd3 Rxd3

Black could have saved himself some trouble by resigning here.

32.Qxd3 Rd6 33.Qc4 Ne6 34.Be5 Rd8 35.h4 Nd6 36.Qg4 Nf8 37.h5 Ne8 38.e4 Rd2 39.Rh3 Kg8 40.hxg6 Nxg6 41.f4 Kf8 42.Qg5 Nd6 43.Bxd6+ resigns.

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