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Colonel Polhill praises the greatest player of them all.

Anyone who denies that Bobby Fischer was the finest player in history is either being wilfully obtuse or is, in the brain department, a couple of pawns short of the full set. Who else could have produced a masterpiece such as this?

White: Bobby Fischer

Black: Miguel Najdorf

Varna Olympics, 1962

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6

He even concedes his opponent home advantage - Najdorf playing the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian.

6.h3!? b5? 7.Nd5!

A splendid trick guaranteeing a positional advantage. 6...e6 was better.

7...Bb7 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.c4! bxc4 10.Bxc4 Bxe4 11.0-0 d5 12.Re1 e5 13.Qa4+ Nd7 (see diagram)

Black has grabbed a pawn and now pays the price.

14.Rxe4! dxe4 15.Nf5!

White has no immediate threat, but Black cannot escape the bind. His bishop cannot move to g7 or h6, while moving it the other way also brings problems.

15...Bc5 16.Ng7+ Ke7

O16...Kf8 17.Bh6 is still worse.

17.Nf5+ Ke8

That's stopped him castling, now on with the attack!

18.Be3! Bxe3 19.fxe3 Qb6 20.Rd1 Ra7

For the moment Black has everything covered. the white knight, aggressively placed as it is, must keep a backward eye on e3. As always, though, Fischer's men seem to have something in reserve.

21.Rd6 Qd8

Still defending everything. On this square the queen prevents Rxf6.


Very nice. With the queen chased back to d8, the queen is freed from her job of pinning the knight. Now 22...Rf8 loses to 23.Ng7+ Ke7 24.Qa3.

22...Qc7 23.Bxf7+ Kd8 24.Be6 resigns.

24...Qc1+ 25.Rd1 Qc8 26.Qb6+ is a complete disaster for Black.