Chess

The Argentine grandmaster Erich Eliskases died this year at the age of 83, and the chess world lost one of its final links with the era of Capablanca and Alekhine. Born in Austria in 1913, Eliskases scored a number of notable triumphs in international tournaments in the Thirties, and was even tipped by Alekhine as a possible future world champion. Along with a number of other European grandmasters, he was stranded at the chess olympics in Buenos Aires when war broke out in 1939, and never went back.

In 1937, Eliskases won a delicate endgame against Capablanca, and in 1960 he won a delicate endgame against Bobby Fischer, making him perhaps the only man to have registered tournament victories against both those world champions.

Eliskases' win against Fischer was gained in the Buenos Aires tournament in 1960, when Fischer was only 17. The ending is well worth a detailed look.

In the diagram position, with knight against bishop, Eliskases, playing White, appeared at first sight to stand a little worse. He played the correct 1.Nd4 which should lead to a draw after 1...Bf6 2.Nxc6 Bxb2 3.Nxa7 Bxa3 4.Kg2 g6, but Fischer tried for more with 1...c5 2.Nc6 Bd6 3.Nxa7 c4!?

White continued 4.Nc8! when Black must play 4...Bxa3! 5.Nxb6! (5.bxa3?? c3 wins for Black) Bxb2 6.Nxc4 Bc1 7.f5 h5 with a draw. Instead, the game continued 4...Bc5 5.a4! Kg6 (5...Bd4 is met by 6.Nd6) 6.Kg2 Kf6 7.Kf3 Ke6 8.Ke4 Bf2 9.f5+ Kd7 10.Na7 Kd6 11.Nb5+ Kc5 12.Nc7 Bh4 13.Ne8 Kb4 14.Kd5! Be7 15.Nxg7 Bf6 16.Ne8 Bxb2 17.f6 Bxf6 18.Nxf6 c3 and now the best move of the game: 19.Nh5!! when 19...c2 is met by 20.Nf4! Kc3 21.Ne2+ Kd2 22.Nd4! Fischer tried 19...Kxa4 but resigned after 20.Nf4 b5 21.Ne2 c2. White wins with 22.h4 b4 23.Kc4 b3 24.Kc3 Ka3 25.g5 and Black can do nothing.

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