Chess

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Yesterday, we saw a game by the 14-year-old French wunderkind Etienne Bacrot. Here, for comparison, is something from the 14-year-old Bobby Fischer. It was played in the US Championship in New York in 1957, which Fischer won with a score of eight wins, five draws and no losses.

The line with 6.Bc4 against the Najdorf Sicilian was a Fischer favourite for many years. If Black grabbed the pawn with 9...Nxe4, he frequently showed the power of a quick attack with f4 and f5. Here Sherwin refused the bait and played sensibly, reaching a decent position until 15...Qb8? (either Qd7 or Bb7 is better). After Fischer's little combination with 16.Nd5! his bishop achieved the open diagonal it had been seeking, and his rook gained considerable activity on the Q-side.

Those pieces came together in an explosive combination with 30.Rxf7 in the diagram position. It is easy enough to see that 30.Rxf7 Rxf7 31.Ra8+ leads to mate, but envisaging the win with 30.Rxf7 Rc1+ 31.Qf1!! Rxf1+ 32.Rxf1+ needed real imagination. He also had to calculate 30...Qxd5 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Qf1+! Qf7 33.Ra8+ Ke7 34.Ra7+. Finally, 32.Qxc1! was a neat touch, with 32...Qxc1+ losing to 33.Rf1+.

White: Bobby Fischer

Black: James Sherwin

US Championship 1957

Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5 19 Rb6 Qe5

2 Nf3 d6 20 Bd4 Qg5

3 d4 cxd4 21 Qf3 Nd7

4 Nxd4 Nf6 22 Rb7 Ne5

5 Nc3 a6 23 Qe2 Bf6

6 Bc4 e6 24 Kh1 a5

7 0-0 b5 25 Bd5 Rac8

8 Bb3 b4 26 Bc3 a4

9 Nb1 Bd7 27 Ra7 Ng4

10 Be3 Nc6 28 Rxa4 Bxc3

11 f3 Be7 29 bxc3 Rxc3

12 c3 bxc3 30 Rxf7 Rc1+

13 Nxc6 Bxc6 31 Qf1 h5

14 Nxc3 0-0 32 Qxc1 Qh4

15 Rc1 Qb8 33 Rxf8+ Kh7

16 Nd5 exd5 34 h3 Qg3

17 Rxc6 dxe4 35 hxg4 h4

18 fxe4 Qb5 36 Be6 resigns

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