Classical Games Everybody Should Know, Part 12

  • GM Gserper
  • | Nov 20, 2011

The most obvious and important benefit of working on classical games is that such a work significantly broadens your chess horizons. This is what just happened to me since I discovered something new and very important, at least from the historical perspective. 

The great Robert James Fischer has introduced many beautiful middle game concepts, but the next one is one of the most fantastic in my opinion. I usually give this position to my students just to guess White's move. Usually it takes at least 5-6 tries before they guess it correctly. How quickly can you, my dear readers, find it?


It is absolutely amazing how quickly Fischer turned the quiet position shown in the diagram (where all the White pieces are almost sleeping on the first three ranks) into a violent and deadly attack! This amazing idea is known as "Fischer's plan," and I already discussed it here:
But take a look at this game played more than 100 years before Fischer produced his gem:
To me this game is very important for many reasons:
1) It proves a well-known fact that Fischer admired Morphy games and studied them diligently.
2) Most people don't know chess history very well! In the Morphy-Anderssen game two of the greatest players of their time both(!!) played the same idea of moving the King, putting a Rook on the 'g' file followed by the 'g' pawn push and yet this brilliant idea is called the "Fischer's plan"? It should've been called "an amazing Morphy plan" or the "Anderssen's tragedy plan" since the victims in both classical games have practically the same last name. 
Jokes aside, this is another proof how important it is to know the ideas from classical games.
Here is another example.  Please take a look at the next game played by modern chess players:
A very nice game!  But now take a look at the next brilliant game played over 100 years before:
I strongly suspect that in the above game, Ninchich-Press, one of the players knew about the great predecessor. But what about Mr. Milan Ninchich? Can we really blame him for not being aware of the game played more than 100 years ago by not very famous players? Under normal circumstances I'd say no.  But here White entered an opening line known as the Traxler Counter Attack and in my opinion, the least you can do in order to prepare an opening line is to study the games played by the opening's originator. But since I hope that you read last week's column ( ), you already know it, right? Smile


  • 3 years ago

    NM adypady02

    Funny that you show the games Fischer-Andersson and Morphy-Anderssen and in both games they employ a very similar idea.

  • 5 years ago


    Great article,I wish some of my games were like these!

  • 5 years ago


    Superb job, Grandmaster Gserper, for the awesome article as well as game analysis.  I look forward to your future works on these grandmasters of the past and present.

  • 5 years ago


    Very innovative idea i got from these games.One must know these games

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    This article reminds me of a game I played that was very similar to a game awarded the brilliancy prize 54 years earlier!

    Compare the positions after 18-19 moves.  Nearly identical!

    You can also find this game (E. Chester - B. Till) annotated along with some similar attacks in:

  • 5 years ago


    Ridiculous.  I don't mind playing over Great Classical games, but when you set up 34 plus moves like in the Fischer game (I'm still not through it so I don't know how much more this is going to go on for) to get to the completion, why don't you just lay out the whole game?  If it's going to take over 34 moves to show the sequence, then this isn't much more than opening a book and playing through a game.  If you want to show us something, how about editing it down.    

  • 5 years ago


    Phenomenal. The Fischer game is giving me goose bumps.

  • 5 years ago


    I like those stuff!

  • 5 years ago


    i mean all chess games Bobby Fischer made by Paul Morphy??

  • 5 years ago


    so all skill Robert Fischer James made by Paul Morphy??? right??

  • 5 years ago


    Loved it, very educational and informative .... I don't think I will ever be able to be as creative as Fischer, but hope is good.  I really like the time difference and similarity in the games .... quite interesting.

  • 5 years ago


    Another great article! Keep up the good work. Cool

  • 5 years ago


    Aagaard discusses the similarities between the Fischer-Andersson and Morphy-Anderssen games in his book 'excelling at positional chess', but he emphasizes the fact that although the moves look alike, the plan is completely different. For Fischer the plan was  to gain control of the f5 and moreover, e4 square. For Morphy the plan was an all out attack on the enemy king. I think I'll side with Aagaard on this one. Therefore, the Fischer plan can still be called the Fischer plan.

  • 5 years ago



    GM Serper, thank you for another great article in this series!  Please keep writing on this topic!  Fischer also used this plan successfully with the Black pieces in a little-known game from 1966 Chess Olympiad.  The game is attached below.   I would love to read your thoughts about this game as well.

    Garcia Soruco,Julio - Fischer,Robert James [B87]
    La Habana ol (Men) prel Havana (6), 1966

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.a3 Be7 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Bb7 11.f3 Nbd7 12.Qd2 Ne5 13.Qf2 Qc7 14.Rac1 Kh8 15.Nce2 Rg8 16.Kh1 g5 17.h3 Rg6 18.Ng3 Rag8 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Bxe6 Nxe4 21.Nxe4 Rxe6 0-1

  • 5 years ago


    Thanks for the classical games. They have helped me to recognize mating patterns and general attacking ideas in my OTB games. Just like in any Sport or occupation we must look at the ideas of our predecessors; I mean, unless we study the classical games we actually have no foundation. Of course I mean for the serious chess player.

  • 5 years ago


    Great article as usual! :D

  • 5 years ago


    1.  the first two games should have more variations and more comments.

    2. why in the last two games, white didnt take the bishop, with  6.Kxf2  ?

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    fantastic. Great article. Thx

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