The game of the century

The game of the century

Feb 21, 2008, 12:00 AM |
49 | Amazing Games

The "Game of the Century" was played between chessmaster Donald Byrne and 13-year old Bobby Fischer in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament in New York on October 17, 1956 and was nicknamed by Hans Kmoch ni "Chess Review".

The text of this annotation was written by David A. Wheeler, based on  number of sources (see references, below) and his own study of the game.

Donald Byrne (1930-1976) had already obtained first place in the 1953 US Open Championship, and would represent the United States in three Olympiads (1962, 1964, and 1968).

Robert "Bobby" Fischer (1943-2008) eventually became world champion.

In this game, Fischer (playing black) is amazingly brilliant, with such beautiful play that it was called the "Game of the Century". Byrne (playing white), after a standard opening, makes a minor mistake on move 11, moving the same piece twice (wasting time). Fischer pounces, with strong sacrificial play, culminating in an incredible queen sacrifice on move 17. Byrne captures the queen, but Fischer more than compensates by taking any other pieces.  The ending is an excellent demonstration of pieces working together to achieve a checkmate.

Burgess suggests 3 lessons to be learned from this game, which can summarized as follows:
* In general, don't waste time by moving the same piece twice in an opening; get your other pieces developed first.
* Material sacrifices are likely to be effective if your opponent's king is still in the middle and a central file is open.
* Even at 13, Fischer was a player to be reckoned with.

Burgess, Graham, John Nunn, and John Emms. "The Mammoth Book of The World's Greatest Chess Games." 1998. ISBN 0-7867-0587-6. p. 213-216.
Wade, Robert G. and Kevin J. O'Connell.  "Bobby Fischer's Chess Games". 1972.  ISBN 0-385-08627-X. pp. 110-113 (game 179).
Eade, James. "Chess for Dummies". NY, NY: IDG Books. 1996. ISBN 0-7645-5003-9

This is the game with full annotations 


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