Cardoso-Fischer Match 1957. Game 2 Annotated

Cardoso-Fischer Match 1957. Game 2 Annotated

Mar 16, 2010, 2:31 PM |

Fischer-Cardoso Match 1957 - Game 2 Annotated.

I received requests to include games from the Fischer-Cardoso match of my previous entry, and will soon present annotations to game 3, which Fischer lost.

(Chess Review Nov. 1957 pg.339)

NEW YORK, 1957
Match Play - Game 2

It Might be Mate!

Playing sharply for attack, White benefits from some virtual co-operation and obtains a winning position. At the crucial momen, however, he succumbs to an enticement to sacrifice and, as a result, has probably only a draw. But then Black is enticed into checking, with the result that White wins.

R.J. Fischer (United States) - Rodolfo Cardoso (Philippines)

1. P-K4 P-QB4
2. N-KB3 P-Q3
3. P-Q4 PxP
4. NxP N-KB3
5. N-QB3 P-QR3
6. B-QB4 ....


A little known line of play which Bobby has dug up in one of the Russian chess publications which he is always carrying around. To understand White's intention, one must consider that there is the well known set-up of 5...N-B3 6.B-QB4 in which the Bishop move is reasonable. White aims for the same set-up despite that ... P-QN4 now seems ot make the Bishop move prohibitive. It is White's point that he can afford to sacrifice his King Pawn.

6.... P-K3

The immediate 6...P-QN4 7. B-N3 P-N5 is met by 8. N-Q5 (8...NxP? 9. Q-B3!). The same with 6...NxP?? 7.BxP! KxB 8.  Q-R5 after which White regains his piece.

7. O-O

White's key move; omitting 7. B-N3, he ignores the possibilities of 7 ... P-QN4 and 7... NxP.

7.... B-K2

Black chooses a steady line. Indeed, 7...NxP is bad as White emerges with superior development after 8. NxN P-Q4 9. B-Q3 PxN 10. BxKP. Not bad, however, is acceptance by 7... P-QN4 8. B-N3 (8. B-Q3 saves the Pawn but repudiates White's set-up), P-N5 9. N-N1 NxP 10. Q-B3 and, e.g., 1) 10...P-Q4 11. P-B4, PxP e.p. 12. QNxP, NxN (not 12...B-N2? 13.NxKP! PxN 14. NxN, PxN 15. Q-R5+) 13. PxN B-Q3 14. N-B5, O-O 15. NxB, QxN 16. P-B4, B-N2 with about even chances; 2) 10... B-N2! after which White lacks a convincing continuation: a) 11 N-Q2, N-B4 12. B-R4+, QN-Q2 13. B-B6 Q-B2; b) 11. B-R4+ N-Q2 12. N-B6 Q-N3 (or 12... Q-B2 13. QxN P-Q4!) 13. QxN R-B1! (not 13...P-Q4?? 14.Q-Q4, B-B4 15.QxNP!).

8. B-K3 ...

Now White's King Pawn is indirectly protected: 8...P-QN4 9 B-N3 PN5? 10. N-R4!  NxP? 11. N-KB5! with a winning advantage for White (11...PxN 12. Q-Q5 or 11...O-O 12. NxB+, QxN 13. N-N6).

8.... O-O
9. B-N3 ....

White cannot keep up his provocation indefinitely.

9.... N-B3
10. P-B4 N-QR4
12. P-KN4 NxB

As usual in these positions, the exchanging off of the Bishop serves poorly, depriving Black of possible entry into White's camp, via... QB5. Besidess, Black loses time. Correct is 12...N-B5: e.g., 13. P-N5 N-K1 14. P-B5 P-QN4 or 13. BxN, QxB 14. P-N5 N-K1 (15. P-B5? BxP!). White's attack remains dangerous indeed, but Black has counter-play.

13. RPxN R-N1

The loss of time appears already in asmuch as the immediate 13...P-QN4 fails against 14. N(either)xNP.

14. P-N5 N-Q2
15. P-B5 N-K4
16. Q-N3 K-R1

Black re-acts against the dangerous P-B6 but thus courts the disastrous P-N6. His best is 16...P-N4 (17. P-B6 B-Q1).

17. N-B3! NxN+
18. RxN P-N4
19. Q-R4 ....

White threatens to win with 20. R-R3 P-R3 21. P-B6.

19.... PxP
20. PxP Q-B3
21. QR-KB1 B-N2
22. B-Q4....

White's last move is good, but 22. Q-R5, threatening 23. P-N6 is slightly more accurate.

22.... P-N5

Black has no better move: he must lose whatever he plays.

23. BxP+

Here is White's derailment, making the chances fairly even after all. 23. Q-R5! as suggested by Lombardy, wins by force: e.g., 23... PxN 24. P-N6! or 23...K-N1 24. P-B6 or 23...P-B3 24. P-N6 P-R3 25. B-K3 PxN 26. BxP QxR 27. RxQ BxR 28. Q-R4

23.... KxB
24. Q-R6+ K-R1!
25. P-N6 Q-B4+

Chess might be an easy game if there were no checks to give! This check has the catastrophic drawback of granting full mobility to White's foremost Rook, owing to which there is no playable defense to the threatened mate. Instead, Black must take advantage of his potential...Q-N7 mate, by playing 25...BPxP 26. PxP R-B2!! 27. PxR R-KB1. Then  White must play accurately to avoid trouble for himself. His best seems to be 28. Q-K6 with this likely continuation: 28...Q-B4+ 29. R/1-B2! BxR 30. QxB K-N2 31. N-K4 Q-K6 32. Q-N5+ QxQ 33. NxQ B-Q4 34. R-Q2 BxBP 35. NxB RxN 36. RxP R-B2 with most likely a draw.

26. R/1-B2! BPxP
27. PxP Q-N4+

As 27...R-B2 now fails against 28. RxR, Black is reduced to desperate liquidation.

28.QxQ BxQ
29. RxR+ RxR
30. RxR+ K-N2
31. PxP Resigns