Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back to the Back Rank: Reshevsky-Fischer, Palma 1970

Reshevsky-Fischer, Palma de Majorca Interzonal, 1970
Black to move

This is a position hard enough that eight-time U.S. Champion Sammy Reshevsky blundered horribly, but easy enough that a beginner can understand.  But take it one step at a time, slowly, and double-check you calculations!

Bobby Fischer is Black, and it's his move.  The position is probably only slightly better for Black, but Fischer would really like to win this qualifier so he can eventually play Boris Spassky.  He needs your help!

How many different ways can Black threaten back-rank mate?  Fischer did choose one such move: which one would you recommend?  Do you see any problem with any of the other possible mate threats?

Answers (and more questions) tomorrow evening....


Frederick said...

I recall seeing the final position, which involved ...Qf2!, winning. I'm guessing that the game went 1...Qf4 (not 1...Qe1?? 2.Qxf7+ Kh8 3.Qxf8+ Rxf8 4.Rxe1 +-) 2.Kg1 (2.Qb5) Qe3+ 3.Kh1?? (3.Rf2 was forced) Qf2! and White stands up (4.Rxf2 Re1+ 5.Rf1 Rxf1#; 4.Qb5 Re1-+).

Bill Brock said...

You are almost 100% right. There is a way of removing the Rf2 defense.