Shelby Lyman on Chess: Unconquerable

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Hint and Explanation: 
Force Checkmate

A chess game can be a brutal, relentless struggle, But the possibility of a draw has always offered hope for relief.

That is unless the opponent happened to be Bobby Fischer, who would rarely make peace while a shred of fight was left in the position before him.

Resistance often crumbled under the implacable pressure.

A game, at the age of 13, foreshadowed what was in store for future opponents. In a seemingly lifeless position at the Manhattan Chess Club, Fischer’s opponent, Joe Tamargo, suggested halving the point.

“Are you kidding?” Fischer screeched.

Flustered by Fischer’s response, Tamargo blundered on the next move. A “certain” draw had become a painful loss.

A similar scenario prevailed more than a decade later against the formidable Soviet grandmaster Efim Geller at an Interzonal tournament in Palma de Mallorca.

Geller, thinking Fischer was in a non-combative mood, suggested a draw after only seven moves. Fischer started laughing. Geller turned red and began to play poorly. In a few moves, Fischer was a pawn ahead.

To his final breath, Bobby Fischer never ceased to struggle.

According to the attending physician at his deathbed in 2008, no one in his experience had fought harder against the inevitable than Fischer.

Below is a win by Yu Yangyi against Suri Vaibhav from the 13th Asian Continental championship in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Vaibhav Yangyi

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 g6

3. Nf3 Bg7

4. g3 O-O

5. Bg2 c6

6. O-O d5

7. Qa4 Bf5

8. Nc3 dxc4

9. Qxc4 N(b)d7

10. Re1 Ne4

11. Qb3 Nb6

12. Nh4 Be6

13. Qc2 Nd6

14. Rd1 Rc8

15. e4 f5

16. d5 cxd5

17. exd5 Bd7

18. Re1 Na4

19. Bd2 Nxb2

20. R(a)c1 N(b)c4

21. Bg5 Re8

22. Qb3 h6

23. Bf4 g5

24. Bxd6 exd6

25. Rxe8ch Qxe8

26. Nf3 g4

White resigns

Solution to Beginners Corner: 1. ... Qh4ch! 2. Ke3 Qe1 mate! If 2. Kg1, ... Qe1ch 3. Bf1 Qxf1 mate.