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Best games of the World Champions?
Hi Craig.

Nobody will ever agree 100% with anothers choice though the game you mentioned are all brilliant.

Yes Saidy was only an IM but for a moment at the chess board to sum up Fischer.
Squeezing a win out of that position when he was 4pts. ahead in the last round.
Only Fischer.

The Romantic Era.

This from an interesting debate I had with the lads on Red Hot Pawn.

Did Paul Morphy stunt the growth of chess as we know it today.

Now I have your attention I shall continue.

The latter half of the 1850 was Morphy's time.
He came, he played and everyone learned.
The Morphy style and ideas were adopted, crafted and absorbed.

It was not until Steinitz change his style from 'Austrian Morphy'
to the 'Deep Thinker' did chess take another giant leap.

But no Morphy. What would have happened?

I take you to India. The year is 1853.

The Scotsman John Cochrane and the Indian Bonnerjee Mohishunder
Played hundreds of games. Were it not for the Morphy hype
then these games would have become more famous than the
games of the La Bourdonnais - Mcdonnel matches.
As it was they were to a large extent ignored.

Most will be surprised at the game I'm about to show you.
It is quite unlike any game you will have seen from the Romantic era.
These two prouduced many many games like this.

If the Morphy void had been filled with players studying what
was going on with these two players. There would have been a massive leap.

Of course The Morphy ideas would still be there waiting to be discovered
but would they have been so succesful if the players of the day had been
grounded in what we call the modern style of play.
Their defensive technique would be quite high, a fault often laid at the
feet of PCM's opponents.

Did we need the Romantic era?
You won't see many games played with that style today.
But in the following game, played 150 years ago you will see the
set up and ideas that are GM's tools today.
If the players of the day had studied them then instead of waiting
till 1920 would chess be 70 years ahead of what it is today.

Enjoy the game. It's not perfect.
What you will see the is the raw ideas that were shoved into the background
and ignored the moment Morphy sat down in the New York USA ch. 1957.
They stayed ignored for 60-70 years.

And no I have not pulled it from a modern tournament, this and
100's of games like it were being played in India by these two in the 1850's.
There are Benoni's. Pircs, Nimzo Indians, Grunfelds and King's Indans.
Some of these games are quite brilliant.
I've chosen this one because I have a good idea what is going on
and it has a Queen sac wrap up.

John Cochrane - Bonnerjee Mohishunder, Calcutta 1853.

[pgn]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f4 {That is your 'modern' four pawn attack. The same attack Fischer had to face when he played the King's Indian.} 5... O-O 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Bd3 e5 8. fxe5 dxe5 9. d5 Nbd7 {The d-pawn has been pulled forward weakening c5. the concept of weak squares was not fully explored and explained till Nimzovitch and his crew appeared in the 1920's 70 years later. The d7 KNight is heading for c5.} 10. O-O Nc5 11. Bc2 a5 {And there is a5 pawn to cement the Knight on c5.} 12. Be3 Na6 13. a3 Qd7 14. Rb1 b6 15. b4 axb4 16. axb4 Qe7 17. Na2 Nxe4 {That is a common KID trick to blast in f5. Here it appears unsound but the idea is there nearly 100 years before Bronstein started fashioning such ideas to make the KID respectable.} 18. Bxe4 f5 19. d6 cxd6 20. Bxa8 e4 21. Qd5+ Kh8 22. Ng5 Nc7 23. Qb7 Rxa8 24. Rf2 h6 25. Ne6 {This is not the one-sided graceful batterings from Morphy's games. These two were evenly matched. Today Cochrane wins, other times he lost.} 25... Qxe6 26. Qxc7 f4 27. Rxf4 Rxa2 28. Rbf1 Bf3 {A smashing attempt to swing it. If 29.gxf3 Qh3 and Black may even have succeeded.} 29. Bf2 e3 30. Rxf3 exf2+ 31. R1xf2 Qe1+ 32. Rf1 Qxb4 {White wraps it up with a little bit of Morphy.} 33. Rf8+ Kh7 34. Qxg7+ Kxg7 35. R1f7[/pgn]
These old Cochrane "Indian" games are indeed of historical interest and tend to be unknown by most. The Indian "style" was noticed in the West and I believe that that's the real reason why the various "Indian" systems that matured into significant weapons in the early 20th century came to be known as such (though this needs checking by an expert in this particular byway of the history of the development of ideas in chess).

I do mention these 19th century "Indian" influences in my chapter on Reti (in my forthcoming "Great Romantics"), who revolutionised our handling of the king's fianchetto for White (particularly) but also for Black (along with many others).

The 19th century is full of such "anticipations". One of the most brilliant was Anderssen's interpretation (for Black) of a range of ...e6 Sicilians. Fischer, as a kid, studied all these early greats and was a great admirer especially of Anderssen and Steinitz. His win in the last game of his 1972 Spassky match derives from Anderssen's handling of the line (which he used most notably three times in his 1861 match against Kolisch). Of his win, Fischer deflected an intended compliment about the originality of his opening play (by Gligoric) with the modestly deadpan ... I got it from Gottschall's 1912 "Anderssen" ... it's the way they used to play in the old days."

Cochrane, a very strong player (with Scottish roots), has always reminded me of von der Lasa, the at least equally gifted Prussian noble, who may have been stronger than Anderssen through most of the 1840s but who turned to the Prussian diplomatic service and in chess to extensive historical and openings analytical writing (e.g. through editing many editions of the classic "Bilguer's" Handbuch).

Beware over-labelling. All of these great players showed great movement in their approach to chess and in their playing styles.
Geoff Chandler Wrote:Hi Patrick.

Fischer did not appear to rate it. It's not in his 60 Memorable Games.

Hard choice. So many games from so many names.
It would take months to decide on one game and even then 90% of the rest of the world would disagree.

Surely world championship game to epitomise Fischer would be game 1 versus Spassky Tongue
Eh, George! Why?
Craig Pritchett Wrote:Eh, George! Why?

He didn't show. The epitomy of his performence over next 30 years ;P
Geoff Chandler Wrote:How many of us would take the draw and think how we are going to spend the winnings? Be honest?

I genuinely don't think I would. Okay, perhaps if I was playing a player of that strength, but not if I had the ability of Fischer. I mean, what had Fischer to lose by playing on? He'd won the money irrespective of the outcome, so he couldn't really lose as such. It'd be a totally different question if at least a draw was actually required to win the tournament/money. Then I'd definitely take the draw.

Anyone else see it that way? =|

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