Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Guide to "Pawn Sacrifice" (2014) - Complete Bobby Fischer Games from the Movie

Pawn Sacrifice is a movie about Bobby Fischer, mainly dramatization in his career up to the climax match against Boris Spassky in 1972. Bobby Fischer is American chess grandmaster that considered as one of greatest chess player ever born. He was World Chess Champion where he stopped the Soviet Union domination on chess world up to his era. His match against Boris Spassky is part of Cold War story, where US won on this one.

The film itself is great. Tobey Maguire is Bobby Fischer and many others top names for the casts. On the chess facts, some are really fictional only. The movie only take care the historical part on their important scenes.  Here are the guide to the movie as per games being shown or played in the movie. Non chess fans will find this guide helpful and understand the background of Bobby Fischer better.

If you are a chess lover, this is the most serious movie about chess ever produced, so watch it!

"Pawn Sacrifice" adalah film yang berdasarkan biografi pecatur Bobby Fischer. Di film yang dibintangi Tobey Maguire ini, Bobby Fischer dikisahkan ulang dari masa kecil hingga ke masa dia menjadi juara dunia. Drama paling seru adalah di bagian duel catur Bobby Fischer melawan Boris Spassky di kota Reykyavik tahun 1972. Seperti kita tahu, Bobby Fischer adalah karakter yang unik, aneh dan misterius. Film Pawn Sacrifice ini mencoba menggali aspek-aspek dramatis tersebut. Di tulisan blog ini, dirangkum partai-partai catur yang muncul di film Pawn Sacrifice ini. Ada yang asli dan sepertinya ada juga yang hanya fiksi.

Bobby Fischer vs Carmine Nigro 0-1, 1952, friendly game

Here the first games in the movie, young Robert Fischer was taken to the Brooklyn Chess Club where he met Carmine Nigro, the president of the club. Being an expert on chess, Carmine Nigro considered the first serious trainer to Bobby Fischer. The game in the movie is perhaps fictional, as no recorded of Bobby Fischer game vs Carmine Nigro I had found. The position itself did not return when being search on chess database.

Carmine Nigro vs Bobby Fischer 0-1, 1953, Home tournament

We then jump to a scene where Bobby Fischer playing Carmine in tournament. This is to referred to home tournament arranged by Carmine Nigro, that won by Bobby Fischer. The position is a checkmate in one. This is of course also fictional game. When the camera shot in the scene later, the position had changed, indicating different game, in which Bobby also won that game.

Donald Byrne vs Bobby Fischer 0-1, New York 1956 "Game of the Century"

One of the most famous chess game in the history. Bobby Fischer defeated Donald Byrne in fascinating game. Fischer sacrifice a queen, yeah for sure. Here is the game with classic commentary from Robert "Bob" Wade.

Fischer vs Stone - this is maybe fictional as I can't find reference on this chessplayer Mr. Stone

Robert Fischer vs Geza Fuster in the movie
referring to this GAME, Geza Fuster vs Robert James Fischer in Portoroz Interzonal tournament (1958)  0-1 , Fischer was Black side on the real game.

Varna Chess Olympiad 1962. Bobby Fischer was in USA team. They did not get medals as Russian got Gold, Yugoslavia silver and Argentine bronze.

Bobby Fischer vs Leonid Stein - may refer to this GAME in 1967 Sousse Interzonal, Fischer won

Zdravko Milev vs Bobby Fischer - is questionable as I can't find game of it

Tigran Petrosian vs William Lombardy 1-0, 1961 Zurich

When Bobby Fischer met William Lombardy in the movie, Bobby was bragging his knowledge on Bill Lombardy game vs ex World Champion Tigran Petrosian. Both then analyzed the game. Here is the game. Prior to that , Paul mentioned that Bill defeated Boris Spassky in chess game, referring to this game. In which Bill replied "that when he was young", Priest William Lombardy is respectable chess grandmaster in reality, he was important figure in history of Bobby Fischer and also his second. The movie also tell that he beat young Bobby Fischer, but I can't find official games where Lombardy defeated Fischer.

Bobby Fischer vs Valentin Ivanovich 1-0, Santa Monica 1966
Valentin Ivanovich is fictional. The tournament refered to the 2nd Piatigorsky Cup held in Santa Monica. Boris Spassky won and Fischer was runner up.

Boris Spassky first played Bobby Fischer and won that game. Actor Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky.

Bobby Fischer vs Ivkov , may refer to this GAMES 

Bobby Fischer vs Czerniak - see this GAMES

Fischer defeated Viktor Korchnoi , interesting as both played many games, but the game in 1967 is a draw, See list of Fischer vs Korchnoi games here

Mark Taimanov was famous for being washed by Bobby Fischer in a chess match 6-0. Taimanov is the 2nd chess player in history being defeated in perfect score, the other is Bent Larsen, also 6-0 lost to Bobby Fischer. In the movie, Bent Larsen is fictionalized as "Brent" Larsen
See complete games here

Bobby Fischer defeated Leonid Stein, see HERE

Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer World Championship Match 1972

historical photograph showing Bobby Fischer do Batman Face Palm, a scene repeated in Pawn Sacrifice film

Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer 1-0, Reykjavik 1972
Only two games shown in detail in the movie. Here in game 1, Bobby Fischer blunder badly by capturing the pawn with bishop. In reality Fischer keep playing for several moves before resign. In movie Bobby immediately resign after he face-palmed. As the chess world understand, Bobby didn't lost just because of that 29..Bxh2 move, but because unable to find the correct continuation to achieve a drawable result.

Di partai pertama Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer, di langkah 29..Bxh2, Bobby mengejutkan dunia dengan mencaplok pion di h2. Analisis pakar di masa tersebut, dan masa sekarang, memperlihatkan bahwa sebenarnya hitam tetap bisa mencapai hasil remis. Namun Bobby Fischer tidak melihat line tesebut dan akhirnya dikalahkan Boris.

To see the real stories on this first games, and also insightful analysis of the game, watch Yasser Seirawan's chess lecture HERE.

Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer 0-1, Reykjavik 1972 Game 3
Fischer cameback after down to 2-0 score. The game played in separate recording room, or ping pong room in the movie. It was a Benoni defence played by Fischer in black side.

Boris Spassky vs Bobby Fischer 0-1, Game 6 1972
The turning point of the match. Fischer score a win and leading after this game. Boris Spassky historically stand up and giving applause to Fischer's performance. Bobby Fischer shock everyone playing English Opening , 1.c4 , rarely played by him before.

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