Rovinj, Round 11: Fischer defends his lead

by André Schulz
4/20/2020 – In round 11 of the 2. Tournament of Peace in Rovinj/Zagreb Bobby Fischer used his defensive skills to beat Bojan Kurajica in a Sicilian. Fischer now leads with 9.0/11 and is one and a half points ahead of Svetozar Gligoric who won against Mijo Udovcic.

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Tournament of Peace, Round 11

The eleventh round of the 2. Tournament of Peace was the last played in the quiet seaside resort of Rovinj and players and organizers are now moving to the Croatian capital Zagreb, where the last six rounds will be played.

Fischer's win against his closest rival Gligoric in round ten was probably crucial and brought Fischer much closer to winning the tournament. Perhaps it was mistake by Gligoric to go for the Spanish in this game as Fischer is the leading Spanish expert with White. Gligoric defended well, but in the end White's pressure on the kingside was too much.

In round 11 Fischer won against Bojan Kuraijca and now leads with 9.0/11 (+8, =2, -1), 1½ points ahead of Svetozar Gligoric who defeated Mijo Udovcic.

Kurajica started with 1.e4 but did not want to test Fischer's theoretical knowledge of the Najdorf and decided to go for a sideline of the Sicilian instead. Fischer reacted with a kingside fianchetto but refused to transpose into some sort of Dragon when Kurajica played d4 after all.

 

Instead of taking on d4 Fischer played 6...Bg4 which led to an interesting position.  A few moves later Kurajica sacrificed a pawn on e4, hoping that his better development would tell. However, Fischer likes to grab pawns and the game soon took a familiar course: move by move White's compensation got smaller while Fischer kept the material advantage which he finally converted to a win in the endgame.

 

On move 31 Fischer finally developed his knight with 31...Nf6 – after which Black has a winning position.

Gligoric had to work hard against Udovcic but also won in the end. Udovcic had sacrificed a pawn to give the Volga-Benko-Gambit a try but Gligoric managed to parry all threats and used his extra-pawn to win the endgame.

 

How to win with White? Here's how: 69.Kd2 Kd6 70.Kc3 Kc5 71.Kb3 Kd5 The black king must keep close to White's f-pawn. 72.Kb4 Kd6 73.Kc4 1-0

The American Grandmaster Walter Browne played against the Romanian Grandmaster Theodor Ghitescu and, following Fischer's lead, he tried 6.Bc4 against the Najdorf though he then tried an interesting new concept to put his opponent under pressure.

 

12.Re1! [Instead of the usual 12.f4] 12...0–0 13.Bh6 Ne8 14.Nd5 Bd8 [14...exd5? 15.Bxd5] 15.Nf4 [Threatening 16.Bxg7 with a win.] But after 15... Bf6 16.Nd5 Bd8 17.Rad1 Kh8 18.Bg5 Bb7 19.Bxd8 Rxd8 White's pressure vanished and the game later ended in a draw. Maybe 19.Ne7!? is an improvement.

Among the winners of the round are Vlatko Kovacevic, who won against Mario Bertok, and Dragoljub Minic, who won against Risto Nicevski. However, if you take the notation at face value, Minic was very lucky because Nicevski apparently missed a mate in one with White.

 

According to the offical game score Black here played 29... Kh6 which would alllow 30.Rg6#. But instead White tried 30.Rxh5 after which Black played 30...Kg7. Probably Black did not play 30...Kh6 but 30...Kh8.

The tournament now moves to Zagreb and with his 1½ lead Fischer is clear favourite to win.

But when taking a final stroll through the tournament hall in Rovinj I came across Fischer's scoresheet of his game against Smyslov in round 9 which he apparently had forgotten after the game.

Games from rounds 1-11

 

Standings after round 11

Rk. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pkts.
1 Robert James Fischer   1       ½ 0 1   1   ½ 1 1 1   1 1 9.0 / 11
2 Svetozar Gligoric 0   1   ½ 1 ½   ½ ½       ½   1 1 1 7.5 / 11
3 Tigran V Petrosian   0   ½     1 ½   ½ ½ ½     1 1 ½ 1 7.0 / 11
4 Viktor Lvovich Kortschnoj     ½   ½ ½   0 1 ½   1 ½ 1     ½ 1 7.0 / 11
5 Vlastimil Hort   ½   ½   ½ 1 ½   ½ ½ 1 ½   ½ 1     7.0 / 11
6 Vassily V Smyslov ½ 0   ½ ½     ½     ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½     6.0 / 11
7 Vlatko Kovacevic 1 ½ 0   0       0 1 1     ½   1 ½ ½ 6.0 / 11
8 Dragoljub Minic 0   ½ 1 ½ ½     ½     ½ ½ ½ ½     1 6.0 / 11
9 Walter Shawn Browne   ½   0     1 ½   0 ½ 0 ½   ½ 1 1   5.5 / 11
10 Wolfgang Uhlmann 0 ½ ½ ½ ½   0   1   ½         1 1 0 5.5 / 11
11 Mario Bertok     ½   ½ ½ 0   ½ ½   ½ ½ ½     ½ 1 5.5 / 11
12 Borislav Ivkov ½   ½ 0 0 0   ½ 1   ½   ½ ½ 1       5.0 / 11
13 Theodor Ghitescu 0     ½ ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ 0     4.5 / 11
14 Bojan Kurajica 0 ½   0   0 ½ ½     ½ ½ ½   ½ ½     4.0 / 11
15 Bruno Parma 0   0   ½ ½   ½ ½     0 ½ ½     ½ ½ 4.0 / 11
16 Mijo Udovcic   0 0   0 ½ 0   0 0     1 ½     1 1 4.0 / 11
17 Drazen Marovic 0 0 ½ ½     ½   0 0 ½       ½ 0   ½ 3.0 / 11
18 Risto Nicevski 0 0 0 0     ½ 0   1 0       ½ 0 ½   2.5 / 11

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.

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