Rovinj/Zagreb, Round 14: Fischer wins, but does not convince

by André Schulz
4/23/2020 – In round 14 of the Tournament of Peace in Rovinj/Zagreb Bobby Fischer scored his tenth victory in the tournament but needed a lot of help from his opponent to do so. Vlastimil Hort (pictured signing autographs after the game), former World Champion Vassily Smyslov and Viktor Kortschnoi also won their games. With three rounds to go Fischer now leads with 11.5/14. Kortschnoi follows two points behind with 9.5/14, Hort and Svetozar Gligoric share places three and four with 9.0/14 each.

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Tournament of Peace, Round 14

If you lead by two points, even the best player might lose focus. In round 14 of the Tournament of Peace, the "Turnir Mira" in Rovinj/Zagreb Bobby Fischer celebrated his tenth win in the tournament but his play was not entirely convincing. But his opponent Mario Bertok missed a couple of chances and a possible draw.

 

Both sides have weaknesses. Here Black could have tried 30...R7d6 after which it is difficult to see how White can make progress. After e.g. 31.Bxb7 Black has 31...R6d3! 32.Qxe6+ (but not 32.cxd3 Qxh3+ 33.Kg1 Qh2#) 32...Kxg7 33.Qe5+ Kh7 with a draw, e.g. 34.Qxf5+ Qxf5 35.Be4 Qxe4+ 36.Rxe4 Rxh3+ 37.Kg1 Rg3+.

31.Tg1 is similar though slightly different: 31...T2d3 32.Lxd3 Dxh3#

But Black played 30... Kxg7? after which White's attack is successful: 31.Bxf5 exf5 32.Rg1+ and Black resigned because he will be mated. 1-0

Mario Bertok (*1929) was formerly a Yugoslavian national player and is now primarily a sports journalist for the Sunday newspaper Sportske novosti. Bertok is married to the famous Croatian theatre and film actress Semka Sokolovic-Bertok who used to be a tournament chess player of considerable playing strength and won the Croatian national championship eight times. Mario Bertok is doing well in this tournament so far.

Mario Bertok

Viktor Kortschnoi is in sole second place, two points behind Fischer. In round 14 he defeated Mijo Udovcic in a tense game with lots of complications. Udovcic opted for the King's Indian Defense, a favourite of Yugoslavian players. Kortschnoi was ready for a duel in the double-edged Mar-del-Plata variation which led to a sharp game in which Kortschnoi plundered Black's queenside while Udovcic were trying to land a punch on the kingside. But in the critical moment of the game he missed a draw and lost.

 

Kortschnoi now showed who runs the show on the queenside. 

20.Na7 Black cannot take because 21...Rxa7 22.Nc6 costs a rook. Instead, the game continued with 20...Bd7 21.N7c6 Qe8 22.b5 axb5 23.axb5 Bf8 24.Nc4 Rg7 25.Kh1 g4 26.b6 Bxc6 27.dxc6 Qxc6 28.Qb3 Kh8 29.b7 Rb8 30.Rab1

 

30...Nh4? (30...Qe8 was better.) White now missed 31.Nxe5! dxe5 32.Bxf8 Rxf8 33.b8Q Rxb8 34.Qxb8+ Rg8 35.Qb5 with a win.

In the game White tried 31.Na5 Qd7? More precise is 31...Qe8 32.Qb5? Is there a reasonable defense for Black after 32.Bb5? 32...gxf3 33.Lxf3 c6 34.De2

 

34... Nxf3 Better is 34...Ng4 with counterplay. 35.gxf3 Qc7 36.Qa6

 

36...Rg8 More stubborn was 36...Qd7 37.Qa7 Qh3 38.Rf2 Kh7 with the idea 39.Qxb8? Nxe4! 40.fxe4 Qe3 41.Rbf1 Qxe4+ 42.Rf3 Qg6 43.R3f2 Qe4+ with a draw. 37.Nxc6 Now the game is over. 37...Nd7 38.Nxb8 Nxb8 39.Qd3 Be7 40.Rfc1 Qd7 41.Rc8 1-0

Vlastimil Hort won against Walter Browne. The Czechoslovakian grandmaster defeated Browne's Dragon with positional means.

 

29.e5! Nd7 29...dxe5 30.fxe5 Nh7 31.e6 is no real alternative. 30.Ne3 Qe6 31.f5 gxf5 32.exd6 exd6 After 32...Qxd6 33.Qxf5 Qc6+ 34.Kh3 Nxb6 35.axb6 Qxb6 36.Nd5 White is winning. 33.Nxf5 Ne5

 

34.Qe4 34.Nxd6 Nxd3 35.Rxe6 fxe6 36.Rxd3 wins a piece for White. And 34.Nxg7 Kxg7 35.Qxd6 is also better for White. 34...Rc6? 34...Bf8 was much more stubborn. 35.Nd4 Qd7 36.Nxc6 bxc6 37.Bd4 Qb7 38.Bxe5 Rxe5 39.Qf3 Rxa5 40.Re8+ Kh7 41.Rxd6 Qb6 42.Qd3+ f5 43.Qe2 1–0

With this win Hort still keeps chances to finish second.

Against Risto Nicevski Vassily Smyslov showed another fine performance. However, the former World Champion woke up too late in the tournament to be able to fight for tournament victory.

 

Smyslov now uses his far advanced pawns to convert his advantage into a win: 29.e5 dxe5 30.d6 cxd6 31.c7 Qc8 32.Rc1 exf4 33.Qb3+ Kf8 34.Qb8 Re8 35.Qxc8 Rxc8 36.Bb7 Rxc7 37.Rxc7 fxg3 38.hxg3 1-0

Standings after round 14

Rk. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pts.
1 Robert James Fischer     1 ½   ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1   1 1 1 1 1 1 11.5 / 14
2 Viktor Lvovich Kortschnoj     ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½   1 ½ 1   ½ 1 1 9.5 / 14
3 Svetozar Gligoric 0 ½   ½ 1 1   ½   ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 1 1 9.0 / 14
4 Vlastimil Hort ½ ½ ½     ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½   1   9.0 / 14
5 Tigran V Petrosian   ½ 0     ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 8.5 / 14
6 Vassily V Smyslov ½ ½ 0 ½ ½   ½   1   ½ 1 ½ 1 ½   ½ 1 8.5 / 14
7 Dragoljub Minic 0 1   ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1   ½ ½ ½ ½ 0   1 7.5 / 14
8 Vlatko Kovacevic 1 0 ½ 0 0   ½     1 1 0   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.0 / 14
9 Borislav Ivkov ½ 0   0 ½ 0 ½     ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½   1 7.0 / 14
10 Wolfgang Uhlmann 0 ½ ½ ½ ½   0 0 ½   ½ 1     ½ 1 1 0 6.5 / 14
11 Mario Bertok 0   ½ ½ ½ ½   0 ½ ½   ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 6.5 / 14
12 Walter Shawn Browne   0 ½ 0   0 ½ 1 0 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 1   6.0 / 14
13 Theodor Ghitescu 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ ½   ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 6.0 / 14
14 Bojan Kurajica 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ ½   ½   ½   5.5 / 14
15 Bruno Parma 0   ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½   ½ ½ ½   ½   ½ 5.5 / 14
16 Drazen Marovic 0 ½ 0   ½   1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½   ½   0 ½ 5.0 / 14
17 Mijo Udovcic 0 0 0 0 0 ½   0   0 ½ 0 1 ½   1   1 4.5 / 14
18 Risto Nicevski 0 0 0   0 0 0 ½ 0 1 0   ½   ½ ½ 0   3.0 / 14

Games

 

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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