Rovinj/Zagreb, Round 15: Walter Browne draws against tired tournament winner Fischer

by André Schulz
4/24/2020 – Bobby Fischer, who has dominated the 2. Tournament of Peace in Rovinj/Zagreb from the beginning, seems to be tired. In round 15 he was close to a loss against Walter Browne (pictured) but miraculously saved a draw. However, Viktor Kortschnoi fared even worse against Mario Bertok. But tired or not, with his draw against Browne Fischer is now certain to win the tournament. With two rounds to go he leads with 12.0/15 and is two and a half points ahead of Kortschnoi, Vassily Smyslov, Svetozar Gligoric and Vlastimil Hort who all have 9.5/15.

Master Class Vol.1: Bobby Fischer Master Class Vol.1: Bobby Fischer

No other World Champion was more infamous both inside and outside the chess world than Bobby Fischer. On this DVD, a team of experts shows you the winning techniques and strategies employed by the 11th World Champion.

Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco delves into Fischer’s openings, and retraces the development of his repertoire. What variations did Fischer play, and what sources did he use to arm himself against the best Soviet players? Mihail Marin explains Fischer’s particular style and his special strategic talent in annotated games against Spassky, Taimanov and other greats. Karsten Müller is not just a leading international endgame expert, but also a true Fischer connoisseur.

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Tournament of Peace, Round 15

Maybe it was Vlastimil Hort who inspired Bobby Fischer to choose the Alekhine defence in his game against Walter Browne in round 15. The Czechoslovakian grandmaster Hort is a well-known supporter of the Alekhine and has achieved some success with it. But does this opening really suit Fischer's style? At any rate, Browne seemed to be a little surprised and did not choose the most principled answer. But should Fischer ever play for the World Championship he might be well advised not to try this slightly dubious opening against Boris Spassky.

However, against Browne's rather tame handling of the opening Fischer had nothing to complain about and he soon was clearly better.

 

After the simple 28...Kf7 to protect the pawn on e6 things are fine for Black. Of course, 28...Nxa2 is not possible because of 29.Rxe6.

But Fischer played 28....f4? and after 29.a3 Nc6 30.Rxe6 he lost the e-pawn and soon after the d-pawn as well. Black defended the lost endgame tenaciously but should have lost. However, Browne failed to convert. 

 

This was the chance for Viktor Kortschnoi to shorten Fischer's lead. Kortschnoi and Fischer will meet in round 16, but in round 15 Kortschnoi first had to play Mario Bertok, a nominally weaker opponent. And the game indeed was one-sided – however, it was Bertok who was in charge.

 

In this difficult position Black played 38...Nxc4 and lost on time. After 39.d5 Qc8 Black's position is worse but not as bad as it had been a couple of times before.

Vassily Smyslov

Former World Champion Vassily Smyslov notched up another win and convincingly outplayed Drazen Marovic with his favourite Grünfeld Defense. 

 

Smyslov now called the cavalry and demolished White's queenside. 20...Nd3 21.Rf1 Nxc1 22.Rxc1 Nxb2 23.Ra2 Nd3 24.Rd1 Nc5 and Black is a pawn up and has the better position.

Wolfgang Uhlmann won against the solid Theodor Ghitescu. 

 

Here Uhlmann played 25.Nf5 and after 25....Rc7 26.Rfb1 Kf8 27.f3 Nd2 28.Rxc7 Bxc7 29.Rb7 Rc8 30.Nb6 Bxb6 31.Nxd6 Rd8 32.Rxb6 Black had lost the pawn on d6 and White had a very good endgame.

Games

 

Standings

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     ½ 1 ½   1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 / 15
2 Viktor Lvovich Kortschnoj     ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 1 1   ½ ½ 1 1 9.5 / 15
3 Vassily V Smyslov ½ ½   0 ½ ½ ½   1   ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 9.5 / 15
4 Svetozar Gligoric 0 ½ 1   ½ 1 ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ ½ ½   1 1 1 9.5 / 15
5 Vlastimil Hort ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½   1   9.5 / 15
6 Tigran V Petrosian   ½ ½ 0 ½   ½ 1 ½ ½ ½   ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 9.0 / 15
7 Dragoljub Minic 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1   ½ ½ ½ ½ 0   1 8.0 / 15
8 Vlatko Kovacevic 1 0   ½ 0 0 ½   ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½   ½ 1 ½ 7.5 / 15
9 Borislav Ivkov ½ 0 0   0 ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½   1 7.5 / 15
10 Wolfgang Uhlmann 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½   ½ 1   ½ 1 1 1 0 7.5 / 15
11 Mario Bertok 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½   0 ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 7.5 / 15
12 Walter Shawn Browne ½ 0 0 ½ 0   ½ 1 0 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 1   6.5 / 15
13 Bojan Kurajica 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ 6.0 / 15
14 Bruno Parma 0   ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ ½ 6.0 / 15
15 Theodor Ghitescu 0 ½ ½   ½ ½ ½   ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ 0 ½ 6.0 / 15
16 Drazen Marovic 0 ½ 0 0   ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0   ½ ½   0 ½ 5.0 / 15
17 Mijo Udovcic 0 0 ½ 0 0 0   0   0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1   1 5.0 / 15
18 Risto Nicevski 0 0 0 0   0 0 ½ 0 1 0   ½ ½ ½ ½ 0   3.5 / 15

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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