Chess Analysis – Bobby Fischer’s Trap
Robert James “Bobby” Fischer vs Samuel Reshevsky Chess Analysis
This is one of the weirdest games to comment on since it’s played by two world-class chess grandmasters at the peak of their skill. We all know Bobby Fischer as one of the best chess players in history – and even laypeople know of his epic matches against Boris Spassky. But a commensurately smaller number of people know of Samuel Reshevsky. This says nothing of his skill, as Reshevsky has had prior to the match against Fischer defeated several of the best chess grandmasters in history – such as Capablanca, Alekhine, and others.
Which makes it doubly weird that Bobby Fischer would win this game in 10 moves by setting up an early trap that Reshevsky unwittingly fell for. So, the game starts with 1.e4c5 2.Nf3Nc6 3.d4cxd4 4.Nxd4. Bobby Fischer is playing with the white pieces at opens up with his favorite opening move – pawn to e4. Black responds with pawn to c5, which means that he goes for the Sicilian Defense opening. Both sides exchange pawns and then black plays pawn to g6. This is the Accelerated Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense opening. Bobby plays Nc3 – the Najdorf variation.
Bobby Fischer’s signature moves
The game continues with 5.Be3Nf6 6.Nc3Bg7. Then Bobby Fischer plays what’s known as one of his signature moves – bishop to c4. After this, black decides to castle. Black’s intention is most likely to draw out an attack with pawn to c3, which would leave room for the black queen to get to the b6 field from where she can wreak havoc into white’s structure, attacking several key areas at the same time which white will end up powerless to defend.
But Fischer doesn’t fall for this trap, and he plays yet another of his well-known signature moves – bishop to b3. Now we’ve gotten to the position that’s known as Bobby’s Trap. The trap is in luring the black knight on c6 to move to a5 and attack white’s powerful bishop. Due to a momentary lapse of reasoning, Reshevsky falls for the trap and plays Na5. Bobby plays e5 next. Black’s knight is under attack by the e5 pawn, and black is forced to retreat with the knight to e8. This is a forced move, and it still is a big blunder. Fischer then plays Bxf7+. It’s very likely that a chess grandmaster of the stature of Samuel Reshevsky will have understood the direness of the position and would have resigned immediately after this move. However, Fischer and Reshevsky have had a rivalry, and Reshevsky didn’t want to give Fischer a quick win, even though it’s obvious how the game plays out from here.
So, Reshevsky keeps on playing. He could have resigned at this point, but he played instead Rxf7, after which Fischer went with Ne6, another strong move by Fischer, attacking the closed-off black queen. Black had to play dxe6 and then white plays Qxd8, capturing the enemy queen. Now, by now it’s obvious to everyone watching that Fischer is having a huge advantage. But Reshevsky once again decides to be stubborn and keeps on playing. But he finally resigns a few moves after.
Bobby Fischer’s Trap
This game is known as Bobby Fischer’s Trap, but in interviews, Fischer has stated that he had originally read of this trap in a USSR chess magazine a few months prior to this game. And what we can conclude from this game is that even some of the greatest grandmasters in the world aren’t immune to a good trap at the opening of the game. This doesn’t mean that Reshevsky wasn’t skilled enough to see the trap, far from it. But still, a momentary lapse of judgment can mean a huge blunder in high-voltage games, and Bobby Fischer got an easy win in this chess game.
For more game analysis go here: Game Analysis Archives – Becoming a Chess Master