Fischer,Robert James – Darga,Klaus [C19]

Fischer – Darga [Germany]
    FRG-USA Berlin West, 1960
    French Defense

This games took place during the height of the Cold War (1960-1964).  The Western Allies set up a western German constitutional convention with a goal of ultimate reunification. The USSR refused to acknowledge this and in May 1949, the Western Allies established the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG/West Germany). The USSR countered with the adoption by a People’s Congress in the East of the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR/East Germany).

   1.e4 e6

The French Defense; If the Sicilian defense is for Day Traders who like to take risk, live on the edge and thrive in high stress out of control situations the French Defense is for Accountants analytical, structured, detail oriented and adverse to risk.

2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5

The French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation named for Szymon Winawer. Championed by solid strong players like Botvinnik. I know in my early days of chess and playing e4 the French and the Winawer would strike fear in my heart.




5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3

White ends up with the double pawns which Black will make great effort to play against. Black in turn gives up his dark squared Bishop that makes his Kingside subject to attack. White must play strong and aggressively as the pawn structure favor Black in an ending.



Black plays the most popular move Ne7,  also possible is Qc7 as well as Qa5.


Lines can be like veins on a leaf so with this move Fischer moves off of the center path.  7. Qg4 is the most common where Black can give up the Kingside pawns with the “Poisoned Pawn Variation” 7…Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10. Ne2 and in return he vaporizes White’s center; or Black and chose 7…0-0 8.Bd3 Nbc6, which holds on to the Kingside pawns but allows White to laser focus on the Kingside.  Fischer takes on 7. a4 which allows the Bishop a long diagonal from a3 to f8 and it stops Black from attacking the c2 square by placing his Bishop or Queen on a4.

7…Qc7 8.Nf3 b6 9.Bb5+ Bd7

White stops the Bishop from taking the a6 or b7, square in truth he wants to place as much wood in between Black’s Queen and the Kingside.

10.Bd3 Nbc6 11.0-0 c4 12.Be2 f6

All of his is known theory White will most likely play 11. Re1 putting pressure on the center.

13.Ba3 fxe5

By playing Ba3 White is eying Bd6 a move on principle that any chess player would want to prevent, so he exchanges away the center. The truth of the position is that Bd6 is not fatal however if Black is to allow it he should castle Kingside 13…0-0 14.Bd6 Qd8 15.exf6 Rxf6 16.Qd2 Qe8.  I notice in many amateur games that players beat themselves by not having the patience to play the position as it stand opposed to striking out against what they feel it “should be.”  It is very challenging in chess to determine each and every move what the board is telling you opposed to what you want to hear.

14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Re1

One of the inherent dangers of simplifying down is that by releasing the tension in the position moves become more forcing and it’s easier for your opponent to find his own way.  Or if you prefer the sound bite version “the threat is greater than the execution.”  Here we find if 15.Nxe5 Qxe5 16.Re1 Qxc3, Black may very well go pawn grabbing will minimal risk. So instead we find Re1 leaving the tension on the board longer.


A rare case of the wrong Knight.  Playing N5c6 is a safer road to home and Black has few weaknesses.

16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.f4 Nc6 18.Bg4 0-0-0 19.Bxe6 Bxe6

Black should be happy to just seek safety for his King. However why must he advance White’s Rook to e6? When 19…Rhe8 completes development and challenges the file.

20.Rxe6 Rd7

Black should be happy to just seek safety for his King. However why must he advance White’s Rook to e6? When 19…Rhe8 completes development and challenges the file.

21.f5 Nd8 22.Re3 Qf4

This move violates the basic principle of completing development, how dare Black charge off with his Rook serving no purpose on h8. You may think the same of White however the Rook on a1 is x-ray supporting the pawn push a5.

23.Rf3 Qe4 24.a5 Nc6?

Black should not allow White to exchange and instead should capture 24…bxa5.  This is not an obvious move but a careful review of the position reveals that after 24…bxa5 25. Bc5 Nc6 the Black pawn on a5 is very hard to attack.  The Knight is known to be a great defender and will take good care of  b8 should White double on the b file. While the Rook on d7 can cover b7, White will not have an easy time breaking in.

25.axb6 axb6 26.Qb1 Kc7

Black’s safety is only an illusion.



A remarkable simple move but very profound, these are the kind of moves that are difficult to find over the board. Beautiful in that it clears the file, There is no defense against the treat of Bf4+  so the game is over.

27…Qe1+ 28.Rf1 Qxc3 29.Bf4+ Kb7 30.Qb5 1-0

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