Wednesday, 7 November 2018

It started with this

There has been a lot of talk about Ding Liren's undefeated streak (96 games and counting), although it has been pointed out that Sergei Tiviakov had a 110 game streak in 2004-05. And while this is indeed impressive, I still think the Bobby Fischer 20 wins in a row is still the gold standard for elite chess players.
It began at the Palma de Mallorca Zonal in 1970 and only came to an end with a loss to Petrosian in the Candidates Final match. The run of wins included two 6-0 match wins against Taimanov and Larsen during the Candidates series.
The game that started it all is quite an impressive one, with Fischer finding a nice (if thematic) piece sacrifice against Rubinetti. I don't know when it dawned on Rubinetti that he was losing, as he seemed to play like someone who didn't think the sacrifice was sound (trying to swap the bishop with 19. ... Nh5 being an example). What I am certain of however, is that Fischer knew he was winning well before Rubinetti decided to tip over his king.

Fischer,Robert James - Rubinetti,Jorge Alberto [B87]
Palma de Mallorca Interzonal Palma de Mallorca (17), 02.12.1970

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