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Fischer vs FIDE, 1975
Fischer forfeits.

After defeating Spassky in 1972, Bobby Fischer stopped playing serious chess, turning down several lucrative offers to play in public.

Fischer, circa 1971 In 1974, Fischer's challenger was decided: he was an emerging Russian chess superstar, Anatoly Karpov, who had defeated Korchnoi in the candidate's final to earn him the right to challenge Fischer.

In September, 1973, Fred Cramer, Vice President (Zone 5) of FIDE, proposed that the world championship match be decided on 10 wins, draws not counting. He also proposed that the champion retains his title if it were a 9-9 tie. This became known as the Cramer proposal. Fischer telegrammed FIDE informing them that they should adopt the Cramer proposal.[1]

Opponents of the proposal argued that the unlimited format is impractical, and that the 9-9 rule affords the champion too great of an advantage. Proponents claimed that the proposal would encourage exciting chess (because draws do not count) and that it more accurately determined the better player. Fischer argued the merits of the proposal in a 1974 letter to FIDE:

The first player to win ten games, draws not counting, with unlimited number of games wins the match. If the score is nine wins to nine wins, draws not counting, the champion retains title and the match is declared drawn with the money split equally. Versus the old system of the best of 24 games wins the match (12.5 points) and if 12-12 the match is drawn with the champion retaining the title and prize fund is split equally. Draws do count in this system.

The unlimited match favors the better player. This is the most important point, because in the limited game system the match outcome can turn on a very low number of wins, giving the weaker player a chance to "luck out." Also, in the limited game system the player who takes a game or two lead has an advantage out of all proportion. This creates an added element of chance. The player who wins the match should be the player who plays best over the long run, not the player who jumps off to an early lead.[2]

In June, 1974, the FIDE Congress in Nice approved the 10-win regulation and the elimination of draws from the scoring, but imposed a 36-game limit and rejected the 9-9 proposal. On June 27, 1974, Fischer sent a telegram from Pasadena, California to the FIDE Congress:
As I made clear in my telegram to the FIDE delegates, the match conditions I proposed were non-negotiable ... FIDE has decided against my participation in the 1975 World Chess Championship. I therefore resign my FIDE World Championship title.

In March, 1975, an extraordinary FIDE Congress was held in Bergen, Netherlands, and it was agreed to have an unlimited number of world championship games, but still refused the 9-9 rule (32 votes for it, and 35 votes against it). [3] Fischer, unwilling to budge, refused to defend his title.

In Karpov's memoirs he recounts how he was disappointed to not have a chance to become champion in the traditional manner:

I don't know how Fischer feels about it, but I consider it a huge loss that he and I never played our match. I felt like the child who has been promised a wonderful toy and has it offered to him but then, at the last moment, it's taken away.[4]

On April 3rd, 1975, Karpov was declared the 12th World Champion.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Robert James Fischer, by Bill Wall
    2 Bobby Fischer letter to FIDE, 1974
    3 Robert James Fischer, by Bill Wall
    4 Karpov on Karpov: Memoirs of a Chess World Champion, by Anatoly Karpov, Athenuem Press, 1992.

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 114 OF 114 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <Joshka: <The Boomerang> <biggest tragedy in chess...what a waste> Well the Russians would rather ruin the game than allow Fischer to dominate for another 20 years or so, so they made sure Karpov would not be at the board facing the greatest player in the world. The game basically has never been the same, starting with Karpov-Korchnoi 1978.>

You came here from an alternate universe, right?

Jul-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Joshka is a shameless liar where Fischer is concerned. If you call him on it, he doesn't even deny it, just moves on in search of another sucker who might be fooled.
Jul-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <offramp>: <Nah. He is a massively strong player and his rating is a correct reflection of it.>

Here's a question then. Do you think his fall from 2890 to 2820 represents a loss of strength, or an increase in those around him?

Jul-06-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Petrosianic: ...Here's a question then. Do you think his fall from 2890 to 2820 represents a loss of strength, or an increase in those around him?>

I think that having become World Champion he is suffering a lack of motivation. He may also <gasp> have become interested in other things.

You have a point about his peers: Aronian, Caruana and So (among others) are playing the best chess of their lives. Taking whole points from them regularly is not possible.

All players have bad patches, for various reasons. Carlsen seems to be having a malaise, that's all.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: <Do you think his fall from 2890 to 2820 represents a loss of strength, or an increase in those around him?>

Random statistical fluctuation is another thing it might represent.

There was a study which looked at the variations in runs scored by cricketers, who were thought to be having times in their career when they were in form and times when they were out of form. Run-charts were produced by random sampling, and the two were virtually indistinguishable. It can have a surprisingly large effect.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The long run in such fluctuations can be very long indeed, but that in no wise deters those who will try to 'prove' that a player is as good, or bad, as his/her last tournament, or even that player's last game.
Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ISTR Polugaevsky in "Grandmaster Achievement" talking about game 2 of Polugaevsky - Tal Candidates Quarterfinal (1980). He said that Tal was unlucky because he, Polu, was analysing variations accurately and confidently.

LP ended up winning the match 3-0 with 5 draws. That is pretty convincing. But Tal had just won the Riga Interzonal (1979) by 2 points. Tal ran into Polu on Polu's top form.

Fischer said it best: "One day you give a lesson, the next day someone gives you a lesson."

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Polugaevsky always gave Tal a great deal of trouble; Polugaevsky vs Tal, 1979 at Riga was one of only two wins for Tal in their 32 encounters against eight losses.
Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Yes, but Tal was in the happy situation of any time he lost, people assumed it was for health reasons. He never made excuses himself, others did it for him.
Jul-07-17  todicav23: <Do you think his fall from 2890 to 2820 represents a loss of strength, or an increase in those around him?>

People are talking these days about how top players managed to adapt to Carlsen's "grinding" style. I don't know how much truth is in that.

Kramnik said a few times that there's no significant difference between Carlsen and other top players regarding the pure chess knowledge.

My opinion is that Carlsen is the best practical player out there and you can see that in rapid and blitz.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: I think Carlsen's "Style" is to make people fight hard in positions that most GM's aren't used to playing out because they're used to just agreeing draws in them. Strong middlegame and endgame play, not so great in the openings.

Pure chess knowledge is hard to gauge. In the 70's, Walter Browne famously claimed in Chess Life & Review that he understood chess as well as Fischer, because you could take a position apart and there would be nothing he didn't understand about it. If that was true, then there's obviously more to becoming World Champion than that.

Jul-07-17  todicav23: <Petrosianic: I think Carlsen's "Style" is to make people fight hard in positions that most GM's aren't used to playing out because they're used to just agreeing draws in them. Strong middlegame and endgame play, not so great in the openings.

Pure chess knowledge is hard to gauge. In the 70's, Walter Browne famously claimed in Chess Life & Review that he understood chess as well as Fischer, because you could take a position apart and there would be nothing he didn't understand about it. If that was true, then there's obviously more to becoming World Champion than that.>

There are other aspects contributing to the success of chess players besides pure chess knowledge. One of them is stamina (the ability of working hard and being able to focus for many hours). There are drugs that could enhance cognitive performance. I don't know how effective they are. I heard that there are people using such drugs in academia, where there's no anti-doping.

Doping is very common in athletics and many other sports. I would not be surprised if there's doping in chess.

Since memorization is very important in chess, I wonder if top chess players are using any memorization techniques. There are ways to improve the "memorization throughput".

I also wonder if top chess players are using sports psychologists. I think there are very few "fighters" in chess today. Most of the top players are happy to preserve their rating and they don't take many risks. One exception is Giri, of course.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <There are other aspects contributing to the success of chess players besides pure chess knowledge. One of them is stamina>

Fischer made that comment himself. "I gotta stay in shape or it's all over."

<There are drugs that could enhance cognitive performance. I don't know how effective they are.>

I'm not sure either. Lev Alburt
claimed as far back as the 80's that the Soviets were relying on them (that's supposedly why Karpov collapsed in KK-I, from being on them for too long). There's also coffee and other more everyday drugs.

<Since memorization is very important in chess, I wonder if top chess players are using any memorization techniques. There are ways to improve the "memorization throughput".>

Maybe, although the top players seem to have extremely good memories to start with.

Jul-07-17  todicav23: <I'm not sure either. Lev Alburt claimed as far back as the 80's that the Soviets were relying on them (that's supposedly why Karpov collapsed in KK-I, from being on them for too long). There's also coffee and other more everyday drugs.>

Interesting. I never heard this story before. I found this article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arch...

From the article:

Alburt, who emigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1979, wrote in the March issue of Chess Life magazine: "Those who have worked with Karpov know that, like most leading Soviet and East European sportsmen, he relies heavily on a scientific regimen of drugs and hypnosis."

Alburt also said in that story that Karpov received "injections of powerful stimulants in order to keep playing" during the 1974 world championships.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic....Pure chess knowledge is hard to gauge. In the 70's, Walter Browne famously claimed in Chess Life & Review that he understood chess as well as Fischer, because you could take a position apart and there would be nothing he didn't understand about it. If that was true, then there's obviously more to becoming World Champion than that.>

A quote I well remember; in Browne's case, I wonder whether psychological instability played a role, a quality he may ultimately have lacked for all the bombast and outward ferocity he brought to the board, tendencies I can attest to from sitting opposite him.

Jul-07-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <perfidious: ...

A quote I well remember; in Browne's case, I wonder whether psychological instability played a role, a quality he may ultimately have lacked for all the bombast and outward ferocity he brought to the board, tendencies I can attest to from sitting opposite him.>

I am not sure whether I understand this.

Jul-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <I am not sure whether I understand this.>

I think <perfidious> means that sometimes weakness and strenght are close to each other.At least that is how I read it.

"The same thing that takes you up
brings you down"

Neil Young.

Jul-08-17  ughaibu: <Neil Young.>

But not Neil Armstrong.

Jul-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <ughaibu: <Neil Young.> But not Neil Armstrong.>

Nor Lance Armstrong.But OTOH it goes for epo and cycling.So...

Jul-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: What a shame USCF never instituted "head to head match" play to determine our US Championship. When Brownie was in his prime , wow, what emotion, intensity he displayed at the board imagine a 12 game match with say Larry C. or Seirawan for all the marbles, chess would have been put back on the map at least here in the USA. Tourneys have killed and wrecked high level drama filled chess at least in this country, IMHO.
Jul-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Petrosianic> Yes, but Tal was in the happy situation of any time he lost, people assumed it was for health reasons. He never made excuses himself, others did it for him.>

I was in a similar situation. Whenever I lost people assumed that it was because I was inept. So I also never had to make excuses for myself, others did it for me. :-)

Jul-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The 1991 US Championship was a sixteen player knockout format.
Jul-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <perfidious> Exactly my point!! Nobody remembers a 16 player tourney. Now had say Browne played a 12 game match with say the 1990 champion....folks would remember that. It could have been on cable, ect. Anyway Brownie was in his chess prime during the late 70's and early 80's...thats when head to head match play would have really benefited the USCF and attracted attention due to the absence of Fischer, IMHO.
Jul-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I would have loved to watch one of the old matches - for example Marshall vs. Ed Lasker, for the US Championship. It's the kind of experience you never forget, and you can learn a lot of chess too, by the way.
Jul-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <RookFile> I have no objection to a tourney format that would produce two opponents who then play head to head for all the marbles. Imagine a yearly match from say St. Louis to show off to the country our chess champion. Recall when Ali (Clay) challenged Sonny Liston who was an ex-con for the Championship belt. Imagine Charles Whitaker (ex-con) playing a 12 game match against the US Champion back in those days. It's an event that all would easily recall, ect. Tourney winners are soon forgotten. The general chess public had much admiration for Brownie and Larry C. did simul tours all over the country these two were great promoters of chess. Having them contest a match or say with Jude Acers when he was in his prime...these would have helped the depleted fans thirst for some real chess excitement, left over from Bobby's departure.
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