Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

  WCC Overview
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.


  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.

Sorry, no games at this time.
You may wish to visit the home page and try a different search.

TIP: You can make the above ads go away by registering a free account!

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 124 OF 124 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <chancho>, that is all true, and I have used stats like that to make my absolutely correct prognostication about this match:

10-6 to Fischer with 44 draws.

That is a fact, even though I am a Karpov fan.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <beatgiant> The current reigning champion has always had his name first. 1972 match was "Spassky-Fischer" had Karpov and Fischer met in 1975, then it would of course be "Fischer-Karpov". This way a sporting person, who really doesn't follow chess, would know who really is the challenger in a match. I'm sure they will promote "Carlsen-Caruana" .
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Joshka>
<champion's name first> Maybe so, but has challenger's name first on quite a few of these. Besides the examples I already posted above (Tal-Botvinnik 1960, Petrosian-Botvinnik 1963), here are a couple more.

Lasker - Steinitz World Championship (1894)

Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <beatgiant> I think <Joshka> must be right, champion's name goes first

Perhaps 'Karpov - Fischer' has a better "ring to it" than 'Fischer - Karpov'

or how bout 'fishing for a carp'

May-03-18  nok: also Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <beatgiant> yes has quite a few wrong:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I think the "v" or the "-" because they are symmetrical point both directions. Fischer v Karpov can as legitimately be read "Karpov Fischer" as "Fischer Karpov"
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <nok: Karpov didn't play for the win with black but his 74 candidates run is as impressive as F's.>

Checkout Karpov v Korchnoi 1978.

Fischer would have destroyed that quality of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Karpov until his dying days can live on this NONE match...

Bobby didn't play me so ... lol lol lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The reality is Fischer was a stratosphere above and ahead of chess at the time .

FIDE was a Commie institution .

FIDE collapsed to COMMIE demands.

Bobby was stripped of HIS title.

COMMIE boy Karpov was then given the title.

May-05-18  Everett: Not new, just important ideas to consider again when this thread lights up like a Christmas tree.

Karpov would not forget or mismanage TNs and opening surprises like both Spassky and Petrosian did vs Fischer.

Both former WCs mismanaged TNs in their respective Game 1s. Karpov was something entirely different.

In truth, Karpov and Fischer as chessplayers are cut from the same cloth; pragmatic and unapologetic in style and execution. Spassky and Petrosian both had a whiff of aesthete about them.

Korchnoi is the same, by the way. Korchnoi was just a beast mentally.

Also, both Karpov and Korchnoi were hungry for the title, just like Fischer, while Spassky and Petrosian had been there and done that.

It's quite possible that Fischer was concerned to face BOTH Karpov and Korchnoi OTB in a WC match.

Finally, I think Fischer's inability to make it to candidate match play in '65 and '68 was partly because a hungry, non-WC Spassky was on the rampage during those years. If they had played during that time, my money would have been on Spassky.

May-05-18  Everett: Name order of WC match titles seems to match the pattern of the vanquished last.

Except Lasker-Capablanca, which is curious in that the victor is 2nd, and the defending champion is second as well (Lasker insisted on being considered the challenger)

May-05-18  Everett: <Both Fischer and Kasparov had a very similar style of play and their aggressiveness.>

Fischer and Kasparov were similar, yet Fischer's style may actually have been closer to Karpov's. I think it's fun to compare them.

Fischer-Karpov similarities:
willing to sacrifice the initiative for the sake of material (Fischer) or position (Karpov), endgame prowess, strong positional pressure style.

Fischer-Kasparov similarities: opening focused on putting immediate pressure on opponents position.

Karpov-Fischer differences: the former is not a slave to seeking the initiative, and willing to pass it up for eventual positional gains. He also was mostly a Q-side attacker and kept things tidy on the K-side. All his Zaitzev Ruy Lopez were about Q-side initiative and holding tight on the K-side.

Kasparov-Fischer differences: former is an initiative junky, very flexible with material, also very flexible wth openings

Characteristics of play, from most to least:

Importance of initiative: Kasparov, Fischer, Karpov King Safety: Kasparov, Fischer, Karpov
Piece Activity: Kasparov, Fischer, Karpov
Prophylaxis: Karpov, Fischer, Kasparov

The two Ks were really polar opposites in some ways. I think opening choice, while being a reflection of one's style, sometimes makes us think that two players are more similar/different then they are.

And lets not forget that Karpov used to play e4 back in the day like a beast. Yet he was the first to consistently push d5 in the Ruy, closing the structure and focusing on the flanks. His way was a departure from the usual method.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Everett>
<Name order of WC match titles seems to match the pattern of the vanquished last.>

Many exceptions to that rule too:
Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969)

Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Return Match (1957)

Alekhine - Euwe World Championship Match (1935)

Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship Match (1886)

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Everett>
That last one is interesting, the link displays as "Steinitz-Zukertort" but the headline on the page sayz "Zukertort vs Steinitz".

I think the simple fact is that the authors of these pages have not yet standardized on any rule.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: RE: Match name ordering convention...

Possible rationales:

When the match is ongoing, it might seem appropriate to list first the player who gets White in the first game.

Unless there is an already decided champion, then the challenger vs champion has a certain ring to it.

After the match is decided, listing the victor first seems the most reasonable and best ordering, for some reason.

What else?

May-06-18  ClockPunchingMonkey: 44 draws? Karpov might have dropped dead first. Fischer was stronger physically and he would have shown no mercy. Every game would have been fought down to the last pawn. (long games).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Nobody knew that at the time. As the younger man, Karpov was presumed to have more endurance. It wasn't until 1978 that Karpov's stamina problems became apparent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Or what do you think should be the rule for the order of names?>

As people have pointed out, there's no hard and fast rule for naming matches. But very often, people list the winner of the match first AFTER the match is over, but list the defending champion first before the match is played.

Before the 1972 match it wasn't uncommon to hear it called the Spassky-Fischer match, but nobody calls it that now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: With Candidates Matches, where there's no defending champion, it's really up in the air.

Some people used whatever way rolled off the tongue better. Others (probably without realizing it) listed the person they hoped would win first.

I tended to go with whatever was lyrical. Portisch-Spassky sounded better than Spassky-Portisch, so I called it that even though I was rooting for Spassky.

May-07-18  Howard: Which of their two Candidates matches are you referring to? Or does that matter ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: If there is no ruler, how can there be any rules?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: I called both matches that. Neither player was a champion, and the match hadn't been played yet, so there was no rule for naming it that I could see, other than what sounded good.

For some reason, Spassky's name almost always sounds better in the second position. I guess because we're used to words that end in Y.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Petrosianic> Spassky--Fischer vs. Fischer--Spassky pre-match would make an interesting aside.

I do appreciate the lyrical rationale though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer would have eaten Karpov alive.

Karpov was A commie juggernaut .. Red Carpeted ALL the way as a smooth sleek Soviet missile to kill Bobby...

A motivated Bobby would have swatted this away with ease..

But RJF wanted control. He wanted to be Capa and Steinitz... his idols.. and the chess world said NO !

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 124)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 124 OF 124 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC