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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 Osterbek, 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 79 OF 79 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-21-14  MissScarlett: If Fischer's private correspondence with Gligoric is the sole source for this revelation, how could the information have previously made its way into the public domain?
Jul-21-14  RookFile: That's one of those little details that interrupts the narrative that so many push here. There was a way Fischer and Karpov could have played a chess match and Karpov avoided it.
Jul-21-14  Everett: <Jul-21-14 RookFile: That's one of those little details that interrupts the narrative that so many push here. There was a way Fischer and Karpov could have played a chess match and Karpov avoided it.>

Subjective. I say Fischer avoided it by refusing to simply follow the basic format. I also say the Soviets are to blame because they were pulling strings and playing chess politics with the professional/amateur issue.

And I think you understand that Karpov is doing little more than following orders. It is not like he can go rogue on the USSR at that point. Blaming Karpov makes little sense.

Jul-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: At least Fischer admitted he was wrong in 1975.
Jul-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <offramp> well maybe Bobby is not admitting anything of the sort. He's doing away with champs drawn advantage. But it's Karpov who is champ now, not Fischer!! Nothing is mentioned in the letter really who is champ/who is challenger. To show though how things would be done now, both players would have their sports agents doing the negotiations and really get details worked out. The real problem also was we were dealing with the communist Soviet Union so their chess players were not independent agents. It's over and it never happened, just seems to me there should have been a ground swelling of action to make this happen, thru media, or whatever means. If Bobby didn't want to play anymore, he could have just announced his retirement. He had to have wanted to play. Where was Don King when we needed him!!LOL
Jul-21-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <MissScarlett> Valid point indeed. But still hard to believe Gliga was the only person of chess stature who knew of this new proposal. Bobby would have discussed with with someone else too?
Jul-22-14  Petrosianic: <Subjective. I say Fischer avoided it by refusing to simply follow the basic format. I also say the Soviets are to blame because they were pulling strings and playing chess politics with the professional/amateur issue.>

Not even subjective. The Professional business was a last minute excuse to get out of the match when Fischer literally had the pen in his hand ready to sign the contract. It was surely chosen precisely because it was a demand that couldn't be met. At the time there was some legitimate doubt about whether Fischer wanted to play chess in the 70's, but the jury is in at this point.

Jul-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<RookFile> There was a way Fischer and Karpov could have played a chess match and Karpov avoided it.>

I love attempts at revising history. So now it is <Karpov>'s fault that a Fischer Karpov match never took place? What a joke.

Jul-22-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Everett> I also love how everyone always blames the Russians (BTW, they were not "Russians", they were Soviet) and believe that all Soviet grandmasters were simply automatons following the party line. If you read "Bobby Fischer Goes to War" by David Edmonds and John Eidinow, about the 1972 Spassky Fischer match it is clear that the influence of the Communist Party on chessplayers, and Spassky in particular, was not all encompassing, and the players were not just following orders. Each player has their own opinions and so did Soviet officials, and in that sense they were no different than the players from the rest of the world. For instance, to consider Korchnoi a Soviet "automaton" is laughable.

I don't remember the Soviets <successfully> pulling strings to prevent Fischer from playing in the 1970 Palma de Mallorca Interzonal even though he had not qualified to play in it. I suppose they probably tried, but it was Max Euwe, president of FIDE at the time, that bent the rules and allowed Fischer to play. Had Euwe not done that, Fischer would not have played in the Interzonal, would not have played Spassky for the WC title in 1972, and probably would never have been world champion. So if the Soviets were pulling strings and playing chess politics they were not very successful at it when it counted, just as they were not successful in preventing FIDE from imposing a limit on the number of players from any one country that could participate in the interzonals. And what is the professional/amateur issue you refer to?

Jul-22-14  Everett: Relax everyone, I was just being sensitive to the Fischer folk for a moment. Fischer was going crazy and that's about the end if it.

<AylerKrupp> I did say <Soviet>. But if I said <Russian> at some point, I do not agree that it is a big deal.

Further, read up on the name change Fischer proposed at the very last moment. Fischer envisioned something different than the FIDE system, which strikes me as a move from <amateur FIDE <slaves>> to <professional> in hopes for more capital and autonomy for the players. You don't have to agree with my use of terms.

Jul-22-14  Everett: And, yes, Fischer certainly benefited from Euwe's sentiments. Call it nepotism or corruption, both work.
Jul-25-14  RookFile: <Subjective. I say Fischer avoided it by refusing to simply follow the basic format.>

Ah yes. Fischer wins the world championship, and that creates an obligation on his part to follow somebody's else new format, rather than his own. It's all becoming clear to me now.

Jul-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Rookfile> < an obligation on his part to follow somebody's else new format> EXCELLENT. That's what most people simply refuse to recognize, Bobby EARNED the right to set up a legit fair system in which to play, and have it approved. They would not give him his due. Thanks for pointing this simply explanation out!!
Jul-25-14  ughaibu: <Bobby EARNED the right to set up a legit fair system in which to play>

Wasted the opportunity there, didn't he?

Jul-25-14  Petrosianic: It's true. Fischer gave up the title fighting for a condition that he himself admitted was illegitimate: the champion's advantage. He admitted both before 1972 and in 1974 in the letter to Ed Edmondson that the system he was fighting for was unfair.

And of course, there was nothing illegitimate about the Best of 24 match... EXCEPT for the champion's advantage, which was the only part Fischer wanted to keep. So Strike 2.

And the persistent claim that nobody would give Fischer his due, when in fact they changed the system for him twice and acceded to 178 out of 179 demands, all except the unfair one makes Strike 3. Joshka is consciously aware that what he's saying is untrue. He's heard the answers enough times, and never disputed, denied or challenged them. But this subject is literally a religion to some people, and they feel that if they have enough faith and chant the rosary enough times that reality will somehow be altered.

And of course, the fact that the jury is now in that Fischer was retiring from chess rather than trying to set up a new system makes Strike 4. In 1975 this wasn't clear, but it is now

Jul-25-14  MissScarlett: <: It's true. Fischer gave up the title fighting for a condition that he himself admitted was illegitimate: the champion's advantage. He admitted both before 1972 and in 1974 in the letter to Ed Edmondson that the system he was fighting for was unfair>

Self-evidently, the champion's advantage is unfair, i.e., not the same for both sides, but did Fischer actually use the term 'illegitimate'?

Jul-25-14  AsosLight: I believe the regulation should do anything humanly possible to avoid rapid or blitz tie breaks. If that means giving the champion an unfair advantage the so be it.
Jul-25-14  diceman: <Petrosianic: But this subject is literally a religion to some people>

...and oddly <Petrosianic:> is always there praying.

<It's true. Fischer gave up the title fighting for a condition that he himself admitted was illegitimate: the champion's advantage.>

No!!!!!
No!!!!!
Say it ain't so.

Wow.
I wonder if <Petrosianic:> has access to the top secret discussion with Larry Evans where Fischer actually stated "white has an advantage" in chess?

Some(mostly parishioner's in <Petrosianic:>'s church) believe it damned Fischer as a champion. He should have stepped up, manned up, and played black in every game.

<He admitted both before 1972 and in 1974 in the letter to Ed Edmondson that the system he was fighting for was unfair.>

Is that in the Chess Life you had laminated/framed?
(suitable for wall mounting)

The irony is its probably losers like <Petrosianic:> that helped create Fischer.

Q:How do you shut a lightweights mouth?
A:Try and win every game you play.

Fortunately, what we're left with is
Bobby Fischer, chess legend and World Champion, vs. <Petrosianic:> the guy who couldn't carry his pocket-set.

The irony is, when I see <Petrosianic:>'s broken, pathetic, posts, I actually gain more respect for Fischer.

First, you realize the weak peanut gallery Fischer had to deal with, but you also realize the power of Fischer.

Years after his death and decades after his glory the hate is still there. The branding iron of Bobby Fischer still burns.

Its really nice to know that after so many decades, the chicken bone is still lodged in <Petrosianic:>'s throat

We can only imagine the hate had Fischer crushed Karpov.

We'd probably have to spend the next century on Fischer-Geller and wonder if Qf4 "worked?"

<century on Fischer-Geller> "Game of the Century" Number 2?

Poor, poor, <Petrosianic:> unfortunately, future generations haven't said:

"Hey, forget about <My 60 Memorable Games>

...did you hear what Ed Edmondson said?"

Jul-25-14  diceman: <MissScarlett: <: It's true. Fischer gave up the title fighting for a condition that he himself admitted was illegitimate: the champion's advantage. He admitted both before 1972 and in 1974 in the letter to Ed Edmondson that the system he was fighting for was unfair>

Self-evidently, the champion's advantage is unfair>

<Petrosianic:> breaking new ground. Who knew <the champion's advantage> was an advantage for the champion?

Jul-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Lucky us: we are treated to the spectacle of <dice> tearing himself away from his herculean labours over at Rogoff as he wears his gormlessness on his sleeve in the Fischer Frenzy.
Jul-25-14  diceman: <a condition that he himself admitted was illegitimate: the champion's advantage.>

Oh the irony!
When Fischer won the championship, only his opponent had the <illegitimate> advantage.

...but I guess what did happen, bothers
<Petrosianic:> less vs. what never happened.

Jul-25-14  Everett: <RookFile: <Subjective. I say Fischer avoided it by refusing to simply follow the basic format.>

Ah yes. Fischer wins the world championship, and that creates an obligation on his part to follow somebody's else new format, rather than his own. It's all becoming clear to me now.>

Hmmm? It's FIDE's title, or haven't the Kasparov years made that clear to you? Or didn't the years 72-75 make that clear? Evidently you were as deluded as Fischer.

Jul-25-14  Petrosianic: <Self-evidently, the champion's advantage is unfair, i.e., not the same for both sides, but did Fischer actually use the term 'illegitimate'?>

Fischer didn't use the word in that particular letter at all. Edmondson called it "unfair", and in his response, Fischer said "I agree with everything you said, but I'm not backing down."

I'm not sure of the exact wording Fischer used in previous cases where he objected to the champion's advantage. I'm pretty sure he said "unfair", but doubt he said "illegitimate". It doesn't seem like the kind of word Fischer would use. It seems like too hoity-toity a word for him.

Jul-25-14  Everett: < "I agree with everything you said, but I'm not backing down.">

This makes one consider that perhaps Fischer said anything that prevented a match from coming off.

Jul-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There was nothing left to attain for Fischer's fragile ego, once having reached the pinnacle--he had invested everything of himself in his quest for the supreme title. It is unfortunate that in this way, he was psychologically weaker than any of his predecessors. The chess world was deprived of many interesting games and Fischer himself was the greater loser.
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