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  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.

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 134 OF 134 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-19  nok: <Fischer going GA GA and spitting on envelopes>

The embargo was evil. Civilians including children payed the price. Fischer was right to spit on it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The law is, when the state department says "No business dealings with a foreign power," then--no business there. Fischer was used to people breaking the rules for him his entire life. He ended up spending a year in jail in Japan for breaking our laws.

I see a parallel with Donald Trump. Trump has gotten away with so much sneaky crap over the years, but he has never had the full investigative powers of the USA government on him, until now.

Jun-09-19  ughaibu: <The law is, when the state department says> On your @#$%* bike. Law is not the prerogative of the you S @#$%* A.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: So, remind me, why did the Japs have him in jail?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: if you can find a better place to live, then be there.

The Balkans was considered off limits to Americans because of ethnic cleansing, government sponsored murder of civilians and captured troops. It was a war zone, our civilians and business people were told to stay away. I suppose if Khaddaffi had offered $1M for Fischer to appear, he would have put his lazy butt in Tripoli and cashed in.

Jun-09-19  ughaibu: <why did the Japs have him in jail?>

Because he had no valid travel documents whilst attempting to travel overseas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <So, remind me, why did the Japs have him in jail?>

BF was considered a fugitive of American justice, his passport was no longer valid. Seemed to be a handshake agreement with Japan--delay the extradition process for one year, giving Fischer time to find another country to live in. This would save the USA the embarrassment of prosecuting a former hero of the cold war. Iceland took the aging, embarrassing guy, all's well that ends well.

I suppose if <scarzzy> was offered a job at a place off limits to Englanders you'd just go right ahead and take it? Sure you would...

"<Scarzzy's Falklands Steak House> Grand Opening this Friday, the whole menu is half price! Bring the whole family!"

Jun-09-19  ughaibu: <Seemed to be a handshake agreement with Japan--delay the extradition process for one year, giving Fischer time to find another country to live in>

Scarlett! Is it too late to inoculate?

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the two of you can always go live in Kosovo...or perhaps you'd prefer Byelorussia or Ukraine? Businessmen don't have to worry so much about laws, there. You just have to bribe the right people to get things done.

Of course you have little recourse if you are somehow cheated in business or the victim of a crime, as the judicial system in such places is corrupt and judges can be purchased or bullied into delivering desired decisions.

Jun-09-19  ughaibu: <the two of you can always go live in Kosovo...or perhaps you'd prefer Byelorussia or Ukraine?>

Can we?

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: ROBERT FISCHER is THE GREATEST CHESS PLAYER to have played chess.


FISCHER CHANGED CHESS more than any other .

FISCHER was the INTERNET in chess decades before the net arrived.

FISCHER was a computer in chess before computers/silicon arrived.

FISCHER was the first dedicated MODERN pro CHESS PLAYER..

FISCHER invented and breathed life into chess theory.

FISCHER was MISTER CHARISMA. He really is the ALI of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: What Fischer violated was the UN Security Council Resolution 757, part of which was to limit participation of Yugoslavia in sports. Yugoslavia was also not allowed to have a team under its flag in the 1992 Olympics and UEFA Euro 1992.

The US implemented the resolution in its own rules and yes, those are binding on US citizens even while living abroad.

If Fischer wanted to spit on it, he had to face those consequences or take up another country's citizenship, as he eventually did.

Were the rules evil? Then what should the Security Council have done instead to enforce its decisions? Was the pre-1945 anarchy less evil?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Didn't I read somewhere that the British politician, <David Owen>, then a UN envoy, turned up as a visitor during one of the match games? Leave it with me...
Jun-09-19  nok: Why, there was the League of Nations before. Same old imperialist thugs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <keypusher: The personal insults come out when I am frustrated by fools.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Maybe move the discussion to
Fischer - Spassky (1992) for discussing those jack-booted thugs who hassled Bobby for playing in Gazda Jezda's match....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Charlie Durman: <beatgiant: Maybe move the discussion to Fischer - Spassky (1992) for discussing those jack-booted thugs who hassled Bobby for playing in Gazda Jezda's match....>

Maybe move YOUR discussion elsewhere.


It really happened .

Fischer if anything is under rated in chess.

Just like the Beatles.

Jun-09-19  ewan14: So long as , in his prime , he did not have to face the Samisch when playing the K.I.D.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ewan14>
Was he not in his prime in 1970? Ghitescu vs Fischer, 1970, Gheorghiu vs Fischer, 1970
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ...same "jack booted thugs" that are prosecuting Donald Trump and his henchmen. It's all good.
Jun-09-19  ughaibu: Has Trump got a hench? "Photos or it didn't happen."
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Fusilli> That would be off topic!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<harrylime> <Keypusher> and <AylerKupp> are MEGA FISCHER HATERS>

Not at all (at least in my case), it's just that you and other Fischer fanboys think that anyone that is not 110% in awe and love of Fischer is automatically a Fischer hater. And that is simply not the case.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

(1) I have nothing but admiration for Fischer the chess player. His games were some of the finest examples of clarity that I have ever seen. And his results speak for themselves. My only regret is that we were not able to admire more of them due to his premature retirement from chess at the peak of his career.

(2) I have nothing but contempt for Fischer the person. The way he treated many of his friends and those he supported him was abominable, not to mention his opinions later in his life. That doesn't mean that he acted in an abominable fashion all the time, it's just that he did it far too often for my liking.

And, as I've also said before, I can differentiate between the two and keep them separate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<thegoodanarchist> Actually, they were max length of 10 games, not 6.>

Yes, a dumb comment on my part. I should have said that the winner of these Candidates matches was the first to score 5 points, with draws counting. But my main point, that a fixed length match of 10 games with draws counting is vastly different than a match of unlimited games with draws not counting is still valid, and making analogies between the two types of matches is not appropriate, regardless of the participants in them.

Jul-09-19  N0B0DY: There's 100% chance <N0B0DY> here will ever know the result.
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