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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
Curacao Candidates Tournament

Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian17.5/27(+8 -0 =19)[games]
Paul Keres17/27(+9 -2 =16)[games]
Efim Geller17/27(+8 -1 =18)[games]
Robert James Fischer14/27(+8 -7 =12)[games]
Viktor Korchnoi13.5/27(+7 -7 =13)[games]
Pal Benko12/27(+6 -9 =12)[games]
Mikhail Tal7/21(+3 -10 =8)[games]
Miroslav Filip7/27(+2 -15 =10)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Curacao Candidates (1962)

Soon after the Stockholm Interzonal (1962), eight players met from 2 May - 26 June in Curacao in order to determine the Challenger for Mikhail Botvinnik, the World Champion.

The event in Stockholm selected six of the top finishers there. Due to a restriction limiting the number of players advancing from the same country to the next stage, Leonid Stein did not qualify, and Benkö took his place after the Stockholm Interzonal Playoff (1962). Both Paul Keres and Mikhail Tal qualified by virtue of their placings from the Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959). This made for an eight-player quadruple round-robin, as in the previous FIDE cycle.

Only 105 games were played since Tal withdrew due to illness after round 21.

Keres and Geller, having finished second ex aequo, were obliged to play a match to determine who would automatically qualify for the next Candidates cycle; Keres - Geller 2nd place Candidates Playoff (1962) was held at Moscow from 11th-25th August 1962 and was won by Keres by a score of 2-1, with five draws.

1 Petrosian XXXX ==== ==== =1== ==11 ==1= 11=* =11= 17.5 2 Keres ==== XXXX ==== 0=1= ==1= 1110 1=1* =11= 17 3 Geller ==== ==== XXXX 11=0 ==1= ===1 =11* =11= 17 4 Fischer =0== 1=0= 00=1 XXXX 010= 01=1 =1=* 1=1= 14 5 Korchnoi ==00 ==0= ==0= 101= XXXX ===0 10=* 1111 13.5 6 Benko ==0= 0001 ===0 10=0 ===1 XXXX 10=* 011= 12 7 Tal 00=* 0=0* =00* =0=* 01=* 01=* XXXX 10=* 7 8 Filip =00= =00= =00= 0=0= 0000 100= 01=* XXXX 7

Petrosian advanced to the Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963).

(1) Wikipedia article: Candidates Tournament.

Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index (Curacao 1962), by User: Hesam7.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Benko vs Fischer 1-0401962Curacao CandidatesB07 Pirc
2. Petrosian vs Tal 1-0641962Curacao CandidatesA12 English with b3
3. Geller vs Fischer 1-0401962Curacao CandidatesB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
4. Filip vs Benko 1-0281962Curacao CandidatesE60 King's Indian Defense
5. Fischer vs Filip 1-0661962Curacao CandidatesC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
6. Benko vs Tal 1-0411962Curacao CandidatesA00 Uncommon Opening
7. Korchnoi vs Filip 1-01011962Curacao CandidatesD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Keres vs Benko 1-0281962Curacao CandidatesB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
9. Fischer vs Keres 1-0411962Curacao CandidatesC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. Fischer vs Benko 1-0391962Curacao CandidatesC11 French
11. Benko vs Filip 1-0381962Curacao CandidatesD74 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O
12. Tal vs Benko 1-0331962Curacao CandidatesC11 French
13. Fischer vs Tal 1-0631962Curacao CandidatesB32 Sicilian
14. Petrosian vs Filip 1-0281962Curacao CandidatesD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. Keres vs Filip 1-0281962Curacao CandidatesB42 Sicilian, Kan
16. Keres vs Korchnoi 1-0401962Curacao CandidatesB49 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. Fischer vs Filip 1-0421962Curacao CandidatesC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
18. Geller vs Filip 1-0221962Curacao CandidatesB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
19. Keres vs Benko 1-0381962Curacao CandidatesB32 Sicilian
20. Korchnoi vs Filip 1-0461962Curacao CandidatesA22 English
21. Geller vs Tal 1-0781962Curacao CandidatesB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. Fischer vs Benko 1-0311962Curacao CandidatesC11 French
23. Fischer vs Geller 1-0431962Curacao CandidatesB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
24. Petrosian vs Korchnoi 1-0211962Curacao CandidatesA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
25. Benko vs Korchnoi 1-0811962Curacao CandidatesD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-15-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: People saying they would not have given up their spot in the Interzonal after Benko suggested he gave up his place don't quite get it.

If any of those who finished below Benko disagreed then the deal was off. Benko makes it very clear he offered his place to Bobby Fischer, no one else.

" The idea for me to step down and give Fischer my place was my own; it was made voluntarily and without pressure from anyone.

I felt that as one of the world's strongest players he should have the right to participate in that critical Interzonal. The U.S. Chess Federation had always treated me well; by my action I hoped to show my gratitude. "

Pal Benko 1974.

http://graeme.50webs.com/chesschamp...

---

The Russian press played a major role in letting this Benko situation arise.

Benko writing in the March 1970 Chess Life and Review (page 130) about his prep for this tournament says he won his last round game, thus obtaining 3rd place, Robert E Byrne vs Benko, 1969 due to him studying Russian analysis from a game played a few months earlier. Gufeld vs Savon, 1969

See Robert E Byrne vs Benko, 1969 (kibitz #1)

Meanwhile...One tournament later...The Soviets no doubt impressed with this show gratitude from Benko towards his adopted country did an unofficial 'Benko!'

Taimanov vs Matulovic, 1970 (kibitz #121)

Jul-16-18  SpiritedReposte: Benko knew Fischer was gonna give the russians that work. They didn't want that smoke with yer boi.
Jul-16-18  Howard: First, let me state that I appreciate the honest and tactful feedback to my comments. Some of the sarcastic/sniping "rebuttals" that people post, get on my nerves.

I guess my reasoning had I been a top-three finisher in '69, would be that if I hardly "had a chance in hell" (to quote myself) of making the Candidates, why NOT cede my place to Fischer? Think of all the favorable publicity I'd get! (If you don't believe that, ask Benko !) Not only that, I'd unquestionably be doing American chess a big favor especially if Fischer by some chance went on to become WC.

As I see it, probably the only concrete thing I'd be giving up would be a fairly modest amount of prize money. A fairly small price for giving Fischer a real shot at the WC.

I'm not saying that Benko suddenly got flooded with tournament invitations when he gave his place to Fischer. But, when he dies this gesture on his part will unquestionably be well-publicized!

As for Fischer's apparent failure to at least thank the former Hungarian, well, that's probably typical Fischer.

In fact, I recall from the book Chess World Championship 1972, someone (Fred Cramer I think) was quoted at one point that Fischer was in such a "purring mood" that he actually "thanked" Cramer (or whoever it was) for working on a request to get the squares enlarged on the match chessboard. That person went on to addd, "Imagine that--Bobby Fischer thanking me for something!"

Remind me to look that up in the book to see exactly who said that. I'm not home right now.

Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Howard,

It's a just a few sad mouths howling in the wind wrongly calling 'foul' 48 years after the event because Fischer was allowed into the Interzonal.

It's clear everyone (except in hindsight the Russians) wanted him to play.

No law was broken, a player wanted to give his spot to another, the American federation agreed to put Fischer forward and FIDE welcomed him in.

The organisers of the Interzonal were so desperate to secure Fischer they offered and paid Fischer a $15,000 appearance fee (Levy article Chess 1970).

He justified everyone's faith in him winning it by a clear 3½ pts. And then the fun really began...

Jul-16-18  ewan14: Euwe wanted Fischer to play ( in the interzonal ) to validate the WORLD chess championship
Jul-16-18  ughaibu: Euwe wanted a non-Soviet, with a realistic chance of winning, to play for the PR value.
Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> If any of those who finished below Benko disagreed then the deal was off. Benko makes it very clear he offered his place to Bobby Fischer, no one else.>

What you need to keep in mind is that Benko had no say who he gave his place to. He could certainly give up his place for whatever reason, for example, if he was sick. But the choice of his replacement was the USCF's not Benko's decision. And, in cases of anyone withdrawing for whatever reason, his place is typically taken up by the next finisher which in this case would have been Lombardy, who finished 4th. <And so on down the line if the 4th place finisher couldn't or wouldn't participate>. This has been comprehensively discussed in the World Cup 2017 page and the Fischer player page, here are some links to the discussions: World Cup (2017) (kibitz #3225).

Clearly if Benko wanted to give his place only to Fischer this needed to be arranged ahead of time to ensure that all the other players also agreed to also give up their places. As you said, Benko was quoted as saying that "The idea for me to step down and give Fischer my place was my own; it was made voluntarily and without pressure from anyone." And I would tend to believe him, except that the words "pressure" and "suggestion" have different meanings. Benko wanted to make sure that if he gave up his place in the Interzonal his spot would go to Fischer. I doubt that Benko was in a position, or sufficiently motivated, to accomplish that, so I suspect that the "suggestion" came from Ed Edmonson, the executive director of the USCF at the time and a big fan of Fischer. After checking with Benko and getting his concurrence <and> the concurrence of all the other players in the 1969 US Chess Tournament that finished lower than Benko, it became a done deal.

So Benko could very well have been telling the truth; he was not subjected to any "pressure" from anyone, including Ed Edmonson, but the "suggestion" could easily and likely have come from him. And, since Benko was truly grateful (I believe him on this) to the USA and the USCF, it is quite possible that he was very willing to step aside.

I'll be the first to admit that this is all conjecture on my part, I have no supporting evidence. But it is the only scenario that makes sense to me given all the discussions on the subject.

Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Howard> I guess my reasoning had I been a top-three finisher in '69, would be that if I hardly "had a chance in hell" (to quote myself) of making the Candidates, why NOT cede my place to Fischer?>

That comment about "a chance in hell" got me thinking (always a bad idea). Just exactly (or at least approximately) were Benko's chances for qualifying for the 1971 Candidates Knockout Matches?

I tried to calculate it quantitatively; i.e. given each player's ratings what would be the probability that Benko would finish in one of the top 6 places?

By the time that the 1969 US Championship finished several rating lists had been compiled by Dr. Elo and unofficially submitted to FIDE before FIDE's official adoption of the Elo rating system in 1970. These were the ratings of the players (other than Fischer since Benko would have taken his place) participating in the 1970 Palma de Majorca Interzonal, their ratings based on the May-1969 rating list compiled by Dr. Elo, Benko's rating differential (RDiff) against each player, and Benko's scoring probability (SP, probability of a Win or Draw) against each player based on the RDiff between Benko and each of the other players. The top 6 finishers qualified for the 1971 Candidates Knockout Matches, these are highlighted in angle brackets.

Finish Player Rating RDiff Benko's SP

<2-4> <Larsen, Bent> 2630 (90) 0.375167

<2-4> <Geller, Efim P.> 2620 (80) 0.388649

7-8 Portisch, Lajos 2620 (80) 0.388649

7-8 Smyslov, Vassily 2620 (80) 0.388649

9-10 Polugaevsky, Lev 2610 (70) 0.402266

9-10 Gligoric, Svetozar 2590 (50) 0.429842

13 Hort, Vlastimil 2590 (50) 0.429842

<5-6> <Taimanov, Mark E.> 2590 (50) 0.429842

17 Reshevsky, Samuel H. 2570 (30) 0.457765

18-19 Matulovic, Milan 2560 (20) 0.471814

N/A Benko, Pal 2540 0 0.500000

14 Ivkov, Borislav 2540 0 0.500000

<5-6> <Uhlmann, Wolfgang> 2540 0 0.500000

15-16 Ciric, Dragoljub M. 2530 10 0.514102

11-12 Mecking, Henrique 2530 10 0.514102

11-12 Panno, Oscar 2530 10 0.514102

20-22 Filip, Miroslav 2510 30 0.542235

<2-4> <Huebner, Robert> 2490 50 0.570158

18-19 Addison, Wiliam G. 2470 70 0.597734

15-16 Suttles, Duncan 2430 110 0.651328

23 Rubinetti, Jorge 2420 120 0.664313

24 Jimenez, Eleazar 2400 140 0.689691

20-22 Ujtumen, Tudev 2400 140 0.689691

20-22 Naranja, Renato N/A N/A N/A

But I couldn't figure out how to explicitly compute the probability that Benko would finish in one of the top 6 places given the SPs. Does anybody know how to do it?

So let me try to express it qualitatively. Keep in mind that by 1979 Benko was an experienced international GM; remember that he qualified for the 1962 Curacao Candidates Tournament. So he certainly had the experience of qualifying for a Candidates tournament.

Ten players were rated higher than Benko, 2 players were rated the same, and 12 players were rated below Benko if Naranja, who wasn't rated in the May-1969 rated list and therefore I would consider him to be the lowest rated player if he'd been rated. So I would qualitatively assess the probability of Benko finishing in the top half of the tournament to be about 0.5. And, as a sanity check, Hubner did finish in the top 6 even though he was rated 50 points <lower> than Benko. So it certainly seems possible for Benko, rated above Huebner, to have also finished in the top 6.

Of course, these are all only probabilities and observations so it's not certain or even necessarily likely that Benko would have finished in the top 6. But I would say that he had better then a "chance in hell" of doing so. However, Benko's chances of winning the 1971 Candidates Knockout matches <and> defeating Spassky in the 1972 WCC match probably were not much better than "a chance in hell". So that was certainly a motivation, at least for the USCF, for Fischer to take Benko's place.

Jul-16-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> It's a just a few sad mouths howling in the wind wrongly calling 'foul' 48 years after the event because Fischer was allowed into the Interzonal.>

I'm not sure what else you would call it. (1) Fischer didn't qualify for the 1970 Interzonal because he did not play in the qualifying event, the 1969 US Chess Championship, (2) Every player that finished below Addison had to agree to give up their place in order for Fischer to participate, (3) FIDE , specifically it's president, Euwe, had to agree to let him in.

And for not qualifying for the 1970 Interzonal Fischer had no one but himself to blame.

<No law was broken, a player wanted to give his spot to another, the American federation agreed to put Fischer forward and FIDE welcomed him in.>

"Welcoming him in" would not be the words I would have used. Frank Brady in "Profile of a Prodigy" says that "At the FIDE Congress, the 41st, heated discussion erupted over the possibility of allowing Fischer into the Interzonal. The vote was close but negative, with the Soviets especially adamant about making any changes in the existing sequence of the selection of challengers, since the process was already in motion." And I find this part interesting: "There was strong sentiment, however, to allow Fischer to play if one of the three American qualifiers would drop out in his behalf. The USCF received authorization from the Congress to revise its list of Interzonal entrants, ..."

I think that the above is confusing. I think it deals with the proposal to expand the number of entrants in the 1970 Interzonal from 24 to 26 so that Fischer plus another player (or theoretically any other 2 players could play). If the vote had been whether to explicitly allow Fischer to play and the vote was negative, that would imply that the vote was to NOT to allow Fischer to play. And, as we all know, that didn't happen.

But discussion does makes it seem that the idea for one of the top 3 US qualifiers to give up their spot to Fischer came from FIDE, not the USCF or Edmonson.

As far as no "law" being broken, that's true; FIDE allowed the USCF to replace one of its entrants with Fischer. But, as I've said before several times, this could have been avoided if the USCF, knowing that there was a very strong possibility that Fischer would not participate in the qualifying 1969 US Championship, did not set up its qualification rules so that the top 2 finishers in the 1969 US Championship plus an at large entry would be the US entrants to the 1970 Interzonal. This was hardly without precedent before or since, and the national chess federations were given sole discretion by FIDE on who their representatives would be. Had FIDE been on the ball, there would have been no controversy. But, like I also said earlier, FIDE didn't ask me.

<The organisers of the Interzonal were so desperate to secure Fischer they offered and paid Fischer a $15,000 appearance fee (Levy article Chess 1970).>

Somehow I doubt that the Interzonal organizers decided to pay Fischer an extra $ 15,000 out of the kindness of their hearts. More likely and consistent with past and future events was that Fischer <demanded> the extra $ 15,000 and the organizers gave in. Since I don't have a copy of the article you referenced, I can't verify that. What, if anything, does the article say about the $ 15,000?

Jul-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

Benko 1974:

"The idea for me to step down and give Fischer my place was my own; it was made voluntarily and without pressure from anyone."

You 2018:

" I doubt that Benko was in a position, or sufficiently motivated, to accomplish that, so I suspect that the "suggestion" came from Ed Edmonson..."

So you suspect that Benko was lying.

OK.

Jul-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> So you suspect that Benko was lying.>

Yes and no. I was very careful to make a distinction between "pressure" and "suggestion". All I'm saying was that Benko finessed the issue for reasons I can't figure out. As a person that was incarcerated by the Soviet Union he certainly knew the difference between "pressure" and "suggestion".

But, no, I don't believe him when he says that the idea was his own. As I've listed above, it was at the 41st FIDE Congress that <FIDE> gave the USCF the authorization to revise its list of Interzonal entrants, and it gave the USCF about 6 weeks to report back if a chance was to be made. And he couldn't just give up his spot to Fischer, it would have gone to the 4th place finisher, Lombardy. So it makes sense that the USCF, through Edmonson, "suggested" that idea to Benko and others, and did the necessary coordination. Six weeks would have been ample time to do that coordination. It would be interesting to know the delay between the end of the 1969 US Championship and the USCF's announcement of who the 3 US representatives to the 1970 Interzonal would be.

It is also clear that Benko <did> receive $ 2,000 for "something". He claims that it was compensation for acting as a second to Reshevsky and Addison. Ed Edmonson said in (https://en.chessbase.com/post/congr...) that he received the same $ 2,000 as Reshevsky and Addison received for earning a spot on the 1970 Interzonal. And Benko in https://en.chessbase.com/post/congr... agrees that he was offered the same amount by Edmonson but that he declined it. Yet Benko also says that he went to Palma de Mallorca in 1970 — despite having agreed to yield his spot in the Interzonal to Fischer — just in case Fischer should change his mind and decide not to play after all. Given Fischer's history of withdrawing from tournaments and not fulfilling his commitments that seemed like a prudent thing to do. And maybe that was part of the "arrangement".

And it seems fair to me, Benko was already being magnanimous in giving up his spot in the Interzonal, he might not have agreed to also give up the $ 2,000 for, unlike Fischer, earning a spot. But, since that seems reasonable to me, I don't know why Edmonson and Benko didn't get their story straight. Perhaps Benko thought that it would perceived (as it was) that he was paid the $ 2,000 to withdraw. But if Reshevsky and Addison were also paid $ 2,000 then that wouldn't make any sense.

Someone is lying, either Benko or Edmonson. Take your pick while considering which version makes the most sense.

Jul-17-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: LMAO <EdZelli> Typical nonsense, what about Korchnoi's 7 losses, Benko's 9, Tal's (of all people) 10 & Filip's 15?
Jul-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

"Someone is lying, either Benko or Edmonson. Take your pick while considering which version makes the most sense."

Or someone else is mistaken and have drawn their own conclusions about the part these two played in this situation and wrote about it.

"Welcoming him in" would not be the words I would have used. Frank Brady in "Profile of a Prodigy...."

Frank Brady was not at the FIDE meeting. Chess L & R, 1971 page 24, gives list of those present. FIDE said Fischer could play if a vacancy arose amongst the American players already qualified and waived aside any protest.

This makes it seem like it was a FIDE idea to get Fischer in but the idea/rumour that Benko might drop out was seen in July 1970 Chess L & R page 370 with Fischer saying Benko would not cede his place for cash.

So it is obvious the 'Benko Out - Fischer In' idea was knocking months before the FIDE meeting and the Interzonal.

Jul-18-18  WorstPlayerEver: I don't think you can find the answer in chess, I am afraid.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col...

Jul-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> So it is obvious the 'Benko Out - Fischer In' idea was knocking months before the FIDE meeting and the Interzonal.>

I have been unable to find the exact dates of the 41st FIDE Congress, so the best estimate would be around mid-September 1970 since Brady indicated that FIDE gave the USCF until November 8 (the 1970 Interzonal was scheduled to start November 9) or about 6 weeks to determine whether the USCF would change the US' representatives. Nor have I been able to find the minutes of the meeting. T

<Frank Brady was not at the FIDE meeting. Chess L & R, 1971 page 24, gives list of those present.>

You don't have to be present at a meeting to find out what went on at the meeting if you have access to the minutes of that meeting and, of course, if the minutes were accurate. And I would suspect that if the minutes were not accurate about such an important subject that there would have been well-publicized objections. And I would also suspect that Edmonson, as the USCF Executive Director, would have been at the FIDE meeting.

<This makes it seem like it was a FIDE idea to get Fischer in but the idea/rumour that Benko might drop out was seen in July 1970 Chess L & R page 370 with Fischer saying Benko would not cede his place for cash. So it is obvious the 'Benko Out - Fischer In' idea was knocking months before the FIDE meeting and the Interzonal.>

The fact that Fischer was not going to play in the 1969 US Championship and therefore not qualify for playing in the 1970 Interzonal had been suspected for a long time, since Fischer had said that he would play unless the length of the tournament was expanded from 11 to 22 games. And FIDE would never have mentioned Benko explicitly by name (which at any rate they could not have done until the results of the 1969 US Championship were known), that would have been inappropriate. However, by July 1970 C & R could explicitly mention Benko as one of the US representatives.

So I think that the idea that '<<someone> Out - Fischer In> could have been knocking months before either the 1970 FIDE meeting or the 1969 US Championship. With the proper "arrangements" Fischer could have taken the place of <any> participant who withdrew from participation in the 1970 Interzonal, including Reshevsky and Addition. Although as I've said before, given that no love was lost between Reshevsky and Fischer, I would find it difficult to believe that Reshevsky would have given up his place in the 1970 Interzonal so that Fischer could take his place. Still, stranger things have happened.

But it was certainly FIDE who made the possibility of Fischer taking someone else's place official and possible. If they had said something along the lines "No, the conditions for 1970 Interzonal participation were established by the national chess federations and, once established, they cannot be changed after those conditions have been satisfied." there might have been a very different result. But they didn't, as far as I know.

So, like many Fischer-related things, the truth will probably never come out. It may be that <both> Edmonson and Benko believed that what they said was correct but at least one of them was wrong and possibly both. Perhaps <WorstPlayerEver> was correct when he said the "I don't think you can find the answer in chess>. But the best that I think can be done is collect all the information and versions of the story from various sources and pick the one that is the most consistent and makes the most sense.

Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

"So, like many Fischer-related things, the truth will probably never come out."

The truth is everyone wanted him to play in the Interzonal.

After his return to chess for the Russia v ROW match and Fischer actually ceding top board to Larsen there was no end to the speculation that he might get in.

Soon Gligoric in Chess L & R started pleading that a way be found to let Fischer in. Purdy in 'Chess World' telling FIDE to cut the red tape and let Fischer in.

Even Spassky wanted him in and was at one time toying with the idea of an unofficial match. Fischer made Spassky a very rich man...twice!

FIDE's task is to promote chess and what better way than finding a loophole to let Fischer play. This decision eventually put chess on the front page of every newspaper in the world. It was the correct decision.

Fischer still had to win it and the three matches to get to Spassky.

The alternative was Spassky-Petrosian III in some Moscow theatre for a purse of $3,000. Is that what you think should have happened. Is that what you wanted to have happened?

Jul-20-18  Olavi: According to Schach-Echo 19/1970,the congress was in Siegen 20th-25th September. The idea of a 25th and 26th participant was turned down, but the USA was allowed to field Fischer instead of one of their announced men. They would have to inform FIDE 14 days before the Interzonal.

Fischer's proposal to play the candidates matches until 5 wins and 6 in the final was turned down. I guess he didn't quite get it. Well he wasn't there yet against Petrosian, so perhaps he was lucky, old Tigran would have staged a comeback.

Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> <So, like many Fischer-related things, ...> (part 1 of 2)

<The truth is everyone wanted him to play in the Interzonal.>

Of course everyone wanted him to play in the Interzonal, including me. I don't think that issue is in dispute. The goal of the Interzonal and the Candidates Tournament is to select the best player to challenge the champion. And, since Fischer was the best player in the world at that time, at least as far as the unofficial FIDE ratings were concerned (Fischer at 2720 was ranked #1, Spassky at 2690 was ranked #2), a WCC match without Fischer as the challenger would probably have rated an asterisk (*). Similar to the Karpov - Timman FIDE World Championship (1993), Karpov - Kamsky FIDE World Championship (1996), and Karpov - Anand World Championship Match (1998) FIDE "WCC" matches that did not involve Kasparov. Had Spassky won the 1972 WCC match against a challenger other than Fischer the chess world's response would probably have been a "so what".

The only one who didn't seem to care, or not care enough, to play in the 1970 Interzonal was Fischer. His refusal to play in the 1969 US Championship because the USCF would not extend its length from 11 to 22 games because he felt that the probability was too high that the winner would be determined by chance with only 11 games seems ludicrous, given that his rating was 150 points higher than the highest player in the tournament, Reshevsky (P(Win or Draw) = 0.70). And the probability that he would not finish in the top 3 and qualify for the 1970 Interzonal was even more ludicrous. But I suppose to him anything less then 1st place in the US Championship was unacceptable. It seems that it was the same matter of pride/stubbornness he showed in 1974-1975 in the negotiations for this match with Karpov; he said what he wanted and, if he didn't get it, he wouldn't play.

And if his lack of participation in the 1969 US Championship because it was not long enough was a matter of principle, it's not clear to me why Fischer was not willing to accept an 11-game tournament because he thought that there was a high probability that the results of the tournament might be due to chance and yet 2 years later he was willing to accept a series of 12-game knockout matches to determine Spassky challenger when the probability that the results of each match would be due to chance would not be all that much lower. One thing that Fischer could be counted on was his unpredictability, such as what you pointed out about his willingness to accept 2nd board behind Larsen in the USSR vs. ROW match in 1970.

<FIDE's task is to promote chess and what better way than finding a loophole to let Fischer play. This decision eventually put chess on the front page of every newspaper in the world. It was the correct decision.>

FIDE didn't find a loophole, they didn't need to. Their stand was consistent with their direction that it was up to the national chess federations to define the rules for determining each nation's representative to the Interzonal, and they allowed the USCF up to the day before the Interzonal was scheduled to start to select the US' representatives. That seems to me to be as flexible as FIDE could have been. So it was up to the USCF to find the "loophole" and they did, sort of.

And, as I've said before, with a little bit of foresight by the USCF the whole fiasco could have been avoided had they indicated that the US's 3 representatives to the 1970 Interzonal would be the top 2 finishers of the 1969 US Chess Championship plus an at large entry selected by them. Then Reshevsky and Addison would have qualified by virtue of their top 2 finish and Fischer would have qualified as the at large entry. No different than selecting Kramnik as the at large entry in that 2018 Candidates tournament. So the results would have been the same without any drama, except that Benko would probably not have received his $ 2,000. It was therefore partly the USCF's fault but mostly Fischer's that the situation arose.

Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> <So, like many Fischer-related things, ...> (part 2 of 2)

<Fischer still had to win it and the three matches to get to Spassky.>

So did any other potential challenger.

<The alternative was Spassky-Petrosian III in some Moscow theatre for a purse of $3,000. Is that what you think should have happened. Is that what you wanted to have happened?>

There was no guarantee that Petrosian would have been the challenger. Had Fischer not played in the 1970 Interzonal someone else would have taken his place in the 1971 Candidates Knockout matches, probably Portisch, since he had the highest tiebreak score. And Portisch might have given Petrosian a hard time; prior to 1971 they had played 11 times with the record 4-0 in Portisch's favor, with 7 draws. Yeah, I didn't know that and was surprised when I checked.

And, with Larsen playing someone other than Fischer, he might not have been eliminated in the 2nd round. For one thing, the match most likely not have been played in Denver so Larsen would have had to find other excuses for his poor reformance. Larsen vs. Petrosian was probably a toss-up; prior to 1971 they had also played 11 times with the score 5-4 in Petrosian's favor, with only 2 draws. But the games would probably have been exciting!

But these are only "what ifs."

As far as what I would have wanted to have happened, I really don't care one way or the other. Because, with the benefit of hindsight, Fischer effectively retired from chess after 1972 and we didn't see any games from him until his match with Spassky in 1992 when he was past his prime. USCF membership probably increase dramatically during 1970 – 1975 and probably reduced dramatically after 1975. I say "probably" because I haven't been able to find any historical USCF membership figures. Something similar probably happened in India following Anand's WCC title wins, and in Norway following Carlsen's WCC title wins. I haven't been able to find any historical data for India or Norway chess federation membership either.

And if Fischer hadn't played in the 1970 Interzonal he therefore would not have been Spassky's challenger in 1972 he might have continued playing chess because he had not yet achieved his goal of becoming WCC. If his turn ever came when he was older and possibly more mature and/or with a changed life perspective, he might have continued playing chess after becoming WCC (and I have no doubt that, if he had continued playing, he would have become WCC, perhaps as soon as the next WCC cycle) and we might have had a lot more wonderful games from him to admire.

Again, only "what ifs". But my alternate scenario is probably no less likely than what actually happened after his match with Spassky in 1972. How many believed that Fischer would stop playing chess after that and, for someone who struggled to increase the compensation of top-level chess players, would pass up a potential US $ 600,000 payoff (and a certain $ 400,000 payoff) because he was, once again, standing on his principle that he would not play the 1975 match with Karpov unless the match conditions included the 9-9 clause? Particularly since, like his not finishing on top or among the top 3 finishers in the 1969 US Championship, the probability of that happening was very low. That would certainly not have occurred to me.

So again, like many Fischer-related things, we'll just never know. :-)

Jul-20-18  WorstPlayerEver: Great! The Curaçao Candidates. When does it start?
Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Sally Simpson> The truth is out and has always been out

Benko is not a liar, he's always been an honorable man

So, are you going to believe Benko, or some bureaucrat?

case closed

Typically <AK> refuses to ever admit he's wrong, so he hides behind the easiest way out, that great wall: "the truth will probably never come out"

sad

*****

Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: jeez - just hold a frigging seance - or build a time machine...
Jul-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Time machines are erected here at CG every day....as in, any time someone wants to put forth their stalking horse for the latest crusade.
Jul-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <perfidious> Well said
Jul-21-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<morfishine> Typically <AK> refuses to ever admit he's wrong, so he hides behind the easiest way out, that great wall: "the truth will probably never come out"

<morfishine>, you have said that you have me on your ignore list so you won't see this, but that's a laughable comment to someone who readily admits when he is wrong, apologizing for it, and has even been criticized for doing so. See, for example, Altibox Norway (Blitz) (2018) (kibitz #68), World Cup (2017) (kibitz #730), Norway Chess (2013) (kibitz #415), and World Championship Candidates (2016) (kibitz #2127).

However, sometimes I don't think I'm wrong and I present evidence as to why I don't think so. If someone can present evidence to the contrary and I agree, I will readily admit that I was wrong. but if no one can present new evidence to the contrary, I don't change my opinion just to please someone who has a different idea and can't or won't provide any information as to why they think that way. That's not the situation with <Sally Simpson> who certainly did that; in this case we're just disagreeing because of what I think the preponderance of the evidence indicates. But I might be wrong. See? I can at least admit that I might be wrong.

But I upset you for some unknown reason some time ago and you doesn't seem able to forget it. If you told me why you feel the way you do and I agreed, I would be the first to apologize for it. It could simply have been a misunderstanding. But instead you seem to take the opportunity to criticize me whenever you feel like it. Which is fine, that's your right, but I think it's too bad because we used to have constructive discussions. Heck, you sometimes even seemed to enjoy them (Team White vs Team Black, 2013 (kibitz #3452)). Oh well, some people just carry a grudge.

<case closed>

Typical. First you say that I hide out behind the easiest way out and then you try to shut-off discussion by a <tuttifrutty>-like "case closed". Like I said, the case will likely never be closed since all of the people involved have either passed away, are well advanced in age when memory naturally falters, and too many conflicting stories have been written.

<sad>

Yup, you got that right. But it's not me that the comment properly applies to.

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