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Fischer - Spassky Match

Robert James Fischer17.5/30(+10 -5 =15)[view games]
Boris Spassky12.5/30(+5 -10 =15)[view games] Historical Chess Event
Fischer - Spassky (1992)
This match would officially be known as <The World Chess Championship. The Chess Champion Robert James Fischer vs. the Challenger Boris Spassky. The Revenge Match of the Twentieth Century.>

Fischer 1 = = 0 0 = 1 1 1 = 1 0 = = = 1 1 = = 0 1 = = = 1 0 = = = 1 10 Spassky 0 = = 1 1 = 0 0 0 = 0 1 = = = 0 0 = = 1 0 = = = 0 1 = = = 0 5

The match started at the beginning of September and went until the first week of November, 1992.


FAC No. 129405
Dear Mr. Fischer:

It has come to our attention that you are planning to play a chess match for a cash prize in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (hereinafter "Yugoslavia") against Boris Spassky on or about September 1, 1992. As a U.S. citizen, you are subject to the prohibitions under Executive Order 12810, dated June 5, 1992, imposing sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro. The United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control ("FAC"), is charged with enforcement of the Executive Order.

The Executive Order prohibits U.S. persons from performing any contract in support of a commercial project in Yugoslavia, as well as from exporting services to Yugoslavia. The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the performance of your agreement with a corporate sponsor in Yugoslavia to play chess is deemed to be in support of that sponsor's commercial activity. Any transactions engaged in for this purpose are outside the scope of General License No. 6, which authorizes only transactions to travel, not to business or commercial activities. In addition, we consider your presence in Yugoslavia for this purpose to be an exportation of services to Yugoslavia in the sense that the Yugoslav sponsor is benefitting from the use of your name and reputation.

Violations of the Executive Order are punishable by civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 per violation, and by criminal penalties not to exceed $250,000 per individual, 10 years in prison, or both. You are hereby directed to refrain from engaging in any of the activities described above. You are further requested to file a report with this office within 10 business days of your receipt of this letter, outlining the facts and circumstances surrounding any and all transactions relating to your scheduled chess match in Yugoslavia against Boris Spassky. The report should be addressed to: The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Enforcement Division, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Annex - 2nd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20220. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Merete M. Evans at (202) 622-2430.

Sincerely, (signed)
R. Richard Newcomb
Office of Foreign Assets Control


In 1974, World Champion Bobby Fischer resigned his FIDE title after negotiations collapsed for his title defense against challenger Anatoly Karpov, though this resignation was not accepted, and he held the title of champion until being deemed in default in April 1975. Although he surfaced from time to time, he played no significant chess after the Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972) crown, and lived most of the next seventeen years in abject poverty.

In 1992, female Hungarian chess player Zita Rajcsanyi began exchanging letters with Fischer, in which he indicated he wanted to play chess again.

Zita was able to get in touch with Janos Kubat, who had rescued the 1990 Chess Olympiad in Novi Sad when it suffered from organizational problems, and from their meeting, negotiations began that would eventually lead to contracts being signed on July 11th for a match between Fischer and Boris Spassky; the bid for the match being won by Yugoslav businessman Jezdimir Vasiljevic. The bid specified a prize fund of $5,000,000, the biggest ever offered in chess.

Bobby’s unconditional demands specified that a clock that he had patented was to be used; there were to be no adjournments; the winner would be the first to win 10 games, draws not counting; FIDE was in no way to be involved; and the match was to be played for the World Championship title, which Fischer still held himself to be, as he had only vacated the FIDE title.

Match Specifications

In addition to these demands, the match would start in Sveti Stefan, an island off the coast of Montenegro, one of the two remaining states of Yugoslavia. After a player wins five games, the match would take a 10-day recess and continue play in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the other remaining state of Yugoslavia.

Games were to played on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, starting at 3:30 pm and played until conclusion. If a game finished within an hour, the next game starts immediately. This would eliminate very short draws, thus depriving the spectators.

A player could take up to four sickness time-outs in the first 30 games, but only with a medical certificate from the Match Health Committee.

Press conferences are held every Monday. Questions for Fischer are submitted in advance in writing. He chooses which questions to answer. Spassky answers oral questions.

The winner gets $3.35 million, the loser $1.65 million, U.S. funds

The “50 Move Rule” is applied with no exceptions.

GM Lothar Schmid of Germany, arbiter of the 1972 match, repeats as match arbiter here. Fischer’s second is GM Eugenio Torre of the Philippines. Spassky is seconded by IM Aleksander S Nikitin and GM Yuri Balashov. GM Borislav Ivkov is also a member of Spassky’s team.

Fischer Chess Clock

Fischer applied in 1989 for a U.S. patent on a clock he had designed, but the patent was only granted mere weeks before the start of the match. The main feature of the Fischer Clock is bonus time awarded with each move completed. If the bonus time is a minute, a player never has less than a minute to complete his move. Thus, time scrambles are eliminated. A player can still lose the game on time, but he never needs to rush.

In the 1992 match, both players start with one hour and fifty-one minutes. After 40 moves both players get a 40-minute gift, after 60 moves, 30 minutes and after 80 and each succeeding 20 moves, 20 minutes. The gifts are in addition to the regular bonus of one minute a move.

Because of the newness of the clock, Fischer played a 10-game training match with Svetozar Gligoric, winning +3=6-1, to get used to the new time controls.


Although Fischer maintained that he would like to continue playing matches, negotiations for further matches were unsuccessful and this match was the last series of official games played by Fischer, who passed away at the age of 64 in 2008.

Original collection: Game Collection: 0, by User: TheFocus.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Fischer vs Spassky 1-050 1992 Fischer - SpasskyC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
2. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½59 1992 Fischer - SpasskyE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
3. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½39 1992 Fischer - SpasskyC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
4. Spassky vs Fischer 1-050 1992 Fischer - SpasskyD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
5. Fischer vs Spassky 0-145 1992 Fischer - SpasskyC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
6. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½61 1992 Fischer - SpasskyD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
7. Fischer vs Spassky 1-044 1992 Fischer - SpasskyC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. Spassky vs Fischer 0-140 1992 Fischer - SpasskyE84 King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line
9. Fischer vs Spassky 1-021 1992 Fischer - SpasskyC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
10. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½68 1992 Fischer - SpasskyE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
11. Fischer vs Spassky 1-041 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
12. Spassky vs Fischer 1-054 1992 Fischer - SpasskyE83 King's Indian, Samisch
13. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½45 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
14. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½32 1992 Fischer - SpasskyD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
15. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½33 1992 Fischer - SpasskyE07 Catalan, Closed
16. Spassky vs Fischer 0-134 1992 Fischer - SpasskyA56 Benoni Defense
17. Fischer vs Spassky 1-058 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB23 Sicilian, Closed
18. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½36 1992 Fischer - SpasskyD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
19. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½84 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB23 Sicilian, Closed
20. Spassky vs Fischer 1-043 1992 Fischer - SpasskyA07 King's Indian Attack
21. Fischer vs Spassky 1-067 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB44 Sicilian
22. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½26 1992 Fischer - SpasskyA07 King's Indian Attack
23. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½80 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB23 Sicilian, Closed
24. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½39 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB20 Sicilian
25. Fischer vs Spassky 1-035 1992 Fischer - SpasskyB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Poulsen> There are many who knew what was going on with Bobby during this period, unfortunately, they are refusing to talk about it much, or even write about it. Harry Sneider was his personal physical fitness trainer, and he said a few years back after Bobby died, that he would have a book released about his time and experiences with Bobby. Still waiting. Peter Biyiasas wrote a little about Bobby after they played some speed games, while Bobby was living with Peter and his wife Ruth Haring, but not really all that much detail. But so many more accounts could be given I'm sure, but the ones who can are staying tight lipped. For what reason? I can't tell you, I was under the impression that since he has passed a flood of accounts and new details would emerge. Where are other two shows from Dick Cavett? He only gives us a 7 minute snippet from 1 of them!?? Where are the over 750 game scores from Bobby's exhibition matches in Argentina right after his match with Petrosian!!??? Who bailed Bobby out of jail in 1982?? His sister?, mother?....Where is the Cradle to Grave book on Fischer, Rene Chun was working on?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <perfidious> Do we know for certain that Bobby had stayed with them by this time? 1977? I always thought Peter talked about either 1979 or 1980. I first had read about it in an early 'Chess Life' from this time period. If it was before your long car ride, got to give Peter credit for holding it in, and not talking with you about his experiences with Bobby!:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: I also recall Peter writing about shagging baseballs with Bobby at a local park, and writing "Bobby could really whip them in hard from a distance"!:-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Poulsen> Wow, you really must have been quite a player!! Is the game in the database here at
Feb-28-14  john barleycorn: <Joshka> do you have any supplier for Fischer's "My 61 memorable games"? How much does it cost? Hopefully less than de Lucia's latest book.
Feb-28-14  Jim Bartle: <john barleycorn: <Joshka> do you have any supplier for Fischer's "My 61 memorable games"?>

This should be good. Joshka?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <john barleycorn> Visit area "51".
Feb-28-14  john barleycorn: <Joshka> see you there...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Although he surfaced from time to time, he played no significant chess after the Fischer-Spassky World Championship Match (1972) crown, and lived most of the next seventeen years in abject poverty.>

Is this true, about abject poverty? No doubt he may have been living the life of a destitute ("Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse" gives a small glimpse into that world) but that doesn't necessarily mean he was broke.

In his radio interviews he spoke of having sums of money but that probably was savings from the $5 million dollar rematch in '92.

I don't really know one way or another, but it's hard for me to imagine Bobby Fischer getting a job washing dishes or mopping floors. I just can't picture it.

Apr-01-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <This is not quite exact.>

The article I referenced was written in mid-1973, and so would not have taken events from 1974 into account.

<Having won the world title there was nothing left to prove, he had done it. All that could happen next was one day he would lose it. He was never going to let that happen....and he never did.>

He not only lost it, he resigned it in writing, without even finishing out his 3 year term. He certainly proved that he was the best player in 1972, but that wouldn't have changed even if had later lost the title. He tried to convince himself that the title wasn't going on without him, and that all the Karpov-Korchnoi and Karpov-Kasparov were faux games, but of course they weren't.

Oddly enough, Fischer liked Korchnoi at one point, and sent him a congrulatory telegram when he defected. It wasn't until he dared to play for the title that Korchnoi became "one of the lowest dogs around".

Apr-01-14  diceman: <john barleycorn:
<Joshka> do you have any supplier for Fischer's "My 61 memorable games"?>

Check the copy machine at the library.

<"My 61 memorable games"> ...only a dime a page.

Apr-01-14  Petrosianic: The precise date of the article is June 4, 1973. The part I was referring to is the two closing paragraphs:

<Any person in occasional touch with Fischer says that for the first time in his life Bobby is not keeping abreast of the chess literature. He used to play over every major tournament. Now he is unfamiliar with the latest theoretical innovations.

"That," said the friend, "is a bad sign.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ke2: Lol dat time control. Game in 111 minutes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This match should have been played in the Souvenir Shop at the La Brea Tar Pits.
Jun-03-15  TheFocus: <I have nothing to do with politics. I came here (Yugoslavia) to play chess and nothing else> - Bobby Fischer.
Jun-05-15  A.T PhoneHome: My feeling is that Fischer seriously didn't study chess anymore after his 1972 match with Spassky.

After winning the World Championship, he had to get out of it and he knew that if he had a tiny look at some new niceties in chess theory afterwards, he would be absorded by the game again.

What helped Fischer in this particular match, was his massive understanding of the game and having that, he was able to play out-of-date lines because he had the technique and understanding to back him up in case of a surprise.

To have a take on another topic; apologies to everyone for going off-topic...

I think that Fischer said things about chess and its next top players, because he wanted himself to think that if post-1972 chess was any worse than the one he himself played, there was no reason to make a comeback. My opinion (note, opinion) is that Fischer wanted to play more, but nearing 1972, he had a reality check and thought that being hassled by reporters, chess organizers and Soviet rivals etc. had to stop, because he had to start thinking about life outside of chess and he was drained.

Jun-05-15  Everett: <TheFocus: <I have nothing to do with politics. I came here (Yugoslavia) to play chess and nothing else> - Bobby Fischer.>

It seems he played chess there to make money.

Jun-05-15  diceman: <Everett: <TheFocus: <I have nothing to do with politics. I came here (Yugoslavia) to play chess and nothing else> - Bobby Fischer.>

It seems he played chess there to make money.>

What a greedy SOB.

Win the title in 72.
...ring the register in 92.'d never see Kasparov, Anand, Carlsen, playing for "profit."

Jun-05-15  Petrosianic: Nah, he played there to stick it to the US for ruling against him in the Fischer vs. Darrach case. He could have made the same money in lots of places. It was all about politics.
Jun-05-15  alfiepa: Mu tribute lo late Bobby tracing his footsteps in Iceland
Jun-05-15  RookFile: Maybe the key to getting Fischer to play was to have the US government tell him he couldn't. Too bad they didn't do that back in 1975 or thereabouts.
Jun-05-15  A.T PhoneHome: Well, in 1975, things were a bit different; namely, Fischer had no beef with the United States of America.
Jun-05-15  Petrosianic: This is not well remembered. It only got a tiny story in Chess Life & Review.

But Fischer had sued Brad Darrach over "Bobby Fischer vs. the Rest of the World". He didn't sue him over the CONTENT of the book, only that a book had been written at all (Darrach had promised not to write one).

Fischer lost the case, since no money had changed hands, nothing signed, and so the promise wasn't enforceable. When he lost, Fischer swore that he wouldn't pay another penny in Federal Income Tax until he got justice in the case (meaning the outcome that he wanted). And that's where his beef with the US seems to have started.

Jun-05-15  A.T PhoneHome: So it was either FIT or playing chess in Yugoslavia.
Jun-05-15  Everett: Maybe Fischer was just a douche.
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