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MATCH STANDINGS
Fischer - Spassky Match

Robert James Fischer17.5/30(+10 -5 =15)[view games]
Boris Spassky12.5/30(+5 -10 =15)[view games]

Chessgames.com 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.

ORDER TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AND CEASE AND DESIST ACTIVITIES

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
Director
Office of Foreign Assets Control

Beginning

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.

Conclusion

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: 1992 Fischer - Spassky Match, 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 - SpasskyE83 King's Indian, Samisch
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
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-27-14  diceman: <Poulsen: <diceman><Folks are talking about AK like he was the one with the 20 game win streaks. (yes I know it was officially 19)>

You are talking about Karpov as if he was not of Fischers leaque.>

I don’t think he was at that time.
In 1974 and (after even more experience) in 1978 he only beat Korchnoi by one game.

I posted the number here once, but Fischer had something like an 83,86-ish % win rate going thur the Interzonal/Candidates/World Championship matches. While Karpov had something like a 26% win rate and Kasparov a 33% when they first won their titles.

<And you present singular match results against Korchnoi to 'prove' that.>

Unfortunately the 1974 Karpov is all we have.
Its disingenuous to compare results of players who continued to play in their prime vs. one who stopped.

The World Champion Karpov of decades later isn’t relevant to who would have sat across the board from Fischer in 1972.

I think Fischer would have broke Karpov like a twig.
(at least I have a real dominance from that period to back it up)

This doesn’t even address other issues.

1)Karpov’s frailty, anemia.
Even the dominate player you cite, broke under the pressure of having to win vs. draw in 1984, with even more experience.
(Fischer wanted a 10 game win clause with draws not counting)

2)Who Karpov & Kasparov “dominated” against.
They dominated in an era of the older guard phasing out and powerhouse (Fischer) leaving chess.
(even Korchnoi was allowed to hang around until 1986)

Fischer’s dominance took place in an era of Tal’s, Petrosian’s, and Spassky’s at their world champion level strength.

3) …with fewer games Fischer created a rating gap never exceeded by anyone.

<Before Kasparov emerged Karpov was - in fact - the most dominant and succesfull World Champion ever seen>

I didn’t know he held the title longer than Lasker, Botvinnik.

Feb-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Unfortunately the 1974 Karpov is all we have.>

1974 Karpov includes this.

Game Collection: Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky Candidates Semif

<Its disingenuous to compare results of players who continued to play in their prime vs. one who stopped.>

How did I put it?

<Fischer's cowardice sure makes it easy for us detractors.>

Feb-27-14  SChesshevsky: Though Fischer was likely the better player in 1974, I think Karpov would've given him a lot of trouble in a WC match.

Because:

Karpov, as White, had pretty good results against the Sicilian even then. If Fischer felt he had to go to one of his backup defenses or open QP that would be a big disadvantage.

Karpov, as Black, was pretty comfortable with the Caro-Kann and Ruy for drawing purposes. With prep, it would force Fischer to play consistently well to rack up wins.

Defending the title is a lot tougher than winning the title. Assuming they played under Fischer's suggestion where draws don't count, that would seem to increase the pressure if Fischer should fall behind forcing him to take chances against a solid Karpov.

The major advantage Fischer would have would probably be the physical conditioning. That might of been the decider in a long match.

It was a real loss to chess that these two never decided the question OTB.

Feb-27-14  SChesshevsky: < Karpov, as White, had pretty good results against the Sicilian even then. If Fischer felt he had to go to one of his backup defenses or open QP that would be a big disadvantage.

Karpov, as Black, was pretty comfortable with the Caro-Kann and Ruy for drawing purposes. With prep, it would force Fischer to play consistently well to rack up wins.>

My apologies in my previous post I meant.

Karpov, as White, had pretty good results against the Sicilian even then. If Fischer felt he had to go to one of his backup defenses that would be a big disadvantage.

Karpov, as Black, was pretty comfortable with the Caro-Kann and Ruy for drawing purposes. With prep, it would force Fischer to play consistently well to rack up wins or opening with QP would also be a disadvantage.

Sorry about that.

Feb-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SChesshevsky> One small caveat: Karpov only took up the Caro-Kann on anything like a regular basis well after 1975. His adoption of this defence in the 1974 match with Spassky was unusual for him and apparently opponent-specific. My recollection is that Karpov believed, in his early career at top level, that the Caro was not active enough.
Feb-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Guys.

This bit:

"Stories began appearing in the New Zork Times as early as mid 1973 about Fischer's friends being afraid he'd never play again because he wasn't keeping up with the game at all, and wasn't familiar with recent games, as he always was during his earlier long layoffs."

This is not quite exact.

In 1974 he contacted Craig Pritchett and told him how he could have won his 1974 Olympiad game v Karpov - so he was certainly looking at Karpov's games.

Karpov vs C W Pritchett, 1974

--------------

He gave up his family, friends and childhood for Chess.

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.

Feb-27-14  SChesshevsky: <perfidious: Karpov only took up the Caro-Kann on anything like a regular basis well after 1975.>

That's an excellent point. Though I always had a suspicion that the Karpov-Spassky prelim match was in essence a Soviet suggested training event for a Karpov chance at Fischer. (Maybe my bit of Fischer-like Soviet paranoia!)

Spassky's choice of openings as well as Karpov's appeared tailored somewhat toward Fischer-like to me. I have an analysis of the match by Keres around somewhere and he seemed curious about some of the choices as well.

I just figured that Karpov would be well booked up on and play the C-K against Fischer though it admittedly might be a totally wrong assumption.

Feb-28-14  Poulsen: <diceman><I think Fischer would have broke Karpov like a twig. (at least I have a real dominance from that period to back it up)>

That's your opinion - and I fully respect that. Like I said: we will never know. My opinion? I would without hesitation put my money on Karpov.

Sure, he was not fully developed as player by 1975, but he was eager and determined - and immensely talented. I am quite certain, that Fischer by then would not have the same edge as in 1972 - both chesswise and mentally. I am aware, that Peter Biyiasas has testified to the opposite, but that need not be a valid indication of Fischers strenght after 1972.

I believe, that it is generally recognized, that the Fischer-Spassky 92' match was not a show of chess at the highest level. But again - this tells us little about Fischer of 1975.

I remember, that Larsen in his book about the 72'-match foresaw, that Fischer might not defend his title in 1975. He knew Fischer pretty well - Fischers mental state would very likely work against him.

Off course Karpov could be affected as well, if the match had been a reality. And it seems very likely, that Fischer would not take it well, if he was about to lose to Karpov.

However I do think, that Karpov of 1975 overall would have been a much harder nut to crack than Spassky of 1972.

<diceman><Who Karpov & Kasparov “dominated” against. They dominated in an era of the older guard phasing out and powerhouse (Fischer) leaving chess. (even Korchnoi was allowed to hang around until 1986)

Fischer’s dominance took place in an era of Tal’s, Petrosian’s, and Spassky’s at their world champion level strength.>

On this I do not agree at all.

It's true, that Korchnoi hanged on at high level for many years after The Massacre in Merano in '81. He is a living legend. And even Spassky had a high ranking as late as 1987. Also Polugajevskij and Portisch hanged on long after their prime.

But otherwise the topplayers in the mid-80'es are a pretty awesome lot: Timman, Yusupov, Beliavsky etc.. By 1988 Ivanchuk emerges at the very top. More could be mentioned - and these are all players, that belongs to top-50 of an all time greatest list.

But the duel between Karpov and Kasparov send them both heads and shoulders above all the rest.

As for Fischer he was a world class player from around 1962, a force to reckon, surely in top 5, winning several tournaments, but he did not show <dominance> until his final 4-match-run to win the title. In fact in all those years at the very top at least one other player must be considered better than Fischer. And most of the time that player was Spassky.

Mind you: I do hold Fischer as one of the greatest players of all time. But it is the last year or so of his 'active' career - 4 matches of a total of 42 games - that skyrockets him to stardom.

On Chessmetrics at 10 year peak range - roughly covering his entire career as a WCh-level player - he is surpassed by both Karpov and Kasparov. And Lasker and Capablanca by the way - and with Botvinnik tied with Fischer.

I think, that that is a pretty fair assessment of Fischers strenght on a career level. In the same assessment Spassky is not ranked as high as Fischer.

Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Poulsen: Sure, (Karpov) was not fully developed as player by 1975, but he was eager and determined - and immensely talented. I am quite certain, that Fischer by then would not have the same edge as in 1972 - both chesswise and mentally. I am aware, that Peter Biyiasas has testified to the opposite, but that need not be a valid indication of Fischers strenght after 1972.>

In 1977, I shared a long car ride with Biyiasas and his future wife--how I wish I had known of his friendship with Fischer. Oh, the questions I might have asked!

Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hello Perfidious,

I too have a missed opportunity.

I spent quite a while alone with Karpov in the Edinburgh Chess Club in the mid 80's.

I had 1001 questions ready to ask him.
Instead I was over-awed and put off by his love for the game and it's history.

The atmosphere was not one for a:

"Do you think you would have beaten Bobby Fischer?" question.

We raked through all the chess artifacts the club has (being the 2nd oldest chess club in the world it has quite a few.)

We were like two kids in a candy store.

Feb-28-14  Poulsen: <perfidious> I need to make a minor disclaimer: I have no knowledge as to the duration, content or nature of GM Biyiasas' friendship with Fischer.

All I know - or rather have read - is, that Fischer during a prolonged stay at the Biyiasas/Haring residence in the early 80's played a number of games against Biyiasas - in which he (Fischer) apparently was overwhelmingly dominant.

At the time Biyiasas had been a GM for some years - however not a top GM.

Feb-28-14  Poulsen: .... also I might add, that it is a pity, that we seem have so little knowledge of Fischers chessactivities up until this rematch with Spassky.

I mean - we know, that he did not play in tournaments and so on - but he must have been studying chess to certain degree - and I find it hard to believe, that there are no more witnesses to his life though all these years between '72 - and '92.

One thing is to live in seclusion, but there must have been some contact with people - and among them some people, that knew about his past as chess champion. After all what we saw in '92 was a Bobby Fischer at pretty much his 'normal' self - not a wacky or insane man coming out from the wilderness.

Feb-28-14
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?
Feb-28-14
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!:-)
Feb-28-14
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"!:-)
Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Poulsen> Wow, you really must have been quite a player!! Is the game in the database here at chessgames.com?
Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  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?

Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <john barleycorn> Visit area "51".
Feb-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <Joshka> see you there...
Apr-01-14
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.">

Aug-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ke2: Lol dat time control. Game in 111 minutes.
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