|Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1977)|
Spassky qualified for this match from the Spassky - Hort Candidates Quarterfinal (1977) which ended in Iceland in April. Portisch qualified from the Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal (1977) which ended in the Netherlands in March. The other semifinal match was the Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1977). Each match was 16 games, first to 8,5 would be the winner. If after 16 games there was no winner, two more games would be played. If there still was no winner, then two more games would be played, and this process would be repeated until there was a winner. (1, 2) The matches were held in order to select a challenger for Anatoly Karpov, the World Champion.
Partly based on the success of Geneva (1977), the Spassky-Portisch encounter was also held in Hôtel Méditerranée and organized by the Swiss Chess Federation. The organizers had put up a prize fund of 25,000 Swiss francs, five-eighths to the winner and three-eights to the loser. (1) Spassky started with his wife Marina as official second. (3) He had played no games after the quarterfinal. Portisch hired Gyozo Victor Forintos as his only second. (2) After the quarterfinal, Portisch had played seven games in the European Team Championship (Moscow 13-24 April). Game 1 and most other games started at 2 pm (as reported in Journal de Genève). FIDE (World Chess Federation) had appointed Harry Golombek as Chief Arbiter. (1, 4) His assistant was Gerry Walsh. (5)
The players (picture and video): http://binaryapi.ap.org/f0266fbfb3e... and http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/S...
The playing room rarely had more than about 60 or 70 spectators at any one time. A grave calm and silence generally prevailed during playing time. This was only occasionally broken by a small group of two or three spectators who, in their enthusiasm, committed the double sin of discussing the position loudly. Fortunately they were invariably weak players, so that the conversation, which was rapidly suppressed by an arbiter or a steward, was of no help to either player. (6) After 11 games the players had 5.5 points each. Portisch had twice taken the lead, but Spassky equalized, each time after he had requested a postponement (of Games 5 and 9). (7, 8) Spassky played Game 9 in his old world championship style, and got tumultous applause from the spectators. (9) Game 11 (scheduled for 31 July) was postponed till 5 August on Portisch's request. (10) He asked for a double time-out for a trip to Hungary. (11) The reason was not clear but was put down to homesickness, caused by constantly playing abroad. (12) At the request of Spassky, following the example of the other quarterfinal in Évian-les-Bains, the organizers spent the available time installing a new ringtone to signal the players whose turn it was to play. However, Golombek banned the installation based on FIDE regulations. According to him, no one, let alone the referee himself, had the right to help one of the players during the game. In fact, the system in use in Evian was irregular. (3)
On the day after Game 11 (a short draw), former world champion Vasily Smyslov arrived. Spassky stated that "my official second is and will remain my wife Marina", but that "I am very happy to see Smyslov in Geneva". (3, 13) Game 12 (scheduled for 7 August) was postponed till 9 August on Spassky's third (and last available) time-out. (14) On 9 August, as late as at 11:15 am, Portisch also asked for his third postponement till 12 August. This was supposedly a psychological move. He was reportedly not actually sick, but wanted an equal number of postponements for both players. (15) In Game 12, Portisch looked certain to win by move 50, but Spassky salvaged the draw. Portisch said he "threw victory away". (16)
Smyslov's presence (17) may have helped because Spassky now won Games 13 and 14. When Portisch offered a draw at 5:55 pm in Game 15, the match was lost for him. (18, 19)
Geneva, Switzerland, 3 July - 19 August 1977
Spassky advanced to the Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates Final (1977). His victory also qualified him for the Portisch - Spassky Candidates Quarterfinal (1980).
Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
Spassky 2610 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 8½
Portisch 2625 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 6½
1) Harry Golombek in The Times, 18 June 1977, p. 12.
2) Journal de Genève, 1 July 1977, p. 11.
3) Journal de Genève, 5 August 1977, p. 8.
4) De Telegraaf, 10 August 1977, p. 17.
5) Journal de Genève, 23 August 1977, p. 14.
6) Golombek in The Times, 23 July 1977, p. 10.
7) De Telegraaf, 13 July 1977, p. 17.
8) Leeuwarder courant, 25 July 1977, p. 19.
9) The Times, 27 July 1977, p. 7.
10) For a week's rest according to Golombek in British Chess Magazine, Oct. 1977, pp. 459-460.
11) Amigoe, 1 August 1977, p. 6.
12) De Telegraaf, 5 August 1977, p. 19.
13) Journal de Genève, 10 August 1977, p. 9.
14) Amigoe, 8 August 1977, p. 6.
15) De Telegraaf, 10 August 1977, p. 17.
16) The Times, 15 August 1977, p. 4.
17) De Telegraaf, 8 August 1977, p. 15: Smyslov was a reporter for the chess magazine 64.
18) The Times, 17 August 1977, p. 5.
19) Journal de Genève, 20 August 1977, p. 17.
Original collections: Game Collection: WCC Index (Spassky-Portisch 1977) by User: nescio and Game Collection: Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal 1977 by User: Tabanus. Thanks to User: WCC Editing Project and User: Paint My Dragon for help with the language and suggestion of sources.
| page 1 of 1; 9 games
TIP: You can make the above ads go away by registering a free account!
There is no kibitzing for this page, yet.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply.
Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it
entitles you to features otherwise unavailable.
Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should
Please observe our posting guidelines:
- No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
- No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
- No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
- Nothing in violation of United States law.
- No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
- NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
- Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
- The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
- The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
- All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
- Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page.
This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or
this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
your profile |
Premium Membership |
Kibitzer's Café |
Biographer's Bistro |
new kibitzing |
Tournament Index |
Player Directory |
Notable Games |
World Chess Championships |
Opening Explorer |
Guess the Move |
Game Collections |
ChessBookie Game |
Chessgames Challenge |
privacy notice |
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC