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Road to the Championship - Boris Spassky
Compiled by suenteus po 147
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This is the road taken by Spassky during his title run. There are two candidates and world championship matches included as Spassky was unsuccessful during his first run, but automatically seeded into the '68 Candidates match as a result. Spassky placed first in the 31st USSR Championship finishing just half a point ahead of Leonid Stein and David Bronstein, both of whom tied for second. It was during this tournament that Spassky earned the nickname "comeback kid," for winning the Zonal after a disappointing start of 1 point after the first four rounds. Spassky went on to tie for first with Mikhail Tal, Vasily Smyslov, and Bent Larsen at the Amsterdam Interzonal, and emerged victorious against the former world champion in the Candidates Final with a score of 6 points to Tal's 4. Spassky barely lost his first world championship match against Tigran Petrosian 11.5-12.5, but he managed to win the Second Piatigorsky Cup just a few months after, edging ahead of both Fischer and Larsen. "Comeback kid" would be prophetic as Spassky returned to trounce the competition at the 1968 Candidates match (he crushed Efim Geller without a single loss and scored three points better than both Larsen and Korchnoi), and went on to defeat Petrosian 12.5-10.5 in the rematch. Thanks to Fischer of Men for the collection idea and format, and special thanks to Offramp for filling in all the zonal games for me.

Zonal Tournament Game #1
Spassky vs Bronstein, 1964 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #2
Kholmov vs Spassky, 1964 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 57 moves, 1-0

Zonal Tournament Game #3
Spassky vs Geller, 1964 
(C85) Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD), 74 moves, 0-1

Zonal Tournament Game #4
Stein vs Spassky, 1964 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #5
Spassky vs Suetin, 1964 
(B48) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Zonal Tournament Game #6
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1964 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #7
Bronstein vs Spassky, 1964 
(D27) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #8
Spassky vs Kholmov, 1964 
(A21) English, 44 moves, 1-0

Zonal Tournament Game #9
Geller vs Spassky, 1964 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 30 moves, 0-1

Zonal Tournament Game #10
Spassky vs Stein, 1964
(D86) Grunfeld, Exchange, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #11
Suetin vs Spassky, 1964 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 89 moves, 1/2-1/2

Zonal Tournament Game #12
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1964 
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 24 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #1
K Darga vs Spassky, 1964 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 96 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #2
Spassky vs Tringov, 1964 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 46 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #3
Bronstein vs Spassky, 1964 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #4
Spassky vs Tal, 1964 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #5
Stein vs Spassky, 1964 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #6
Portisch vs Spassky, 1964 
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 51 moves, 0-1

Interzonal Tournament Game #7
Spassky vs Smyslov, 1964 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #8
Pachman vs Spassky, 1964 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 55 moves, 0-1

Interzonal Tournament Game #9
Spassky vs Foguelman, 1964 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 21 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #10
Gligoric vs Spassky, 1964 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 57 moves, 0-1

Interzonal Tournament Game #11
Spassky vs Y Porat, 1964 
(E30) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, 32 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #12
F J Perez Perez vs Spassky, 1964 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 19 moves, 0-1

Interzonal Tournament Game #13
Spassky vs Benko, 1964 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 50 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #14
B Berger vs Spassky, 1964 
(B95) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6, 37 moves, 0-1

Interzonal Tournament Game #15
Spassky vs I Bilek, 1964 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 34 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #16
L Lengyel vs Spassky, 1964 
(A28) English, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #17
Spassky vs Reshevsky, 1964 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 57 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #18
Larry Evans vs Spassky, 1964 
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #19
Spassky vs Z Vranesic, 1964 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 31 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #20
Ivkov vs Spassky, 1964 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #21
Spassky vs H Rossetto, 1964 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Interzonal Tournament Game #22
Larsen vs Spassky, 1964 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 60 moves, 1-0

Interzonal Tournament Game #23
Spassky vs O Quinones Carrillo, 1964 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 37 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #1
Spassky vs Keres, 1965 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 33 moves, 0-1

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #2
Keres vs Spassky, 1965 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #3
Spassky vs Keres, 1965 
(E31) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line, 50 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #4
Keres vs Spassky, 1965 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 39 moves, 0-1

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #5
Spassky vs Keres, 1965 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 44 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #6
Keres vs Spassky, 1965
(A21) English, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #7
Spassky vs Keres, 1965
(E12) Queen's Indian, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #8
Keres vs Spassky, 1965 
(E43) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 25 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #9
Spassky vs Keres, 1965 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #10
Keres vs Spassky, 1965 
(E77) King's Indian, 35 moves, 0-1

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #1
Geller vs Spassky, 1965 
(E44) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 5.Ne2, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #2
Spassky vs Geller, 1965 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 55 moves, 1-0

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #3
Geller vs Spassky, 1965
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #4
Spassky vs Geller, 1965 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #5
Geller vs Spassky, 1965
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #6
Spassky vs Geller, 1965 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 44 moves, 1-0

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #7
Geller vs Spassky, 1965
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #8
Spassky vs Geller, 1965 
(B35) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Modern Variation with Bc4, 39 moves, 1-0

Candidates Finals Game #1
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #2
Spassky vs Tal, 1965 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 40 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #3
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 66 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #4
Spassky vs Tal, 1965 
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #5
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #6
Spassky vs Tal, 1965
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 70 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #7
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #8
Spassky vs Tal, 1965 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #9
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 70 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #10
Spassky vs Tal, 1965 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 41 moves, 1-0

Candidates Finals Game #11
Tal vs Spassky, 1965 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 0-1

1966 World Championship Game #1
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #3
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #4
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A14) English, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #5
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 79 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #6
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #7
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

1966 World Championship Game #8
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #9
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #10
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #11
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C10) French, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #12
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #13
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 91 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #14
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A05) Reti Opening, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #15
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #16
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #17
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #18
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #19
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 68 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #20
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 41 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #21
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

1966 World Championship Game #22
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 35 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #23
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(C11) French, 31 moves, 1-0

1966 World Championship Game #24
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #1
Geller vs Spassky, 1968 
(C09) French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #2
Spassky vs Geller, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 37 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #3
Geller vs Spassky, 1968 
(C19) French, Winawer, Advance, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #4
Spassky vs Geller, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 48 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #5
Geller vs Spassky, 1968 
(C19) French, Winawer, Advance, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #6
Spassky vs Geller, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 32 moves, 1-0

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #7
Geller vs Spassky, 1968 
(C09) French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Quarterfinals Game #8
Spassky vs Geller, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #1
Spassky vs Larsen, 1968 
(D14) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation, 39 moves, 1-0

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #2
Larsen vs Spassky, 1968 
(A25) English, 48 moves, 0-1

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #3
Spassky vs Larsen, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 52 moves, 1-0

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #4
Larsen vs Spassky, 1968 
(A25) English, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #5
Spassky vs Larsen, 1968 
(C46) Three Knights, 38 moves, 0-1

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #6
Larsen vs Spassky, 1968 
(A21) English, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #7
Spassky vs Larsen, 1968 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 48 moves, 1-0

Candidates Semi-Finals Game #8
Larsen vs Spassky, 1968 
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #1
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1968 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #2
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #3
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1968 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #4
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 
(A27) English, Three Knights System, 58 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #5
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1968 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #6
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 1-0

Candidates Finals Game #7
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1968 
(E83) King's Indian, Samisch, 35 moves, 1-0

Candidates Finals Game #8
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 
(A14) English, 42 moves, 0-1

Candidates Finals Game #9
Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1968 
(D42) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 7.Bd3, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

Candidates Finals Game #10
Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1968 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #1
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 56 moves, 0-1

1969 World Championship Game #2
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #3
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #4
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 41 moves, 0-1

1969 World Championship Game #5
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 30 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #6
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #7
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(D18) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #8
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 0-1

1969 World Championship Game #9
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(A56) Benoni Defense, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #10
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 38 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #11
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 56 moves, 0-1

1969 World Championship Game #12
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #13
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #14
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #15
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #16
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #17
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 58 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #18
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 59 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #19
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 24 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #20
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 50 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #21
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 53 moves, 1-0

1969 World Championship Game #22
Petrosian vs Spassky, 1969 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

1969 World Championship Game #23
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 
(B48) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

137 games

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