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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
"The Matrix Ruy Loaded" (game of the day Sep-07-2010)
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 10, Aug-03
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-03-15  Howard: Fischer: His Approach to Chess, states that instead of Fischer's sharp 26.Bb3, he should have reversed the moves by playing 26.Qf4, and THEN Bb3.

Comments ?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard: Fischer: His Approach to Chess, states that instead of Fischer's sharp 26.Bb3, he should have reversed the moves by playing 26.Qf4, and THEN Bb3. Comments ?!>

...with either move black's best seems to be a6xb5. it would probably just transpose into the game.

Oct-03-15  slater369: 32...Bxe4???
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <slater369: 32...Bxe4???>

Are you saying 32....Bxe4 is a blunder? It isn't. It's not even a mistake. If 32....Kxf7 then 33.Rd7+ wins the bishop. So Spassky decides to grab a pawn with it first.

<leka: My the old 32mgz computer elo rating 2255 played 25 second thinking time better than the poor Spassky this Ruy Lopez Breyer.Spassky played this game about 2000 elo ratinhg level.The poor Spassky!!>

Where do people get this stuff?

Apr-12-16  Party Animal: The Maestro of The Ruy plays a beautiful endgame!
Apr-12-16  Howard: About where was the point of no return, as far as Spassky throwing away the draw for good ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <Howard: About where was the point of no return, as far as Spassky throwing away the draw for good ?>

Consensus seems to be that 29... Re7 was the losing move, and that 29... Rad8 would have held.

Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 (kibitz #69)

May-18-16  Petrosianic: <Party Animal: The Maestro of The Ruy plays a beautiful endgame!>

Every game should have one comments section for comments, and another one for gushing, just to keep them separate.

May-18-16  Petrosianic: <29... Rad8 would have held.>

Well, "would have held" is a bit optimistic. The game probably would have continued on an even keel, but it's too early to talk about a final result.

May-18-16  Petrosianic: Now, if the line did play out <exactly> as zzyw told it (not a sure thing), this resulting position is probably drawn, just because the single Rook can't hold the pawns alone, and White can't attack the Black Kingside without his King's participation.

The main difference between this and the game line, is that Black gets to swap a pair of Rooks, and the passed pawns are less dangerous as long as White has two Rooks.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Petrosianic:

<Party Animal: The Maestro of The Ruy plays a beautiful endgame!>

Every game should have one comments section for comments, and another one for gushing, just to keep them separate.>

...and one for hate, so <Petrosianic:> can feel at home.

The nerve!
Calling Fischer's play <beautiful>.

Sep-01-16  Howard: It appears that the 35th move was Spassky's fatal blunder, correct?
May-03-17  Helios727: If 56... Bxf6 would White trade Rooks with 57. Rd1+ ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Helios727> White would trade rook for <rook and pawn> with 56...Bxf6 57. Rd1+ Kc4 <58. Rxc5+> Kxc5 59. Rxd7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <Howard: It appears that the 35th move was Spassky's fatal blunder, correct?>

Probably not. Stockfish 9 has the following line.

1) +0.12 (41 ply) 35...Ra1+ 36.Kh2 Bd6+ 37.g3 b4 38.Rb6 Kf5 39.Rh4 Rd1 40.Kg2 h6 41.Kf3 Ke6 42.Rg4 g5 43.h4 Rd3+ 44.Ke2 Rd5 45.hxg5 Kf5 46.Rh4 hxg5 47.Rc4 Ke6 48.g4 Re5+ 49.Kd3 Rd5+ 50.Kc2 Re5 51.Kb3 Rd5 52.f3 Kd7 53.Rb7+ Kc6 54.Rbxb4 Rd3+ 55.Kc2 Rxf3 56.Rb3 Rf2+ 57.Kd1 Ra2 58.Rf3 Bf4 59.Rfc3 Bd6 60.Rb3 Be5 61.Rb1 Ra3 62.Rc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 40...Kf7 looks like the losing blunder.
Nov-01-17  RookFile: I'd replace the word "blunder" with "error". A blunder is when you hang your queen. It's probably something other than a mistake uncovered by painstaking computer analysis 45 years after the fact.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 22.Bxf6 preserves the important diagonal-blocking e4 pawn.

26.Bb3 drops the b5 pawn but starts a brutal campaign on black’s f7 weak point.

45…Be5 allows 46.Rb5 and black’s Q side crumbles due to a nasty pin on an overloaded R.

54.Rxg5 it’s all over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Sep-13-18  CharlesSullivan: <Analytical Breakdown #1>


Kasparov calls Black's 29th move "a fatal mistake." Kasparov, Timman, and Müller all agree that Spassky can keep the draw in-hand with 29...Rad8 30.Bxf7+ Rxf7 31.Qxf7+ Qxf7 32.Nxf7 Rxd1 33.Rxd1 Bxe4 34.Ng5 Bf5 35.Rd5 h6 36.Rxf5 hxg5 37.Kf1 Be7 38.Ke2 g6:

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However, here 39.Re5 (instead of 39.Rd5) will win. One example variation is 39.Re5 Kf7 40.Ke3 Kf6 41.Ke4 Kf7 42.f3 b4 43.Kd3 Kf6 44.Re4 Bd6 45.Kc4 Bf8 46.Kd5 Kf7 47.Re2 Be7 48.Ra2 Bf8 49.Ra7+ Kf6 50.Rc7 Be7 51.Rc6+ Kf7 52.Ke5 Bf8 53.Rc7+ Be7 54.g3 and Black cannot avoid the inevitable:

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(a) 54...Ke8 55.Kd6 wins;
(b) 54...b3 55.Rb7 c4 56.Kd5 wins;
(c) 54...c4 55.Rxc4 Bf6+ 56.Ke4 b3 57.Rb4 b2 58.Kd5 Ke7 59.Rb7+ Kd8 60.Ke6 Kc8 61.Rb3 Bd4 62.g4 Bh8 63.Kf7 Kd7 64.Kxg6 Ke6 65.Kxg5 wins:

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Despite this analytical error, the beginning of the variation (which was mostly explored by Fridrik Olafsson) was solid. The better continuation was 34...Bc2 35.Rd8 (35.Rd2 is better, but still not a win) 35...b4 36.Ne6 Kf7 37.Nxf8 b3 38.Rb8 (all of this is Olafsson's original work) when 38...Ke7 (not Olafsson's 38...c4) leads to a draw. Here is one brief but somewhat entertaining finish: 39.Nxh7 Kd6 40.Ng5 Kc7! 41.Rb5 Kc6 42.Rb8 Kc7 43.Rf8 (or 43.Rxb3 Bxb3=) 43...c4! 44.Rf4 c3! 45.Rc4+ Kd6 46.Rxc3 b2 47.Ne4+ Bxe4 48.Rb3 b1=Q+ 49.Rxb1 Bxb1:

click for larger view

So, does this prove Kasparov's point that 29...Re7 was the losing move? No, as we shall see in a later post.

Sep-13-18  CharlesSullivan: <Analytical Breakdown #2>


"... as usual, Fischer is very accurate and squeezes everything possible out of the position (after the 17th move his play cannot be improved!) ..." -- Kasparov

As we shall see, Fischer makes bigger mistakes than 35.Rb7, but it should be noted that stronger was moving the king immediately closer to the center with 35.Kf1 <+0.85> Rc8 36.Rb7 c4 37.Rb6+ Kf7 38.Ree6:

click for larger view


As the winner of the game, Fischer had most every move of his praised (see Kasparov's quote above); as the loser, Spassky saw each move minutely examined for defects. Here is one of those moves -- Spassky seizes on the fact that White (with 35.Rb7) has failed to move his king towards the center; Black's 35...Ra1+ forces White to go the long way around. The fact is that Black's move is excellent and the position is equally balanced. But Spassky's move was deemed a lost opportunity: the "general opinion" (Kasparov) was that 35...b4 was the best chance for a draw.

As we shall see, 35...Ra1+ was not a mistake.

38...h5 <The first of Black's losing moves>

Robert Byrne says that Serbian GM Dragoljub Janoševic; proposed 38...Be5 as the best defense. But Byrne "persuaded him that White wins fairly smoothly after" 39.f4 Bd4 40.g4 Ra2+ 41.Kf1. Byrne says 41...Rh2 "would have been worse than useless" because of 42.Ke1. Timman agrees with Byrne and says that "it is too committal to play the bishop to a stronger square with 38...Be5." Kasparov piles on with, "Maneuvering with the bishop is also hopeless."

In fact, Black has several good replies after 42.Ke1; for example, 42...Bc3+ 43.Kf1 Rxh3 44.Kg2 Rd3 45.Rb6+ Kf7 46.g5 Bd2 47.Re5 Be3 48.f5 Bxg5 49.Rb7+ Kf6 50.Rxc5 Be3 51.Rcb5 b3 52.Rxb3 Rxb3 53.Rxb3 Bg5 54.Rb5 g6 55.fxg6 Kxg6 is a draw:

click for larger view

Another way to draw is 38...Ra6 39.Re2 c4 40.Kf3 b3 41.Ke4 Be5 42.Kd5 b2 43.Kxc4 Ra1 44.Rexb2 Bxb2 45.Rxb2 Rd1:

click for larger view

Sep-14-18  WorstPlayerEver: 29... Rad8 30. Bxf7+ Rxf7 31. Qxf7+ Qxf7 32. Nxf7 Rxd1 33. Rxd1 Bxe4 34. Ng5 Bf5 35. Rd5 g6 36. g4 h6 37. gxf5 hxg5

click for larger view

Looks drawish to me.

Sep-14-18  CharlesSullivan: <WorstPlayerEver> Yes, I would say that in the line you give, 35...g6 and probably 35...Bb1 in addition to 35...Bc2 hold the draw.
Sep-14-18  CharlesSullivan: <Analytical Breakdown #3>


Commentators completely ignore this move, but here Fischer fails to find the correct continuation. The surprising 39.g4

click for larger view

keeps the win alive; here are 2 sample variations:

(a) 39...hxg4 40.hxg4 <+4.80, depth=55> 40...Ra2 41.Rb6 Rd2 42.Kf3 Rd5 43.Ra6 Kf7 44.Ra7+ Kf6 45.Rd7 Rd2 46.Ke3 Rd5 47.Ke2 g5 48.f3
<(There are no good moves for Black; if 48...Kg6, 49.Re6+ wins the bishop)>
49...b3 49.Rb7 <+6.46, depth=58> 49...b2 50.Rxb2 Bf4 51.Rb3 Rd2+ 52.Ke1 Rd6 53.Rc4 Rc6 54.Ke2 Kg6 55.Re4 Rd6 56.Rd3 Rc6 57.Rc4 Re6+ 58.Kd1 Rc6 59.Rd5 Bd6 60.Re4 Bg3 61.Ke2 c4 62.Rdd4 c3 63.Rc4 Rb6 64.Rxc3 Rf6 65.Rc5 Rb6 66.Kd3 Rd6+ 67.Ke3 Rb6 68.Kd2 Rf6 69.Rf5 Rxf5 70.gxf5+ Kxf5 and White mates in 38 (according to the database tables) with 71.Ra4, etc.

(b) 39...Ra6 <+4.02, depth=73, 38 hours> 40.gxh5 Be5 41.Rg4 Kf5 42.Rb5 Rc6 43.Rc4 b3 44.f4 Bxf4 45.Rxb3 Be5 46.Rd3 Ke6 47.Kf3 Rc7 48.Ke4 Bf6 49.Rd5 Be7 50.Re5+ Kf7 51.Rf5+ Kg8 52.Kd5 Rc8 53.Re4 Bf8 54.Rfe5 Kf7 55.Rg5 Rd8+ 56.Kc4 Rb8 57.Rg3 Ra8 58.Kb5 c4 59.Reg4 Rc8 60.Rxc4 Rb8+ 61.Kc6 Kg8 62.h6 Kh7 63.hxg7 Bxg7 and White mates in 45 (Lomonosov tables) with 64.Rg5, etc.

39...Rd1 <The second of Black's losing moves>

Reshevsky is simple and to the point: "If 39...Kf5; 40 Rh4 wins a pawn," period. (I suppose we are to surmise that Black's loss of a pawn would be disastrous.) None of the other grandmasters even felt it necessary to say that much -- silence reigns.

But 39...Kf5!! leads to a drawn position! If 40.Rh4 (or 40.Kf3 Ra3+ 41.Re3 Rxe3+ 42.fxe3 Ke5 43.e4 c4 44.Rb5+ Kf6 45.Ke3 c3=) 40...Rd1 41.Rxh5+ Ke4!!

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and Black's two advanced pawns and strong king ensure the draw.

40.Kf3 <White misses another win>

Kasparov: "Accuracy to the end!"
Timman: "Fischer is playing logically and perfectly."

Not surprisingly, 40.g4! <+4.80, depth=68, 16 hours> is the real winner. After 40...Rd2 41.Kf3 Rd5 [41...hxg4+ 42.hxg4 transposes to variation (a) in my comments about 39.Rb6 -- see above] 42.gxh5 Kf5 43.Rh4 Bc7 44.Rb5 Be5 45.Rhxb4 Rd3+ 46.Ke2 Rc3 47.Rb3

click for larger view

and White's material advantage will carry the day (although the ending will be very, very long).

40...Kf7 <The third of Black's losing moves>

Most commentators were uneasy about Black's 40th move, but none were able to actually demonstrate a better one. After a nine hour search to depth 75, Stockfish shows that 40...Rd3+ is best; for example: 41.Ke2 Rd5 42.f4 g5 43.Re8 gxf4 44.gxf4 c4 45.Re4 c3 46.Rexb4 Kf5 47.Rc4 Bxf4 48.Rxc3 Rd2+ 49.Ke1 Rd5 50.Rc4 Be5 51.Rb3 Ra5 52.Rc2 Kg5

click for larger view

and there just isn't enough on the board for White to force a win.

Sep-15-18  Howard: All I can say is "Wow !!!"
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