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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"The Final Curtain" (game of the day Mar-10-2006)
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 21, Aug-31
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-28-14  coldsweat: It's interesting that Boris was able to bounce back from this crushing match to win the Soviet Championship the following year. He really was an outstanding player.
Oct-19-14  Ke2: Something seems very old about this game.

This opening is quite like Anderssen would play the Sicilian, even though he never played this line. If you showed me the game blind I'd say it was 1850s-1880s.

Oct-19-14  Ke2: Especially all those quaint bishops sitting on "Q3" and "K3".
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This is just a weird looking game. The champ in a must-win situation sacs the exchange? They play on and decline pawns along the way? I don't get it. Guess that's why I am not a GM...
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <RookFile: Actually, it's not a simple position. Fischer stayed up all night analyzing the adjourned position, showing the next day all kinds of traps Spassky could have played for, and what he would have had to do to avoid them.

Here's an example of Karpov losing a 'simple' ending like Queen and Knight vs. Queen, which is a theoretical draw:

Spassky vs Karpov, 1982>

Note that Karpov played the Fischer defense!

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: Game 21 of Fischer-Spassky (1972) match in progress:

And picture of Lothar Schmid congratulating Fischer after Spassky had resigned by telephone (September 1, 1972):

Apr-11-15  RookFile: I wish that Spassky hadn't played 30. g4. It would have ended as an interesting draw. Obviously Fischer would have won the championship anyway even if one more game was needed.
Apr-11-15  A.T PhoneHome: Yes but at that point (Fischer was leading 6-3 in wins) Spassky may have not thought of playing two draws while one decisive game could decide the outcome, which isn't to say he played for the win here just so Fischer could beat him.

However, considering that the last decisive game had been Game 13 I think Spassky wanted to go for the decision here. Of course I don't know that but it must have been a very exhausting match and instead of two draws, one decision may have seemed a better solution (at that time). And Spassky might have won, making the score 6-4, with 11 draws, certainly worth more fighting for.

Apr-11-15  Howard: I believe you mean Spassky would have had to play THREE draws, not two.

In other words, if Game 21 had ended in a draw, than Spassky would have had to win all three of the remaining games in a row to achieve a tie score.

And Fischer would have had White in two of those games.

Apr-11-15  A.T PhoneHome: My phrasing of the statement was a bit off, sorry <Howard>.

What I meant was that after Game 20 it was Fischer 11.5 - 8.5 Spassky, Fischer being one point away from the title so Spassky may have wanted to push for the win in Game 21, rejecting a possible draw; going for the "make or break" tactic.

That is what I meant with wanting to avoid two draws (two draws would give Fischer 12.5 points, enough to win the World Championship).

Apr-12-15  RookFile: All this is no doubt interesting, but the only question on move 30 is whether black will win or whether it's a draw. The ship where Spassky could win this game had already sailed and surely Spassky did not have any illusions about <winning> this game with 30. g4. He just overlooked Fischer's ...f5!
Apr-12-15  A.T PhoneHome: <RookFile> I guess my statements "went past" of what you intended, sorry for that. It was my fault for not finding out the <only possible outcomes after move 30> in advance, which would have saved me the trouble of posting as much as I did. :P

But I maintain (fallaciously or not) that Spassky wasn't looking for points from this game since this game had the potential of deciding this whole match.

Not saying Spassky wanted Black to win; just that he must have been tired after such an enduring match and thus, didn't want to play two games or more.

Apr-12-15  Howard: Spassky actually may have harbored some hopes of winning this game, because, after all, he made a speculative exchange surprise here. In other words, he knew darn well that a draw was almost the same thing as a loss, at this late stage.
Apr-12-15  A.T PhoneHome: I agree because one of those games between 21-24 was going to be the one to decide the World Champion. So why not Game 21 immediately? But <theoretically> this wasn't to be winning for Spassky after move 30 as <RookFile> here said.

One can understand Spassky; as I stated above Spassky may have tried "win it or bin it" approach here. (emphasis on the word "may" since I wasn't there and I am not Spassky to say what he thought back then)

Oct-09-15  keithbc: modern engines now prove that Fischer could have won easier by taking the f2 pawn 27.... Rxf2!
Sep-06-16  RookFile: Do they indeed. How does it go? 28....Rxf2 28. a5 Rb2 29. Kg3 Kf8 30. a6 Ke7 31. Kf3 Kd6 32. Bxf7

Something like this. I'm not seeing how black wins.

Sep-28-16  edubueno: 10 Bf5! is a very clever suggestion.As an example: 10...Nxd4?!; 11 Bxc8 - Nxc2; 12 Bxb7 - Nxa1; 13 Bc6+ - Nd7; 14 Qxd5 and white should win.
Sep-28-16  edubueno: 10 Nxc6 is an inaccurate plan.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <A.T PhoneHome: Game 21 of Fischer-Spassky (1972) match in progress:>

I've seen so many photos labeled wrong.
Do we really know that's Game 21?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <diceman>

I suspect it is from game #1, as this picture apparently is.

Wouldn't Spassky's chair be different?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <keypusher: <diceman>

I suspect it is from game #1, as this picture apparently is.>

Well this is Game 1 video:

Spassky's chair looks beige,
Fischer's suit looks blue.
(vs dark maroon)

Of course, I know this one is true because I can see the pcs.

That increases the probablity by one black Game that it's not game 1, and "possibly" Game 21.

By the way, it's funny how Spassky lazily tips the King and slides it over to trap the Bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Well this is Game 1 video:

Spassky's chair looks beige,
Fischer's suit looks blue.
(vs dark maroon)>

thanks, i stand corrected.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Flemming: Steinitz vs Zukertort, 1886

The position after 10th move is almost identical to 2nd game of WTM Steinitz vs. Zukertort 1886.

Oct-16-16  ZonszeinP: Hello,
Game which black also won
And which probably Fischer knew
May-05-17  Helios727: What happens after 41. Bd7 Kg4 42. Bc6 Kxf5 43. Kg3 ?
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