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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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Given 51 times; par: 71 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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 ?
Dec-06-17  Howard: As I recall, Timman stated in a late-2001 issue of NIC that Spassky would have drawn if he'd sealed 41.Kh3, plus he also pointed out a mistake that Fischer had made 1-2 moves earlier which would have given him the win. Remind me to dig up that issue tonight--I'm not home right now.

At any rate, fans will recall that at the closing banquet, Fischer had told Spassky that the adjourned position was completely lost for Spassky regardless of what move he'd sealed. Looks like Bobby was wrong on that one!

Dec-07-17  Howard: Yes, Timman stated that 41.Kh3 WOULD have drawn.
Dec-15-17  GT3RS: Black is +1.91 in the final position. He might have won or at least drawn. Pretty sure if it was Fischer playing black he would've continued playing.
Dec-15-17  GT3RS: On another note: This game is fascinating to be honest. Fischer had black in Game 1 like Spassky in this game.

Spassky played 20.Bxh2 (the move Fischer played in Game 1 - one of the reasons he lost).

In this game the move equalizes white's slightly inferior position. In the end he ends up losing.

Great ending to the match.

Dec-19-17  Clement Fraud: This is one of the games that makes me suspicious about Spassky's motivations - ie., whether or not he truly wanted to retain his title against Fischer in '72: 10.Nxc6 is a move that most proficient club players would reject. It was Fischer himself who demonstrated (in the year prior to this) how to tackle black's center in this line of the Paulsen... and he gave Petrosian a beating in the process! Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Clement Fraud> This game and Fischer-Petrosian diverged on move 5, so I have no idea what you mean by "this line of the Paulsen" -- the openings are completely different. And Fischer's 5.Bd3 and Spassky's 5.Nc3 appear to be about equally popular, so <if Fischer to tackle Black's center> the lesson didn't take.

On the black side, neither Petrosian's nor Fischer's continuations seem to have found much support.

Dec-19-17  Clement Fraud: A good very good evening,
I was referring to the concept of swapping Knight's in a way that strengthens black's center: The way that Fischer did this (as white against Petrosian in 71) turned out well as he hadn't yet developed his QN to c3 (thus having ready his c pawn to take control at c4 - which completely neutralized Petrosian's greater number of center pawns). In this game, Spassky's swap of Knight's merely removed black's only structural weakness - his isolated QP.

Perhaps I was lax in referring to both games as being the Paulsen variation - but the Taimanov, Kan & Paulsen variations very often transpose into each other after ten or so moves.

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