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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"The Final Curtain" (game of the day Mar-10-06)
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-18-13  PaulLovric: < screwdriver: I'd like to see this game played further. The idea for white is to play b4 when he gets a chance, then a5, and sort of march his connected past pawns down the board. If I had this position as white, no way would I be resigning. Where is the fight in Spasky?> the black h pawn creates the diversion and lures the white king away so the black king will start to munch on those remaining pawns, there is no fight left <screwy>, did you really think there was, in the last game of the 72 World Chess ? Championship Match - did you come from Mars recently ?
Aug-05-13  Co3ra: Hello, I'm working With a task i was given.
I can not Any thing about chess, so i turn to You here. In the task i am souposed to know which checkerboards is affected by the 17th move.

Anyone who could help me with this? :)

Aug-05-13  ughaibu: Your post is incomprehensible. Is that part of the "task"?
Aug-05-13  PaulLovric: <Co3ra> I assume you means which squares are attacked? But which move, Blacks or Whites 17th?
Nov-23-13  jerseybob: <RookFile: Fischer won this game, but the position after 27.... Ra2 is drawable for white. > Right. Just avoid playing g4? and how does black make progress?
Nov-24-13  Petrosianic: g4 was bad, but the position may not have been quite lost even then.

Fischer's last move is an inaccuracy. Kg4 was better. h5 allows 41. Kh3 Rxf2 42. a5 Ra2 43. a6 and White is still hanging in there. Spassky's 41. Bd7? returns the favor, and allows Fischer to play Kg4 (which he should have played on the previous move).

Nov-25-13  jerseybob: Petrosianic: The line you give only shows how lost white really was after 30.g4?, but doesn't address my contention that white could've drawn the game with better play, like 30.Ke3. BTW, to be objective, even after 30.g4? there might've beeen a resource: 34.f4 has been recommended over Spassky's 34.Kf3, but does it draw? Who knows.
Nov-26-13  SChesshevsky: <Petrosianic: g4 was bad, but the position may not have been quite lost even then.>

Probably not dead lost but very tough after 25. Bxe2 it looks.

As it played out I'm not sure even 34. f4 holds. Fischer might put the K on c5 holding the Qside. Then the a8h1 pawning diagonal is secure too. Then Rh1 and push the pawn looks like a lot of pressure. The rule of thumb is once a protected passed pawn gets to the sixth rank it scores or takes a sac to stop it, so whites king probably needs to stay in front of the pawn near g2, which makes f4 vulnerable plus the Bishop's restricted and stuck defending, and White's always got to worry about zugz.

Might be able to hold but without a winning chance with all the ways to lose, its not very pleasant just to fight to draw in a match that's already lost. I believe this game made it to adjournment, if so Spassky was a good sport just getting it that far.

Jul-03-14  BobbyDigital80: It looks like the opening transposed into a Scotch Four Knights.
Jul-03-14  Petrosianic: <jerseybob> <Petrosianic: The line you give only shows how lost white really was after 30.g4?, but doesn't address my contention that white could've drawn the game with better play, like 30.Ke3.>

All right, well to address that, you're right, and 30. g4? was a huge lemon. White doesn't seem to be in much trouble before that, and frankly I'm at a loss to understand why Spassky would even consider such a move. It's a huge positional blunder, and Fischer's reply is obvious. I don't know if it outright loses, but if not, then very nearly.

<BobbyDigital80> <It looks like the opening transposed into a Scotch Four Knights.>

It looks that way because that's exactly what happened. Pretty much every book on the match mentions that fact.

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".
Nov-25-14  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...
Nov-25-14  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):

Premium Chessgames Member
  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).

Premium Chessgames Member
  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!
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