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Robert James Fischer vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Making up for Lost Time" (game of the day May-01-2007)
Sousse Interzonal (1967), Sousse TUN, rd 11, Oct-29
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Smyslov Defense (C93)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <In my opinion, the non Fischer participation in the zonal is absolutely irrelevant when we discuss his chess achievements.>

I'd agree with that. It's relevant to a discussion of his conduct, but not to one of his chess results.

If you want an incident that was truly dodgy, there's the case of Benko in 1964. He had qualified from the two previous interzonals, but did very badly in the Zonal this time. But Bisguier, who had much less chance of qualification didn't seem to want his spot too much, so a match was arranged in which Bisguier put up his spot, and Benko put up (apparently) nothing at all. Benko won the spot, played in the interzonal, and could have played in the candidates and world championship if he'd gone that far. I don't believe Bisguier tanked the match, but I don't believe he was especially motivated either.

If you think that result was legitimate (and I do, incidentally), I don't see how you can possibly make an issue out of Fischer's substitution.

Aug-11-11  ughaibu: Unferth: you are still missing the point, that it is part of his "legacy". It can only detract from a legacy which is presented unblemished by it.
Aug-11-11  unferth: no one is missing the point. Fischer didn't compete in the 1969 U.S. championship, and no one but you seems to regard that as even a minor blemish on his record--but if you wish to believe that his legacy would have been meaningfully enhanced by an additional ten or eleven wins over undistinguished opposition, feel free.
Aug-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: It's a part of Spassky's "legacy" too, for that matter. He didn't compete in the Zonal in his successful title run. He was seeded straight into the Interzonal.

Ditto for Karpov. He didn't play in the Zonal, he was seeded into the Interzonal for winning the World Junior Championship.

And of course, Smyslov played in neither Zonal nor Interzonal in his successful run.

Botvinnik never played a game at the Zonal, Interzonal or Candidates level in his life.

The claim is that this fact is significant. But the argument seems to consist of nothing but repeatedly telling us that it's a fact. This is a circular argument.

Aug-12-11  unferth: <Petrosianic>

precisely. at this point, I'm convinced that ughaibu is simply trolling.

Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic> and <unferth> Had there been any willingness on the part of <ugh> to actually discuss this, I'd have had a go at it.

As <unferth> says, the way this has gone is simply trolling, however.

Guess <Petrosianic> is right: it is a diminution of Spassky's title win that he was seeded into the 1967-69 cycle by virtue of losing the '66 final. (Cue heavy irony)

Maybe <ugh> would've given his championship greater credence had he won in 1966 instead, though even there, he qualified from the double-round event at Moscow in 1964.

The possibilities for foolishness are endless, not to mention unnecessary, really, as these were all great champions.

Aug-12-11  ughaibu: The replies I've been getting, on this thread, are quite silly. How does being seeded according to results and as stipulated in the rules of the system compare with missing out a part of the course? It doesn't.

At least it was a nice surprise to get support from Sneaky.

Aug-12-11  BarcelonaFirenze: Guys, ughaibu is right, Fischer DID NOT compete in te Zonal. That said, it seems that for the rest uf us, IT DOES NOT MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Best regards!!
Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <How does being seeded according to results and as stipulated in the rules of the system compare with missing out a part of the course? It doesn't.> Karpov got in legitimately, so did Fischer. If you wanted to smear Karpov, you could <truthfully> say "It's part of Karpov's "legacy" that he got into the Interzonal by beating kids, rather than having to compete in the much tougher Soviet Championship Zonal." There's nothing wrong with the way he got in, but by phrasing it that way, I'm implying that there was, even though I haven't actually found anything wrong.

You might not realize how often changes and substitutions were made in these things. It's quite on the cards that if Fischer hadn't been so abrasive and unreliable, that they might have just GIVEN him a spot in the Interzonal without making Benko drop out. That would not be unprecedented for a stick-things-together-with-chewing-gum-and-paper- -clips organization like FIDE. As it was, given the very real possibility that he might not finish an interzonal he started, they didn't want to increase the number of players.

Spassky was gifted a spot in a Candidates (not just an interzonal), you know. He got a free pass to the 1985 Candidates because France, as the host nation, was allowed to pick any representative they wanted to fill one slot. Once he was in, he had a chance to win, just like anyone else. I don't like this implication that "You're in, but you can't REALLY win." If you don't deserve to be there, you're not going to win, which solves the problem.

Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Fischer also didn’t enter:

The Boston Marathon,
The Soapbox Derby,
The Pillsbury Bake-off,
The Indy 500.

His horse “Maroczy Bind” was entered in the Kentucky Derby, However, Fischer withdrew him do to poor track lighting and camera noise.

Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic: ....Spassky was gifted a spot in a Candidates (not just an interzonal), you know. He got a free pass to the 1985 Candidates because France, as the host nation, was allowed to pick any representative they wanted to fill one slot....>

In 1985, I had the pleasure of meeting Spassky, who struck me as a likable fellow.

It's obvious I wasn't the only person who liked him, as he was awarded a spot in the 1977 candidates after not coming close to qualifying from Manila, as you noted above, plus this.

It seems to have been overlooked, the more so as he lost to Korchnoi in the 1977-78 final, then failed at the Montpellier tournament in 1985.

Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: I'm not criticizing him for either 1977 or 1985. 1985 was a gift, but so what? Only somebody worthy would have been able to make use of such a gift. Give me a spot in the Candidates, and I'm not going to win. France got to pick a player, they picked him. Perfectly legal. If he'd beaten the odds and won, how could anyone argue that he didn't belong there?

And his spot in the 1977 Candidates wasn't a gift at all. He was the next player in line after Fischer dropped out. The rule was that dropouts were replaced with the next highest finisher from the previous (1974) candidates. That meant one of the semifinal losers, Petrosian or Spassky. Petrosian had successfully qualified from the '76 interzonal, so it went to Spassky. Had Spassky been unavailable, Robert Byrne would have been next in line.

Aug-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic> Bear in mind that, unlike one other poster in this mess, I've no axe to grind-I was simply pointing out what is well known.

What's unfortunate re Spassky's legacy is that he will be remembered more for his loss to Fischer by casual fans than his impressive record in the run-up to the title during the sixties.

Fischer may well have been the strongest player going in the second half of the 1960s when he played, but therein lay the problem: he was not terribly active during much of that time.

Larsen was the best tournament player in the world from about 1967-70, but Spassky's match performances in the 1965-69 cycles give him overall superiority to the former, in my opinion.

On another topic, was Geller the player named to take Botvinnik's place after the latter refused to participate in the '65 candidates' matches, due to his second-place tie with Keres at Curacao?

My recollection is that Tal, Spassky, Larsen, Smyslov, Portisch (after a playoff) and Ivkov won six slots, with Stein and Bronstein being excluded because of the rule regarding the number of players from a single country (read: the Soviet Union, of course).

Aug-13-11  ughaibu: If events in 1985 are part of Spassky's "run", then events in 1975 are part of Fischer's. Or, to put it otherwise, what possible relevance can these points about Spassky have?
Aug-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: The relevance is simply that had Spassky won, he would have been champion without reservation or qualification. And it would have been a very impressive run. Everyone would be talking about how 48 year old Spassky bowled over everyone and regained the title. Nobody would care about his seeding, even though it may be that had he needed to qualify he wouldn't have even bothered trying.

1975 is a different run for Fischer than 1972. Rather than "run", say "cycle". Fischer performed fantastically in FIDE Cycle #8. In Cycle #9 he did abysmally, and didn't win a single game. In Cycle 10 he again dropped out of the Candidates without playing a game.

Aug-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <What's unfortunate re Spassky's legacy is that he will be remembered more for his loss to Fischer by casual fans than his impressive record in the run-up to the title during the sixties.> True, fame is funny that way sometimes. People remember Babe Ruth as chunky and overweight just because all the films of him were made late in his career. Steinitz isn't remembered as the behemoth he was, he's more remembered for matches he played in his late 50's.

<Fischer may well have been the strongest player going in the second half of the 1960s when he played, but therein lay the problem: he was not terribly active during much of that time.>

I don't think he was, but the matter is definitely debatable. His performance from 1964-1969 is closer to his earlier stuff than it is to 1970-1972. For instance, against the Soviets, he scored something like 42% in the middle years, slightly higher in the early years, but over 70% in 1970-1972.

Aug-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <On another topic, was Geller the player named to take Botvinnik's place after the latter refused to participate in the '65 candidates' matches, due to his second-place tie with Keres at Curacao?>

Yes. Geller and Keres played a match soon after Curacao, to determine who had finished second, and Keres won a narrow victory.

You might ask why were they in such a hurry to figure out something that wouldn't matter for 3 years. The reason is that Botvinnik was hinting that he might not defend his title at all, and was thinking about just retiring. Had that happened, the plan was to play a championship match between Petrosian and the 2nd place finisher at Curacao, so they had to know who that was. In the end, Botvinnik did play and it didn't matter. Hindsight is 20/20.

So, the seeds for 1965 were Botvinnik and Keres. When Botvinnik dropped out, his spot went to Geller anyway, making the Keres-Geller match redundant.

May-28-14  Mudphudder: Is this the game that Fischer showed up late with like 30mins left on his clock and blitzed out the entire game to beat (and majorly piss off) Reshevsky?
May-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Mudphudder> Believe it was <three> minutes remaining before he would otherwise have defaulted.
May-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: No, that was this game:

Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1967

May-28-14  Mudphudder: Same game...
May-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: (Rimshot)
May-28-14  Howard: Regarding Petrosianic's comment about Spassky from August, 2011, he is incorrect about Spassky's being seeded into the Interzonal "during his successful title run."

First, he was not seeded into the 1964 Interzonal (the one Petrosian was apparently referring to). He took first place in a special 1964 Soviet zonal event in which seven players (including Korchnoi and Kholmov) competed--and that is how he landed in the 1964 tournament.

He lost to Petrosian in the 1966 title match, as most of us know, and then was seeded into the Candidates in 1968.

May-28-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: "Successful title run" would be 1969, not 1966. And he was seeded, but into the Candidates. If I said Interzonal, then that was wrong.
Jul-31-14  Howard: No big deal regarding the error, particularly since the 1964 Soviet zonal was an unusual type of event. Usually, the Soviet championship served as an interzonal qualifier (every three years, that is).

But the 1964 Soviet zonal, which consisted of only seven participants, was an unusual case. Anyone know why it was done that way.

For the record, Spassky got off to a poor start in that tournament, scoring only one point (!) out of his first four games. But he pulled himself together, and he ended up taking clear first in the 12-round event. Thus, he was bound for the Amsterdam interzonal.

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