chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing


register now - it's free!
Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

explore this opening
find similar games 55 more Fischer/Spassky games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can make these tips go away by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Simply check the option "Don't show random tips on game pages." and click the Update Profile button at the bottom.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: < RookFile: It's not unlike game 1 of Fischer's match with Petrosian. Petrosian had black in a Sicilian and caught Fischer with the novelty of the year. Against a lesser player, Petrosian wins - but Fischer digs in and finds resources >

Fischer digs in and finds resources indeed.

Because that is what Fischer did over the chessboard.

Jul-13-13  Zonszein: Spassky should (and could) have won this game, and send Fischer back home
Jul-13-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Zonszein: Spassky should (and could) have won this game, and send Fischer back home>

Had that been the outcome, it would have been 3-1 Spassky.

Long way from there to the then-necessary twelve points for the champion.

Jul-24-14  Howard: In a nutshell (if possible), would 31...Rh4 have won for Spassky. No doubt it would have been better than 31..Bd6, but was there a forced win ?!
Jul-24-14  Retireborn: <Howard> I don't believe so, no. After the best defence 32.g4 Black is better and can probably capture a Q-side pawn at his leisure, but a forced win still seems a long way off.
Sep-04-14  TJT: Am I missing something here? Could this game have been won at move #32 if the black queen been moved to h2 instead of sacrificing queens?
Sep-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <TJT> It was to prevent that mate threat that Fischer played 32.Qc3, pinning Black's Queen to his King. :)
Oct-02-14  GarloPemberton: I like 25.Nxf7. There are so many ways the sac plays out. It's hard to find a clear win for white, but it's definitely a vicious attack. After 24. ... Be3 white is safe from Qc1+, thus freeing his rook. Given the circumstances I totally get why Bobby played for the queen trade, eventually leading to a draw, but I would love to see what he would have done with 25.Nxf7, assuming he could find a winning game.
May-05-16  Sergio 1: Had Spassky played 29...Rd8 which forces white to play c3 and more importantly preventing Fischer's later save with Qc3 Spassky should then win with 30...Rh8 making the score Spassky 3 Fischer 1. Who knows with this score the end result may have been different.
Jun-29-16  Howard: Timman analyzes that very possibility in his book Art of Chess Analysis, and he concludes that there was no win. He adds that Spassky's real mistake was not playing 31...Rh4, which would have retained Spassky's significant advantage.
Jun-29-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The ...Rd8 ...Rh8 idea is brilliant - so brilliant that I don't think any human could see it during a game. The trouble is that once one plays ...Kg7 there is an obvious follow-up: ...Rh8. In any case Spassky wasn't firing on all cylinders in games 1 to 10.
Jun-30-16  Howard: Could someone please supply some engine analysis to 31...Rh4? How close would it have come to winning ?

Timman's book only looks at it briefly.

Jul-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <offramp:

In any case Spassky wasn't firing on all cylinders in games 1 to 10.>

Heh, heh, as if Taimanov/Larsen were in games 1 to 6?

Jul-05-16  Howard: And what about Petrosian during the last four games of his match with Fischer ?!
Jul-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard: And what about Petrosian during the last four games of his match with Fischer ?!>

The easy way is to say, the 19 until
Game 2 of the Petrosian match.

Jul-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <fkahlo:

(I am under the impression that Bobby played first things that popt in to his mind)>

Heh, heh!

Jul-06-16  Howard: Incidentally, the number "19" (which apparently refers to Fischer's long winning streak, extending back to the 1970 interzonal) has sometimes been the subject of disagreement.

Does that include Fischer's forfeit win over Panno, for example? Not only that, weren't 1-2 of Fischer's games near the end of the event played out of order, for some reason?

Some sources say it's "20". But, then, it hardly makes any difference, anyway.

Jul-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <refutor: In Brad Darrach's excellent book "Bobby Fischer v. The Rest Of The World"....he comments (regarding this game) "Bobby came up too confident and Spassky met him with a defense so ingenious it may have permanently wrecked one of Bobby's favorite lines, the Sozin attack"....>

This was merely the first game of several in the match in which one of Fischer's hitherto pet variations came in for a difficult time at the hands of Soviet analysts.

Jul-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard: Incidentally, the number "19" (which apparently refers to Fischer's long winning streak, extending back to the 1970 interzonal) has sometimes been the subject of disagreement. Does that include Fischer's forfeit win over Panno, for example? Not only that, weren't 1-2 of Fischer's games near the end of the event played out of order, for some reason?

Some sources say it's "20". But, then, it hardly makes any difference, anyway.>

The win streak was 20 games.

Last round of the Interzonal,
Panno resigned after Fischer's 1.c4.

I say "19" so I don't have to listen to the knee jerk response from Fischer haters, who pretend you are trying to pull a fast one, because one wasn't a fully played game.

<weren't 1-2 of Fischer's games near the end of the event played out of order, for some reason>

Maybe you're thinking of Sousse 1967?

Jul-07-16  Petrosianic: This was a particularly painful one, as it put Fischer's favorite 6. Bc4 variation on the shelf permanently.
Jul-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Petrosianic: This was a particularly painful one, as it put Fischer's favorite 6. Bc4 variation on the shelf permanently.>

It was so devastating and painful,
Fischer could only manage 3 wins
and a draw out of the next 4 games.

He was basically shattered.

Jul-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Howard> Could someone please supply some engine analysis to 31...Rh4? How close would it have come to winning ?> (part 1 of 2)

I did an analysis using 3 engines and each of them considered 32.g4 as White's best move, cutting off the Rh4. Since the Ph3 can be reinforced by Bc4-f1, it doesn't look to me like Black's Rh4 has any prospects and it will require several tempi to be brought back into action. But all 3 engines consider Black's position to be better in spite of his pawn deficit, but with BOC whether the perceived advantage is enough to win is another matter.

Here is the top line from each of the 3 engines from the following position:


click for larger view

<Komodo 10>: [-0.72], d=33: 32.g4 Bd6 33.Qg2 Qe3 34.Rd3 Qc1+ 35.Qg1 Qxc2 36.b3 Bf4 37.a4 Kh6 38.Qg2 Qb1+ 39.Qg1 Qxd3 40.Bxd3 Rxh3+ 41.Kg2 Rg3+ 42.Kf2 Rxg1 43.Kxg1 (now it's White who has the pawn deficit) 43...Kg7 44.Kf2 Kf6 45.Kf3 Ke5 46.Bb5 Kd4 47.Be8 f6 48.Bd7 e5 49.Bf5 Bd2 50.Ke2 Bb4 51.Kf3 Be7 52.Ke2 Bc5 53.Kf3 Bb4 54.Ke2


click for larger view

And I don't see how Black can make progress.

<Stockfish 7>: [-0.70], d=41: 32.g4 Bd6 33.Qg2 Qe3 34.Rd3 Qc1+ 35.Qg1 Qxc2 36.Qd4+ (here Stockfish deviates from Komodo, taking a completely different approach by exchanging off the BOC) 36...Kg6 37.Qxd6 Qxc4 38.Kg2 Qc2+ 39.Kf1 Qc1+ 40.Rd1 Qxb2 (once again it's now White that has the pawn deficit, at least temporarily) 41.Qd3+ Kg7 42.Qe3 Qf6+ 43.Kg2 Rh8 44.Rf1 Qe7 45.Rf5 f6 46.Rxa5 Qb7+ 47.Qf3 Qb2+ (a surprising decision, 47...Qxf3+ 48.Kxf3 Rxh3+ leaves Black a pawn up and, once White's a-pawn advances, will allow Black to get behind the rook pawn. Then Black might have some winning chances with his k-side pawn majority) 48.Qf2 Qc3 49.Ra7+ Kg6 50.Qf3 Qxf3+ (so Stockfish finally sees it my way :-) 51.Kxf3 Rxh3+ 52.Kg2 Rb3 53.Ra6 Kf7 54.Ra7+ Ke8 55.a4 Rb4 (now I see that "we" overestimated Black's winning chances, after 55...Ra3 56.Kf2 f5 (otherwise White just moves back and forth between f2 and g2) 57.gxf5 exf5 58.Ra5 and the position is a tablebase draw) 56.Kg3 f5 57.gxf5 exf5 (and this similar position is also a tablebase draw) 58.Kf2 Rf4+ 59.Kg3 Rd4 60.Kg2 Rg4+ 61.Kh3 Rc4 62.Ra5 Rf4 63.Ra7 Kf8 64.Kg2 Rg4+ 65.Kf3 Rd4 66.Kg3 (66.Kg2, as he played earlier, would have been a draw by repetition) 66... Rd3+ 67.Kg2 g4 68.Rc7 Ke8 69.a5 Ra3 70.Rc5


click for larger view

And this position is also a tablebase draw.

Jul-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Howard> Could someone please supply some engine analysis to 31...Rh4? How close would it have come to winning ?> (part 2 of 2)

<Houdini 4>: [-0.56], d=31: 32.g4 Bd6 33.Qg2 Qe3 34.Rd3 Qc1+ 35.Qg1 Qxc2 36.Qd4+ Kg6 37.Qxd6 (Houdini follows Stockfish's approach and exchanges bishops) 37...Qxc4 38.Kg2 Qc2+ 39.Kf1 Qc1+ 40.Rd1 Qxb2 41.Qd3+ Kg7 42.Qe3 Qf6+ 43.Kg2 Rh8 44.Rf1 Qe7 45.Rf5 f6 46.Rxa5 Qb7+ 47.Kf2 (here Houdini deviates from Stockfish's 47.Qf3, and its continuation is quite different) 47...Qb2+ 48.Kg3 Rc8 49.Rc5 Qb8+ 50.Kg2 Rd8 (Houdini as Black plays much more actively with its rook than Stockfish) 51.Rc2 Qb7+ 52.Kf2 e5 53.Rd2 Ra8 54.Qc5 Ra4 55.Rd3 Re4 56.Kg3 Re2 57.Rf3 Rd2 58.Qb4 Qxb4 59.axb4 Rb2 60.b5 Rxb5 61.Ra3 (White is a pawn down but with all the pawns on the same side a draw is the most likely outcome) 51...Kg6 62.Kf3 Rb4 63.Ke3 Rc4


click for larger view

Still looks like a draw to me. Unfortunately the 8 remaining pieces is one too many for the Lomonosov tablebases, and the FinalGen tablebase generator estimates that it will require about 300 hours and 1 TB uncompressed disk space to reach a conclusion, and I have neither the patience nor the disk space to use it.

So, restarting the analysis from this position, Houdini evaluates the resulting position at [-0.49], d=41 after either 64.Rd3, 64.Kf3, or 64.Rb3. Here is the 63.Rb3 line, arbitrarily picked, for completeness: 64.Rb3 Kf7 65.Rb7+ Ke6 66.Rb6+ Ke7 67.Rb3 (67.Rb7+ would likely lead to a draw by repetition) 67...Kd6 68.Rd3+ (likewise 68.Rb6+ since anything other than 68...Ke7 leads to the loss of the Pf6, and 67...Kd4 68.Rxf7 Rc3+ 69.Kf2 Rxh3 is a tablebase draw) 68...Ke6 69.Ra3 Rc1 70.Ke4 Rh1 71.Ra6+ Kf7 72.Ra3 Kg6 73.Rc3 Re1+ 74.Kd5 Rd1+ 75.Ke4 Rd4+ 76.Ke3 Kf7 77.Ra3 Rc4 78.Kd3 Rc6 79.Ke3 Ke6 80.Ke4 Rc4+ 81.Ke3 Rc1


click for larger view

And, again, I don't see how Black can make any progress.

So with 31...Rh4, although Black retains the initiative and has some advantage, even going up a pawn on occasion, does not seem to provide Black with realistic winning chances, whether White exchanges the bishops (Stockfish, Houdini) or keeps the bishops (Komodo). Maybe that's why Timman's book only looks at it briefly.

Jul-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: To prepare the little Qc3 trick like Fischer did in this game is defense at its best.
Jul-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In the latter phase of this match in particular (games 14-20), Fischer demonstrated superb defensive skills, holding positions in which the merely elite players of the day may well have cracked under Spassky's assault.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 4)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>

Now on DVD
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Fischer-Spassky World Championship Match 1972
from Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
johntabler's favorite games
by johntabler
Sicillian Sozin
by chocaholic
World Championship Game #4
from Road to the Championship - Bobby Fischer by Fischer of Men
Bobby Fischer's Path To World Champion
by LionHeart40
Game #4
from The Fischer-Spassky Reykjavik 1972 match by dac1990
Game 4
from Spassky-Fischer Match 1972 by FischerSpasskyGuy
Steel vs Fire
from Immortal draw games by Darth Lasker
The Art of Chess Analysis (Jan Timman)
by hms123
Game #4
from Fischer-Spassky '72 by GPawn
Round 4
from Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match 1-21 by G Kasparov
pigis13's favorite games
by pigis13
Round 4
from WCC Index [Fischer-Spassky 1972] by Hesam7
Match Fischer!
by amadeus
236
from Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by jakaiden
Game 4, Spassky leads 2 1/2-1 1/2
from 1972 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
KEOWL GAME
from IMPRESSIVE GAMES by daacosta
The prepared Spassky
from Sicillian by Phoenix JS
21_h5/23_h4 (in conjunction with Qg5)
from 88\\2_Push the h-pawn !! (with castling) by whiteshark
Match Spassky!
by amadeus
plus 6 more collections (not shown)


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2016, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies