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

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
"Best by Protest" (game of the day Feb-20-2007)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 6, Jul-23
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. Exchange Variation (D59)  ·  1-0


Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 133 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 55 more Fischer/Spassky games
sac: 38.Rxf6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

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


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 30 OF 30 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-07-16  RookFile: Did Fine overlook 28...Ng5? That's incredible. When he knew what he was doing, he would have seen that in a speed game. Obviously, he was just trying to cash in with his book based upon his ability to market his past accomplishments.
Dec-19-17  Ulhumbrus: Why did Spassky lose? Tal or Fine can give this or that alternative to this or that move but can one suggest a reason for the loss?

To provide one answer to the question, consider what happens after Spassky replies to the thrust 20 e4 with 20...d4.

When White plays e5 and f5 Gligorich's comments suggest that White's moves are very strong as well as very simple and that Spassky can do little to stop the coming mating attack.

However if White has the plan of e5 and f5 does Black also not have the plan of ...c4?

One difference is that f5 attacks the black king whereas ...c4, if Black can arrage it at all, attacks merely the c file.

However that is not all.

When White plays e5 and f5 the advance of his king side pawns will normally expose him to a counter-attack. White will be more exposed to a black bishop which takes part in such a counter-attack than White will be exposed to a black knight which takes part in such a counter-attack.

White has however removed Black's bishop by the exchange 17 Nxe6.

We can say that by the exchange 17 Nxe6 White has reduced his exposure to Black's counterattack after White advances his king side pawns by e5 and f5.

Moreover White's bishop can contribute to the attack if it finds a good diagonal such as the diagonal a2-g8 or the diagonal b1-h7.

Spassky's advance 20...d4 concedes both of these fine diagonals to White's bishop.

This suggests that when Spassky played 20...d4? he did not understand that the meaning of the exchange of the exchange 17 Nxe6 was to make the pawn advance e5 and f5 less effectual for Black and more effectual for White.

This brings to mind a comment by Bent Larsen who said that in Reykjavik there were some wonderful games which the public remembered but that these were partly the result of Spassky playing nowhere near his best. I would guess presently that it would not be wise to assume that Spassky at his best would fail to foresee the consequences of the advance ...d4 following the exchange 17 Nxe6.

Jan-31-18  yurikvelo:


Mar-17-18  Justin796: Its..a very good game by an excellent chess godliness lol
Apr-06-18  beautyofchess: What an incredible masterpiece!
Apr-08-18  CowChewCud: I remember this game was in an intro book on Chess by Raymond Keene.
Jun-14-18  Howard: Kasparov's MGP IV makes the interesting argument that 22...Rb8 was Spassky's fatal error, and that he still had decent chances to salvage the game until that point. Apparently, there's been a widespread feeling that 20...d4?! was actually the point of no return.

Wonder if Spassky had any holding chances AFTER the 22nd move.

Jun-14-18  ClockPunchingMonkey: Well, Spassky did set that clever trap that Reuben Fine fell into when writing a book. (White plays 28. Rf7, black replies ...Ng5). That was certainly a good try by Spassky.
Jun-15-18  Howard: Coincidentally, that "book" by Fine was just alluded to in the latest issue of New in Chess (Issue 4).

As I recall, in Fine's "book", he stated that Fischer could have won Spassky's queen by 28.Rf7, but it was "too little reward" for such a marvelous position.

IM Anthony Saidy did us a rare public service when he trashed that book in a 1974 issue of CL&R.

Aug-19-18  CharlesSullivan: As Kasparov noted in My Great Predecessors IV (p.442), Spassky would NOT have been hopelessly lost had he played 22...♘b6! What nobody has pointed out is that Fischer's own 22nd move (22.e5), which has been universally praised over the course of the last 46 years, is also not the strongest move in the position. After a 62-hour search on a 16-core AMD 1950X, Stockfish 9 assigns a score of +2.40 (at depth 60) to 22.♕h3:

click for larger view

An example best-play variation is: 22.♕h3 ♖c6 23.e5 ♖ac7 24.♕d3 <+2.57> ♕e8 25.♕e4 g6 26.♗c4 <+2.84> ♔h8 27.♖f3 ♘f8 28.♕e2 <+3.02> ♖a7 29.♗d3 ♖cc7 30.♗xa6 ♕a4 31.♖a3 <+3.47> ♕b4 32.♖b3 ♕a4 33.♗c4 <+3.54> ♖f7 34.g3 ♔h7 35.♖b6 <+3.63> ♖fb7 36.♖xb7+ ♖xb7 37.b3 <+4.30> ♕a3 38.♖c2 ♔g7 39.h4 h5 40.♔h2 ♖f7 41.♕e4 ♖d7 42.♕f3 ♕b4 43.♕e2 ♖a7 44.a4 ♕b6 45.♖a2 ♕d8 46.♕d2 <+5.47> ♖a5 47.b4 cxb4 48.♕xb4 ♔g8 49.♗b5 ♕b6 50.♖d2 d3 51.♕d6 ♖xb5 52.axb5 ♕xb5 53.♖xd3 ♕c4 54.♖d2 ♕c3 55.♖a2 ♕b3 56.♕d2 ♕c4 57.♕g2 ♔f7 58.♖f2 ♕d4 59.♕f3 ♘d7 60.♖g2 ♕d5 61.♕xd5 exd5 62.♖c2 ♘b6 63.♖c7+ with an obvious win:

click for larger view

Aug-19-18  Howard: Great to hear from you again, Mr. Sullivan !!!
Aug-19-18  CharlesSullivan: Although Kasparov's published analysis of Fischer-Spassky is the best so far, sometimes he misses the mark.
<Example 1> Instead of 24...♘f8 as played in the game, Kasparov looks at 24...♖xb2 25.♗xe6 ♖ab7.

click for larger view

Probably thinking that 26.f5 is not playable because it would leave the e5-pawn unprotected, Kasparov proposed the slower-than-necessary 26.♖ce1 which would lead to 26...d3 27.f5 d2 28.♖d1 when there is still some fight left in the game. Instead, 26.f5! ♘f8 27.♗c8! and 27...♖b8 28.f6! ♕c7 29.fxg7+ ♕xg7 30.♖xc5 wins easily; worse for Black is 26.f5! ♘xe5? 27.f6! ♕f8 28.fxg7+ ♕xg7 29.♖xc5 ♘g6 30.♖c8+ ♔h7 31.♗g8+.
<Example 2> Analyzing Black's 22nd move, Kasparov gives 22...♘b6 23.♕d3 ♘d5 24.♕e4 ♕f7 25.f5 ♘e3 26.fxe6 ♕xe6 27.♗d3 ♖f7 28.♕h7+ ♔f8 29.♖xf7+ ♕xf7 30.♗c4 ♘xc4 31.♖f1 ♕xf1+ 32.♔xf1 ♖e8 33.♕g6 ♖xe5 34.♕xa6:

click for larger view

Kasparov is using this variation to show that Black "most probably loses" and blithely continues 34...♘e3+ 35.♔f2 "and the queen and passed a-pawn should be able to overcome the rook and knight" (MGP IV, p.442). However, Black forces a draw with 34...♘d2+! 35.♔f2 ♖e3!! because White has to be extremely wary of Black's passed d-pawn.
<Example 3> Kasparov also botched a slightly different variation when trying to show that Black loses. After 22...♘b6 23.♕d3 ♘d5 24.♕e4 ♘e3

click for larger view

his vintage 2004 computer misses the crushing attack which begins 25.♗d3! ♕e8 26.♕h7+ ♔f8 27.f5 and chooses instead "25.f5! ♘xf1 26.♖xf1". The fact that Kasparov adds an exclamation point to 25.f5 is doubly embarrassing because it is actually Black who has the better game after 25.f5? exf5 26.♖xf5 ♘xf5 27.♕xf5 ♖f8.

Aug-19-18  CharlesSullivan: <Howard>. Good to be back. Chess analysis got interesting again thanks to the big powerful computers and the amazing software programs!
Aug-19-18  WorstPlayerEver: Notation unreadable.
Aug-20-18  Howard: What's so hard about reading it? Looks fine to me !

By the way, how much of an edge would Fischer have had after 22.e5, which is what he actually played ?

Aug-20-18  CharlesSullivan: <WorstPlayerEver> Thanks for the feedback. I do prefer English algebraic, but thought I would try using the "chess graphic" style. I'll probably use English algebraic next time and see what kind of reaction I get.
Aug-20-18  CharlesSullivan: <Howard: How much of an edge did Fischer have after 22.e5?> Preliminary result: after 3 hours (depth=58), Stockfish 9 scores Black's best move (22...Nb6) as <+1.04> (in White's favor). This led me to believe that Black can draw the position, but so far Kasparov's intuition that White eventually can win in the endgame seems to be correct. I will come back to this position in the near future. It is, unfortunately, one of those very complicated positions that after hundreds of hours of computer time might still be unclear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Howard:...btw: how much of an edge would Fischer have had after 22.e5, which is what he actually played?> Enough to win, which is what actually happened
Aug-21-18  Howard: But, was the position a complete win after 22.e5.
Sep-04-18  Howard: In Yasser's book Winning Chess Masterpieces, he closely annotates this game (along with 11 others), and there's a point where he states "Both Geller and Reshevsky are wrong" regarding a certain point.

Was it Geller's 14...Qb7 improvement. Please elaborate.

Sep-04-18  CharlesSullivan: <Howard><In Yasser's book Winning Chess Brilliancies ...>
I usually don't comment about opening issues, but here goes...
In <Reshevsky on The Fischer-Spassky Games>, Reshevsky assigned two question marks to Spassky's 16...Ra7 and wrote, "A seriously (sic) tactical move from which Spassky never recovered." [I think he meant to say, "A serious tactical mistake from which Spassky never recovered."] Reshevsky said that "correct was 16...Qb7." In <Winning Chess Brilliancies>, Yasser Seirawan says that "Boris Spassky's second (or coach), GM Efim Geller, also considers the text a mistake, offering 16...Qb7 as an alternative." So both Reshevsky and Geller think 16...Qb7 was best; Seirawan says that "Black's best move would have been 16...Qa7"; and Spassky actually played 16...Ra7.

click for larger view

After searches longer than an hour, the results are in:
(a) <+0.00> 16...Ra7 17.Be2 (Fischer's move) 17...Qf8 (instead of Spassky's 17...Nd7) 18.Rc2 Nd7, etc.
(b) <+0.00> 16...Qb7 17.Ba4 Qb6 18.Ne5 a5 19.f4 Ra7 20.Qb3 Qxb3 21.axb3 Bf5, etc.
(c) <+0.00> 16...Qa7 17.Ba4 a5 18.Ne5 Na6 19.e4 Nb4 20.exd5 Bxd5 21.Rfd1 c4, etc.

So 16...Ra7 was perfectly OK.

Sep-04-18  chessrookstwo: fisher all the way in this
Sep-05-18  Howard: That book by Reshevsky on the match was atrocious ! I've seen it before.

To be fair, it was at least better than Fine's "book", but that don't say much!

Premium Chessgames Member
  jonjoseph: I was amused by the tick tock effect of the Queens finding it hard to make up their minds and hopping to and fro also the rook bobbing up and down .The amazing pressure on the empty square at G7 and then the ominous shift to the next diagonal . A truly crushing attack and paused by a single pawn move on the A file which seemed almost pure housekeeping .
Oct-26-18  chessrookstwo: Fisher was a genius period!!!
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 30)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 30 OF 30 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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, 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?]
Game 6
from Fischer World Champion (Timman/Euwe) by Qindarka
6th match Game, 1972
from Fischer 101 by Parkov
Bobby Fischer's Path To World Champion
by foxmt
Hanging Pawns : Playing Against
from -ER Fischer by fredthebear
Game 63
from World's Greatest Chess Games by Anatoly21
blesswell's favorite games
by blesswell
QGD Tartakower Def. Exchange (D59) 1-0 Hanging pawns
from Pins Ins and Outs, All About Pins ECO A, D & E by fredthebear
uri malin's favorite games
by uri malin
Bobby Fischer
by Hagen von Tronje
"Best by Protest"
from The great hall of immortal games by tentsewang
Overwhelming odds
from sevenseaman's favorite games by sevenseaman
from 125 Greatest Chess Games by xajik
JoseTigranTalFischer's favorite games
by JoseTigranTalFischer
My Great Predecessors by Garry Kasparov
by JoseTigranTalFischer
jgabay's favorite games
by jgabay
World Championship Match QGD Tartakower Def. Exchange Var.
from RPaterno1's favorite games Champions' "Notables" by RPaterno1
Robert Fischer's Best Games
by demirchess
Tobbe's favorite games
by Tobbe

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 | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC