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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
"Best by Protest" (game of the day Feb-20-2007)
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 6, Jul-23
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. Exchange Variation (D59)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 29 OF 29 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-12-16  ZonszeinP: I think this game is overrated!
Spassky was not even ready and played weakly in the opening (Wasn't even ready for an improvement invented by Geller.....his own "second"!!!!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Petrosianic: <But with Fischer it was not always about the money. He believed that professional chess players should be better compensated for their efforts but apparently to him this meant <all> professional chess players, not just himself.>

Fischer wasn't greedy in the usual sense of the word. He didn't care about money for its purchasing power (at least not until after he'd been living on the streets for years and gotten sick of it). He cared about it as a Certificate of Status. "I got this much" means "I'm this important." >

A Fischer hater adds "mind-reading" to his skillset.

Jun-13-16  Howard: Arguably, this game has probably been a bit, indeed, overrated. For one thing, it didn't even make the top-five for the Informant for the second half of 1972.

It at least had some symbolic significance---it marked the first time that Fischer pulled ahead in the match !

Jun-13-16  ZonszeinP: I believe it was Spassky's first defeat ever with the Tartakower system
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ZonszeinP>

Portisch vs Spassky, 1967

Jun-13-16  ZonszeinP: Thankyou
I read something at the time written by Gligoric (not sure) on Spassky losing this for the first time and believed it 100% Great game by Portisch
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Dragi: pure f.....g perfection.> I don't think it is perfect.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard: Arguably, this game has probably been a bit, indeed, overrated. For one thing, it didn't even make the top-five for the Informant for the second half of 1972.

It at least had some symbolic significance---it marked the first time that Fischer pulled ahead in the match !>

Supposedly, after he resigned, Spassky
clapped along with the audience.

...doubt there were many games where he did that.

Nov-05-16  SimplicityRichard: Fischer's Numero Uno positional masterpiece finalised by an elegant exchange sacrifice. Chess at its best this is. No wonder Spassky stood up and clapped.#
Nov-05-16  Howard: Oh, Spassky did indeed stand at the end of Game 6 in order to join in the applause. This was mentioned, in fact, in Chess World Championship 1972.

Not only that, the NYT ran a front-page article in November, 1981 about the conclusion of Karpov-Korchnoi 1981, and the story also mentioned that occurrence.

Nov-21-16  The Kings Domain: One can see why Spassky stood up and clapped. The sheer perfection of Fischer's moves is of a beauty unsurpassed in the game.
Dec-02-16  Grbasowski: Fischer, a bez e4!
Dec-02-16  Grbasowski: Why not 28.Rf7?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Grbasowski: Why not 28.Rf7?!>


Dec-02-16  Howard: Reuben Fine overlooks 28...Ng5 in that atrocious "book" he wrote about the match!
Dec-07-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: According to Larry Evans, Fischer was more concerned about the extent to which he would be exploited by any agent who proposed a deal than interested in how much he himself would earn.

It was his paranoia that prevented him from capitalising on his success.

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.

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