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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 20, Aug-29
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Neo-Modern Variation (B68)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-09-02  drukenknight: Game 20. Spassky plays another sicilian. why not 14 ...Nxd4?
Dec-09-02  PVS: 14...Nxd4 15. Bxb7 RaxB 16. Rxd2
Dec-10-02  drukenknight: I see what you are saying, black doesnt have to play it like that; he may be able to strip the white K of pawn protection; but I think white is fine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: I understand that this is the game that ended in a draw because Fischer claimed a repetition of position on moves 48, 50 and 54 -- although it was pointed out afterwards that the claim was invalid (on moves 48 and 50, white had just moved, while the position on move 54 occurred after black's move).
Feb-29-08  Knight13: <YouRang: I understand that this is the game that ended in a draw because Fischer claimed a repetition of position on moves 48, 50 and 54 -- although it was pointed out afterwards that the claim was invalid (on moves 48 and 50, white had just moved, while the position on move 54 occurred after black's move).> I thought it doesn't matter whose move it is; just that the position arives three times in a row.

Oh well it didn't seem like neither Black or White was making any progress.

Een vervelend spel!

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Hi <Knight13>.

<I thought it doesn't matter whose move it is; just that the position arives three times in a row.>

No, the rule is that the game can be declared a draw if same position(*) is about to occur for the 3rd time.

Note that the same position doesn't have to appear "three times in a row" (meaning 'on consecutive moves').

(*) It's important to understand what is meant by "same position". Of course, for two positions to be the same, the pieces must be placed exactly the same -- but this by itself is not sufficient. Even with the same arrangement of pieces, the two positions are NOT the same if:

- It's not the same player to move, OR

- The castling rights (for either side) are different, OR

- If an en-passant pawn capture is possible in one position but not in the other.

Feb-29-08  Knight13: <YouRang> Thanks for the clarification.
May-27-09  WhiteRook48: what a weird ending
Jun-20-09  DWINS: According to Robert Byrne in "Both Sides of the Chessboard", "Because of some vow, strategy or psychological consideration, Fischer was unwilling to reach a draw by offering it throughout the entire match."

Regarding the end of this game, he comments, "It was interesting how the draw was accomplished, when neither player could resort to the normal expedient of offering one. Bobby revealed his intention by calling over referee Lothar Schmid, and asking him, with a grin, 'Would you check the position to see if we have a three-time repetition?' He knew, of course, that there was none, and so did Spassky, but Boris got the message and agreed at once."

Feb-27-11  Tigranny: This wouldn't be a draw by repetition because the position would be different after 54...Nd4. It is the position that counts as a repetition, not the move.
Jul-20-12  blazerdoodle: It really doesn't matter, they both agreed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A heavyweight struggle typical of this phase of the match: Spassky gets some pressure in this ending, but not quite enough to squeeze more than the half point, after Fischer avoids his favourite 6.Bc4 against the Sicilian, as he had early on.
Jul-21-12  RookFile: Fischer may have trying to bait Spassky into overreaching himself.
Jul-29-12  Everett:   < RookFile: Fischer may have trying to bait Spassky into overreaching himself.>

Fischer may have pooped himself during this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: In the Oct 1995 issue of Chess Life, in the Evans on Chess column, S. Sample wrote that Spassky said he missed a simple win in his 20th match game. He then asked if so, what was it? Evans couldn't find a simple win for Spassky, and just included the game asking if any of the readers could find a win. Move 41 was the sealed move and the game was adjourned there. I don't think any computer found a win. Perhaps 48...Nf3 is an improvement for Black, but probably no win.
May-22-14  newzild: <wwall> Stockfish suggests that Black should play Nf3 at several points. White is forced to capture, after which Black has two connected passed pawns and Stockfish evaluates the position as -0.71. However, in my opinion this is a "computer" evaluation. My human eye tells me that White can build a fortress by playing c3 and oscillating his King between e1-f2-g1. I can't see any way for Black to make progress.
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