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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"Siege in Siegen" (game of the day Dec-20-06)
Siegen ol final (1970)  ·  Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Classical Variation (D86)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-06-11  fab4: Great quote by Turgenev BTW !
Aug-05-11  DrMAL: 34...Rd8 (34...Qb6 possibly draws) was surely losing.

From here, both sides played correctly until 37...Rd6 (instead of 37...Qd6 or 37...Qd6) another blunder lost much faster. Spassky found the two moves to show it (39...Kxf8 40.Qh8+ Kf7 41.Qxh7+ Kf8 42.Nxc7) Brilliant play!

Aug-05-11  DrMAL: After 34...Qb6 it's a very hard endgame to win if at all.

Playing it out I got 35.Qxb6 axb6 36.Rd1 Rd8 37.Rc1 Nc4 38.Re1 Rd3 39.Re8+ Kg7 40.Re7+ Kf8 41.Rxh7 Rg3+ 42.Kh2 Ra3 43.h4 Rxa2+

click for larger view

From here, with some computer help to make sure, 44.Kg3 Ra3+ 45.Kf2 Ra2+ 46.Kf3 Ra3+ 47.Ke4 Nd6+ 48.Kd5 Nf5 49.h5 Rd3+ 50.Kc6 gxh5 51.Kxb5 Ne7 52.Kc4 Rd1 53.Nxh5 Rc1+ 54.Kd3

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From here it seems to be a draw.

Jan-03-12  Volmac: After 22...b5
" I decided to complicate the game and activate the knight to e4 through sacrifice of the d pawn. After the game Grandmaster Najdorf told me that Fischer didn't have to accept the offer, but simply play 23...Rf8. I had seen myself that Black would have kept his positional advantage with the moves 23...Rf8 24 Nc5 Rae8. But I was without doubt that Fischer would capture the d4 pawn. I had know for a long time that the American Grandmaster very much liked to have extra pawns." [Spassky]
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a photo of the game. Look at the huge crowd straining to get a glimpse!

Nov-12-12  ChessYouGood: Fischer outclassed
Nov-12-12  Paraconti: Spassky had simply too much confidence and calmness as the new world champ to get rattled by Fischer's overpress for the advantage.
Mar-27-13  Jadoubious: "Here is the scorecard from this game. Compare Fischer's wild script with Spassky's fine penmanship:"

Also note that Fischer's record is in DESCRIPTIVE.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: It was deep play, Fischer appeared to have a tactic but Spassky saw further into the position on this occasion.
Jun-28-13  csmath: <Spassky had simply too much confidence and calmness as the new world champ to get rattled by Fischer's overpress for the advantage.>

I think this is one of the best played games in that time, truly a contest of champions. Up to Fischer's sequence of errors starting with 30th move, probably due to lack of time it is not that Fischer is pressing for advantage but that they are discussing the position where white has a powerful game but black has good active defence.

It is the game of giants not some coffee house play.

Fischer play is a classic positional defence seeking dynamic initiative learned from Smyslov (game with Gligoric in 1959) while it is exactly Spassky that is very creative and aggressive here (moves 16. g4 and 23. Ne4 and 27. Ne4).

It is one of the most analized game of that time, certainly a model play for many to come.

Jun-28-13  csmath: I can add correction to mistake in Kasparov's analysis.

He wrote that black would not be saved by 34. ...Qb6 and quoted

35. Qxb6 axb6
36. Rd1 Rd8
37. Kg2 Rd4
38. Re1 Kg7
39. Re7+ Kf8
40. Rb7 Rxf4
41. Nxh7+ Kf8
42. Nf6+ Kf8
43. Nd7+ Ke7

but 43. ...Ke7? very natural move is a grave mistake

Black should simply play

43. ... Ke8

and it is now not entirely visible how would white win this.

For example

44. Nf6 Kf8
45. Rxb6 Ra4! to eliminate a-pawn

which leaves white in a very difficult ending to win. It would surely be a good test ending for both.

Jul-27-13  Tigranny: This is definitely an underrated game from Spassky; even though he lost to Fischer in '72, he was still his toughest opponent, especially before the match.
Jul-27-13  DoctorD: It might be underrated today, but before the match, it was widely cited as one reason Fischer would not beat Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Not hard to imagine that Spassky put a lot of prep work into the Gruenfeld for the '72 match. Fischer had genius by not going anywhere near that and other lines that might have been predicted for him (with the exception of the Najdorf Sicilian - Fischer figured he knew that better than anyone.)
Jul-28-13  JoergWalter: <Tigranny: This is definitely an underrated game from Spassky; even though he lost to Fischer in '72, he was still his toughest opponent, especially before the match.>

To make it clear, I admire both players. But I think it is sad that Spassky is often just remembered or labelled as the guy who lost the title to Fischer. There is so much to be learned from his games and I just recalled that Fischer's opening in the spectacular first game of the 1992 rematch was an opening Spassky introduced in a game with Unzicker.

Jan-02-14  Tigranny: <JoergWalter> Exactly. Spassky, being one of my favorite players, should be labelled more for his style of play that was universal over the board and his ability to crush Fischer if he could, not just his losses in the matches. :)
Apr-14-14  Everett: <RookFile: Not hard to imagine that Spassky put a lot of prep work into the Gruenfeld for the '72 match. Fischer had genius by not going anywhere near that and other lines that might have been predicted for him (with the exception of the Najdorf Sicilian - Fischer figured he knew that better than anyone.)>

That's not genius, that's common sense. Like in the last WC, Anand knew he should avoid the Berlin Ruy vs Carlsen... Um... Wait a minute...

Mar-19-15  karthick2229: Why not 10. d*c5 kindly anyone help me.
Mar-19-15  Petrosianic: Why would you want to? It weakens the center, doubles white's pawns, and makes Black's KB stronger, all to win a pawn that in the end, can't be held anyway.
Mar-19-15  sfm: Shoot, what a game, always on the edge.
Cute ending.
May-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: If I could choose the kind of chess player I would be, Boris Spassky would get the honour.

His level of psychology and ingenious play will continue to inspire MANY generations to come. To me, he is the representation of ideal chess player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <We were in the fifth hour. He was lost, ruined, not a chance! I knew it, he knew it. But he sat there—almost an hour!—calculating, calculating, calculating! Inside he was screaming. He was pale, like a dead man, but this force was going through him like millions of volts. I could feel it smashing and smashing at me across the board. Well, it had an effect, I can tell you that. Five or ten minutes—all right. But an hour! In the end, I was the one screaming inside. When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive> - Boris Spassky after defeating Bobby Fischer at the Siegen Olympiad in 1970.
Apr-03-16  The Kings Domain: This was one of the first games I played and studied. I saw a photo of the two playing this game in an encyclopedia and had the good fortune to come across the game's notation shortly afterwards. Fischer probably had to buoy up his confidence in the '72 match - considering he had never beaten Spassky and with games like this.

GrahamClayton: That's a great photo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: 23...Bxd4 is surprising because the d4 pawn is an ugly pawn for white, and it's not going anywhere. Black could have just strengthened his position first. Of course, these guys are a much higher level of play than we are. Spassky's attack was amazing from this point forward.
May-17-16  Albion 1959: And to think that this was only their 5th encounter in a ten year span since 1960. Only five games !! It would have been interesting to see how many other high quality games they would have produced had they played more often, when you consider what was to follow at Reykjavik two years later:
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