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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System Bernstein Defense (E56)  ·  1-0
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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer (1972)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 24 OF 24 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-29-14  asiduodiego: <Petrosianic> I think the fascination with this move is that it looks ugly. That's it. At first glance the gut reaction is "but g3 wins the bishop, duh" and it's right, but it's not that simple. In the end a nice lesson for beginners in the dangers of pawn grabbing.
Aug-29-14  Everett: <coldsweat: It seems to me that little has been said about what actually happened in this startling opening game>

More like you haven't read the thread thoroughly.

Aug-30-14  howian1: Fischer's B-h2 is one of the strangest moves in history, an obvious blunder quickly seen by even a rank amateur.

No one caculates quicker than a computer and we are amazed that complex combinations are quickly seen. Some say Fischer plays like a computer. Interestingly Fritz 12 does not see Bxh2 as a serious blunder even after 30 seconds of calculation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Petrosianac: It's probably one of the reasons Fischer couldn't keep playing, if every minor miscalculation was going to be treated like the bombing of Hiroshima.>

How in the world is that an over criticized blunder? If playing such a patzerish and deservedly criticized move caused Fischer to quit chess......Kramnik missed a mate in one, for crying out loud, and was correctly criticized for it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <coldsweat> With all due respect to Botvinnik, Game 13 is hardly qualified to be called the "highest creative achievement of Fischer"

After all, Spassky blundered away a simple draw at the end


Sep-20-14  ColeTrane: 29...Bxh2???????????
Sep-20-14  Sally Simpson: Sally Simpson: Fischer played a bad move no club player would play.

OK I'll give you that. Though it takes another 26, some of them very good moves by Spassky, to prove it. And yet I've seen so called club players make the same blunder under even more severe conditions, like having no Rook's pawn so they cannot even make an attempt to free the trapped Bishop.

On the other hand, Fischer played hundreds (nay thousands) of good moves that no club would ever play.

Let it go.

Sep-21-14  RookFile: Bxh2 is an error, but probably half the people criticizing Fischer think he didn't see g3. Of course he did. What he missed is a move a few moves down the road.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Sep-20-14 ColeTrane: 29...Bxh2???????????

<Sep-20-14 Sally Simpson: Sally Simpson: Fischer played a bad move no club player would play...>>

Wrong! Great players can get away with it:
Anand vs Carlsen, 2013
Carlsen played 18...Bx♙a2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <offramp> Yes, but Carlsen's bishop had an easily seen escape. Fischer's bishop didn't, except perhaps in Fischer's mind. You're not "getting away with anything" if there is nothing to get away from. Now, if Carlsen's bishop was truly trapped and it only got away through a blunder in Anand's part, that would be one thing, but that wasn't the case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <As the Czech Railways Chess Train rolled around central Europe this month, a veteran Grandmaster revealed the answer to one of chess' most baffling unsolved mysteries.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <MissScarlett> To hear Fischer tell it, he never made a chess blunder in his life. All the errors he made on the chessboard were on purpose.
Jan-21-15  G Kasparov: It wasn't 30.g3 that Fischer missed, it was 32.Kf3 that he missed. Fischer thought he would play 32.Kf1.


Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999

Jan-21-15  Petrosianic: It wasn't 32. Kf3 that he missed either.

The consensus at the time seemed to be that Fischer had counted on 30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 h4 32. Kf3 h3 34. Kg4 Bf1 35. Kxh3 Bxh2, but that he overlooked that White now has 36. Bd2!, keeping the Bishop trapped.

Jan-21-15  G Kasparov: MAYBE YOUR RIGHT!!


P Frazer vs Taubenhaus, 1888

Jan-24-15  Helmy: Does 31. Ke2 g5! Fischer forcing a draw?
Jan-24-15  DWINS: <Helmy: Does 31. Ke2 g5! Fischer forcing a draw?>

What is the point of 31...g5 and why do you give it an exclamation point? It does nothing to prevent Spassky from bringing his King to g2 and capturing Fischer's bishop.

Jan-24-15  SimonWebbsTiger: As noted before, possibly the best reference work on this endgame is chapter 8 of "Analysing the Endgame" by Jon Speelman (revised edition, Batsford 1988). Curiously, Jan Timman makes no mention of Speelman's work in the new edition of his book on the match. ("Fischer World Champion!", Euwe and Timman, New in Chess, 2002.)

31...g5 was not sufficient to draw.

Mar-26-15  maseras: Everybody thinks 29...Bxh2 is a bad move,but it's not.The real loser was 30...h5? After 30.g3, Fischer should play 30...Ke7!! Black shouldnt worry about his bishop.He cannot save it,Black should attack to the pawns. The threat is Kd6-c5xb5xa4. 31.Ke2 Kd6! 32.a4 Kc5 33.Bd2 Kc4! 34.Kf3 Kb3 35.a5 Kc4 36.b6 ab 37.ab Bg1! 38.Kg2 Bxf2 39.Kxf2 Kb5! and after Kxb6,Black has four pawns and White has two pawns in K-Side.This is draw.
Mar-27-15  Petrosianic: I'm not so sure you're right there. Just looking at it quickly, say something like

30. g3 Ke7 31. a4 Kd6 32. Ba3+ makes it hard for that king to penetrate. He can't play 32...Kd5, else 33. e4+ Ke5 34. f4 mate. And if the King retreats after Ba3+, he hasn't gained anything.

Mar-27-15  diceman: <maseras: Everybody thinks 29...Bxh2 is a bad move,but it's not.The real loser was 30...h5? After 30.g3, Fischer should play 30...Ke7!! Black shouldnt worry about his bishop.He cannot save it,Black should attack to the pawns. The threat is Kd6-c5xb5xa4. 31.Ke2 Kd6! 32.a4 Kc5 33.Bd2 Kc4! 34.Kf3 Kb3 35.a5 Kc4 36.b6 ab 37.ab Bg1! 38.Kg2 Bxf2 39.Kxf2 Kb5! and after Kxb6,Black has four pawns and White has two pawns in K-Side.This is draw.>

after ...31...Kd6 white can play
32.b6, after axb white goes for the trapped bishop.

If black brings his king to the queenside with can play Bd2 and Bb4 holding the queenside.

Mar-27-15  Petrosianic: Now, one bizarre line to look at is

30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 g5 32. Kf3 h4 33. Kg2 g4 34. Kxh2 h3

Black only gets one pawn for the Bishop, but White's king is pasted into the corner. I think I once looked at it and concluded that White could win by wiggling his King over to f1, putting the Bishop on g1, and using the tempos it provided to out-maneuver Black's king. White wins, but it's not fun.

For example, if Black goes aggressively after the Queenside, it might be something like:

30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 g5 32. Kf3 h4 33. Kg2 g4 34. Kxh2 h3 35. f3 f5 36. e4 Ke7 37. exf5 exf5 38. fxg4 fxg4 39. Kg1 Kd6 40. Be3 a6 41. bxa6 bxa6 42. Kf1 Kd5 43. Bg1 Kc4 44. Ke2 Kb3 45. Ke3 Kxa3 46. Kf4 a5 47. Kxg4 a4 48. Kxh3 Kb3 49. Bd4

And if he doesn't, he gradually gets pushed back.

Mar-27-15  Howard: To make sure we're all on the same page about something, 36.Kg4 would have only been good enough for a draw, correct? If I remember right, Kasparov's MGP states that it would have won, but the analysis wasn't very convincing, as I recall.
Mar-27-15  Petrosianic: I don't remember that analysis, but I think it's a draw after 36. Kg4, and that the losing move comes later.
Mar-28-15  Howard: According to Mueller's book, 36.Kg4 would only have drawn, and the losing move did indeed come a bit later.
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