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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 1, Jul-11
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 37 OF 37 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The critical moment of the game.

In the position after 39.b6 Fischer missed the last chance to hold the draw:

click for larger view

39f5? was the decisive mistake.

The drawing method was explained above by <RandomVisitor>: with the kingside pawns off the board, the following position is drawn: White - King any, Bishop any, Pawns a5 and b6; Black Kc8, Pawns a6 and b7.

The following drawing line has been usually suggested:

39e5 40.Kg4 g6

click for larger view

Here, the following lines have been analysed:

41.a5 leads, by transposition, to the line suggested by <RandomVisitor> (39g6 40.a5 e5 41.Kg4)

41.Be7 Kxe3 42.Bxf6 Kd4

Apr-26-16  QueensideCastler: <jnpope> is your <tree> soon verified?
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <<jnpope> is your <tree> soon verified?>

Unknown. There are still too many active branches. I'll keep you posted. This should end up being a proof by exhaustion (of the FinalGen unresolved lines). Between Rybka 4.1 x64, the FinalGen tablebase and the Lomonosov EGTB this should eventually get "solved".

The ChessBase tree is only the unresolved lines in FinalGen. All definitive wins and draws are truncated with a note; remaining best candidate lines via Rybka eval are bubbled to the top and then played out until they merge to definitive FinalGen positions or hit 7 pieces for an EGTB resolution, otherwise Rybka keeps making best line suggestions, etc.

Sort of tedious, but fascinating in a way...

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Well, a proof of a draw will be by exhaustion of the FinalGen unresolved lines. All it takes is a single forcing line for White to demonstrate the counter...
Jul-22-16  garland: Spassky vs Krogius, 1958 Beyond a doubt the source game for the whole Ba5-Bb6 idea. The different move here is 14... Bd7 based on the simple but strong idea of attacking the rook on 15. Bxf6. This was probably part of Bobby's preparation for this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Gligoric mentions that Fischer had "the red book" (all of Spassky's games), so that one would be in it. I'm sure the Spassky vs. Krogius game was very much on Fischer's mind in preparing 14....Bd7!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <RookFile> I suspect that by the time of the 1972 match that Fischer was more familiar with Spassky's games than Spassky was.
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  AylerKupp: <jnpope> How is the search going? I hope that you are still sufficiently fascinated to continue to investigate FinalGen's unresolved lines.
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  RookFile: I forget where I heard this from, but Fischer also played over all the Steinitz vs. Chigorin games. He figured that Spassky was like Chigorin, and he was like Steinitz.
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  HeMateMe: I've learned that I'm like NN.
Aug-08-16  QueensideCastler: Bg1 Novelty ⁉

click for larger view

1... h5 2. Ke2 w♔ need to support kingside pawns. (2. Ke4 Transposition) 2... h4 3. Kf3 Bg1N 4. Kg2 Bxf2 5. Kxf2 hxg3+ 6. Kxg3 a6 Stockfish assesses this position as +4.24 | Fortress draw. *

click for larger view

Oct-15-16  bobbyperez: 39...e5! is the only way to seal the draw.

There was a debate that was happening between grandmasters if 36.Kg4 Ke5 37.Kh5's a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <AylerKupp: <jnpope> How is the search going? I hope that you are still sufficiently fascinated to continue to investigate FinalGen's unresolved lines.>

Have no fear. I'm still plugging away at it (as I find time). I'm still interested in solving it, but this isn't a simple solution (obviously, otherwise someone would have done it by now!).

Mar-14-17  Howard: Any updates as to whether Fischer's position was indeed lost after 29...Bxh2?!
Mar-14-17  QueensideCastler: "Any updates as to whether Fischer's position was indeed lost after 29...Bxh2?!"

There is no indications that white is winning after (29...Bxh2)

After 30. g3 ->

30...h5 draw.

30...Ke7 draw with computer play.

30...a6 can also force draw with computer play, even though 30...h5 is more forcing.

Mar-16-17  Howard: The position after 29...Bxh2 is considerably more complicated than what your brief analysis implies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Howard: Any updates as to whether Fischer's position was indeed lost after 29...Bxh2?!>

Does it matter? It's like pointing out that many of Tal's sacrifices were unsound. If they posed problems that couldn't be solved during the game, then that was their point. If they were solved 40 years later, he wouldn't care.

In this case, Bxh2 presented Fischer with problems he couldn't solve during the game.

Mar-16-17  QueensideCastler: Howard: My analysis is forced and the result is fortress draw.

Please show me how white can prevent that fortress formation to be created.

The easiest path to draw is in that line i posted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: You didn't actually present any analysis, only referred to it (Stockfish says...). The issue won't be solved with vague assurances, especially after 40 years, and, as pointed out, computer analysis obtained decades later is irrelevant anyway to understanding how the game should have turned out.
Mar-18-17  QueensideCastler: It looks like Komodo 10.4 add more insight into this complex endgame.

I have to withdraw my draw claim, after analysis with Komodo 10.4 (released 14th march) Komodo demonstrate black wins in the variation i posted. So not everything is verified 100% yet.

8...e5 is a losing blunder.

8...Kd6 seems to hold the position together.

click for larger view

Komodo sees no breakthrough if pawn on e3 is captured instead of g3.

click for larger view

Mar-18-17  pth: <HeMateMe: I've learned that I'm like NN.> NN's longevity is impressive :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Possibly the world's worst ever famous chess game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp: Possibly the world's worst ever famous chess game.>

One thing sure: it is one of the most over-kibitzed. I count 32 pages; there are doubtless more. (laughs)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I am up to 34 pages. Some all-time great games have half as many.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <offramp: I still find it incredible that this, the <worst> game of the 1972 match, should have attracted so much analysis. It reminds me of the War Between the Little-Endians and the Big-Endians. Such a vast amount of wasted, directionless effort, turning cucumbers into sunlight, then back into cucumbers. <If one has a computer that is doing @#$%-all, then let it do some work on astronomy, or cancer research, not piss-arsing around on the worst game of Fischer's last-ever serious event.

He might be a fisher of men but he is not God.>

I approve the reference to one of my favourite books, Gulliver's travels, a great satire. But I got interested in this as it has always been known as an error or a blunder. I think that Fischer did miscalculate but it seems on my computer that if he had played after g3 then Ke7 to centralise the K and then give up the B at the right time that the pundits at the time were wrong and it is interesting as it reflects on the psychology and the events leading up to the match. I thought that even as it went, playing it today, Fischer came close to coming back into the game. It is an example of resilience but that said I think Fischer was shocked by his move. Mind you Carlsen "did a Fischer" against Anand but got away with it...

But Fischer certainly wasn't a God. He is America's Chess God. He is an enigma....sometimes I hate him with a vengeance and sometimes his fate, his life, all of it makes me cry...he was an incredible person and possibly the greatest at the time: he is certainly one of the greatest chess players...

All the rest argues the futility of chess itself...after all even if we cure cancer what then, there will be some other misery and Swift showed that in his book as with those people who were growing backwards...the satire was against scientists and I think science over fact all science does is to describe things: the deep questions are never answered and never will be. That leaves philosophy and religion which I think are both is a constant struggle and like music or art or any hobby or even sex or whatever, dabbling with computers to investigate this strange game in perhaps the most dramatically bizzarre chess match ever is as good as anything...

But I can also see your anger....

That said is it really his "worst game"? For the patzers it's his best in a way...sure the games he won games which (those paradoxically with the QGD and indeed also with the Benoni) were more beautiful and probably more sound...although in the Tartakower Def game Spassky played a move he was told probably wasn't the best before the game: but what I find very moving apart from the beauty of that game is that Spassky applauded Fischer...that was wonderful!....

Now when he told us, when we asked about Fischer, that "I love Fischer" it was sincere and one understands well. In the movie 'Pawn Sacrifice' the question of who his father was and Spassky's insight that in a sense he feared winning is a brilliant point...

I think that in a strange way Spassky felt that he wasn't just facing a chess genius (he was or is one also in his own way) but that the man was extraordinary...the move Bxh7 while an error has the nature of, I don't know, something intangible...something like a Swiss Gambit, something quite strange...of course fatigue and so on and the noise etc that affected him were factors also but there was that extra factor....

Fischer to paraphrase Auden on Yeats: 'Was hurt into madness'

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