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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 5, Jul-20
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Huebner Variation. Main Line (E41)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-01-17  RookFile: The one minor annoyance for black is that b6 needs to be defended. The queen would rather be attacking. Black can address that by trotting his king over to the queenside - let's say a7 - and then the queen and pawns and powerful knight can press forward on the kingside. As you can imagine, this may take 15 moves to implement, but it is a clear plan.
Jan-01-17  DrGridlock: Noting all the positional features:

(i) there is one passed pawn in the game - and it is White's d-pawn.

(ii) Black's b-pawn can never advance.

(iii) Black has a pawn majority on the kingside, but it's not clear how he can ever create a passed-pawn out of that: he can advance either his g-pawn or his h-pawn, but say he advances his g-pawn to g3. White does not exchange, but advances his h-pawn to h-3, and the pawn structure is locked.

(iv) If White has a weak e-pawn, black's e-pawn is equally weak. With two bishops, White will always have one bishop to defend his e-pawn, and one to attack black's e-pawn. Black is very in the squares from which his bishop can attack White's e-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <tamar....Had Fischer chosen to play in 75, he would have had to revamp all his openings, because his ideas, while new, had flaws that came to light when countless masters experimented with them....>

The reason Fischer switched openings and adopted new ones in 1972 was his respect for the Soviet analytical team and their capabilities, much as he loathed their methods--he was fortunate to hold the game played before this, and never again adopted the variation employed in that game.

Jan-01-17  RookFile: Let's think schematically, like Capa used to do. Let's just magically pick black's king up and put it on c7. (c7 might be preferable to a7 to ensure white's d pawn isn't going anywhere.)

We'll just assume a position that looks like this, after both sides have shifted wood:

click for larger view

I let Stockfish run for a couple of minutes, it's showing an advantage of roughly -0.5 to -0.6 for black. Apparently, the first committment by black (crossing the equator) is the move ...g4.

Jan-01-17  DrGridlock: <Rookfile>

If I run Komodo on your position, I get this line:

... h5
Bf2 Qf6
h3 g4
hxg4 Bxg4
Bxg4 hxg4

New game

click for larger view

Which Komodo evaluates as -.07.

Note that Black's pawn majority on the king-side has been converted to two doubled pawns on the g-file, opposed by White's single pawn on the g-file. None of these pawns are going anywhere in an endgame.

Sometimes, more important than an evaluation in these positions is an examination of the continuation. Does have Black have a line which advances towards a winning position?

In my mind, the key to finding winning chances for Black are two:

(i) attack and win White's e-pawn

(ii) convert black's king-side pawn majority into a passed pawn.

Unless someone can demonstrate a line which advances one of those two strategic goals, I'll have a hard time believing that Black, "is winning" after 27 Qb1

Jan-02-17  alphamaster: I think the right plan is to attack the e pawn with 3 pieces when White can defend it with only two. Maybe Black must bring his Knight at d6 to attack both weak pawns and of course his King at Queen side. Anyway Black must not exchange his strong Bishop for White's bad bishop. So Kommodo's plan is wrong. According to Fischer this was his best game in the match.
Jan-02-17  ZonszeinP: Spassky wasn't his own self in the first half of this match. Something similar happened to him against Kochnoi in 1977. He was never ready to play against players who started the battle even before the first move was made on the board
Jan-02-17  RookFile: It's a miserable position for white. Black is the one making the plans, white just gets to react to them. It may not be lost for white but black is definitely the one playing for the win.
Jan-02-17  ZonszeinP: 11-f4 is an ambitious move..
A novelty at the time
Jan-02-17  RookFile: Yep. Perfectly logical too - let's open the position for the two bishops and all. ...Ng6 was terrific by Fischer.
Jan-03-17  ZonszeinP: Yes!
Strong and (I understand) played almost instantly
Mar-30-17  Vyrak: Would you like to tell me, an ignorant, why is Ba4 winning
Mar-31-17  ZZpatzer: <Vyrak> if Qxa4, then 28...Qxe4 and mate soon after. if 28. Qd2, then 28...Bxd1 29. Qxd1 Qxe4 29. Qd2 Nd3 with -5.15 according to Shredder
Apr-09-17  ZonszeinP: This game is a typical example in this match,
That Spassky was not playing at his normal level
Aug-28-17  seriyvolk911: What if were 28.Bh5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <seriyvolk911: What if were 28.Bh5?> 28..Bxc2 29 Bxg6 Nxg6 and black is a piece ahead.
Sep-30-17  ewan14: 1977 - How did Korchnoi start the battle against Spassky before a game was played ?

By defecting?

Jul-07-18  Justin796: In my eyes Fischer was not a true champion...just a fluke that happened when Spassky gave in to pressure, antics, and Fischer's childlike demands. If you never defended your championship, you are not a true champion!
Jul-07-18  ZonszeinP: Whereas Spassky, Tal, Korchnoi, Petrosian and others kept playing up to the last breath
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <ZonszeinP: Whereas Spassky, Tal, Korchnoi, Petrosian and others kept playing up to the last breath>

Spassky's ALIVE!

Jul-08-18  ZonszeinP: And hopefully for a long time.
But, he is not playing anymore
Jul-27-18  Albion 1959: The shortest game of this celebrated match. Curious as to why Spassky on his 4th move played Nf3 instead of his pet move Bg5? He had a lot success with this, but for some reason could not bring himself to use it at Reykjavik. This game is almost akin to game three, Spassky playing white, rooks are exchanged as he drifts into a passive position. Then Fischer hurls a thunderbolt to force Spassky to resign! On move 26, could Spassky have not done better with Qf3+ or even g3, to prevent Nf4? As for Qc2??, even a cheap computer would have played Bxa4! And yet the World Champion missed it! Had he played Qb1 instead, it is evident that Fischer stands better, but just exactly how would he have won? Spassky has work to do in order to get the draw, but the consensus is that black is winning, but I don't believe it is that straight forward, or am I missing something?
Aug-05-18  ZonszeinP: Spassky's worse game ever. a World Championship

He probably felt "guilty" for having won a point without a fight on the 2nd game

That was the decisive game of this match.

Aug-05-18  RookFile: I don't think 11. f4 is a guilty move. It is a sign of ambition, Spassky was hoping for a crushing victory.
Aug-06-18  Amarande: 28 Qb1 Bxd1 29 Qxd1 Qxe4 and now -

A. 30 Qf3 Qxe1+ and wins bluntly.

B. 30 Qd2 Qe2, forces the exchange of Queens and Black wins the ending easily.

C. (perhaps my favorite!) 30 Kf2 Qxg2+ 31 Ke3 a4!! White is completely helpless!

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