Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

register now - it's free!
Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)  ·  Uncommon Opening (A00)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

find similar games 55 more Fischer/Spassky games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: All games have a Kibitzer's Corner provided for community discussion. If you have a question or comment about this game, register a free account so you can post there.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I don't see what the big deal is: This is a standard dual zugzwang position resulting in a simultaneous pure stalemate. Greco explained all this 385 years ago
Feb-09-13  ounos: With Fischer's pieces stuck on the back row, defeat was inevitable (and it is surprising he survived as long as he did, honestly). One should also highlight Spassky's excellent positional play which rendered the usually formidable bishops of Fischer to ineffective bystanders, for the larger part of the game.
Mar-26-13  engineerX: White did not even have a chance to complete his development.
Mar-26-13  tacticalmonster: The GREATEST sacrifice of all time! Spassky was so amazed at the depth of this sacrifice ( Fischer sacrificed all 16 pieces ) that he went on to lose game 3,5,6,8 and 10!
Mar-27-13  HeMateMe: It was a cell phone forfeit. Bob got a call at his jail cell, in Tokyo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: In Effect Bobby gave Boris a two game start just like his Romantic era heroes did in the 19th c and he still won the match with ease.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <harry> I agree w/ ya but...Boris wanted the $.
Jul-12-13  TheFocus: And Spassky and Fischer both became millionaires from the 1992 match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <TheFocus> right...thanks to Bobby!
Aug-11-13  ndg2: Haha, some link about "win despite flawless play by both sides" led me here. I needed 4 or 5 clicks on the right arrow to get the joke.
Aug-11-13  PaulLovric: I have the feeling that this was done on purpose, does anyone else?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<harrylime> If he chooses to just ignore and walk away well the whole town is watching and his reputation will be irredeemably tarnished..>

Except that if Spassky had refused to go along with Fischer's new demands for the 3rd game (no cameras, no audience, etc.) I think that Fischer would have either:

(a) Given up on his demands and played the 3rd game

(b) Refuse to play and forfeit the 3rd game and show up for the 4th game, down 3-0.

(c) Forfeited the 3rd game, go home, and forfeited the match.

You're the Fischer expert, what do you think Fischer would have done? Given that, once made, Fischer seldom agreed to withdraw his demands, that he was reticent to go to Reykjavik in the first place, and that he was likely willing to sacrifice his possible world championship in 1972 (as he started to do by not playing in the qualifying US Championship in 1969 and as he later did in 1975), I would think (c).

In that case it would have been Fischer who walked away while the whole, not town but world, was watching and it would have been Fischer's reputation which would have been irredeemably tarnished.

Or, the match organizers could have gone along with Fischer's demands and insisted that Spassky played according to these new conditions. At that point Spassky could have refused to play, gone home, and forfeited the world championship. Fischer would have been crowned world champion on the basis of a 1-2 score against the defending world champion. Do you think that would have been an acceptable situation for everyone, including Fischer? Spassky would have said, as Fischer said after 1975, "Sure, Fischer is the world champion. Except that he never defeated me." Except that in this case Spassky's statement could have been taken literally.

In case anyone is interested in the many details of the Spassky Fischer 1972 match, particularly the problems that the match organizers and the Icelandic government faced, pick up a copy of "Bobby Fischer Goes to War", 2004, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<PaulLovric> I have the feeling that this was done on purpose, does anyone else?>

I don't know. But it is a known fact that Fischer was an admirer of Steinitz and studied his games. In both his world championship matches with Tchigorin in 1889 and 1892 Steinitz lost the first game of the match and yet went on to win the match. Maybe Steinitz also did that on purpose and so this approach could be called the "Steinitz Match Gambit".

So maybe Fischer decided to try the same thing except that he decided to "improve" on the Steinitz Match Gambit by losing the first 2 games. And he might have thought that making an apparent mistake in the 2nd game along the lines of 29...Bxh2 in the 1st game might have led people to believe that he was deliberately throwing games to Spassky, so he decided to try a different approach to losing the 2nd game. After all, he had already convinced himself of the desirability of varying his openings, why not his losing approach? ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Many inexperienced amateurs suppose that in the starting position you cannot form a plan of action that is even comparatively realistic, given that the position is highly complex and that whatever move White makes, Black can answer it in a whole variety of ways.
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: Panno Defence.
Jan-19-14  LIFE Master AJ: Spassky threatened to force Fischer to play the "Fred" defense.

Fischer resigned rather than be subjected to such humiliation.

Jan-19-14  john barleycorn: Read somewhere that Fischer thought Spassky is a better player than him "not much better but better". But he also knew Spassky's wellknown weaknesses - being lazy and tending to overestimate himself.

So scorewise he put Spassky at ease in the first 2 games and went for trouble making of the board making him look a bit desperate... Then he killed Spassky virtually in games 3 - 12. Spassky recovered later and holded Fischer to many draws but never got in the right fighting mood.

Of course, all my speculation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fred: 1) I need to learn to resign sooner; from this same final position I have played on and on, sometimes 40 or more moves deep, to no avail.>

So have the rest of us--fools that we are, we keep coming back.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: It sure is an uncommon opening.
Apr-22-14  RedShield: <Empty Chairs at Empty Tables>

Aug-28-14  javacertified: I don't get it: from the final position, what would Black have done if White had played 1. e4?
Aug-28-14  RookFile: He would have asked how it was possible for Fischer to reach the e pawn from his hotel room.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sreeskamp: One of the few world champ games which will be remembered 100 years from now.
Dec-02-14  Petrosianic: <I don't get it: from the final position, what would Black have done if White had played 1. e4?>

White's game would have been in its last throes. -- Breyer

Jan-11-15  GoldenBird: An incredible positional game by Spassky, but restricting and cramping white, he gains a large space advantage and makes no active posts for white's minor and major pieces.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 5)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>

Daily puzzles, news, and more!
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
"A master stroke by Fischer to upset Spassky's equanimity"
from Psychology and Mind games in chess by addiction to chess
Game 2, Spassky leads 2-0
from 1972 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
Round 2
from WCC Index [Fischer-Spassky 1972] by Hesam7
Games That Need Not Be in the Database
by Necessary Truths
Match Spassky!
by amadeus
The infamous Danailov-Topalov gambit
by Alphastar
Favorite one (or zero) move games
by atrick
Shortest World Championship "Game"
from Cabinet of Curiosities by Bubo bubo
Match Fischer!
by amadeus
A boring championship match
from Nothing moved at all! by D.Observer
Fischer's tantrum leaves him 0 and 2. Was he faking?
from Off-Board Shenanigans by Nasruddin Hodja
Who caught the sickness this time? Chess star?
from Shortest games ever in the history of chess by kevins55555
by rsl
Fisher vs. Spassky 1972 Championship
by Pianoplayer
WCC: Fischer- Spassky 1972
by WCC Editing Project
Game collection: a
by P KKt sq
Fischer vs the World Champions Decisive Games
by visayanbraindoctor
Game 2
from Spassky-Fischer Match 1972 by FischerSpasskyGuy
favorite games
by W O C E
from The "worst" players of all time by echector
plus 3 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies