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Fischer vs Spassky 1972
The Match of the Century

The name Bobby Fischer, at least to Americans, is synonymous with chess. A prodigy in the 50s, a world class player in the 60s, the 70s saw Fischer at his pinnacle. He earned the right to challenge Boris Spassky in a title run without comparison, defeating Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen with perfect scores of 6-0, and ex-champion Petrosian 6½-2½. Now the stage was set, and the only thing standing between Fischer and Spassky was Fischer himself.

 Fischer vs Spassky 1972
 Fischer vs Spassky, 1972
The match was mired in political overtones, during the height of the Cold War. The Soviet chess system had a monopoly on the title since 1948, and the expectations on Spassky were enormous. While Fischer studied chess virtually in seclusion, Spassky had the full resources of the USSR. Victor Baturinsky, head of Soviet Chess Sports Committee, said: "Basically, the Soviet leadership and the powers that be in sport, were interested in just one issue: how to stop Fischer from becoming World Champion."[1]

With the match set to begin in Reykjavik, Iceland, Fischer (who had not signed any documents confirming his participation) began to make a number of demands, including a percentage of television rights, a larger prize fund, and all manner of conditions covering everything from the lighting to the chair cushions. To satisfy Bobby's demands of a larger prize fund, British chess promoter James Slater donated a dazzling $125,000 to be added to the prize fund. Fischer still needed more convincing by Bill Lombardy (Fischer's last-minute choice as second), and one famously persuasive telephone call from Henry Kissinger. Mere hours before he would be forfeited, Fischer arrived in Iceland.

On July 11th, the "Match of the Century" had begun. Whether it was a blunder, or a passion to win at all costs, the first game saw Fischer uncharacteristically lose a simple drawn endgame. Game 2 was awarded to Spassky by forfeit when Fischer failed to appear in a dispute over the presence of cameras in the playing hall.

With the score 2-0 in Spassky's favor, Fischer refused to play unless TV cameras were removed from the playing hall. Only a last minute agreement by Spassky to play away from the cameras permitted the third game to be held. This turned out to be a huge psychological mistake by Spassky. In game 3, in a small room backstage, Fischer beat Spassky for the first time in his life. The games then returned to the main stage, but without cameras. Winning again in games 5, 6, 8, and 10 the Fischer juggernaut had become unstoppable.

On September 3, 1972, Robert James Fischer became the 11th World Chess Champion.

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112131415161718192021
Fischer001½11½1½10½1½½½½½½½1
Spassky110½00½0½01½0½½½½½½½0

FINAL SCORE:  Fischer 12½;  Spassky 8½
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Fischer-Spassky 1972]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #6     Fischer vs Spassky, 1972     1-0
    · Game #13     Spassky vs Fischer, 1972     0-1
    · Game #5     Spassky vs Fischer, 1972     0-1

FOOTNOTES

  1. Clash of the Titans, television documentary, BBC
    2The Match of the Century, Wikipedia

 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Spassky vs Fischer 1-0561972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchE56 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6
2. Fischer vs Spassky 0-101972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchA00 Uncommon Opening
3. Spassky vs Fischer 0-1411972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchA61 Benoni
4. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½451972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
5. Spassky vs Fischer 0-1271972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchE41 Nimzo-Indian
6. Fischer vs Spassky 1-0411972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchD59 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower
7. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½491972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Fischer vs Spassky 1-0371972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchA39 English, Symmetrical, Main line with d4
9. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½291972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
10. Fischer vs Spassky 1-0561972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
11. Spassky vs Fischer 1-0311972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½551972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Spassky vs Fischer 0-1741972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
14. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½401972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½431972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
16. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½601972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
17. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½451972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
18. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½471972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB69 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 11.Bxf6
19. Spassky vs Fischer ½-½401972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
20. Fischer vs Spassky ½-½541972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7
21. Spassky vs Fischer 0-1411972Spassky - Fischer World Championship MatchB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 34 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<carpovius: <areknames: Fischer was arguably the strongest player of all time.> Oh, really?? Millions chess fans will object and provide a long list of much more stronger world Champions and chess talents.

The essential facts are:1) Fisher after gaining the title stopped to play at high level; 2) He was the only WC who did so. All others WCs after crowning continued to play and winning tournament after tournament and proving that they're #1 in the world; 3) Instead Fisher behaved like a chicken not a WC.>>

Itz not millions lol lol

Itz you. You clearly have issues with Bobby.

Jun-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <carpovious> Millions chess fans will object and provide a long list of much more stronger world Champions and chess talents.>

I'm sure that, given that Fischer did not play at all after he became chess champion, that millions of chess fans could provide a list of much stronger <world champions> (not a long list, there simply weren't that many world champions). Given that Fischer didn't play any games after becoming world champion, he would have to be placed at the bottom of the list.

But I doubt that if all chess fans in the history of the world could be polled that a <long> list of much stronger chess <talents> than Fischer could be generated. How many could you name and what would be your criteria for including a player on this list? Who besides possibly Capablanca, Morphy, and (maybe) Tal would you include on that list? Keep in mind that we're now talking pure <talent>, not a combination of talent, hard work, and (necessarily) a certain amount of luck. As far as the latter I would think that perhaps we might consider Karpov to be the best player of all time if Kasparov had not existed. And, of course, Karpov could also be considered lucky that Fischer decided to effectively retire when he did, otherwise Karpov's reign as a world champion would likely have been delayed.

Jun-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<harrylime> You clearly have issues with Bobby.>

Don't we all. If we didn't, we wouldn't be posting on this page. Unless, of course, we also had issues with Spassky. :-)

Jun-29-20  carpovius: <AylerKupp: How many could you name and what would be your criteria for including a player on this list?>

You listed almost all whom I meant. Offhand. I would add WCs Alekhine, Spassky, Kramnik and Anand; great chess talents Nezhmetdinov, Bronstein, Geller, Stein, Larsen, Morozevich... Of course my criteria is subjective and polemic but in case of Fisher they are not :-)

Jun-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZonszeinP: Korchnoi! Bronstein!

They had the "courage" never to become world champions In order to keep they thirt for chess and art intact!

Real love of the game!!

Who needs a "title" anyway

What we need is art!

Human nature is very complicated

Do you really think that Bronstein "missed" that "knight move" on the 22nd game????

He didn't

Or, he did!

But because he had to!

Who needs a champion who then stops playing???

Jun-30-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Do you really think that Bronstein "missed" that "knight move" on the 22nd game????>

You're thinking of the sixth game. And yes, he missed it. And yes, you're a colossal bore.

Jun-30-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZonszeinP: It's funny

I started to read this comment with great interest After the first second of reading
I started to think about that 6 game

But suddenly I reached the second comment
And was surprised because
I never (ever!) attack or diminish anybody here (or anywhere else for that matter) personally. And never will!

But then I thought
"It's ok, that's the problem with internet, I need to get use to it"

And anyway:
I will always prefer to be a "colosal bore" than an ignorant troll

Jun-30-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: First of all, it's <carpovius>...if my eyesight doesn't continue to betray me, it's funny because I've also read that name as <carpoviRus> many times in the past.

It's also funny I actually noticed the correct username of <carpovius> only after <Coronavirus> broke out.

It's also not <carpovious> :)

Maybe a little <carpovicious>? ;)

Jul-01-20  carpovius: Yet another funny troll))
Jul-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As opposed, of course, to humourless trolls.

<jith1207> is neither.

I pulled the same faux pas, only with <HeMateMe>'s handle--at first I misread it as <HeHateMe>.

Jul-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Lasker was a world champion seemingly forever ... but how far did he alone push chess forwards ???

Capa arguably pushed chess along much further , and yet was not the World Champion for most of that time ...

Bobby pushed chess further forward than any other player before or since.

Bobby revolutionzed chess.He changed chess for good. He became the internet for chess before there was a chess base .

Jul-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <harrylime> OK, I'll bite. I know that I will hate myself for asking, but <EXACTLY> how did Fischer push chess forward and how did he revolutionize it?
Jul-01-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<AylerKupp: <harrylime> OK, I'll bite. I know that I will hate myself for asking, but <EXACTLY> how did Fischer push chess forward and how did he revolutionize it?>>

Thing is loike . If Youve gotta ask this loike. Just embarrassing loike.

Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess.

Jul-03-20  carpovius: <Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess.>

Wow! Till now I believed that Fisher was a human being 🤔 Thanks for correction.

Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: "If you gotta ask, you'll never know." - Louis Armstrong.
Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<harrylime> Thing is loike . If Youve gotta ask this loike. Just embarrassing loike.>

As usual, when you are asked a question, you can't answer it. If there is an embarrassing loike here, it's you. But, of course, you don't care.

<Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess.>

OK, another question. <EXACTLY> what is that supposed to mean? For example, does that mean that you think he was washed up in the 70s when he won the WCC title?

Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: "If you gotta be sober, you'd never win"..... Lance Armstrong.
Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <harrylime> Or perhaps, in case you didn't know, the Internet (then called the Arpanet) technically started in Aug-1969 with the first attempted message transmission, "LOGIN" (or perhaps "LOL" as you are fond of saying, but I doubt it) between UCLA and Stanford universities. The transmitting node at UCLA crashed after the letters "LO" were typed.

Is that what you mean when you repeatedly say "Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess" ?

Jul-03-20  carpovius: <AylerKupp: <harrylime> Or perhaps, in case you didn't know, the Internet (then called the Arpanet) technically started in Aug-1969 with the first attempted message transmission, "LOGIN" (or perhaps "LOL" as you are fond of saying, but I doubt it) between UCLA and Stanford universities. The transmitting node at UCLA crashed after the letters "LO" were typed.

Is that what you mean when you repeatedly say "Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess"?>👍👏👌

LO... i.e. tears run down my legs 🤣

Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <carpovius> Well, better tears running down your legs than .....
Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby is the GREATEST.

Live with it ...

or floook off loike 😉😎

Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer was a chess engine before there were chess engines loike 😚😉
Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<AylerKupp: <harrylime> Or perhaps, in case you didn't know, the Internet (then called the Arpanet) technically started in Aug-1969 with the first attempted message transmission, "LOGIN" (or perhaps "LOL" as you are fond of saying, but I doubt it) between UCLA and Stanford universities. The transmitting node at UCLA crashed after the letters "LO" were typed. Is that what you mean when you repeatedly say "Bobby was the INTERNET in the 60's for chess" ?>>

No. What I mean is the INTERNET in the 60's spelt backwards translated to this

USER <AylerKupp> is a WANNKA lol lol

Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby was THE internet for chess before there was an INTERNET for chess.

Love the HATERS tho ❤️️

Jul-04-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <Aug-1969 with the first attempted message transmission, "LOGIN" (or perhaps "LOL" as you are fond of saying>

No it was meant to be LOINGE lol lol 😁 :-P B-)

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