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Fischer vs FIDE, 1975
Fischer forfeits.

After defeating Spassky in 1972, Bobby Fischer stopped playing serious chess, turning down several lucrative offers to play in public.

Fischer, circa 1971 In 1974, Fischer's challenger was decided: he was an emerging Russian chess superstar, Anatoly Karpov, who had defeated Korchnoi in the candidate's final to earn him the right to challenge Fischer.

In September, 1973, Fred Cramer, Vice President (Zone 5) of FIDE, proposed that the world championship match be decided on 10 wins, draws not counting. He also proposed that the champion retains his title if it were a 9-9 tie. This became known as the Cramer proposal. Fischer telegrammed FIDE informing them that they should adopt the Cramer proposal.[1]

Opponents of the proposal argued that the unlimited format is impractical, and that the 9-9 rule affords the champion too great of an advantage. Proponents claimed that the proposal would encourage exciting chess (because draws do not count) and that it more accurately determined the better player. Fischer argued the merits of the proposal in a 1974 letter to FIDE:

The first player to win ten games, draws not counting, with unlimited number of games wins the match. If the score is nine wins to nine wins, draws not counting, the champion retains title and the match is declared drawn with the money split equally. Versus the old system of the best of 24 games wins the match (12.5 points) and if 12-12 the match is drawn with the champion retaining the title and prize fund is split equally. Draws do count in this system.

The unlimited match favors the better player. This is the most important point, because in the limited game system the match outcome can turn on a very low number of wins, giving the weaker player a chance to "luck out." Also, in the limited game system the player who takes a game or two lead has an advantage out of all proportion. This creates an added element of chance. The player who wins the match should be the player who plays best over the long run, not the player who jumps off to an early lead.[2]

In June, 1974, the FIDE Congress in Nice approved the 10-win regulation and the elimination of draws from the scoring, but imposed a 36-game limit and rejected the 9-9 proposal. On June 27, 1974, Fischer sent a telegram from Pasadena, California to the FIDE Congress:
As I made clear in my telegram to the FIDE delegates, the match conditions I proposed were non-negotiable ... FIDE has decided against my participation in the 1975 World Chess Championship. I therefore resign my FIDE World Championship title.

In March, 1975, an extraordinary FIDE Congress was held in Bergen, Netherlands, and it was agreed to have an unlimited number of world championship games, but still refused the 9-9 rule (32 votes for it, and 35 votes against it). [3] Fischer, unwilling to budge, refused to defend his title.

In Karpov's memoirs he recounts how he was disappointed to not have a chance to become champion in the traditional manner:

I don't know how Fischer feels about it, but I consider it a huge loss that he and I never played our match. I felt like the child who has been promised a wonderful toy and has it offered to him but then, at the last moment, it's taken away.[4]

On April 3rd, 1975, Karpov was declared the 12th World Champion.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Robert James Fischer, by Bill Wall
    2 Bobby Fischer letter to FIDE, 1974
    3 Robert James Fischer, by Bill Wall
    4 Karpov on Karpov: Memoirs of a Chess World Champion, by Anatoly Karpov, Athenuem Press, 1992.

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: I stumbled on this photo, hosted on Pinterest but appears to come from mark-weeks.com. It shows Fischer and Karpov at a chessboard in a tournament setting - name cards and everything. It's got to be a fake, correct? They never met at the board, at least not in public.

https://pin.it/6tDYWqB
Oct-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Yes, fake
Oct-20-21  RookFile: The guy with his hands in his pockets is surely Steinitz.
Oct-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Williebob> Yes that is a fake. If they ever met together OTB, it was in private. Think they met 3 or 4 times....the last time I believe was in Washington, D.C. Believe they also met in the Philippines.
Dec-15-21  Allanur: * Cramer's proposal was made in September 1973. * In October 1973, Fischer was asked if he was going to quit chess and in return Fischer denied it, challenging Spassky into a rematch. This dialogue occured in Philippines. * Karpov defeated Spassky and Fischer demanded Cramer's proposal be in use in the next title match.

Commentary: Fischer did not talk of anything about Cramer's proposal when he was challenging Spassky into a rematch. Insisting on it after Spassky was eliminated by Karpov seems strange. I grant that correlation does not equate to causation but without further knowledge, what comes into my mind is that Fischer demanded it for Karpov exclusively.

Dec-15-21  Allanur: Additional/correction to the previous post;

Fischer was advocating for first-to-win-6 draws not counting as early as 1970 when a match between him and Botvinnik was proposed.

Also, as early as Cuba 1966 Olympiad, Fischer was insisting on first to win 6 draws not counting format when a match between him and Leonid Stein was proposed in Cuba.

IIRC, Brady's account has him advocating for the same format for future World Championship matches.

All in all, it is not reasonable to think Fischer demanded Cramer's proposal deliverately for Karpov. I draw my previous comment back.

Dec-15-21  Allanur: Some top level grandmasters of the time commentated on the demands of Fischer. Here are the ones covered in the New York Times on the 7th of October, 1974 :

Anatoly Karpov: “the terms are ungentlemanly and unfeasible.” “To play until 10 victories is an awful thing.” “The match can last three or four months, and it is impossible to play chess so much; it will cease being an art and turn into forced labor.” Larry Evans: “unfair”.
Bent Larsen: “his proposal was absolutely unrealistic”. “A five‐month match would be horrible for everybody involved —players, officials, journalists, readers, spectators — everybody,” … “The advance of chess does not depend on one person. If he does not want 10 play he is free to stay away from chess competition and everybody is free to fantasize about his reasons.” Svetozar Gligoric: “I would consider competing with Fischer under any circumstances, for it favors the popularization of the noble game.” To charges that an open‐ended match could bog down into an endless struggle, Gligoric said “a match of undertermined length would guarantee ever better, more competitive and exciting chess.”

Dec-15-21  Allanur: Also, I am unable to source it now (unable to find the source) but here is another info about this event:

as far as I recall, after the extraordinary congress in March 1975, Max Euwe came up with a plan that could possibly grant all sides what they wanted:

* Unlimited match like Fischer demanded (and congress approved).

* The match is declared draw if the score is 9-9 BUT after the following condition is met:

** If the score reaches 9-9, 10 more games would need to be played. If the score is still equal, then the match is draw and the prize is split equally

* During that last 10 games in case of a 9-9 score, whoever scores the first win would win the match.

This plan responded to all sides: Fischer's critics unfairly argued that the challenger needs to win by 2 - Euwe's plan solved this problem: both sides can win by 10-9.

Fischer wanted unlimited match and 9-9 draw odds, he was given both.

Unfortunately, Fischer did not respond to this offer.

Dec-15-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <All in all, it is not reasonable to think Fischer demanded Cramer's proposal deliverately for Karpov. I draw my previous comment back.>

You haven't explained the reason for the change of first-to-6 to first-to-10.

Dec-15-21  Petrosianic: <Allanur>: <Fischer was advocating for first-to-win-6 draws not counting as early as 1970 when a match between him and Botvinnik was proposed.>

Don't think Fischer EVER wanted 6 wins. He'd wanted 10 wins going back to the early 60's. He walked out of the Botvinnik match at the last minute when they refused to change it from Best of 20 to 10 wins. Again, not 6.

At the 1971 FIDE Congress in Vancouver, FIDE accepted Fischer's proposal to make the 1975 Match a 10 Wins affair (again, not 6), but in June 1974 they had second thoughts and decided to cap the match at 36 games (changing the 10 wins requirement to a ZERO wins requirement). At that point Fischer resigned his title, having been champion less than 2 years, without trying to fight for his conditions, and never got it back.

Dec-16-21  Allanur: @Petrosianic, really? Fischer demanded 10 wins rule against Botwinnik? I know it as 6.

Also, I was not aware of the FIDE congress' changes preceeding Fischer's telegram. I now understood

Dec-16-21  RookFile: It's too bad Korchnoi didn't emerge as Fischer's challenger. Fischer has these conditions? No problem he would have said, come out and fight.
Dec-16-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<RookFile: It's too bad Korchnoi didn't emerge as Fischer's challenger. Fischer has these conditions? No problem he would have said, come out and fight.>>

That's what folk don't get

Fischer was really up against the Soviet Union and the COLD WAR was raging.

The match would in other times have gone ahead.

Bobby gets a raw deal in chess history here.

Dec-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I think <harrylime> is a sock puppet of a more overtly respectable kibitzer, who's having fun goading his own hand.

Morally, couldn't they be as rude to each other as they want?

Dec-17-21  Allanur: @Rookfile, <It's too bad Korchnoi didn't emerge as Fischer's challenger. Fischer has these conditions? No problem he would have said, come out and fight.>

Only to complain after the match in case he loses. After he lost to Karpov in 1978, he appealed to a court, complaning the conditions were unfair. He did even not sign the closing documents as a result of which his prize money was not granted (then years later he was paid).

If the conditions are unfair, you do not agree to play, you do not show up.

Spassky once said "Korchnoi needs to hate his opponent so that he can play."

However, Korchnoi was always on good terms with Fischer and held him in high esteem. Never created on-the-board problems against Fischer. Even long after Fischer called him Korchy and showed him "among the lowest dogs around": Kaspy, Karpy, Korchy, Campy.

In 2015 Korchnoi was interviewed. During that interview he was asked Karpov or Kasparov: who was better. Korch replied Kasparov's chess is much better than Karpov's. Then,he was asked if Kasparov was even better than Fischer to which Korchnoi answered smiling: Fischer, Fischer. He was in a class by himself.

Dec-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Of all the things that never happened, this never happened the most.
Dec-17-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <whiteshark: Of all the things that never happened, this never happened the most.>

And here I thought it was impossible to make an original post on this page.

Dec-18-21  saturn2: <Korchnoi was interviewed. During that interview he was asked Karpov or Kasparov: who was better.>

There is enough evidence for the answer. They played enough games against each other.

<Korchnoi answered smiling: Fischer, Fischer. He was in a class by himself.>

And Fischer said Morphy was in a class by himself. And other say this of Muhammed Ali and of Pele Messi, Rod Laver or Pavlo Nurmi. This is a pleasant topic for long winternights.

Dec-18-21  Allanur: <<Korchnoi was interviewed. During that interview he was asked Karpov or Kasparov: who was better.> There is enough evidence for the answer. They played enough games against each other.> Classical games: Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov 28 to 21, with 121 draws. Including rapid/exhibition games: Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov 39 to 25, with 129 draws. <And Fischer said Morphy was in a class by himself. And other say this of Muhammed Ali and of Pele Messi, Rod Laver or Pavlo Nurmi. This is a pleasant topic for long winternights.> Not at all. The point was how Korchnoi viewed Fischer as whether on-the-board problems would emerge if Korchnoi emerged as the challenger to Fischer. Not what others say, not what Fischer said about Morphy or how Fischer viewed Morphy.
Dec-18-21  saturn2: <Allanur The point was how Korchnoi viewed Fischer as whether on-the-board problems would emerge if Korchnoi emerged as the challenger to Fischer.>

That was the point of and interview made in 2015?

Dec-18-21  Allanur: <That was the point of and interview made in 2015?> Yes, as 2015 is AFTER the moment Fischer called Korchnoi among "the lowest dogs around".
Dec-18-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime:

BOBBY against the WORLD

BOBBY won.

Jan-13-22  DarthStapler: I like how it says "Sorry, no games at this time", as if there could be games added later.
Jan-13-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Think about how Staunton - Morphy Match (1858) is feeling.
Jan-14-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: BOBBY won??? As far as I can see, Bobby retreated with his tail between his legs, defeated by something none of the rest of us could see!
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