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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
"The Matrix Ruy Loaded" (game of the day Sep-07-2010)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 10, Aug-03
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-14-18  CharlesSullivan: <WorstPlayerEver> Yes, I would say that in the line you give, 35...g6 and probably 35...Bb1 in addition to 35...Bc2 hold the draw.
Sep-14-18  CharlesSullivan: <Analytical Breakdown #3>

39.Rb6

Commentators completely ignore this move, but here Fischer fails to find the correct continuation. The surprising 39.g4


click for larger view

keeps the win alive; here are 2 sample variations:

(a) 39...hxg4 40.hxg4 <+4.80, depth=55> 40...Ra2 41.Rb6 Rd2 42.Kf3 Rd5 43.Ra6 Kf7 44.Ra7+ Kf6 45.Rd7 Rd2 46.Ke3 Rd5 47.Ke2 g5 48.f3
<(There are no good moves for Black; if 48...Kg6, 49.Re6+ wins the bishop)>
49...b3 49.Rb7 <+6.46, depth=58> 49...b2 50.Rxb2 Bf4 51.Rb3 Rd2+ 52.Ke1 Rd6 53.Rc4 Rc6 54.Ke2 Kg6 55.Re4 Rd6 56.Rd3 Rc6 57.Rc4 Re6+ 58.Kd1 Rc6 59.Rd5 Bd6 60.Re4 Bg3 61.Ke2 c4 62.Rdd4 c3 63.Rc4 Rb6 64.Rxc3 Rf6 65.Rc5 Rb6 66.Kd3 Rd6+ 67.Ke3 Rb6 68.Kd2 Rf6 69.Rf5 Rxf5 70.gxf5+ Kxf5 and White mates in 38 (according to the database tables) with 71.Ra4, etc.

(b) 39...Ra6 <+4.02, depth=73, 38 hours> 40.gxh5 Be5 41.Rg4 Kf5 42.Rb5 Rc6 43.Rc4 b3 44.f4 Bxf4 45.Rxb3 Be5 46.Rd3 Ke6 47.Kf3 Rc7 48.Ke4 Bf6 49.Rd5 Be7 50.Re5+ Kf7 51.Rf5+ Kg8 52.Kd5 Rc8 53.Re4 Bf8 54.Rfe5 Kf7 55.Rg5 Rd8+ 56.Kc4 Rb8 57.Rg3 Ra8 58.Kb5 c4 59.Reg4 Rc8 60.Rxc4 Rb8+ 61.Kc6 Kg8 62.h6 Kh7 63.hxg7 Bxg7 and White mates in 45 (Lomonosov tables) with 64.Rg5, etc.

39...Rd1 <The second of Black's losing moves>

Reshevsky is simple and to the point: "If 39...Kf5; 40 Rh4 wins a pawn," period. (I suppose we are to surmise that Black's loss of a pawn would be disastrous.) None of the other grandmasters even felt it necessary to say that much -- silence reigns.

But 39...Kf5!! leads to a drawn position! If 40.Rh4 (or 40.Kf3 Ra3+ 41.Re3 Rxe3+ 42.fxe3 Ke5 43.e4 c4 44.Rb5+ Kf6 45.Ke3 c3=) 40...Rd1 41.Rxh5+ Ke4!!


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and Black's two advanced pawns and strong king ensure the draw.

40.Kf3 <White misses another win>

Kasparov: "Accuracy to the end!"
Timman: "Fischer is playing logically and perfectly."

Not surprisingly, 40.g4! <+4.80, depth=68, 16 hours> is the real winner. After 40...Rd2 41.Kf3 Rd5 [41...hxg4+ 42.hxg4 transposes to variation (a) in my comments about 39.Rb6 -- see above] 42.gxh5 Kf5 43.Rh4 Bc7 44.Rb5 Be5 45.Rhxb4 Rd3+ 46.Ke2 Rc3 47.Rb3


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and White's material advantage will carry the day (although the ending will be very, very long).

40...Kf7 <The third of Black's losing moves>

Most commentators were uneasy about Black's 40th move, but none were able to actually demonstrate a better one. After a nine hour search to depth 75, Stockfish shows that 40...Rd3+ is best; for example: 41.Ke2 Rd5 42.f4 g5 43.Re8 gxf4 44.gxf4 c4 45.Re4 c3 46.Rexb4 Kf5 47.Rc4 Bxf4 48.Rxc3 Rd2+ 49.Ke1 Rd5 50.Rc4 Be5 51.Rb3 Ra5 52.Rc2 Kg5


click for larger view

and there just isn't enough on the board for White to force a win.

Sep-15-18  Howard: All I can say is "Wow !!!"
Sep-22-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Tiggler:

<Howard: About where was the point of no return, as far as Spassky throwing away the draw for good ?>

Consensus seems to be that 29... Re7 was the losing move, and that 29... Rad8 would have held.>

The computer disagrees:

1) +0.47 (31 ply) 29...Re7 30.Bxf7+ Rxf7 31.Qxf7+ Qxf7 32.Nxf7 Bxe4 33.Rxe4 Kxf7 34.Rd7+ Kf6 35.Kf1 c4 36.Ke2 Rc8 37.Kd2 b4 38.Rb7 c3+ 39.Kc2 Ra8 40.Re2 h5 41.Rb6+ Kf7 42.h4 Ra1 43.Rb7+ Kf6 44.f3 g6 45.g4 Ra2+ 46.Kd3 Rxe2 47.Kxe2 Bd6 48.Kd3 Ke6 49.Kc2

2) +0.86 (30 ply) 29...Rad8 30.Bxf7+ Rxf7 31.Qxf7+ Qxf7 32.Nxf7 Rxd1 33.Rxd1 Bxe4 34.Ng5 Bf5 35.Rd5 Bb1 36.Rd8 Ba2 37.f4 g6 38.Nxh7 Kxh7 39.Rxf8 b4 40.Rb8 b3 41.Rb7+ Kg8 42.Kf2 c4 43.Ke3 c3 44.Kd3 b2 45.Kc2 Kf8 46.g4 Kg8 47.h4 Kh8 48.h5 gxh5 49.gxh5 Kg8 50.f5 b1=Q+ 51.Rxb1 Bxb1+ 52.Kxb1

Sep-22-18  Howard: What about 40...Rd3+ ? Would't that move have held?
Sep-22-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard:

What about 40...Rd3+ ? Would't that move have held?

<CharlesSullivan:

After a nine hour search to depth 75, Stockfish shows that 40...Rd3+ is best; for example: 41.Ke2 Rd5 42.f4 g5 43.Re8 gxf4 44.gxf4 c4 45.Re4 c3 46.Rexb4 Kf5 47.Rc4 Bxf4 48.Rxc3 Rd2+ 49.Ke1 Rd5 50.Rc4 Be5 51.Rb3 Ra5 52.Rc2 Kg5

and there just isn't enough on the board for White to force a win.>>

Sep-22-18  Howard: Exactly ! That's why I asked about that move. So the draw was still there after the 29th move, therefore.
Sep-22-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: Amazing analysis by <CharlesSullivan>. His bio credits Stockfish 9, and at one point above he mentions a 9 hour analysis up to 75-ply. But that is only for one move and he has seemingly analyzed many other positions to similar depth.

I would appreciate a bit more information on the total effort involved in his analysis, and about his hardware.

Sep-27-18  CharlesSullivan: <Tiggler> < I would appreciate a bit more information on the total effort involved in his analysis, and about his hardware. >
Tiggler, thanks for your comment. I have an AMD 16-core Threadripper 1950X with 32 GB of memory and all the important 6-man Syzygy tablebases on an NVme SSD. To save electricity, I have undervolted the 1950X and it runs at its base frequency of 3.4 GHz (turbo-boost is turned off). I also have an Intel i7-7700K machine with only 16 GB of memory, but it runs with a slight overclock at 4.5 GHz (all 8 threads). My 1950X machine is about twice as fast as the i7-7700K.

About two months ago I started looking very closely at the Fischer-Spassky match games. Most of those 2 months were spent on about 12 of the games. On average, in each of those 12 games, almost all of the time was spent on 3 to 6 positions in the game. On average, about 1 to 3 days are used for each position. (I use both machines for analysis -- they run more-or-less 24/7 on chess.) Typically, the 1950X spends overnight (or longer) at the beginning position. I then move very slowly down the variation, letting Stockfish hit a depth of 50 (if possible) before moving to the next move in the variation. I spend a lot of time going backwards through the generated variations (usually with the i7-7700K), looking of improvements, etc. It is probable that a single game position requires 48 hours of computer time to create a 20-move analytical variation. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that occasionally 2 or 3 weeks will be spent on one position.
As you have noticed, I usually post very long variations. I try to make sure that each move (not just the first move) in each variation is the best move.
Sep-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Many thanks, <CharlesSullivan>.
Sep-28-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <CS> I appreciate your detailed answer. You should not be even <almost> embarrassed to have spent so long. I would be amazed if your, seemingly comprehensive, analysis in some cases had required less. I know you could not have done it so fast with any current engine without your own skill in forward and backward sliding, as you briefly indicated.

Do you play correspondence chess? I would not want to take you on in that arena!

Sep-28-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <CharlesSullivan> Ive been looking at all your analyses. They are bloody good. Some people simply present us with a vast computer printout of Stockfish analysis. Your posts show reasoning and literacy and they are much more readable and useful.

You also have not fallen for the Flat Earth Failure, as I call it.

This is when someone puts a position in Stockfish, turns it on, and subsequently prints out SFs 20-move line from that position. The final evaluation is given <as if it were SFs evaluation of that initial position>.

A Globe-earther would start a new variation, then move along that variation slowly, with SF analysing each position in turn.

There is a huge difference in quality. The final horizon and evaluation will be completely different.

<CS> takes the Globe-earth approach and his analysis is much better.

Sep-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...It's like two people who are asked to describe the Washington Memorial from 3 miles away.

One uses a pair of binoculars and rapidly says it is a "very tall spike".

The other guy walks all the way there, giving descriptions every few hundred yards, and eventually sees that it is a 555-ft tall obelisk with memorials, an elevator, tourists etc etc.

Very different results.

Nov-16-18  jonjoseph: I just think Fischer took a long time to squash the pawn on f5.Just like the film of Orca wales tipping the seal off an ice floe. You know , when he gets his tail and drags him down . As Attenborough said "Game over ".
Nov-16-18  veerar: Fischer's opinion in "My 60 Memorable Games":- Defending and keeping e5 Pawn,is essential when you are Defending against the Ruy. Something to that effect.
Nov-17-18  Howard: Looking forward to Sullivan's analysis of Games 17 and 19 !
Dec-04-19  Howard: So, according to Stockfish, Spassky apparently had the draw in hand until the 39th move, when he missed 39...Kf5.

Kasparov fails to mention this in MGP.

Dec-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: LOL

this game was played in 1972

Itz impact in 1972 was out of this world.

I'm lovin all this "analysis" lol lol lol

Feb-26-20  Delilah: It would be better to be able to play out classic games such as this one, without knowing the end result. it would add more interest, and we could learn more from each game, and not know who wins until after ...well, it's over!
Feb-27-20  Petrosianic: <Delilah>: <It would be better to be able to play out classic games such as this one, without knowing the end result.>

This game, I'm afraid, is too well known. But Reinfeld books often examined games without naming the players, and Solitaire Chess lets you look at games like this move by move, without seeing the end result.

Feb-27-20  SChesshevsky: < Delilah: It would be better to be able to play out classic games such as this one, without knowing the end result...>

Pretty good idea. Someone suggested that like CG sometimes shows games in a live mode, they could occasionaly show famous historical games in the same manner. Move-by-move as if live. Can't remember if they also suggested hiding the names also. Kind of like mystery game of the day, week, whatever.

Judging the position every 10 or so moves versus the known outcome might be the next best thing for these standard presentation games. For instance here after 15...Nbd7 looks pretty standard RL-Breyer stuff. Wouldn't guess winning for White.

After some action at 20...Qxe5:


click for larger view

Maybe white has an awkward discovery on the Queen but doesn't appear that bad for Black. CG computer, which isn't super accurate but maybe good human player like proxy, shows white better but not winning but interesting giving up two bishop play for the knight soon.

Now at 27...Rd7


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Maybe black's not losing but I'd be uncomfortable. White bearing down on target square f7, Kside defense sparse which usually not good in RL, and pieces kind of awkwardly placed. CG computer thinks White better but not by winning amount and even less better than after move 20. So what do I know?

After 36...Bd6


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Black's down the exchange for a pawn but two connected passed on the Qside. Unbalanced and hard to judge. Maybe equal? Old rule of thumb is protected passed pawn on the sixth rank is nearly worth a piece, so Black might have decent compensation. But I'd guess that he is the one who has to play precisely. Could be if he drops a qside pawn, Black's lost or nearly lost. CG computer says White with slight initiative at .30. Good chances to draw from here apparently with best play. Not at all confident I could do it though.

This kind of evaluation exercise probably not as fun as watching mystery game but is useful and somewhat entertaining. Good book for helping position evaluation is Kotov's "Think Like A Grandmaster."

Feb-27-20  Petrosianic: <Maybe black's not losing but I'd be uncomfortable.>

I think Black is already losing by move 27. 27...Rd7 is a mistake, maybe the losing move. Black can maybe hang in with

26... axb5 27. Qf4 c4 28. Bxc4 bxc4 29. Rxb7 Qh5. Now, if 30. Ne5 Rd1 . Black will lose the c pawn, but should be able to hold the 4 vs. 3 pawn ending.


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Actually, Black is doing pretty well earlier on. 19...Qxa5? hands the initiative over to Fischer.

If 25. ...axb5 26. Rxb5 Ba6 27. Rb3 Qxa5, and Black is doing better. Not winning, but he's got the initiative.


click for larger view

Or, if instead 26. Ng5, threatening Nxf7, then 26... Qd7!

May-03-20  joddon: push those queen side pawns up as far as they can go, the EAt with his ROOks..Fischers plan is his originality, so strong with his rooks , he didn't worry about Spasskys tiny little pawns....babies!!
Sep-26-20  Delilah: Mind blowing! I did not even look to see who had won the game, prior to playing it out. Typical Fischer genius!
Sep-26-20  SChesshevsky: <Delilah:... Typical Fischer genius!>

World Champs seem very aware that if you can get three pieces bearing down on f7 after ...0-0, good things can happen.

Carlsen vs Nakamura, 2020

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