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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"The Final Curtain" (game of the day Mar-10-2006)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 21, Aug-31
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Helios727:

How does Black win if 41... Kg4 42. Bc6 h4 43. Bf3+ ?>

<1) -13.52 (38 ply)

43...Kxf5 44.Bc6 Kg4 45.b4 Rb2 46.b5 h3+ 47.Kf1 Rb1+ 48.Ke2 h2 49.Kd3 Rb3+ 50.Ke2 Kf4 51.Bg2 Rb2+ 52.Ke1 Rb1+ 53.Kd2 Rg1 54.Bb7 Rf1 55.Kc3 Rxf2 56.Bh1 Rf1 57.Bg2 Rf3+ 58.Kb4 Kg3 59.Bh1 Rf1 60.Bc6 Rf3 61.Ka5 h1=Q 62.Ka6 Qd1 63.b6 Qd4 64.a5 Re3 65.Bh1 Re5 66.Ka7 Rxa5+ 67.Kb7 Qd7+ 68.Kb8>

Feb-26-19  DrGridlock: <offramp: Why not 27...Rxf2?>

<iron maiden: <offramp> Black doesn't have time for 27...Rxf2, because after 28. a5 Ra2 29. a6 Kf8 30. b4 Ra4 31. b5 the pawns will promote whether or not he takes the bishop.>

Yes, this is how the position was analyzed for years. As another poster points out, it is now known that 27 ... Rxf2 is indeed the best continuation for black.

The key is not to get the rook behind the a-pawn too early. After 28 a5, both 28 ... Kf8 and 28 ... Rb2 are better for black than the suggested 28 ... Ra2.

For example, after 28 ... Kf8 29 a6 Rb2

Boris Spassky - Robert James Fischer

click for larger view

Neither the a-pawn nor the b-pawn can advance. Fairly non-intuitive, since one wants as black to put his rook on the a-file to slow down the a-pawn. It turns out that it's more important to slow down the b-pawn from advancing and getting to b5 to support his "little buddy."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: After 11 moves, the game reaches the same position as Wemmers vs Paulsen, 1878 !
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby cruising to what he wanted ...

He backed off the gas in the latter part of this match .

Havin given Boris a TWO game free start .

Oct-22-19  The Boomerang: harrylime: Bobby cruising to what he wanted ... He backed off the gas in the latter part of this match . Havin given Boris a TWO game free start ."

Or was it Spassky playing at a better level games 11-21?

May-27-20  jeffboka: Howard: Stockfish shows a Fischer win even with 40. K-h3 with 40. ... RxBP, and so on, so Fischer was right, Timman was mistaken.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <jeffboka: Howard: Stockfish shows a Fischer win even with 40. K-h3 with 40. ... RxBP, and so on, so Fischer was right, Timman was mistaken.>

Well, Timman was talking about the sealed move ...<41.Bd7? ...>, which clearly lost the game. Instead, the forcing sequence of moves:

<41.Kh3! Rxf2 42.a5 Ra2 43.a6 Rxa6 44.Kh4 Ra2 45.Kxh5 ...>

leads to the draw Timman mentions. White B protects both White pawns and, in order to make progress, Black needs to return material either on b3 or f5. But, in either case, the resulting pawn endgame is a dud for Black. All White needs to do is to make his K keep eye on the f6 pawn. Positions like

click for larger view

can not be won.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <41.Kh3! Rxf2 42.a5 Ra2 43.a6 Rxa6 44.Kh4 Ra2 45.Kxh5 ...>

At the end of this more-or-less forcing sequence came the last structural change in the position. Afterwards, sliding forward our community friendly stock-fish engine at ~25-minute searches, I got this suggested variation:

<41.Kh3 Rxf2 42.a5 Ra2 43.a6 Rxa6 44.Kh4 Ra2 45.Kxh5 Rg2 46.Kh6 Ke4 47.Bd7 Rg3 48.Be6 Kd4 49.Kh7 Ke5 50.Kh6 Rg2 51.Kh7 Rb2 52.Kg7 Rd2 53.Kg6 Rd3 54.Kf7 Rd4 55.Kg6 Rg4+ 56.Kf7 Rb4 57.Kg6 Rf4 58.Kg7 Rf3 59.Kg6 ...>

click for larger view

Black has maxed out the operational functionality of its peaces, but dares not to change anything structural about the position. Engine analysis (no sliding forward any more) gives variations like

<59...Rg3+ 60.Kf7 Rg1 61.Bd7 Rb1 62.Be6 Rb2 63.Ke7 Rc2 64.Kf7 Rc7+ 65.Kg6 Rc5 66.Kf7 Rc3 67.Kg6 Rh3 68.Kf7 Rh7+ 69.Kg6 Ra7 70.Bc4 Ra2 71.Be6 Rd2 72.Kf7 Rd1 73.Ke8 Rh1 74.Kf7 Rh4 75.Kg6 Rg4+ 76.Kf7 Rd4 77.Kg6 Rb4 78.Bc4 Rb6 79.Be6 Rb7 80.Bc4 Rd7 81.Be6 Rd4 82.Kf7 Rg4 83.Bc4 Re4 84.Kg6 Re1 85.Be6 Rg1+ 86.Kf7 Rg2 87.Kf8 Rh2 88.Kf7 Rh3 89.Kg6 Rc3 90.Kf7 Rc6 91.Kg6 Rd6 92.Kg7 Rd1 93.Kg6 Re1 94.Kf7 Ra1 95.Kg7 Rc1 96.Kf7 Rc5 97.Kg6 Rb5 98.Bc4 Rb7 99.Be6 Rb6 100.Kf7 Ra6 101.Kg6 Ra2 102.Kf7 Rd2 103.Kg6 Rg2+ 104.Kf7>

None improve the position any, and all of them clearly expire the 50-move clock.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Gypsy>
As soon as the position is down to 7 pieces (your first diagram above), the position is definitively confirmed drawn by syzygy tablebase (see
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I'm going to be naive and point out that tablebases can confirm positions as drawn etc w-i-t-h b-e-s-t p-l-a-y. For some reason it makes me cross to have people confuse the two. People who say the 2 things mean the same are lazy and do Caissa a disservice. So there :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Dionysius1>
I have won from losing positions, lost from winning positions, and had every other possible pair of positional evaluation and game outcome, and there was no confusion at all when I described these events.

But sorry if I "made you cross." I hope you won't need orthopedic surgery for that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bozza aint lookin well just now ... Love him... but aint lookin well .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <Beatgiant>Orthopedic?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <beatgiant: <Gypsy> As soon as the position is down to 7 pieces (your first diagram above), the position is definitively confirmed drawn by syzygy tablebase (see> Thanks, friend! Makes sense.
Apr-05-21  DouglasGomes: <Gypsy> With the help of tablebases, SF sees the draw immediately after <43... Rxa6?>. But that is not forced at all. Do you think it is a draw after <43... Kg5> (defending h5 and denying the white king access to h4), <44. Bc4> as black was threatening to take on a6 (44.Bc8? Ra3), <44... Ra3> immobilizing the white bishop momentarily, <45. Kg3 Kxf5>? I have searched up to forced tablebase win after <43... Kg5>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <DouglasGomes> I think you found the win for Fischer, even if Spassky had played the 41.Kh3.

(The <more-less forcing sequence> turned out forcing <much less> than I thought)

Apr-11-21  eyalbd: Even before 43...♖xa6 Black is not forced to play 42.. ♖a2 at all. SF says 42.. h4! followed by 43.. ♔g5 (or 42.. ♔g5 followed by h4) is winning. For example: 42..♔g5 43. a6 h4 44. ♗d5 ♖a2 45. ♗c4 ♖a3 with zugzwang
May-10-21  RookFile: 7....d5 destroyed Spassky psychologically. But 7....Qc7 8. 0-0 Bd6 9. h3 0-0 looks super solid.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<The Boomerang: harrylime: Bobby cruising to what he wanted ... He backed off the gas in the latter part of this match . Havin given Boris a TWO game free start ." Or was it Spassky playing at a better level games 11-21?>>

I think it was a bit of both.

Bozza deffo upped his game in the 2nd half of the match ..

But Bobby could almost taste being World Chess Champion after game 13 .. He shut up shop .

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The arguments Bozza wasn't himself at the beginning of this match , when Fischer gifted him a TWO GAME lead , I could easily slip in regarding Spassky v Karpov a few years later ..

Bozza won one clean game in this match ..

Bit of a beating ..

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby whupped Bozza in 72 ..

It wasn't close ..

May-16-21  Chesgambit: 41.Bd7 is huge blunder 41. Kh3!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Whistle blown for indecent post. No, it's not harry this time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Already did, days ago.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Chesgambit: 41.Bd7 is huge blunder 41. Kh3!>>

Bobby still wins tho

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