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

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

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



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 63 times; par: 70 [what's this?]

Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [30495 more games annotated by Stockfish]

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

TIP: You can make these tips go away by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Simply check the option "Don't show random tips on game pages." and click the Update Profile button at the bottom.

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


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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

Mar-07-22  Sally Simpson: Hi Harry

You keep saying;

<Having given Boris a TWO game free start >

It was in fact a 3 point lead. Boris had draw odds.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: Quite so SS good point!
Jun-20-22  CapablancaDisciple: The times for this final game from a website called

<<Game 21, August 31st-September 1st, 1972

Spassky Fischer
White Black
(ar) (0:03)
1. e4 (0:00) c5 (0:04)
2. Nf3 (0:01) e6 (0:04)
3. d4 (0:02) cxd4 (0:04)
4. Nxd4 (0:02) a6 (0:04)
5. Nc3 (0:04) Nc6 (0:05)
6. Be3 (0:05) Nf6 (0:10)
7. Bd3 (0:15) d5 (0:14)
8. exd5 (0:29) exd5 (0:16)
9. 0-0 (0:39) Bd6 (0:19)
10. Nxc6 (0:53) bxc6 (0:20)
11. Bd4 (0:59) 0-0 (0:23)
12. Qf3 (0:59) Be6 (0:38)
13. Rfe1 (1:14) c5 (0:42)
14. Bxf6 (1:19) Qxf6 (0:43)
15. Qxf6 (1:19) gxf6 (0:43)
16. Rad1 (1:22) Rfd8 (0:53)
17. Be2 (1:30) Rab8 (0:56)
18. b3 (1:32) c4 (0:58)
19. Nxd5 (1:38) Bxd5 (1:15)
20. Rxd5 (1:40) Bxh2+ (1:24)
21. Kxh2 (1:41) Rxd5 (1:24)
22. Bxc4 (1:41) Rd2 (1:26)
23. Bxa6 (1:43) Rxc2 (1:30)
24. Re2 (1:43) Rxe2 (1:38)
25. Bxe2 (1:43) Rd8 (1:38)
26. a4 (1:45) Rd2 (1:38)
27. Bc4 (1:47) Ra2 (1:40)
28. Kg3 (1:51) Kf8 (1:41)
29. Kf3 (1:51) Ke7 (1:46)
30. g4 (2:07) f5 (1:48)
31. gxf5 (2:08) f6 (1:50)
32. Bg8 (2:14) h6 (1:52)
33. Kg3 (2:14) Kd6 (1:54)
34. Kf3 (2:14) Ra1 (1:59)
35. Kg2 (2:15) Ke5 (2:00)
36. Be6 (2:15) Kf4 (2:01)
37. Bd7 (2:16) Rb1 (2:03)
38. Be6 (2:20) Rb2 (2:05)
39. Bc4 (2:23) Ra2 (2:05)
40. Be6 (2:26) h5 (2:07)
41. Bd7 s (2:53) 0-1

(ar) indicates the arrival of that player.

‘s’ after a move indicates a sealed move.

Spassky consumed the remainder of the 5-hour first session to seal his move.

At the resumption of the game, at 2:50 pm, Friday, September 1st, Lothar Schmid announced in the hall that Bobby was the champion, as Spassky had resigned this game.

There was a great deal of applause, and people seemed a bit reluctant to leave.

At last, Bobby had accomplished his goal; he was World Champion. I looked around at the people, and noticed a small man in a wheel chair, crying. I took him to be John W. Collins, Bobby’s teacher many years before. He was there to see it.>>

Sep-01-22  optimal play: The following day [1st September], there was an audience of 2,500 people, some of whom had arrived early to guarantee a good seat and all of whom had paid $5 in the expectation of witnessing an exciting denouement. Fischer bounded in late, looking confident but, surprising for one who normally took care to appear impeccable, dressed in a hastily selected and still unpressed blood-red suit. For a change, Spassky’s seat was the one empty.

Two hours earlier, at 12:50 P.M., the champion had put in a call to the arbiter Lothar Schmid. He officially informed Schmid of his resignation; he would not go to the adjourned session. Schmid had had to phone Euwe: Could he accept a resignation by telephone? Euwe ruled this was permissible. Fischer was not informed and might not have found out until later, had the Life photographer Harry Benson not bumped into Spassky at the Saga hotel as the now ex-champion was on his way out for a walk. There followed a flurry of calls. Benson rang Fischer, who rang Schmid, insisting that, if true, this resignation must be put in writing. Schmid wrote something out himself but said Fischer would still have to show up at the scheduled hour for the adjourned session.

The match was over.

This was no grand finale, no knockout punch sending the champion to the mat, no winning hit into the stand or breasting of the tape. There were no hats thrown into the air, no stamping or cheering. This was the way the crown passed, not with a bang but a formal announcement. Once Fischer had arrived, Schmid walked to the front of the stage and addressed the hall: “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Spassky has resigned by telephone.” Polite applause broke out around the room. The spectators had seen no action for their entrance fee, but they were witnesses to chess history. The new world champion gave a gawky wave but rejected Schmid’s proposal to take a bow.

- Bobby Fischer Goes to War : How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time, by David Edmonds & John Eidinow

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Spassky probably should have shown up to shake hands, photos, passing of the torch.
Sep-01-22  Rudolf Zipperer: <HeMateMe: Spassky probably should have shown up to shake hands, photos, passing of the torch.>

Oh, come on ...

Spassky had done more than enough at this point. Giving in to Fischer's demands to make the match continue ... making sure Fischer wouldn't forfeit.

Applauding Fischer after a beautiful game ...

no need for being there to resign in person.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: Happy 50th Anniversary Bobby. May you find peace in the hereafter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Sad that Fischer was 28, a young man, but this was the end of his chess career. And he had no qualifications, so apart from chess he had no prospects.

So at the age of 28 he went on to the scrap heap until death.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A pity he didn't have a law degree behind him like Morphy.
Sep-15-22  ZonszeinP: So.
Spassky took about 15 minutes to play 10-Cxc6....


10-Ff5 as pointed out by <El Bueno> above, it's interesting

Also (among many other things that prove that Spassky was not his old self) as pointed out by Timman longtime ago 29- f4 > Kf3 and g3 and...

They could have started planning the next game

Yet, what for?

A draw or a zero at this stage
Wouldn't have changed anything

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 8)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Game #21
from The Fischer-Spassky Reykjavik 1972 match by dac1990
#21 fischer wins title!!!
from fischer-spassky by kevin86
World Championship Game #21
from Road to the Championship - Bobby Fischer by Fischer of Men
Champion At Last
from The Best of Bobby Fischer by sac 4 mate
Pawns and psychology guide Fischer to his dreams at last...
from Fischer's Finest by morphyvsfischer
Fischer wins world title
from Greatest games ever by sooner22
out of time
from Boynk's favorite games by Boynk
Best Chess Games of All Time
by Timothy Glenn Forney
Interestng on rook placement at the end!
from Robert Mann's favorite games by Robert Mann
by radu stancu
bobbyboomer's favorite games
by bobbyboomer
kumaran's favorite games
by kumaran
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation
from MKD's Sicilian Defense Black by MKD
vonKrolock's favorite games
by vonKrolock
Fischer Favorites
by atrifix
Game #21
from Fischer-Spassky '72 by GPawn
Rook vs. Minor pieces.
from Winning chess Endgames by just a kid
Bobby Fischer: My 30 Memorable Games 1968-1972
by Runemaster
Round 21
from WCC Index [Fischer-Spassky 1972] by Hesam7
Just time for black to win..
from Binshkeerfortt's Favorite Games by binshkeerfortt
plus 104 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC