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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), Santa Monica, CA USA, rd 17, Aug-14
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Variation (C89)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: A somewhat delayed reply but Spassky definitely was satisfied with a draw here. This game was played in the next to last round of the tournament and Fischer and Spassky were tied for the lead at this point. In the last round Fischer was scheduled to have Black against Petrosian and Spassky was scheduled to have White against Donner, the tournament tailender (along with Ivkov). Not unreasonably, Spassky thought that his chances of beating Donner with White were better than Fischer beating Petrosian with Black. This was also tournament director Isaac Kashdan's opinion in the tournament book.
Dec-19-12  12.12.12: if so, then the "russian bear" was fully awake here and wearing massive balls, given the circumstance.
Jan-10-15  zydeco: Playing over the Fischer-Spassky games from Santa Monica, 1966, you can start to see why Spassky was comparatively confident when he met Fischer in 1972. As white, Spassky wins a smooth Ruy Lopez, in which Fischer finds good defensive moves but never achieves significant counterplay. As black, in a nerve-wracking tournament situation, Spassky is able to "draw-to-order."

Here's Spassky's comment on 12.g3: "The move should be looked at skeptically as White voluntarily agrees to a weakening of his king's wing, neglecting the development of his pieces. The positive side of the continuation lies in the fact that White prevents the standard attack by Black through ....Bd6 and ....Qh4."

Spassky's one scary moment in this game is that he planned a new idea with 13....c5 and rejected it at the last moment because of 14.Bg5. Instead, he segues back into a standard ideas in the Marshall Gambit.

Spassky says that he was never in danger after the exchange of queens. I think Spassky might have been a pioneer in jettisoning material for the sake of defense -- he seemed to have no trouble playing entire endgames a pawn down if he could secure some activity for his pieces. Obviously, he's not the first person to come up with the idea of 'compensation' -- but he seemed to accept material disadvantages (even in 'positional games' ) more readily than other grandmasters of the period.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Fischer, Spassky and Jacqueline Piatigorsky

Nov-11-17  john barleycorn: Thanks <stonehenge> for the pics
Sep-26-19  Everett: <zydeco> Even chess fans forget just how difficult to defeat Spassky was for nearly a decade, from 61-71.

I think Fischer was wise to wait until Spassky was a more complacent world champion. During the 60’s, I don’t think Fischer beats a motivated Spassky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Interesting to compare the Piatigorskys’ sponsorship of chess in the 1960s with the Sinquefelds today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: I wonder what's going on in the second picture in Stonehenge's post?

I saw Fischer's pawn on g3 and thought it was this game, but Fischer's king is still on e1?

The board looks like both knights are developed Nf3/Nf6, and Fischer's pawn is on g3????

Obviously not a game as Fischer never
opens Nf3 or g3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <diceman> He might in blitz.

Fischer vs Tal, 1970

But my guess is that, after a few pictures of them chatting, the photographer said "how about some pictures of you guys playing chess?" and neither one of them wanted to play anything that might show up in the real game.

Nice photos from Stonehenge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: I guess the game starts when
Mrs. Piatigorsky leaves. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Same old same old POSTERS knocking BOBBY.

Just embarrassing.


Sep-29-19  ewan14: Obviously ! In his prime he was afraid to play the King's Indian because of the Samisch
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ewan14> I dunno, I would have thought 1971 counted as Fischer's prime.

Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971)

Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Facing Spassky, he would have run up against the Saemisch: Taimanov's speciality was known to be the Classical line, and Larsen was hardly likely to go in for a Saemisch either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <perfidious: Facing Spassky, he would have run up against the Saemisch: Taimanov's speciality was known to be the Classical line, and Larsen was hardly likely to go in for a Saemisch either.>

Fair enough, but <ewan> didn't limit himself that way. Also, Fischer is playing White in the game in the picture, so avoiding the Saemisch should be a piece of cake. :-)

Larsen said before the Fischer match that he'd prepared "several surprises," so the Saemisch might have been anticipated.

IIRC, in Profile of a Prodigy Brady quotes a chess writer expressing mild surprise that Fischer would play the King's Indian against Taimanov, since Taimanov was sure to be very well-prepared against it.

Sep-30-19  RookFile: I must say, in playing over this game, that Spassky didn't break a sweat in making a draw out of this.
Sep-30-19  ewan14: Neither Taimanov nor Larsen usually played the Saemisch against the Kings Indian. Simples.

Was Larsen not playing the French in game one one of the surprises ?

Spassky used the Marshall attack against Tal in their 1965 match with great sucess

Sep-30-19  Otoy: <Knight13: I think Spassky really wanted a draw here. If he dosen't, he would play 34... Bc6.>

Wow, that's a strong authoritative words. He must be a strong Grandmaster himself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: SAME OLD SAME OLD posters knocking Bobby.

Fischer was NUMBER ONE IN THE CHESS WORLD from 1961 onwards.

The SOVIET COMMIE REDS owned chess and fixed chess back then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Most posters on this site just don't get it ...


Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: yea, what's wrong with us?
Jul-21-20  dgontar: g3 is referred to as the Fischer variation, I believe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher....IIRC, in Profile of a Prodigy Brady quotes a chess writer expressing mild surprise that Fischer would play the King's Indian against Taimanov, since Taimanov was sure to be very well-prepared against it.>

Truth was that Taimanov had an extraordinarily well prepared, but typically narrow, repertoire; it was fairly easy to arm oneself in that sense against him; not sure how well this unnamed writer understood this.

Jul-21-20  bamaexpert: The fact that Fischer played his pet KID in rds. 1 and 3 vs. Taimanov, and in the process took his opponent apart, always made me wonder why he played the Gruenfeld in rd 5. Taimonov played 10. Rc1 in game 1, then 10. Qb3 in game 3, so maybe Fischer thought the Gruenfeld in game 5 would be a change of pace, probably because Taimanov and crew hadn't prepared, and Fischer was having so much fun anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Those two KIDs at Vancouver were actually far from walkovers for Black, and in deference to his opponent's analytical team, it is understandable why Fischer, as when facing Petrosian and Spassky later in this cycle, would change up a little, come to his openings.
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