Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
"Best by Protest" (game of the day Feb-20-2007)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 6, Jul-23
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. Exchange Variation (D59)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 155 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 55 more Fischer/Spassky games
sac: 38.Rxf6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you missed a Game of the Day, you can review the last year of games at our Game of the Day Archive.

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 33 OF 33 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-26-21  Justin796: Fischer is terrible! So is Spassky! I'd say Daniel Naroditsky would pounce them all! Especially in blitz!
Aug-26-21  Joshka: <Muttley101> <No, I am a Latvian> Reminds me of my maternal great uncle who always would chastise people who would call him Russian. "No, I'm Ukrainian"!! My grandmother was the same way as well...hated being lumped together with Soviets!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: The Ukrainians have resisted being controlled by the Russian empire since 1917. The Ukraine gained it's independence in 1991 when the U.S.S.R. dissolved. The struggle for autonomy continues:
Sep-20-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

This is the position of the game Petrosian vs. Trikaliotis, Siegen, 1970, after 13...a6.

Compare with the following diagram:

click for larger view

which is the position of the Fischer vs. Spassky game after 14..a6

Sep-20-21  RookFile: In other words, Spassky interpolated ...h6. Good for him, he won't be checkmated on the back rank.
Mar-04-22  Canadian chesser: Neil McDonald in his book on the QGD also indicates 14...a6 in response to White's Bb5 as the error costing Black the game. He tells us that Geller found the correct move of 14...Qb7 shortly after in Timman-Geller, Hilversum 1973. To quote McDonald, "Fischer had essayed 14.Bb5 against Spassky in their 1972 World Championship match. It had been a relatively new move at the time and, as usual, the effect of surprise far outweighed the actual merits of the move. ... A bad line often escapes criticism because it has a fantastic success in a big name game (and you don't get much bigger than Fischer-Spassky, Reykjavik 1972). But believe me, Geller's move 14...Qb7 refutes White's plan." (p. 46) By "White's plan" he is referring to 14.Bb5 as White's "winning attempt". Geller's "hidden tactical resource" of 14...Qb7 completely wrecked that plan and even "forces [White] to think how to equalize!" The Timman-Geller game continued, after Black's Qb7, with this forced short sequence on the queenside: 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.Rxc5 Rxc5 17.Qxc5 Na6. McDonald gives Black's last move an exclamation mark, explaining that it forces White to take the knight. He is implying that from then on White is struggling to equalize --i.e. Black is better-- and eventually is beaten. (This despite White being up a pawn after this short sequence!)

Note that if 18. Qc6 instead of the knight capture in this sequence then: 18...Qxc6 19.Bxc6 Rb8, and if White tries to save the pawn with b3 then Black plays R-QB1 and wins the bishop due to the back row danger! (Analysis by McDonald (p. 47).)

Mar-04-22  RookFile: Interesting, the computer does say black is slightly better with Qb7. Geller's idea was certainly known in the 1970's but I didn't know it was this good for black.
Mar-05-22  Canadian chesser: Thanks <RookFile> for testing 14...Qb7 on a computer (I haven't graduated to computer-assisted study yet). I'm glad the result supports the gist of my post!

Apropos this move, <rigel1503> has argued: <To me, Timman's problems stem from the pawn grab on c5 before he ensures the safety of his king. Instead of 15. dxc5, why not 15. O-O. I don't see the need for rushing dxc5. Eg: 15. O-O c4 16. Qd6 Nc6 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. Qxe5 Qc7 19. f4 Qxe5 20. fxe5 leaves White dominant due to Black's bad bishop, wooden inflexible pawn centre and cramped position.> However, Neil McDonald in his analysis of Timman vs Geller, 1973 is convincing in saying 15.dxc5 is forced "Or else 15...c4 shuts out the white pieces." (Page 47)

Mar-05-22  Olavi: McDonald is quoting from Geller's analysis, in English in his Pergamon Press games collection The Apllication of Chess Theory. Of course the ideas are well known.
Apr-06-22  jerseybob: <fredthebear: The Ukrainians have resisted being controlled by the Russian empire since 1917. The Ukraine gained it's independence in 1991 when the U.S.S.R. dissolved. The struggle for autonomy continues:> Very prescient post!
May-12-22  Herr Stauffenberg: If 41. ...Qg8

41...Qg8 42. Rxh6+ Rh7 43. Qf6+ Qg7 44. Rxh7+ Kxh7 45. Bd3+ Kh8 46. Qd8+ Qg8 47. Qxc7

May-16-22  Herr Stauffenberg: <Canadian cheser> 16. Qd6 ??? Why not eat enemy Queen?
Jun-20-22  CapablancaDisciple: The times for this game from a website called

<<Game 6, July 23rd, 1972

Fischer Spassky
White Black
1. c4 (0:08) e6 (0:02)
2. Nf3 (0:11) d5 (0:03)
3. d4 (0:11) Nf6 (0:03)
4. Nc3 (0:11) Be7 (0:03)
5. Bg5 (0:11) 0-0 (0:04)
6. e3 (0:12) h6 (0:04)
7. Bh4 (0:13) b6 (0:08)
8. cxd5 (0:13) Nxd5 (0:08)
9. Bxe7 (0:14) Qxe7 (0:08)
10. Nxd5 (0:14) exd5 (0:08)
11. Rc1 (0:14) Be6 (0:09)
12. Qa4 (0:14) c5 (0:12)
13. Qa3 (0:14) Rc8 (0:16)
14. Bb5 (0:15) a6 (0:19)
15. dxc5 (0:19) bxc5 (0:23)
16. 0-0 (0:20) Ra7 (0:36)
17. Be2 (0:23) Nd7 (0:52)
18. Nd4 (0:28) Qf8 (1:11)
19. Nxe6 (0:39) fxe6 (1:11)
20. e4 (0:42) d4 (1:13)
21. f4 (0:47) Qe7 (1:19)
22. e5 (0:51) Rb8 (1:23)
23. Bc4 (1:02) Kh8 (1:33)
24. Qh3 (1:03) Nf8 (1:36)
25. b3 (1:08) a5 (1:36)
26. f5 (1:12) exf5 (1:38)
27. Rxf5 (1:12) Nh7 (1:42)
28. Rcf1 (1:15) Qd8 (1:48)
29. Qg3 (1:20) Re7 (1:54)
30. h4 (1:28) Rbb7 (1:57)
31. e6 (1:38) Rbc7 (1:59)
32. Qe5 (1:47) Qe8 (2:05)
33. a4 (1:48) Qd8 (2:12)
34. R1f2 (1:53) Qe8 (2:12)
35. R2f3 (1:53) Qd8 (2:12)
36. Bd3 (1:57) Qe8 (2:16)
37. Qe4 (1:58) Nf6 (2:18)
38. Rxf6 (1:58) gxf6 (2:18)
39. Rxf6 (1:58) Kg8 (2:25)
40. Bc4 (1:59) Kh8 (2:28)
41. Qf4 (2:04) 1-0

The time control was 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours, and 16 moves per hour thereafter.>>

Jul-06-22  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 'Tal was a Latvian.'

Tal no more had Latvian blood than he had Russian blood.

He was Jewish on both sides and his original family name is said to have been Blumenthal, which is not exactly a Latvian name.

I was always irritated by people calling anyone in the Soviet Union a Russian.

Fischer himself called the entire Soviet chess elite 'the Russians' and Dick Cavett, when interviewing him, although pronouncing 'Tigran Petrosian' perfectly, wrongly described Petrosian as a Russian.

Jul-12-22  thegoodanarchist: Fischer's first win of the match with the white pieces. Interesting that he won twice with black before this game.
Jul-13-22  Joshka: <N.O.F. NAJDORF> Karpov is Russian FYI.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "They're all Hessians to me!"

--George Washington

Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: It was fifty years ago today (with a hat tip to <Albertan>):
Feb-09-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: <Joshka: Karpov is Russian FYI.>

So is Spassky.

But Spassky was the only ethnic Russian in the USSR team that played the rest of the world in 1970.

None of the USSR's representatives at the 1962 Candidates' Tournament had any Russian ancestry.

That rather proves my point.

May-28-23  Mathematicar: 18... Qf8 is an invitation for problems: 20. e4, etc. Instead, Black should have played the simple 18... Nf6, which keeps the pawn structure more flexible and the game easier to play as Black.
Aug-16-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: It seems to me that after 18... Nf6, black's pawn structure would have remained the same, except that he could have prevented e4 for a while.

But eventually, he would have had to retreat his knight to d7 in order to protect his pawn on c5.

Sep-11-23  andrea volponi: the best defense is 22...Nb6! -Qd3! Nd5 -Qe4 Qe8! -f5! Ne3 -fxe6 Nxf1 -Bd3 g5 -Rxf1 c4 -e7! Rxe7 - Bxc4 Kh8 -Qxd4 Qd8 -Qc3 Qb6+ Kh1 Qg6 -e6+ Qg7 -Qd2 Rf8 -Rxf8+ Qxf8 -Qd4+ Rg7 -Kg1 Qe7 -Kf1 h5 -a4 a5 -Ke2+-1.12 deep 70 6h 11-37 s .
Sep-22-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: On the move 14 ... Qb7, discussed in the early pages of this thread, it has been reported that according to Kasparov, Geller suggested it to Spassky but he forgot it when the opportunity to play it arose in this match.

As has been pointed out already, Geller played it himself, with great success, the following year:

Timman vs Geller, 1973

Sep-22-23  frankumber: move 34 and 35 are forever a mystery to me. why the two rook moves? was he showing spassky a headfake? was he letting spassky know i have moves to spare while i am thinking? did he change his mind on move 35?
Sep-22-23  frankumber: ..... or? was it a mis-move on move 34 and corrected on move 35?
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 33)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 33 ·  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?]
The Symphony
from Bionic Brain's Favourite Games by Bionic Brain
GlassCow's favorite games
by GlassCow
Game #6
from The Fischer-Spassky Reykjavik 1972 match by dac1990
World's Greatest Chess Games- Nunn Emms Burgess
by Rookpawn
A New World Champion
from Fischer's 10 Greatest Games by Sneaky
#6 Fischer wins big! Takes control of match 3.5-2.5
from fischer-spassky by kevin86
Fischer, Robert James (1943- )
from 1st Class Masters by PMKnight
World Championship Game #6
from Road to the Championship - Bobby Fischer by Fischer of Men
JSYantiss' favorite games
by JSYantiss
Fischer-Spasskij 6
from Classics by PhilipTheGeek
kutuzov's favorite games
by kutuzov
LOUDERMILK's favorite games
Luis Casarin's favorite games
by Luis Casarin
davidfmendes' favorite games
by davidfmendes
World Champions
by clifton
An opening surprise.
from Fascinating Games by clifton
Best game of the match 1972.
from Best Chess Games of All Time by Timothy Glenn Forney
Making History
from Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess Brilliancies by dac1990
ray keene's favorite games
by ray keene
from AAA Tunin's Favorite Games by firebird
plus 570 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