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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"Bish, You Were Here" (game of the day Apr-13-2019)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 1, Jul-11
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System Bernstein Defense (E56)  ·  1-0



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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer (1972) Bish, You Were Here

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 46 OF 46 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <NM JRousselle: Does 37... a6 hold the balance for Black?>

I forgive you for not searching the 45 pages of kibitzing, although there is a search button.

Someone has posted above saying Mednis suggested 37...a6 but did not post analysis. A couple of times the very similar idea 36...a6 was analyzed above with computers, with a draw claimed, but with some unconvincing lines.

So it's a slightly open question, but the answer is probably yes.

Sep-04-20  SChesshevsky: <Someone has posted above saying Mednis suggested 37...a6 but did not post analysis. A couple of times the very similar idea 36...a6 was analyzed above with computers, with a draw claimed, but with some unconvincing lines.>

Mednis idea, and some of the posted computer analysis I believe, is that Black can draw by eventually getting a blockade stalemate position on the qside with white wrong B. Maybe not the precise line , but something like: 37...a6 38. bxa6 bxa6 39. Bb4 Ke4 40. Bc5 f5 41. Kh4 e5 42. Kg5 f4 43. exf4 exf4 44. Kg6 f3 45. Kxg7 f2 46. Bxf2.

Idea probably has merit and maybe Fischer would've went for it had he the overnight to analyze. But there are three reasons why the chances of Fischer seeing it and trusting it OTB here are extremely low.

He didn't calculate and play 29...Bxh2 figuring there was even the need to bail out being a B and pawn down but stalemate.

There are many variations to calculate correctly. Even if the stalemate plan does work and there's no assurance that it does. An extremely tough calculation effort OTB when it's a complete change of course from the prior plan and you also feel suicidely foolish for taking on h2.

Besides feeling foolish, you also feel stupid for missing something in your earlier calculation to put you in this position. Now, if this relatively passive try for a draw fails, there is the potential for additional humiliation on top of the substantial humiliation already incurred.

So it's probably not surprising Fischer goes for activity and continuing his idea.

Sep-04-20  Petrosianic: <SChesshevsky>: <The problem with all this endgame analysis is that it misses the major point. Spassky found a subtle, maybe obvious maybe not, move that changes the dynamic.>

We don't know if Spassky found it or not. The common wisdom is that Fischer changed his own plan before executing it.

Most people have thought that Fischer's plan was 30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 h4 32. Kf3 h3 33. Kg4 Bg1 34. Kxh3 Kxf2, but had overlooked that after 35. Bd2, his Bishop was still trapped.

So, instead of h3, Fischer played 32...Ke7, activating his King faster, since the Bishop was lost in any case.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Match of the Century indeed.

What a Bobby would do now in today's internet world huh ??

Sep-04-20  SChesshevsky: < Petrosianic: ...Most people have thought that Fischer's plan was 30. g3 h5...>

I don't believe that Fischer thought he could save the B at all. Think his miss was later and the photo was related to that later miss.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer would be a Great White in the water amongst Turtles swimming with the net today.
Sep-05-20  Petrosianic: Stop trolling, Harry. The big boys are talking.
Sep-05-20  Petrosianic: SChesshevsky: < Petrosianic: ...Most people have thought that Fischer's plan was 30. g3 h5...>

<I don't believe that Fischer thought he could save the B at all. Think his miss was later and the photo was related to that later miss.>

Could be. At Sveti Stefan, Fischer confirmed that Bxh2 was an oversight, but he wasn't clear on exactly what he was thinking.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Petrosianic: Stop trolling, Harry. The big boys are talking.>>

Fischer's chess style had an arrogance. This game is no greater display of this.

Or put another way ... I think Bobby was believing all the the hubris and BS walking into this match and had thoughts of invincibility .

This was soon dispelled and Bobby adapted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: BOBBY 1 v 0 THE WORLD
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby Fischer




Sep-07-20  jith1207: More like




Sep-07-20  jith1207: <Sally Simpson>

I like following games Live in <Chess24> as you can turn off the comments when looking at the scoresheet alongside the board, which helps to look at the moves played and replay the game as well.

That's even more better when I usually follow live in their mobile app where there are no comments section at all.

<ChessBomb> is always funnier, especially when the bright and slight red move markings go awry.

I used to follow and love <ChessDom> as they have only games and computer evaluations to look at and nothing else, and I like their Web interface than others especially that's the best site to follow chess in an event that has so many number of simultaneous games going on like Opens, Olympiad, World Cup, team events, etc.,

Sep-07-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi jith1207,

I have tried Chess24 but it makes my kit run clunky. Chess bomb is fine and as I said sometimes the comments are more interesting (wrong word, hilarious, is more apt.) than the games.


Nov-09-20  asiduodiego: <Petrosianic> <One thing to keep in mind, though, is that when beginners say an ending is easy, they mean WITH computer assistance. If you've watched games live on C24, you know the ritual where half the posters will do nothing except watch the eval, report all of its changes, and boldly proclaim that "Somebody blundered!" when it changes by more than 0.2. To them that constitutes commenting on the game themselves. To that mindset, the larger the advantage, the easier it is to convert, which is sometimes true, but often not.>

That's why I always close the chat while watching the games on C24. In the first place, is annoying, and second, all they do is just copy and paste the line predicted by the engine and calling "patzer" the player who doesn't follow the line. Congratulations, you know how to click in a screen and copy-paste a line.

I'm not a good chess player, but if you REALLY want to get a glimpse of what's going on, use the line as a reference, not as the "absolute and irrefutable truth". Try to play the line yourself, and think on the alternatives, and then you can grow as a player.

Dec-19-20  petermccaughey1964: (first post) I would appreciate any analysis on my assertion that 32....g5. 33.Kg2 g4 34. KxB h3 leads to a draw. (The idea is to create a protected passed pawn that locks the king in the corner. The only way to escape this is to bring the bishop in to block the pawn to free up the King- this takes a lot of time and by my calculations if white tries this black can queen a pawn.. I think people miss the point of Fishers actions. Why endanger yourself at all when it's a dead draw? Psychological warfare and International headlines that's why. Unsettling the opponent, playing the 'unplayable' and as I say, under the variation I suggest there are winning chances for black if white misplays it.
Dec-19-20  RookFile: Both Petrosian and Spassky wanted to show Fischer that they could make a draw against him whenever they wanted. Fischer wanted to show them it wasn't that simple. Hence 29....Bxh2?!
Jul-12-21  Albion 1959: Time for another look at this game 49 years on. It is universally accepted that 29. Bxh2?! was not a losing move for Fischer and his real mistake was on move 40, when he played f4? Instead of the subtle Kd5! That shows (with forensic analysis) would have held the draw. Had the game been adjourned at move 39 instead of move 40, it is not inconceivable that Fischer would have found Kd5! in the overnight analysis. However, after 40 move and with the benefit of his team of seconds, found the right path to victory and made it look easy and won with relative ease. I can't help wonder that if this was an allegro finish (no adjournments), if Spassky would have won this ending over board? It was by no means easy! I have learned a great deal from studying this endgame, it is instructive. Credit to both players, especially Fischer, for not taking an easy draw when he had the chance. Though it was a needless way to score a loss in the opening game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <petermccaughey1964> I think the ...g4,...h3 idea has been already discussed above, but I couldn't find it with a quick search. But just looking at it now, I don't think the idea is good enough. White can eventually transfer the bishop to g1 to free the king, and Black will either be pushed back or will have to give up the h-pawn.

Here is an example.

Phase 1: prevent Black from attacking White's pawns. 32...g5 33.Kg2 g4 34. Kxh2 h3 35. f3 f5 36. fxg4 fxg4 37. e4 Ke7 38. Be3 a6 39. a4 Kd6 40. Bd4

click for larger view

Phase 2: free the king by maneuvering the bishop to block the h-pawn. 40...Kd7 41. Kg1 Ke7 42. Kf1 Kd6 43. b6 Kc6 44. Bg1

click for larger view

Phase 3: Black must either drop the h-pawn to activate his king, or be pushed back. I give an example where Black takes the first option.

44...h2 45. Bxh2 Kxb6 46. Bg1+ Ka5 47. Ke2 Kxa4 <48. Ke3> e5 49. Kd3 b5 <50. Bd4>

click for larger view

I believe White is winning here. If Black takes the bishop, White queens first with check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <petermccaughey1964> Unfortunately, I now think my line is above is wrong. In my second diagram above, Black can play 44...e5. If White's king comes up, Black moves his king back and forth between c6 and d6 and won't be pushed back, and I can't find any win. I'll have to take another look at this later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Based on what I found, against the ...g4 and ...h3 plan, White should aim for a position like this:

click for larger view

Here I believe White wins. If Black defends passively, White's king can eventually break through via b6. But I will have to post an actual analysis later to verify that this is possible.

Mar-18-22  SonnyGIII: '72 and none. Bobby Fischer is phenomenal.
Jul-07-22  NimzoWitch: Thomas Engqvist analyzes the ending after 29...Bxh2 in his book: 300 Most Important Tactical Chess Positions (Published 2020). Position 192 at page 208.
He finds an error in Speelman's analysis and shows that 37...a6 38.b6 Kc6 leads to a win for White. He seems to agree with Speelman that 39...f5? was the losing move and that 39... e5! should draw for Black.
Jul-11-22  Sally Simpson: It was 50 years ago today.

Bobby Fischer taught the world to play.

On that day he created a storm,

Why Oh Why did he take that h2 pawn.

Jul-11-22  dannymay: Along with Desmond Tutu, the most consequential black bishop in history.
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