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



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 68 times; par: 109 [what's this?]

Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [31721 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: Some games have photographs. These are denoted in the game list with the icon.

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


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

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 46 OF 46 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.,

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: I'm not caught up with the rest of the thread, but as to 29...Bh2, giving up the bishop for two pawns, I am reluctant to believe that Fischer really intended not to lose the bishop. It's getting two pawns for the bishop, maybe not a particularly good idea, maybe makes the position sharper. He outsmarted himself in the later play, but is not at this point actually in danger. With two extra pawns, Black has compensation for the piece.

<SChesshevsky: 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.>

This is after 36. a4:

click for larger view

I don't think Black is in danger. Nothing wrong with 36...a6, nothing wrong with 36...Kd5, nothing wrong with 36...Kd5, nothing wrong with 36...g6, and any of them w/draw offer.

Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: Where did Fischer go wrong? This is after 39. b6:

click for larger view

39...f5?? is a blunder. Of course Black doesn't have a piece, and needs to be careful here, about letting White's king get into a good position. Spassky figures out the correct move here, which is 40. Kh4!

click for larger view

Now White can win, and I really do mean 'White is won', but the drama isn't quite over, because Black now plays 40...f4??

click for larger view

Another terrible move. Exchanging this pawn off leaves Black with some isolated pawns. This makes White's job easier. After these two catastrophic moves, Black can resign. 41. exf4 looks like this:

click for larger view


Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: <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.>

After 37...a6 38. b6:

click for larger view

Not 38...Kc6?? but 38...Ke4 or 38...e5. I'm just plugging into Stockfish for these 'opinions'. Honestly I'm kind of flabbergasted as to how it can be that the alternatives don't more or less transpose -- I can't calculate this, but muse that without a piece, Black relies greatly on the position of his king.

<He seems to agree with Speelman that 39...f5? was the losing move and that 39... e5! should draw for Black.>

If we agree that 39...f5?? was the losing move, then what about 39...e5. Fine, but also 39...g6. These two moves, in either order.

Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: I mentioned that 39...e5 or 39...g6 holds the draw, and not 39...f5?

But what about 39...Kf5:

click for larger view

Engine get nervous with this one. By this, I simply mean that it's coming up with a +1.12 eval for 40. Bf8, at 35ply. At 36/37/38ply, it goes back down to +0.33. Of course the engine is just having a conversation w/itself about this. I can grasp, maybe, that here with Black's three connected pawns, it's difficult for White to win. The winning chances maybe come with somehow breaking these pawns up so they can't defend each other.

Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: After 7...Nc6:

click for larger view

There is some book stuff here. Spassky played 8. a3, and Fischer played 8...Ba5. That's a strange direction. With 8. cxd5 exd5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 we have this:

click for larger view

Black has an IQP. Might be pretty straightforward, that kind of pawn center, but it's kind of an edge to White. 10. h3 Qe7 11. b3 Rd8 12. Be2 Ne4 13. Ne2 Bf5 14. Rc1:

click for larger view

White has quite a bit.

Jul-14-23  DanLanglois: Though I'm looking at a database of games w/1000+ games that have 8. a3. For whatever it is worth, actually the most popular move.
Aug-06-23  NimzoWitch: Tibor Karolyi, in his 2022 book "Fisher - Spassky 1972 Match of the Century Revisited" provides the ultimate analysis for this game. He shows that there were three moves for Black that can draw: the well known 39...e5 as well as 39 ...Kf5 and 39...g6
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 46)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 46 OF 46 ·  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 #1
from The Fischer-Spassky Reykjavik 1972 match by dac1990
#1Spassky wins first-or did fischer barf it?
from fischer-spassky by kevin86
World Championship Game #1
from Road to the Championship - Bobby Fischer by Fischer of Men
Bishop vs Pawns
from Endgames World champions - part three by Alenrama
maxruen's favorite games II
by maxruen
Best Chess Games of All Time
by Timothy Glenn Forney
1 maco partija
from kibitz games by eigis
27... Bxh2? loses a piece for two pawns.
from Fischer vs Spassky oversights by Dick Brain
Fischer 's 27...Bxh2? drops a Bishop for two Pawns
from Trapped Piece by patzer2
Game 102
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (4) by AdrianP
from Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by jakaiden
Fischer Favorites
by atrifix
Game #1
from Fischer-Spassky '72 by GPawn
Tamerlan's favorite games
by Tamerlan
Traps in the Indian Defenses
by painho
Chess becomes the method of battle between superpowers
from morphyvsfischer's favorite games by morphyvsfischer
Games with pictures
by ChessDude33
Round 1
from WCC Index [Fischer-Spassky 1972] by Hesam7
1 Game 1
from Spassky - Fischer 1972 by ProfessorPete
29...Bxh2 / 40...f4
from World Championships Blunders by amadeus
plus 141 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