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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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Given 65 times; par: 109 [what's this?]

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

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 45 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-21-10  RandomVisitor: After 29...Bxh2?! 30.g3 <Ke7> might be worth a look:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.70] d=31 31.Bd2> e5 32.Ke4 Bg1 33.Kf3 e4+ 34.Kxe4 Bxf2 35.Kf3 Bxg3 36.Kxg3 Ke6 37.Bb4 Kf5 38.Kh4 a6 39.b6 Ke4 40.Bf8 g6 41.Be7 Kf5 42.Bd8 Ke5 43.e4 h6

Aug-21-10  RandomVisitor: <sevenseaman>After 1.Reb1, What if black played 1...Bb4 in your puzzle? The game might continue: 2.R1xb4 Rd5 3.Rxb7 Re8 4.Qf4 Qxe3+ 5.Qxe3 Rxe3 6.Rb1
Sep-04-10  Abraxas: This has to be one of the greatest chess matches of all time. Undisputed.
Sep-05-10  I play the Fred: <This has to be one of the greatest chess matches of all time. Undisputed.>

Well, that's actually pretty safe to say; no one, or virtually no one, would dispute that*. Generally, the assertion that a thing is indisputable comes packaged with the idea that the thing is unique. For example:

<Vishy Anand is one of the greatest players of all time, undisputed.>

Again, with that phrase "one of", one creates a safety valve. Maybe some people don't think Anand is one of the greatest players ever, but I believe they're in a tiny minority. In any event, such a statement would likely not draw dispute.

But take two words and one letter out:

<Vishy Anand is the greatest player of all time, undisputed.>

And NOW there's something to dispute.

I hope I don't look like I'm attacking you, but this is a pet peeve of mine and I just happen to notice it in your post. It's a bit of a non-thing to shore up conventional wisdom in this way. Kind of like, <Oh, Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players ever, without a doubt.> Really doesn't need saying. This was a famous John Madden trick: <With the kind of success this Patriots team has had over the years, you'd have to say that they're one of the best teams in the history of the NFL> Really, John? You think three Super Bowl wins in four years is that good, huh? Way to put yourself out there, man.

* I was referencing what I take to be conventional wisdom about the quality of the 1972 match. I'm not a strong enough player to weigh in on the quality of the play. As a newsmaking spectacle, well sure, this was the granddaddy of them all. (The grandmother being Karpov-Korchnoi 1978)

Sep-24-10  morphy2010: In 1992, before the start of the match in Yugoslavia, a journalist asked Fischer: "Why did you play Bxh2 in your first game of the 1972 match? Were you trying to force winning chances in a draw position?". The answer was: "Basically, yes".
Oct-02-10  PhillyChess: Okay, everyone stop posting "Rybka says .79 after 3 hours." These evaluations don't clear anything up, and they can be very misleading.

As an example, look this branch game starting with 39...g6 40.a5 e5 41.Be7 Kf6 42.e4 Ke6 43.Bd8 Kf7 44.Kf3 Ke6 45.Ke3 Kf7 46.Kd3 Ke6 47.Kd3 f5 48.Kc5 Kd7

This is where your computers will get confused, not realizing that 49.Bh4 and 49.Bg5 both allow draws with 49...Kc8!

This is the problem with relying on chess computers. So often they are giving the wrong moves and the wrong evals and too many people take their word for it.

Oct-02-10  lost in space: <<PhillyChess>: (snip) This is the problem with relying on chess computers. So often they are giving the wrong moves and the wrong evals and too many people take their word for it.> All this is true, but 29...Bxh2 still is a blunder. As already stated: Instead of having a clear draw Black is fighting after this move for a draw with very few chances to get it.
Oct-02-10  PhillyChess: <<Lost in Space>> Okay, but its not a losing blunder. And none of the rybka 32 ply variations shed any light on this matter. The position after 39...e5 40.a5 is a dead draw. All black has to do is play f5-f4 to trade pawns, and shuffle his king back to c8 for a theoretical draw. People who are relying solely on computers will NOT understand why 39...e5 is a such a solid move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: I'm surprised everyone myopically focuses
on Fischer.
What about Spassky?
Do you often believe the World Champion
"drops pawns"? (particularly with a Fischer)

Id say the odds are slim this was a blunder.
Had Fischer won or drawn this game Id love to
hear what the "experts" would say.

Yeah, computers would say its a draw, not a lot of
options. However they would say that about some
some the Taimanov games Fischer won.

Fischer's only loss of the Candidates cycle was his
second game against Petrosian.
I think Fischer thought it "worth" half a pawn
to rattle Spasskys cage.

"Hey Boris, I gave up a piece in front of your face
and you couldn't win. This is gonna be one of the
best chances you have"

Any chess player knows you will take the point
however, you really want to outplay someone when you
win. You don't want to show someone your great win
and have the position on the board before Bxh2

This game was probably a shade more satisfying
for Spassky than Spasskys win in game two.

Yeah, you got the point, but no one says "great

Compare this to game six where Fischer created
a masterpiece and "owned" Spassky in his own

Oct-10-10  fischeryalcin: why 42) Kh5- Kf5
instead of 42)Kh5-g5
do i miscalculate something?
Oct-10-10  morphy2010: In 1992, before the start of the match in Yugoslavia, a journalist asked Fischer: "Why did you play Bxh2 in your first game of the 1972 match? Were you trying to force winning chances in a draw position?". The answer was: "Basically, yes".
Nov-02-10  Tigranny: Bxh2 must've been a miscaculation for a draw. But the game was already a drawn position. Dead-drawn before the blunder.
Nov-02-10  jackpawn: I always thought the move was one of the strangest blunders of all time. Dead drawn position, no time pressure. Fischer's positional judgement had to tell him there was no winnings chances here. If he had just looked up and said "draw?", Spassky would have agreed immediately.
Nov-02-10  Petrosianic: People do lose games from trying too hard to win sometimes. He thought the Bishop could escape but it couldn't. Fischer won a lot of games that way (for example, his final game with Geller), just by grinding and grinding and grinding in a drawn game until his opponent hallucinated.

Geller vs Fischer, 1970

On the other hand, sometimes it blew up in his face, like in this game, which is far more egregious a blunder than the Spassky game:

Fischer vs Letelier, 1959

Fischer has a draw for the asking, gets fancy trying to win, so he pushes the wrong pawn (55. c5???), thinking he'll queen second but have another pawn left to try again, and all the while overlooks that Letelier is queening with check. Extraordinary. But it does sometimes happen to people who try too hard to make something out of nothing. For Fischer, it worked a lot more often than it failed. This time it just failed on a monumentally big occasion.

Nov-02-10  Petrosianic: For most bizarre blunders in a world championship match, I'd still pick the last game of Steinitz-Tchigorin 1892, and the first game of Lasker-Janowski 1910. Fischer blundered in this game, but the blunder was 3 or 4 moves into the combination. The blunders in those other games are just inexplicable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Petrosianic:He thought the Bishop could escape but it couldn't. Fischer won a lot of games that way (for example, his final game with Geller), just by grinding and grinding and grinding in a drawn game until his opponent hallucinated.>

Correction, you believe Fischer thought the bishop could escape.

Since Fischer "broke" Spassky from 0-2, I cant even imagine if he had drawn or won this game.
(later analysis showed drawing chances for black)
Hey Boris, I gave you a piece and you couldn't win.

Its somewhat telling that you call Geller's blunder a hallucination. (however Fischer's is of course a blunder) Its also telling you seem to fault Fischer for trying to win, for being a fighter.
(what a meanie he was)

On the plus side you had to go back to 1959 to show
"something blowing up in Fischer face"
Who knows how many wins were racked up over the years because of his "never give up", "always press" style.

(Gee that may even be one of the reasons he made such a name for himself)

Its also somewhat interesting that no one seems to consider Spassky in the "Fischer blunder" situation.
(World Champions typically blunder pawns all over the place)

All evidence shows Fischer had respect for Spassky.

A book of Fischer's blunders would probably be one of the thinnest books ever written.

Nov-24-10  SetNoEscapeOn: <Its somewhat telling that you call Geller's blunder a hallucination. (however Fischer's is of course a blunder>

Telling in what way? Whatever their respective causes, both moves were blunders. There's no insult to Bobby Fischer hiding in there.

Dec-24-10  Ulhumbrus: I don't know whether anyone ever asked Bobby Fischer what his reasons were for taking that h2 pawn.

An alternative to 9 Ne2 is 9 Qe2 preparing to bring the King's Rook to d1 as quickly as possible, given that Fischer is going to attack the d4 pawn by ..Bb6 eg 9 Qe2 dxc4 10 Bxc4 Bb6 11 dxc5 Bxc5 12 Rd1 or even 9 Qe2 dxc4 10 Bxc4 Bb6 10 Rd1

Dec-24-10  AnalyzeThis: Of course Fischer thought he could get the bishop out there in time. If it had worked, Fischer would have had the better pawn structure.
Jan-11-11  jkromero05: He lost because of the spectators, light and the camera just like what he said
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Oh, nonsense! Fischer lost this game because he blundered, clear and simple. The usually flawless calculator miscalculated. The conditions had no bearing on it.
Jan-11-11  Petrosianic: He even said so himself at the 1992 press conference, but the fanboys simply can't accept him as anything less than perfect. Blaming it on the lights is less silly though than the conspiracy types who believe that he threw the game on purpose just to prove he could overcome the deficit. (And you thought Kirsan's yellow spacesuit was crazy).
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: So:

A) Fischer thought a World Champion couldn't see that a bishop on d6 attacks h2.

B)Fischer thought Spassky couldn't find (over the board) a move like 29.h3!!!!! (this deep resource (in the style of Capablanca) saves the pawn)

Makes sense.

Jan-12-11  jkromero05: I don't believe in what he said. And I know that all people are not perfect and can always make mistakes.
Jan-20-11  Lennonfan: Am i the only person at that thinks bobby fischer was a despicable man with genuine mental issues on everything he spoke on,including chess?? If so i can handle it
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