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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"Crime and Punishment" (game of the day Feb-03-2017)
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 11, Aug-06
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Poisoned Pawn Variation (B97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-04-17  Mrs Butterworth: <abdel: If you go there, good luck.>

Heh, heh.

If I go there, you religious nuts will need good luck!

Maybe you can pray for some? :)))

Feb-04-17  RandomVisitor: Just how "poisoned" is the pawn?

After 8...Qxb2 <18 hours computer time>

click for larger view


0.00/41 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.f5 Nc6 11.fxe6 fxe6 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.Be2 Be7 14.0-0 0-0 15.Rb3 Qc5+ 16.Be3 Qe5 17.Bd4 Qa5 18.Bb6 Qe5 19.Bd4

-0.26/41 9.Nb3 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 <Be7> 12.0-0 0-0 13.Bh5 Nc6 14.Rf3 Kh8 15.Rh3 Rg8 16.Bxf7 Rg7 17.Bh5 Bd7 18.Kh1 Rc8 19.Be2 b5 20.Rf1 Bd8 21.Rd1 Bc7 22.Nb1 Qb4 23.Qxb4 Nxb4 24.c3 Nc6 25.c4 bxc4 26.Bxc4 d5 27.Bxa6 Rb8 28.Nc5 Bxf4 29.exd5 exd5 30.Nxd7 Rxd7 31.a4 d4 32.Bb5 Rc7 33.Rf3 Bg5 34.Rff1 Rd8 35.g3 Ne5 36.h4 Be3 37.Rxf6

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RandomVisitor> Wouldn't that position still be in the engine's opening book?
Feb-05-17  RandomVisitor: <beatgiant>I turned off the opening book to see what the computer would say on its own.

After 11.Be2

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<-0.14/41 11...Be7 12.0-0 h5> 13.Nd1 Nd7 14.Ne3 Qa4 15.Bf3 h4 16.Rad1 h3 17.g3 Rb8 18.Qc3 b5 19.a3 b4 20.Qc4 Qb5 21.axb4 Qxb4 22.Kf2 a5 23.Qxb4 Rxb4 24.Nxa5 Nc5 25.Nc6 Nxe4+ 26.Bxe4 Rxe4 27.Ra1 Kd7 28.Nxe7 Kxe7 29.Ra7+ Bd7 30.Rb1 Rd8 31.Rbb7 f5 32.c3 d5 33.Rc7 Kd6 34.Nc2 Rc4 35.Rxc4 dxc4 36.Na3 Rc8 37.Ke3 Rc5

Aug-07-17  Albion 1959: Forty five years old and time to revisit this game. I came across a copy of Fischer Spassky Move by Move - by Larry Evans and Ken Smith. This game features on page 122. They suggest or give for Fischer on move 13 Na5 instead of Bd7. Analysis appears to show that this looks playable for Fischer. Since it immediately challenges the knight on b3. For example 13. Kh1 Na5!
14. Nb1 Nxc3
15. axb Qc5 allows Fischer's queen to escape to c5 now that there is no longer a knight controlling c5 Worth looking at ?
Nov-22-17  Kishorebodhe: Whatever said and done, Spassky was brilliant in this one sided game !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hello.

Conspiracy theory about this match No. 310.

Regarding 14.Nb1

click for larger view

"Spassky claimed he found it over the board.
I believe he spent more than 20 minutes on that move. But of course, those who don't believe him could claim that he spent that time trying to remember... "

ZonszeinP: Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 (kibitz #226)

Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander in his book on the match adds in the notes to the first Poison Pawn Game. (game 7, page 99) Spassky vs Fischer, 1972

States that when Tal was annotating game 7 in '64' (before game 11 was played) he made no comments at all on the moves 10-16. on the grounds these moves might appear again later in the match.

Alexander calls this; "Prophetic caution." (that is obviously Bletchley Park speech for 'Tal had slipped Spassky his 14.Nb1 idea and expected to see it on the board very soon.')

I think the Russians were working on 14.Nb1 should Fischer be tempted to go down this path again. Spassky uncorked the T.N. after a pre-game decided delay to give the appearance it was not homework but OTB inspiration to lower Fischer's guard.


For those of you that like to cut out and collect these Conspiracy Theories, paste this one next to 'Fake Moon Landings."

Mar-01-18  tgyuid: i'd suggest fischers strategy throughout the match was to invite his opponent to prove; is the pawn poison;; 1-0
Mar-01-18  tgyuid: thematically the black queen is drawn offside while the white queen takes control of the centre, especially dangerous since black has failed to castle
Mar-01-18  tgyuid: i myself should not like to forget that a pawn is alot to lose
Mar-01-18  Petrosianic: Tying a string to your finger is a good way to remember.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZonszeinP: Kindness I've learnt everything in life
Mar-05-18  PJs Studio: Back in ‘72 a player prepaired for the white side of the Poisoned Pawn could drive black nuts. Add to that Spassky’s arsenal of assistant GM’s... easy win for team CCCP.

If Fischer didn’t prep other openings for the match (and just play the KID and Najdorf) he probably would’ve been pushed off the other side of the board.

Apr-17-18  Howard: 22...Qd1 would have been preferable to what Fischer played, wouldn't it?!

Retreating the queen all the way back to home base might have been a bit awkward, but at least she would have survived!

Apr-18-18  sombreronegro: 15...d5 was a horrible move , especially because he was forced into it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <sombreronegro: 15...d5 was a horrible move , especially because he was forced into it.>

Get back to me when you change the world of chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: This is the Only real game Boris beat Bobby in in their 72 match.

Bobby was so far ahead back then.

May-05-18  Justin796: Wow bobby fischer was overrated....if Bobby didnt play mind games and force them to play in the back room he would have gotten crushed.
Aug-28-18  Howard: Rather than trudge through all these postings, I'll just ask:

Has anyone pointed out that according to Kasparov, 14...Qb2! would have been better than Fischer's choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Howard:

Has anyone pointed out that according to Kasparov, 14...Qb2! would have been better than Fischer's choice.>

Computer considers Fischer's move better:

=0.00 (32 ply) 14...Qb4 15.Qe3 Ne7 16.a3 Qa4 17.Nc3 Qc6 18.Na5 Qc5 19.Qxc5 dxc5 20.Nxb7 Nc6 21.Rab1 Nd4 22.Rb6 Nxe2 23.Nxe2 Bb5 24.Re1 Rc8 25.Nc3 Rc6 26.Rxc6 Bxc6 27.Na5 Kd7 28.Rb1 Kc7 29.Nxc6 Kxc6 30.Na4 c4 31.Rb6+ Kc7 32.Rxa6 Kb7 33.Rb6+ Kc7 34.Ra6

+0.38 (31 ply) 14...Qb2 15.a4 d5 16.exd5 Nb4 17.d6 Nxc2 18.Nc3 Qxb3 19.Rab1 Qa3 20.Ne4 Bg7 21.Rxb7 O-O 22.Rxd7 Ne3 23.Qc1 Qxa4 24.Qxe3 Qxd7 25.Qg3 Qd8 26.f5 Rc8 27.Bxa6 Rc6 28.Bd3 e5 29.Rd1 Rxd6 30.Nxd6 Qxd6 31.Be2 Qb4 32.Qe3 Kh7 33.Bxh5 Kg8

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <I can't say that Fischer had clear handwriting - he was a versatile player. In fact I would rather call it a cumulative style. In his better days he combined Smyslov's accuracy with Spassky's universalism and Alekhine's energy... His rationalism was his only weak spot, he was not that good at irrational and unsound positions. Here Spassky prevailed. Fischer had a clear blueprint for his play. Spassky's victory over him in the 11th game of the match was remarkable. He virtually tore Fischer apart in the Poisoned Pawn variation. It was not a matter of opening preparation, this kind of chess was simply difficult for Fischer. Of course, these are nuances, an attempt to find a weak link and demonstrate what kind of person he was. But Fischer admitted this weak spot himself and was trying to avoid those positions.>

- Vladimir Kramnik

Apr-23-20  asiduodiego: What I love about this game is thas it's a good example of the dangers of the posioned pawn. Notice how Bobby's dark-squared Bishop is sitting at home almost the entire game. Most of the time, Bobby was trying to create counter-play in the Kingside, or struggiing to give his Queen some escape squares. Usually, the player who is not able to develop all his pieces, is the one who loses.

I am curious about the "obvious" retreat 22 ... Qd8. It saves the Queen, but it's clear by that point that Black is now in bail-out mode. If we trade immediatly, White is now just better, but this morning I was wondering if 23 Rfe1 is a better continuation. After all, I don't have to capture the Knight immediatly. I haven't done extensive analysis on the line, but it seems that, in every case, Black's center is crushed and White ends up completely winning.

Apr-23-20  asiduodiego: Nevermind. I guess the obvious line is just the easiest way to win.

After 22 ... Qd8, then 23 cxd6 fxg4 24 dxe6 Bxe6 (if 24 ... fxe6?? 25 Qg6#) 25 Rfe1 and the Bishop is pinned. It seems the only way to not lose material right away with f5, is the horrible 25 ... Ke7. Then, after 26 Nb5+ Kc8 (where else?. Advancing the King is just suicidal) 27 Nxe6 fxe6 28 Rac1+ Kg8 29 Rxe6, and Black is pushed against the wall, two pawns down and the King is a sitting duck: Black's position has completely collapsed.

Apr-30-20  Mini Morphy: Think About 19 Knight g3 check!!
with the idea runner check, queen check, game over.
May-27-20  asiduodiego: Using I checked the analysis of this game, and I noticed some details, I think are very important in the discussion about this game.

1. The myth of 14 Nb1, being a "super move" over-analyzed by the "soviet machine" is bunk. The move is good, but the computer says the position is completely equal. It's not a magic move by any means. Fischer's position started to went wrong after 15 ... d5!?, when 15 ... f5 or 15... Ne7 were the correct moves in this position.

2. I think this game proves the idea that Fischer played his weakest chess in unclear and double-edged positions. This middle-game is just crazy, and it seems that Fischer is constantly struggling to find an idea to continue the game, and after a couple of dubious moves, he ends against the sword and the wall.

3. It is a tribute to Spassky's brilliance that the computer says that he played this game without any mistakes or dubious moves.

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