Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Boris V Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 19, Aug-27
Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [22359 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 annotation. 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.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-14-08  JohnBoy: Is 30...Kf7 necessary? Why not swap rooks and then bring the king up? (30...Rxd6 31.cd6 Kf7)
Jan-23-09  Bear With Me: Ray Keene featured this game in today's Times chess column: He suggests that on move 18 Spassky could have played Qe1, to defend the knight on c3, Fischer must be careful now, if Nbd7? Spassky can win with Nxd5!! Though after Qe1 the position is open to further analysis
Jul-01-09  WhiteRook48: funny how Fischer couldn't win this
Sep-30-09  KraziPawn: WhiteRook48, I'm amazed that Fischer drew this game. Spassky developed a rather nasty attack.

Where exactly do you feel that Fischer had genuine winning chances?

Jul-09-11  Garech: 18.Nxd5 was a nice shot from Spassky - it's admirable that he still had some fight in him at this stage of the match. This late draw and the others are of course not as well known as the early wins that took place in Reykjavik in 1972, but they are great games upon close examination.


Jul-10-11  bronkenstein: Spassky played <18.Nxd5!> hoping to make a tactical miniature , but Bobby replied <18...Bg5!> INSTANTLY ( Ha, I expected your little trick! - could be the psychological subtext ) , according to Gligoric .

In one interview later on, Boris was speaking of great pressure he was putting + that feeling of ˝close victory˝ that he had in several games of the second part of the match , and Fischer escaping in the last moment everytime. This game is good example, since after knight sac , many saw RJF down and out =)

Nov-10-11  talisman: but backing up a few moves...fischer's 10th..a novelty?...and then spassky's 11th...the best?
Nov-10-11  AnalyzeThis: Gligoric pointed out that the position through 12. Bxf3 occurred in the ladies world championship between Nona Gaprindashvili and Alla Kushnir in 1969.
Nov-10-11  talisman: <AnalyzeThis> thanks.
Mar-08-13  Hesam7: <Calli: A tremedous game somewhat forgotten because its a draw. I recall the players moved rapid fire after 18.Nxd5, sending the analysts in a tizzy tryng to figure out what was happening.>

Actually according to the times listed here: Spassky took 15 minutes for 19 Bh5 and Fischer took 12 minutes 19...cd5 and another 8 minutes for 20...Rf7.

Mar-08-13  Hesam7: <PVS: White would perhaps have been better off having played 18. Qe1.>

Looking at the game I am coming to the same conclusion, Spassky's 18 Nd5 is flashy but more forcing and it does not result in any tangible plus for White. After 18 Qe1 here is what the engine likes: 18...Bc5 19 dc5 Qc5 20 Rf2 d4 21 Na4 Qe5 22 Nb2 Nd7 23 Rc2 Rac8 24 Rac1 Qd6 25 Nc4 Qc7 26 e5 c5

click for larger view

and White should have a large advantage. Of course 18...Bc5 is not forced but Black's choices are very limited since after 18 Qe1, the threat of Nd5 is stronger ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Hesam7>
After 18. Qe1, Black could try <18...Bh4> 19. Qxh4 Qxc3 20. exd5 exd5. Although White still has some initiative, it looks to me like Black can defend himself.
Mar-08-13  Hesam7: <beatgiant: <Hesam7> After 18. Qe1, Black could try <18...Bh4> 19. Qxh4 Qxc3 20. exd5 exd5. Although White still has some initiative, it looks to me like Black can defend himself.>

Actually this seems to be losing after 18 Qe1 Bh4 19 Qh4 Qc3 20 ed5 ed5? 21 e6!

click for larger view

Black only has 21...Qe3 22 Kh1 Qe6 23 Bg4 Qe8 24 Rae1 Qd8 25 Qd8 Rd8 26 Re7

click for larger view

Mar-08-13  Hesam7: This probably means that after 18 Qe1 Bh4 19 Qh4 Qc3 20 ed5 Black should play 20...cd5 after which he seems to hold. However this is not the end of it, White can improve too: 20 Qf2! and after 20...Na6 21 Rab1 Rab8 22 Rb8 Nb8 23 Bg4 Nd7 24 ed5 cd5 25 Kh2

click for larger view

Black is running out of moves, none of his pieces except for the Queen can move ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Hesam7>
Yes, I underestimated <21. e6> in your line posted above. If Black has to play 20...cxd5 conceding a passed c-pawn, this defense is not worth considering.

But, is 23...Qe8 really necessary?
After 18 Qe1 Bh4 19 Qxh4 Qxc3 20 exd5 exd5 21 e6 Qe3+ 22 Kh1 Qxe6 23 Bg4, how about <23...f5> or even <23...Qe3>. Does White have an outright win?

Mar-09-13  RookFile: Gligoric had suggested 18. Qe1 back in the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Yeah, in his book on the match Gligoric already noted that 18.Qe1 might have been more efficient, though the details of his analysis turn out as not very reliable - he goes on to say that after 18...Bg5 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Nxd5 Qxe1 21.Raxe1 exd5 22.Bxd5 Na6 23.Rxf7 Rxf7 24.Bxa8 Kf8 White would have nothing clear in his favor, which is true, but misses that in this variation White has a forced win by 23.e6! (again) 23...Rad8 24.Rf5!

<After 18 Qe1 Bh4 19 Qxh4 Qxc3 20 exd5 exd5 21 e6 Qe3+ 22 Kh1 Qxe6 23 Bg4, how about <23...f5> or even <23...Qe3>. Does White have an outright win?> Yes - 23...f5 loses to 24.Bxf5! Rxf5 25.Rae1, and 23...Qe3 to 24.Rae1 Qh6 (else 25.Rxf7!) 25.Qe7 and Black has no good defence against Qb7 (he can save the rook, but would lose the knight).

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Eyal>
I'm still missing something: 18. Qe1 Bh4 19. Qxh4 Qxc3 20. exd5 exd5 21. e6 Qe3+ 22. Kh1 Qxe6 23. Bg4 f5 24. Bxf5 Rxf5 25. Rae1 Rxf1+ 26. Rxf1 Na6 seems to hold.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <beatgiant> Ah, sorry - I was assuming 22.Kh2 instead of Kh1, which is what White has to play in order for this to work (so that 25...Rxf1 doesn't come with check); though even with the king on h1 there's actually another win by 25.Qd8+ Kf7 26.Rxf5+ Qxf5 27.Re1 Qd7 28.Qh8! etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <beatgiant: <Eyal> I'm still missing something: 18. Qe1 Bh4 19. Qxh4 Qxc3 20. exd5>

What about
(to avoid 21.e6)

something like:

21.Rac1 Qa3
22.c6 Qa6
23.c7 Nc6
24.Be2 Qb6
25.Bd3 h6
26.Rc5 Qxc7
27.Rfc1 Qd8
28.Qf4 Ne7
29.Rc7 Rc8
30.Rxa7 Rxc1+
31.Qxc1 Qb6
32.Ra4 Nc6
33.Kh2 Rc8


I only looked at this quickly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: For the record:

Timman in
“The Art of Chess Analysis”
credits Olafsson for finding 18.Qe1.

Timman thought 17...Qa5 was directed against
white playing 18.Qa4.

Since 18.Qe1 didn’t allow Qa4 anymore, he thought
Fischer’s best after 18.Qe1 was to go back to d8,

Timman also thought Fischer chose the “dubious” pawn break, 14...b6.

He called 14...f6, “the other method”
and said,

“Petrosian draws attention to 14...Nc6,
a typical Petrosian waiting move.”

Mar-12-13  Hesam7: Kasparov in OMGP4 does not think 18 Nd5 spoils anything, instead he claims that 19 Qd3!

click for larger view

was the right way to go with the main line being 19...Na6 20 h4! Bh4 21 Ne3. However Kasparov's analysis has a hole, he dismisses 19...ed5 20 ed5 Na6 21 d6! because 21...Nc5 is "insufficient": 22 dc5 Qc5 23 Kh1 Qe5 24 Bc6 Rad8 25 d7. But Black can improve with 23...Rae8 24 d7 Re5 25 Rae1 g6 26 Re5 Qe5 27 Bc6 Bd8

click for larger view

And compared to Kasparov's line Black has managed to exchange a pair of rooks which does help his defense a great deal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: ^^^

I understand the search for perfection in chess but the magic and resonance of these moves at that time more than equals any 30/40/100 year post mortem.

Aug-18-13  RandomVisitor: After 18.Nxd5:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.85] d=26 18...Bg5 19.Bh5 cxd5 <20.exd5> Qc3 21.dxe6 Nc6 22.exf7+ Kh8 23.Bf3 Rxf7 24.Bxc6 Rxf1+ 25.Kxf1 Rf8+ 26.Kg1 Be3+ 27.Kh1 Bxd4 28.Rc1 Qa3 29.e6 Bxc5 30.Bb5 a5 31.Rc2 Qb4 32.a4 Be7 33.Rc4 Qa3

Aug-18-13  RookFile: I think it's fair to say that Fischer made a misstep in the opening and should have been punished. He was in some trouble and showed resourceful defense.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  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.

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 19
from Fischer World Champion (Timman/Euwe) by Qindarka
from Toliman's favorite games by Toliman
Alekhine Defense: Modern. Main Line (B05) 1/2-1/2 Center Tricks
from Triumphant E of G - Move these games by fredthebear
Game 6
from Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur by vantheanh
Game #19
from Fischer-Spassky '72 by foxmt
Alekhine Defense: Modern. Main Line (B05) 1/2-1/2 Center Tricks
from Attacks and Sacs of f7 Vol. II by Fredthebear by kishchess
from Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by jakaiden
Try to understand something .
from Bryan14's favorite games by Bryan14
DrChopper's good games 2
by DrChopper
Game 26
from Move by Move - Fischer (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
Game 26
from Move by Move - Fischer (Lakdawala) by edwin.n.walker
Game 106
from On My Great Predecessors 4 (Kasparov) by isfsam
Game 19, Fischer leads 11-8
from 1972 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
Draws Can Be Fun Too!
from Chess Mastery II by The Kings Domain
My Great Predecessors by Garry Kasparov
by JoseTigranTalFischer
Now for something completely different
by Timothy Glenn Forney
from saveyougod's favorite games by saveyougod
partij 9
from Jan timman De kunst van de analyse by i.abderrahim
Bobby Fischer: My 30 Memorable Games 1968-1972
by Runemaster

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 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC