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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972), Reykjavik ISL, rd 9, Aug-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Exchange Variation (D41)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-08-04  Grandpatzer: Does anyone know if this is the 23rd, and final, game of the 1972 World Championship Match? The Rd. is given here with a "?" but logically it seems it can't be anything else but the 23rd Rd. Can someone verify this?
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: It's not the last game but I dont remember which it was, 17 or 19 at a guess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Grandpatzer;ughaibu> The last game of the 1972 match was game 21. If I'm not mistaken this is game 9 of that match.
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: Benzol: I've just looked it up and you're right, game 9 but the final move (29....hxg5) is missing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> That was an interesting comment about Tal scoring 14.5 out of 16 against the non-soviets in the 1959 Candidates tournament. Tal was pretty severe on everybody except Keres wasn't he? He played like a magician then.
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: Benzol: Tal lost 1-3 against Keres and played all short draws against Petrosian, he beat Smyslov 2.5-1.5 and Gligoric, Olafsson and Benko 3.5-0.5 and he beat Fischer 4-0. Tal won the tournament 1.5 points ahead of Keres yet Keres score was higher than the winner's in any other candidates tournament apart from Curacao 1962, where Petrosian equaled Keres' score. Far and away the best performance in a candidates tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: If Tal hadn't been playing would Keres have become Botvinnik's challenger then?
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: If we remove Tal's games the finishing order would be:

1) Keres 15.5/24
2) Smyslov 14
3) Petrosian 13.5
4) Fischer 12.5
5) Gligoric 12
6) Olafsson 9.5
7) Benko 7.5
This would give Keres the lowest (!) score of any winner of a candidates tournament.

Jan-08-04  ughaibu: Seems I got the figures wrong. I'll give the winning scores, as a percentage, for all the candidates tournaments plus Keres second place score in 1959.

1959 Tal, 71%
1950 Bronstein, 67%
1956 Smyslov, 67%
1959 Keres, 66%
1953 Smyslov, 64%
1962 Petrosian, 64%
If we remove Tal in 1959 Keres' "winning" score would be at 64 but fractionally above Smyslov and Petrosian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <ughaibu> Obviously you do not "lowest" = "worst" in respect to Keres' performance in this as against other candidates tournaments. The strength of the opposition in 1959 was phenomenal.
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: Chessical: Good point, I was only considering the numbers, and even then I got it wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: It would have been interesting to see a Botvinnik - Keres match in 1960. Would Botvinnik have finally won against a challenger or would Keres have won and have faced Botvinnik again in 1961 in the rematch?
Jan-08-04  steven18: I would've like to seen a Tal-Fischer match. Didn't Tal have a + score against Bobby Fischer?
Jan-08-04  ughaibu: Steven18: Yes, Tal had a plus score against Fischer, so did Geller.
Jan-08-04  Benjamin Lau: They played one in like 1959 or something. Tal slaughtered Fischer 4-0. Tal has a plus score against Fischer in classical time controls. Fischer has a plus score against Tal in blitz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This one seemed to be destined to be drawn from the first move. Spassky shows no initiative in this game. Fischer seems content to abide his time.
Jan-16-04  tud: 9...b5 was a novelty
Aug-10-05  RookFile: Spassky had a chance here: 18. d5!!

18.... exd5 19. exd5 bxc3 20. Rxb6 Nd8
21. Bc4, with exploits Fischer's missing 16.... Rxa1, according to Gligoric. It doesn't win, but it give White a try for advantage.

Aug-10-05  RookFile: And by the way, this was the 9th
game of the match.
May-18-07  Inf: why not 14.axb5? if black takes then pawn he will lose a rook, and if he retreats the K, then white has a passed pawn. what am i missing here?
May-18-07  Marmot PFL: <what am i missing here?>

14...Nxd4, and this center pawn is more important than the pawn on b5.

May-18-07  Inf: <marmot> but Spassky lost the pawn anyways... i agree with you that the center pawn is more important, but if thats the case i would have played 16.Rxa8 Bxa8 17.Bxb5 not giving black a chance to take the center pawn... Spassky was not same as the last 2 WC with "tiger" Petrosian... what a shame.

i hate when things like this happen, makes me forget about everything, study chess non-stop, become a super GM, then a WC, and then come back here and post in <> to talk it up with you guys...

Feb-29-08  Knight13: <16.Rxa8 Bxa8 17.Bxb5> There's gotta be something wrong with that. Or else Spassky wouldn't have just castled.
May-22-08  Marmot PFL: <<16.Rxa8 Bxa8 17.Bxb5> There's gotta be something wrong with that. Or else Spassky wouldn't have just castled.>

Can't black just play 16...Qxa8 17.Bxb5 Na7 with attack on Bb5 and Pe4?

Also if white plays 16.Bxb5 black had 16...Rxa1+ 17.Qxa1 Qb6 18.Bxc6 Bxc6 19.Nd2 Ra8 20.Qc3 Qa6 and white is in trouble.

May-22-08  Marmot PFL: <Spassky had a chance here: 18. d5!!

18.... exd5 19. exd5 bxc3 20. Rxb6 Nd8
21. Bc4, with exploits Fischer's missing 16.... Rxa1, according to Gligoric. It doesn't win, but it give White a try for advantage. >

16...Qb6 was inaccurate, but black could also play 16...Rc8 or b4 with a good position. Even in Gligorich's line white's edge is very slight after 21...Ra5.

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