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View Full Version : Bobby vs Anatoly: the verdict!



ER
26-05-2007, 02:51 AM
Many times I catch myself wondering what would have happened if the 1975 Bobby Fischer vs Anatoly Karpov match for the Chess World Championship took place.
What would have been the result?
An easy or difficult win for Fischer?
An easy or difficult win for Karpov?
Too close to call?
How would the realisation of the 1975 clash between those Chess giants have affected the modern state of Chess affairs?
I personally believe that Fischer would have won the contest, being psychologically stronger than Karpov.
Your opinion, will be greatly appreciated
Cheers and good luck!

eclectic
26-05-2007, 03:23 AM
Here is Karpov speaking about this very topic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79nE92X_8mY

Capablanca-Fan
26-05-2007, 03:48 AM
Many times I catch myself wondering what would have happened if the 1975 Bobby Fischer vs Anatoly Karpov match for the Chess World Championship took place.
What would have been the result?
An easy or difficult win for Fischer?
An easy or difficult win for Karpov?
Too close to call?
How would the realisation of the 1975 clash between those Chess giants have affected the modern state of Chess affairs?
I personally believe that Fischer would have won the contest, being psychologically stronger than Karpov.
Your opinion, will be greatly appreciated
Cheers and good luck!

It would be worth checking out Kasparov's opinion in On My Great Predecessors. He thinks Karpov had the psychological edge, and was a young new type of professional in his approach to preparation. Karpov beat Spassky as convincingly as Fischer did.

Rincewind
26-05-2007, 12:04 PM
I personally believe that Fischer would have won the contest, being psychologically stronger than Karpov.

I think claiming that Fischer was psychologically stronger than Fischer in 1975 is a big call. I think Fischer's fatal flaw was his insecurity. If Karpov was able to capitalise on this then I think he could have easily won. Otherwise it would have been a close contest.

Karpov at his peak had in my opinion an excellent style of play which had the ideal blend of the positional and the tactical. Brilliant in his own right, if not as visually appealing as Fischer's play. It would have been a great match and I think too close to call.

Capablanca-Fan
26-05-2007, 12:16 PM
I think claiming that Fischer was psychologically stronger than Fischer in 1975 is a big call. I think Fischer's fatal flaw was his insecurity. If Karpov was able to capitalise on this then I think he could have easily won. Otherwise it would have been a close contest.

Yeah, Fischer was the one who left chess, while Karpov rebuilt his game tremendously after losing his title, and played near the top for another 10 years.


Karpov at his peak had in my opinion an excellent style of play which had the ideal blend of the positional and the tactical. Brilliant in his own right, if not as visually appealing as Fischer's play. It would have been a great match and I think too close to call.

Agreed. To play the sort of position game that Capablanca and Karpov could required a tight control of the tactics. But most of them appear only in the notes.

Desmond
26-05-2007, 12:26 PM
what would have happened if the 1975 Bobby Fischer vs Anatoly Karpov match for the Chess World Championship took place.
I have asked myself this question many times when playing over these players' games. I just do not know who would have won. I doubt whether anyone does. The whole saga was just such a great pity.

Kevin Bonham
26-05-2007, 01:02 PM
I personally believe that Karpov would have won the contest, being psychologically stronger than Fischer. :lol:

As a very broad generalisation, the tantrum-throwing psyche tends to lose out to the iceman in roughly equal contests. This applies in politics as well as in chess.

Bill Gletsos
26-05-2007, 01:55 PM
Firstly we should remember that Karpov only beat Korchnoi 12.5-11.5 in their Candidates final of 1974 to determine Fischers challenger.
Therefore one has to be careful and not base out opinions on a 1975 Fischer V Karpov match using the Karpov we all got to know from the late 70' onwards with the Karpov of 1975.

The Karpov of 1975 wasnt the Karpov of latter years.

Also when talking about who was psychologically stronger I'm not so sure Karpov had the advantage and we need to remember that when Karpov went to a 4-0 lead over Kasparov after 9 games in their 1984 match, then went to 5-0 after 27 he couldnt put Kasparov away and win a 6th game.

In fact the format for the 1984 Karpov V Kasparov match was virtually identical to the one Fischer wanted in 1975 with the main difference being that it would be 10 games to be won with an a two point lead for a win by the challenger in a match of unlimited duration.

A match under those conditions would bring Karpov's stamina into question just as it did in his 1984 match.

Some might argue that Fishers lack of activity from 1972 would have been an issue in a 1975 match but history shows that Bobby played only one serious game if chess in 1969 yet came back stronger than ever in 1970. The same was true when he played only one serious game in 1964 (last round of the 1963-64 US Championship) although he played many simuls in 1964.

Basil
26-05-2007, 03:10 PM
Fischer. Not even that close. Petulant sod. More foibles than managa and boris and me put together, but nonetheless ...

Fischer. That is all.

Capablanca-Fan
26-05-2007, 03:22 PM
The Karpov of 1975 wasnt the Karpov of latter years.

I agree, but not in the way you mean. The Karpov of later years was uniquely disadvantaged in that he never had to overcome the previous champion. So he certainly increased in strength, with his first peak around the time of the 1981 Korchnoi match, but in some ways he was coasting for a lot of the time, having no opponents who could really stretch him. After the loss to Kasparov, Karpov really had to strive, and was almost on a par with Kasparov for another 10 years, but his age was against him. But in 1975, he was striving upwards continuously, much like Kasparov 10 years later.

So I lean towards Kevin Bonham's view, although we can't really know. Added to that, Fischer for the first time would have to face a young, rapidly improving player with great technique, not the older generation he vanquished.

Bill Gletsos
26-05-2007, 03:42 PM
I agree, but not in the way you mean. The Karpov of later years was uniquely disadvantaged in that he never had to overcome the previous champion. So he certainly increased in strength, with his first peak around the time of the 1981 Korchnoi match, but in some ways he was coasting for a lot of the time, having no opponents who could really stretch him. After the loss to Kasparov, Karpov really had to strive, and was almost on a par with Kasparov for another 10 years, but his age was against him. But in 1975, he was striving upwards continuously, much like Kasparov 10 years later.Perhaps but even in 1978 Karpov only beat Korchnoi by a point 16.5 - 15.5.

So I lean towards Kevin Bonham's view, although we can't really know. Added to that, Fischer for the first time would have to face a young, rapidly improving player with great technique, not the older generation he vanquished.That seems to ignore the fact that the Karpov of 74-75 wasnt significantly better than Korchnoi and the Korchnoi of then wasnt close to Fischer. It also ignores the fact that Karpov's stamina in a long match would have been an issue.

Kevin Bonham
26-05-2007, 04:40 PM
In fact the format for the 1984 Karpov V Kasparov match was virtually identical to the one Fischer wanted in 1975 with the main difference being that it would be 10 games to be won with an a two point lead for a win by the challenger in a match of unlimited duration.

I'd agree Karpov would have been under severe stamina pressure in a match to ten games. FIDE's initial proposal to Fischer was a match to six wins. Only when Fischer threatened to resign was this extended to nine.

Probably the question of what would have happened in match depends on what kind of match it was, so maybe heaviestknight should clarify that parameter first!

ER
26-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Perhaps but even in 1978 Karpov only beat Korchnoi by a point 16.5 - 15.5.
That seems to ignore the fact that the Karpov of 74-75 wasnt significantly better than Korchnoi and the Korchnoi of then wasnt close to Fischer. It also ignores the fact that Karpov's stamina in a long match would have been an issue.

Bill, is it true that Fischer had an even score against Korchnoi? I read this in a thread, so I don't know about its authenticity!
Cheers and good luck!

eclectic
26-05-2007, 04:55 PM
I consulted ChessBase MegaDataBase.

It is 4 points apiece (5 points were you to count the Herceg Novi Blitz of 1970).

ER
26-05-2007, 05:00 PM
I think claiming that Fischer was psychologically stronger than Fischer in 1975 is a big call...
Hi Rince, claiming the psychological factor, I mean that Fischer had it working successfully vs Spassky. Boris was a wreck as a result of Bobby's initial psychological warfare tactics and never really recovered during the match.
I also believe that Fischer's insecurity was eminent in his private life but on the Chess board he was mentally and psychologically powerful.
Cheers and good luck

ER
26-05-2007, 05:03 PM
I consulted ChessBase MegaDataBase.

It is 4 points apiece (5 points were you to count the Herceg Novi Blitz of 1970).

ty Eclectic and also thanks for the great video clip of Karpov. I spent the whole afternoon looking at chess video clips after that! :)
Cheers and good luck!

Basil
26-05-2007, 05:41 PM
Fischer fronted a chess club as a kid, had a modest mentor coach and did the rest himself.

He didn't 'do' any circuit per se. He opted out of chess for as many years as he played it 'prior' to '72.

He didn't have any Soviet machine backing and drilling him. His competition in the US were patzers by global standards. He won the US championship all 8 times he played, once with a picket fence, the first and only time it's been done.

With just a fraction of the training and psych discussion talked of here, he woulda knocked these clowns not 'for', but 'as' breakfast. His 6-zip shutout slam dunks (the first two ever) of Taimanov and Larsen, coupled with a 6.5-2.5 Candidates job on Petrosian (winning the last 4 straight) was just a taste of what he could do when in the mood.

Psych has very little to do with anything when someone just 'decides' they're 'in the mood'.

And from memory, my mates 'Fox & James' had an assessment of 'put down the glasses'.

OK everybody carry on guessing. Thanks for your attention ;)

Aaron Guthrie
26-05-2007, 05:43 PM
I thought Karpov did win ;)

Rincewind
26-05-2007, 05:58 PM
had a modest mentor coach

Out of interest, who are you referring to here?

Bill Gletsos
26-05-2007, 06:11 PM
Bill, is it true that Fischer had an even score against Korchnoi? I read this in a thread, so I don't know about its authenticity!
Cheers and good luck!Correct however 7 were well before 1970. As such that doesnt say much for their comparative strength.

Based on rating in July 1972 Fischer was at 2785 and Korchnoi was only 2640 which was a fair difference at that level.

Basil
26-05-2007, 06:13 PM
Out of interest, who are you referring to here?
The only 'coach' that I am aware of, and the one I was referring to was president of the Brooklyn Chess Club, Carmine Nigro.

I quote from Bobby Fischer's Outrageous Chess Moves (Pandolfini; Fireside):

" Less than two years later (aged 9), Bobby's mother sent a postcard to the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper enquiring about places to play chess. The card was answered by journalist Herman Helms, who alerted Mrs Fischer to a chess exhibition planned for Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza Library on January 17th, 1951.

Bobby played and lost that day to master Max Pavey, but he gained a chess teacher: Carmine Nigro, President of the Brooklyn Chess Club. Thereafter Bobby played at the Brooklyn Club on Friday evenings and at Mr Nigro's home on weekends. Sometimes his mentor even took the talented junior to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, where they played all day long."

Bill Gletsos
26-05-2007, 06:15 PM
I think claiming that Fischer was psychologically stronger than Fischer in 1975 is a big call.Shouldnt there should be a Karpov in there somewhere. ;)

eclectic
26-05-2007, 06:17 PM
Shouldnt there should be a Karpov in there somewhere. ;)

No ... Fischer was battling with himself! :owned:

Rincewind
27-05-2007, 12:55 AM
The only 'coach' that I am aware of, and the one I was referring to was president of the Brooklyn Chess Club, Carmine Negro.

Yep, that was when Fischer was very young. From when he was about the age of 13 his mum enlisted John Collins as his chess coach. I thought it was Collins that you were referring to because as I don't know how much Carmine Negro was in the picture after Bobby became really strong.

Basil
27-05-2007, 12:59 AM
Yep, that was when Fischer was very young. From when he was about the age of 13 his mum enlisted John Collins as his chess coach. I thought it was Collins that you were referring to because as I don't know how much Carmine Negro was in the picture after Bobby became really strong.
Thanks. I haven't heard of John Collins. Did he play quite a part in Bobby's development?

Bill Gletsos
27-05-2007, 01:05 AM
His name was Carmine Nigro not Negro.

Basil
27-05-2007, 01:07 AM
His name was Carmine Nigro not Negro.
Thanks and fixed. I did have it correct in the third of three mentions.

Garvinator
27-05-2007, 01:13 AM
I am more interested in how game 49 onwards would have gone in 84 ;)

eclectic
27-05-2007, 01:27 AM
I am more interested in how game 49 onwards would have gone in 84 ;)

If the first match were postponed rather than abandoned and we could append the first few games of the second match then Karpov would have won on game 52. Of course game "49" has the same colour assigment as game 48 so maybe we can discard it here and conjecture a match win to Karpov on game 51.

All conjecture of course though no doubt Karpov was livid about his 5 won games counting for nothing in the end.

Garvinator
27-05-2007, 01:32 AM
All conjecture of course though no doubt Karpov was livid about his 5 won games counting for nothing in the end.
Depends on which set of opinions you read.

Rincewind
27-05-2007, 01:42 AM
Thanks. I haven't heard of John Collins. Did he play quite a part in Bobby's development?

Jack Collins was an influential chess coach. He was named by the USCF as the most influential US chess coach of the 20th century. His association with Fischer would have been a big part of that.

I've not read too many biographies on Fischer but Edmonds and Eidinow say (pg. 5) "He [Collins] was to have a major influence on Fischer's life."

He is also mentioned on pg.194 as being there in 1972 as a supporter. Also Fischer's second (emergency after jettisoning Larry Evans) was Billy Lombardy, also an ex-student of Collins.

After 1972 Collins and Fischer had a falling out. Collins said, I think, it was due to Fischer's derogatory and racist comments.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-05-2007, 10:45 AM
I am more interested in how game 49 onwards would have gone in 84 ;)

Botvinnik had an intresting prediction after game 48. He said that there are 3 possibilities:

a) Karpov wins one game and a match
b) Kasparov wins 3 games and a match
c) The match is cancelled.

Then he said that c) is the most likely outcome because b) is more likely then a)

zigzag
27-05-2007, 11:29 AM
Fischer. Not even that close. Petulant sod. More foibles than managa and boris and me put together, but nonetheless ...

Fischer. That is all.

I concur. While Fischer would have been very nervous, at the end of the day he would have wanted to make the soviets choke on their vodka!:P

ER
27-05-2007, 07:42 PM
ok let's give this discussion another dimension...
Assuming that a "let's slog it out here and now" match b/n Fischer and Karpov was organised to be held during 2007 or in 2008.
Who would win?
Fischer easy/hard?
Karpov easy/hard?
Too close to call?
Would it result to high/medium/low quality chess?
Would it attract big money from sponsors?
Would it be a financial flop?
Would it attract more/equal/less public interest than say a FIDE WC match?

Cheers and good luck

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2007, 08:01 PM
ok let's give this discussion another dimension...
Assuming that a "let's slog it out here and now" match b/n Fischer and Karpov was organised to be held during 2007 or in 2008.
Who would win?
Fischer easy/hard?
Karpov easy/hard?
Too close to call?

Karpov would win pretty easily. Fischer was 2650 strength at best in his Spassky rematch fifteen years ago and hasn't played actively since. Karpov at least has kept in practice and is still rated 2668 - maybe he would only actually play at high 2500 strength given his rating is declining, but that would be more than enough. Being eight years younger would also give Karpov a big advantage.


Would it result to high/medium/low quality chess?

Well it would still be GM strength I guess, but apart from that it would be rubbish!


Would it attract big money from sponsors?
Would it be a financial flop?
Would it attract more/equal/less public interest than say a FIDE WC match?

It would be of relatively little commercial interest. Fischer-Spassky 1992 initially excited much interest because:

(i) It was a rematch of one of the most famous matches in history.
(ii) Fischer had not played at all since becoming Champion. Everyone was curious to see how he would play.
(iii) Fischer was only in his late 40s and there was some prospect that he might still be a top-class player.

Aaron Guthrie
27-05-2007, 08:10 PM
Would it attract more/equal/less public interest than say a FIDE WC match?I guess more, at least initially. Rather I guess it will get more media coverage than necessarily public interest. It seems relatively easy to come up with a story for it. For example you can just drudge up the stuff from 72 and 75 and make it about that.

But also it depends upon the FIDE match in question, if it is like the last one with controversy it will get a lot of coverage, but if everything runs relatively smoothly it is not so interesting to most media outlets (I guess).

Capablanca-Fan
28-05-2007, 02:54 AM
Correct however 7 were well before 1970. As such that doesnt say much for their comparative strength.

This is right. In his run to the top 1970-1972, Fischer overcame previously very difficult opponents, e.g. beating Geller in a drawish queenless position (after 5 losses in a row in decisive games), Petrosian in both the USSR v Rest and the Candidates (Petrosian was 3-1 up before), Larsen who had beaten Fischer twice including in the interzonal, and Spassky himself who had 3-0 before their match.

Basil
06-09-2007, 02:27 AM
Bobby interviewed just prior to the '72 match.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnAQN_iwNoA&mode=related&search=

and during (excellent)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9XgReXHWw8&mode=related&search=

Basil
06-09-2007, 02:38 AM
Many times I catch myself wondering what would have happened if the 1975 Bobby Fischer vs Anatoly Karpov match for the Chess World Championship took place.
What would have been the result?
As luck would have it, Anatoly was around for drinks last night and I videoed this for all of you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79nE92X_8mY&mode=related&search=

ER
06-09-2007, 09:28 AM
As luck would have it, Anatoly was around for drinks last night and I videoed this for all of you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79nE92X_8mY&mode=related&search=

Hey Howie, thanks for the info mate!
By the way did you tell Tolya that he is next for an interview after Bergil and Sprouty?
Cheers and good luck!

Intuition
24-09-2007, 04:46 PM
I think fischer would cane karpov it they had a match...but i guess once you are WC you dont really have anything else to play for..it would be cool to see wat would happen if some rich chess dude put up a few mill for them to play :)