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  1. #1
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    Fischer-Spassky 40 years ago today

    Fischer-Spassky 40 years ago today.

    11th July 1972 game 1 of the match of the century started.

    Game by game commentary was on channel 2 Australia wide with John Kellner,
    Max Fuller and Peter Parr July-Sept 1972.

    All chess shops world wide sold 100% of their goods

    Front page news in all newspapers!

    Chess Discount Sales and my Sydney Morning Herald column started a few months later.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    I wish I was playing then, that would have been a fabulous match to follow !

  3. #3
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    Thanks, PP.

    It was interesting.

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    CC International Master JGB's Avatar
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    Fischer-Spassky. 11th July 1972

    To help relive the memory... Game 1.

    Reykjavik
    White: Boris Spassky
    Black: Robert James Fischer
    ECO E56

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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JGB
    To help relive the memory... Game 1.

    Reykjavik
    White: Boris Spassky
    Black: Robert James Fischer
    ECO E56

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    Talking about Topalov blundering in a rapid game!

    • Was Bobby's 29 ... Bxh2 on of the worst moves ever played in a WC match?
    • Why did he continue playing for nearly 30 moves after the blunder?
    • Was Bobby's recovery after being 0-2 down to win the championship the greatest ever in chess history?
    • I know Kasparov and Korchnoi nearly made it vs Karpov after being down but didn't manage to pass the finish line first.
    • Did Spassky really have any chances to beat Fischer in that match?


    The boys at Marshall Chess Club reckon that Boris and Anatoly had no chance in '72 and '75 with Bobby at his prime!
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  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    It's generally thought Fischer still could have held the position as late as move 39 although obviously the mistake made it difficult for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaK
    Was Bobby's recovery after being 0-2 down to win the championship the greatest ever in chess history?
    I'd say not, especially given that he intentionally forfeited one of them. Steinitz was down 1-4 after five games against Zukertort (and went on to win by five points), Euwe was down by three after nine games against Alekhine, and Steinitz was two down against Chigorin needing to score 7/12 to stay in the match (a steeper assignment than Fischer's) in 1892.

    Another notable comeback was Kasparov in 1984, from losing four of the first nine games to losing only one of the next 39 and winning three, an effort which while not winning him the match caused FIDE to terminate it. Had FIDE not terminated it, it's quite possible Kasparov would have won from four down. (We'll never know.)

    The boys at Marshall Chess Club reckon that Boris and Anatoly had no chance in '72 and '75 with Bobby at his prime!
    I don't know about that. Fischer won the match because Spassky was a good sport and made concessions to allow it to continue when he could have won it by default. Karpov would have had no such scruples at that time. Fischer may well have been the better player by some distance in 1975 but I believe he would have cracked. As it happens, he cracked in the ultimate way, by piking.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 11-07-2012 at 10:02 PM.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'd say not, especially given that he intentionally forfeited one of them. Steinitz was down 1-4 after five games against Zukertort (and went on to win by five points), Euwe was down by three after nine games against Alekhine, and Steinitz was two down against Chigorin needing to score 7/12 to stay in the match (a steeper assignment than Fischer's) in 1892.
    Far out! I better go and have a look in the history of those matches... Looks fascinating!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev
    Another notable comeback was Kasparov in 1984, from losing four of the first nine games to losing only one of the next 39 and winning three, an effort which while not winning him the match caused FIDE to terminate it. Had FIDE not terminated it, it's quite possible Kasparov would have won from four down. (We'll never know.)
    Yeah I mentioned that too, but I left it out because it's iffy!

    Quote Originally Posted by JaK
    •I know Kasparov and Korchnoi nearly made it vs Karpov after being down but didn't manage to pass the finish line first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaK
    [*]Why did he continue playing for nearly 30 moves after the blunder?
    GM Jonathan Speelman in Analysing the Endgame (3rd edition 1997) devotes a chapter to this ending (pp 75-94) and claims a draw for Black by 37...a6 or later 39...e5.

    Part of the reason it isn't so easy for White is that he has only three pawns of which one is the "wrong" Rook's pawn, so Black can often afford to give up his five pawns for the b and e-pawns.

    Whether Speelman's analysis is the last word I don't know but if not then that in itself says something about the difficulty of the ending.

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  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    GM Jonathan Speelman in Analysing the Endgame (3rd edition 1997) devotes a chapter to this ending (pp 75-94) and claims a draw for Black by 37...a6 or later 39...e5.

    Part of the reason it isn't so easy for White is that he has only three pawns of which one is the "wrong" Rook's pawn, so Black can often afford to give up his five pawns for the b and e-pawns.

    Whether Speelman's analysis is the last word I don't know but if not then that in itself says something about the difficulty of the ending.

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    Thanks Ian, undoubtedly games such as the above prove on the one hand, that even players of that calibre aren't infallible and on the other hand, that their mistakes aren't easily exploitable!

    So, Fischer's Bishop sac wasn't far from being justified but one has to congratulate Spassky for playing the right moves, exploiting an inaccuracy of his celebrated opponent and finally winning the point!
    Last edited by ER; 12-07-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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  10. #10
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Continuing on this theme, who can forget the remarkable ending in Game 2?

    Reykjavik
    White: Robert James Fischer
    Black: Boris Spassky

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    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElevatorEscapee
    Continuing on this theme, who can forget the remarkable ending in Game 2?

    Reykjavik
    White: Robert James Fischer
    Black: Boris Spassky

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    I knew I 'd seen this position before but I wasn't sure!
    Last edited by ER; 13-07-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter_parr
    Fischer-Spassky 40 years ago today.

    11th July 1972 game 1 of the match of the century started.

    Game by game commentary was on channel 2 Australia wide with John Kellner,
    Max Fuller and Peter Parr July-Sept 1972.

    All chess shops world wide sold 100% of their goods

    Front page news in all newspapers!

    Chess Discount Sales and my Sydney Morning Herald column started a few months later.
    Thanks for the reminder of those heady days for chess, Peter. I followed the match avidly at the time and afterwards read Gligoric"s and Evans' books on the match. It ignited my enthusiasm for the game.
    Last edited by Adamski; 13-07-2012 at 12:20 AM.
    God exists. Short and to the point.

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  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaK
    The boys at Marshall Chess Club reckon that Boris and Anatoly had no chance in '72 and '75 with Bobby at his prime!
    Kasparov in his My Great Predecessors favours Karpov. He had defeated Spassky if anything even more convincingly, had a better style of preparation as opposed to Spassky's "clear head theory", and was younger than Fischer unlike almost all his previous opponents.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Kasparov in his My Great Predecessors favours Karpov. He had defeated Spassky if anything even more convincingly, had a better style of preparation as opposed to Spassky's "clear head theory", and was younger than Fischer unlike almost all his previous opponents.
    another valid point, thanks Jono!
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    I hope you will allow me to share a little story about Spassky...

    I have been to the same tournaments as him e.g. in Clermont-Ferrand (F) 1989, "The Høstdans-tournament/Women versus Veterans" in Copenhagen (DK) 1997 and Gibraltar 2004 & 2006.

    At the Høstdans-tournament one of days Spassky with black took a quick draw against Pia Cramling and went to the commentatorroom and helped the chiefcommentor Bent Larsen.

    At first there were some plays on words between them:

    BS: "I had prepared this line for Pia..."

    BL: "I beg your pardon. Did you say that you prepare??"

    BS: "Yeah... I was up very early..."

    BL: "No no..."

    etc.

    Bent Larsen used to tell the audience that he didn't play in the tournament because he was much to strong for the women(!)

    Btw., from that evening I know that Meri Grigorian Lyall took a lot of photos. Much later her father gave me one of them...

    And now to my point... There was a tournamentprogram where I get all the players signatures. When I asked Spassky to write "Best wishes" he refused and said: "When I give you my autograph, "best wishes" is automatic included!"

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