"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Spassky-Fischer: "The Reykjavík Symphony"

The famous "Match of Century" Spassky vs Fischer started on July 11, 1972. Long forty years ago.... Match was preceded by terrible overture when the American was bargaining about the prize money, about the terms of the match et cetera... Political pressure on Spassky was tremendous... Match was intended to be played in Belgrade initially, however, Yugoslav organizers had to withdraw eventually because of Fischer's demands ...

The first game remains still a bit of mystery to everybody who ever have studied this match. Game went quickly into calm waters of Nimzo-Indian and after the exchange of Queens visitors and experts alike were convinced that draw was to be agreed soon. However, ....

Why the player of Fischer's calibre grabbed a poisoned pawn remains a mystery. Perhaps following footage from the GM Hort's DVD published by ChessBase can bring some more light into this story.

Be as it may, the question remaining is whether this move really lost the game. The rest of the game was heavily analysed by many grandmasters, you can find out a comprehensive analysis in Kasparov's book "My Great Predecessors". The only remark which I can add is that to win the game was not easy and there was a lot of traps for White and perhaps if Fischer had played the best possible defence then he could have made a draw.
Let's have a look at the position after move 35 when in the game Spassky played 36.a4 with the idea of Ba3. The ending is very complex and it was practically impossible to analysed everything over the board.

Interesting, isn't it? 

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