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

Friday, 6 July 2012

Spassky-Fischer: "The Rendezvous in Santa Monica"

Boris Spassky, Mr. & Ms. Gregor Piatigorsky & Robert Fischer

Neither Spassky nor Fischer were invited on 1st Piatigorsky Cup in Los Angeles, 1963. This event was an invitational double round-robin grandmaster chess tournaments sponsored by the Piatigorsky Foundation and it was considered as the strongest U.S. chess tournaments since New York 1927.
Second year of this tournament was organized in 1966 and held in Santa Monica. Both rivals had an opportunity to play each other twice. First time they were paired in round 8.
Spassky, playing White, opened 1.d4 and the game quickly went into that time very topical Exchange Variation of Grünfeld Indian Defence. Theory of this opening was very underdeveloped so both players had written history as well as theory...

After more than two weeks both players clashed again in round 17. Fischer used to be an "e4"-player so his choice of opening was not a surprise.
Spassky chose for classical opening repertoire and replied 1...e5. Closed Ruy Lopez was played and Spassky again showed his likings in the initiative at all cost when he opted for Marshall Attack, i.e. again a pawn sac and again in "pre-computer" era which used to be always very unpleasant and very deadly.

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