Fischer vs Spassky
704
[Event "Belgrade"] [Site "?"] [Round "17"] [White "Fischer"] [Black "Spassky"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B23"] [Opening "Sicilian: Chameleon Variation"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 {Again Fischer avoids the main lines of the Sicilian. This variation, however, comes as quite a surprise since it has always been a favorite of Spassky's.} 2... Nc6 3. Nge2 {This flexible approach allows White to transpose back into the main lines, should that prove appropriate.} 3... e6 {Black aims for the traditional d7-d5 break. 3...e5 is considered stronger.} 4. g3 d5 {4...d6 could have led back to a Scheveningen Sicilian, e.g., 4... d6 5. d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Bg2} 5. exd5 exd5 6. Bg2 {6.d4 stops the advance of Black's d-pawn but it is a weak move because of Bg4 7.Bg2 Nxd4 8.h3 Bf3! and White is already in trouble.} 6... d4 7. Nd5 Nf6 8. Nef4 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 Bd6 10. O-O O-O 11. d3 {11.c4!? is an interesting alternative.} 11... Be6 12. Nf4 { A new move. 12.Qh5 was played in an earlier game.} 12... Bf5 {Yet again Spassky fails to react properly to an opening surprise. Black must preserve the light-squared bishop, of course, but this was not the best way to accomplish the task. 12...Bxf4 13.Bxf4 Bd5 14.Re1 Qd7 15.Qh5! f5 16.a3 gives White a slight initiative and the bishop pair.} 13. h3 Rb8 { Black has difficulty countering White's pressure on the light- squares.} 14. Bd2 Re8 15. Re1 Rxe1+ 16. Qxe1 Qd7 {This allows White to eliminate one of Black's bishops, but there were no happy alternatives. 16...Bd7 17.Qe4! 16.. . h6 17.g4! and White will punish Black for weakening the kingside pawn structure.} 17. g4 Re8 18. Qd1 Bxf4 19. Bxf4 Be6 20. Qf3 { This prevents Bd5 by Black.} 20... Nb4 {Spassky introduces some interesting complications with this move, but they turn out better for White. 20...Rd8 seems more sensible, e.g., 21.a3 f6 and Black will be able to transfer the bishop to d5.} 21. Qxb7 {21.a3 Bd5} 21... Nxc2 22. Rc1 Qxb7 23. Bxb7 { Yet again we have an early endgame!} 23... Nb4 { The pawn at d3 is now under attack, as well as the pawn at a2.} 24. Be4 Bxa2 25. Bd2 {A necessary finesse. 25.Rxc5? Bb1! 26.Rc4 Bxd3 27.Bxd3 Nxd3 28.Rxd4 Nxf4 29.Rxf4=} 25... Bd5 {There is no saving the c-pawn, so Black at least occupies the d5 square. 25...a5 26.Rxc5 Bb1 27.Bxb4 axb4 28.Rc4! and Black will not be able to save the pawns or the game.} 26. Bxd5 Nxd5 27. Rxc5 Nb6 28. Kf1 f6 29. Ra5 {White's superiority is beyond doubt. he has an active rook and Black has weak pawns. Still, it is not all that easy to get the full point, because there are sources of counterplay in the Black position, as Spassky demonstrates.} 29... Re7 30. Bb4 Rd7 31. Bc5 Kf7 32. Ke2 g5 { 32...Ke6 33.Ra6 Rb7 34.Bxd4 and White wins.} 33. Kf3 Kg6 34. Ke4 { Fischer starts sending the king on a fantastic voyage.} 34... h5 35. Bxd4 Re7+ 36. Kf3 h4 { This fixes the pawn at h3, giving some chance of picking it off later.} 37. Bc5 Re1 {Passive play simply will not do! 37...Rd7 38.Ke4 Nc8 39.d4 etc.} 38. Rxa7 Nd5 {Black's pieces are finally active, but it has cost two pawns. The threat is Nf4.} 39. Bf8 {White responds with a threat of his own: 40.Rg7+!} 39... Re8 40. Bd6 {40.Rg7+ Kh6 41.Rd7+ Rxf8 42.Rxd5 Rb8 and Black can hold.} 40... Re6 { 40...Rd8 41.Ra6! Rd7 42.Ke4} 41. Rd7 { 41.Ra6 Nb4! exploits the pin on the sixth rank.} 41... Nb6 42. Rd8 Nd5 43. b4 Re1 {Another counterattack is launched.} 44. b5 {Fischer sees deeply into the endgame pool, plumbing the depths in an effort to find his way to victory. 44. Bc5 Nf4 45.b5 looks logical, but Black has real drawing chances after 45...Ne6. } 44... Rb1 45. Rb8 Rb3 {This is the decisive error. The problem is that Spassky will lose an important tempo. 45...Kf7! was the correct move, intending to centralize the king.} 46. Ke4 { Fischer provides an instructive endgame lesson here.} 46... Nc3+ 47. Kd4 Nxb5+ 48. Kc4 Rc3+ 49. Kxb5 Rxd3 50. Kc6 Rxh3 {Black has sacrificed the knight for a single pawn, but it is a very dangerous passed pawn. Still, Fischer plays with great precision in this problem- like endgame.} 51. Kd5 Rf3 52. Ke6 Rxf2 53. Rg8+ Kh7 54. Kf7 { The Black monarch cannot be spared from the intrusion into his home.} 54... Ra2 {54...h3 55.Rg7+ Kh6 56.Bf8 with a mating net.} 55. Rg7+ Kh6 { 55...Kh8 56.Kg6 Ra6 57.Rf7 Ra8 58.Rf8+ Rxf8 59.Bxf8 h3 60.Bd6} 56. Bf8 Ra7+ 57. Kxf6 {57.Kg8?? Rxg7+ 58.Bxg7+ Kg6 59.Bf8 f5! 60.gxf5+ Kxf5 and Black wins!} 57... Ra6+ 58. Kf7 {There is no longer any defense to Kg8, so Black resigned.} 1-0
1-0
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1025
HITS
Players
WhiteFischer
BlackSpassky
Game
Moves58
OpeningB23 — Sicilian: Chameleon Variation
Result1-0
Date
Tags
Tournament
TournamentBelgrade
Location?
Round17