An insight into Spassky's state of mind can be found in the following interview he gave a Western reporter:
I prefer to have good relations with my opponent. My chess suffers if I have to play a man I consider unfriendly. When I am in form my style is a little bit stubborn, almost brutal. Sometimes I feel a great spirit of fight which drives me on.
But deep down I lack faith in myself. I have often found that I have caught the basic idea of a position, the correct plan, but my great weakness is that I fail to follow the logical pattern through from beginning to end.
Actually I feel very nervous inside during a game - as if there was an explosion in progress. When I make a mistake I try to keep myself under control, to remain quiet and calm, and to find the best way out.
During a game I seem rather unruffled, but this is not really so. It is like a clown's face put on for the occasion. When I appear particularly calm I am really feeling especially nervous.
Spassky sits at the board with the same dead expression whether he's mating or being mated - FISCHER