Fischer - Spassky 1972 WCH Game 16 (C69)

Fischer - Spassky 1972 WCH Game 16 (C69)

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Once again Fischer keeps Spassky on his toes by introducing the Ruy Lopez Exchange Var in a modern WCH for the first time, no doubt encouraged by his results with it prior to this game: +5 -0 =1 (inc wins vs Gligoric and Portisch, and a draw vs former WCH Smyslov). Incidentally another WCH, Dr Lasker, had a lifetime record of +9 -1 with this opening, inc. a win vs Capablanca (St Petersburg 1914) that is one of the great Cuban's most famous (or infamous) losses of his entire career.  I'm arbitrarily referring to all WCHs beginning with the Hague WCH Tnmt of 1948 as being "modern" as this is when FIDE first took over the WCH which previously had been considered the private property of the title-holder. 

"The Exchange Variation has the strategic idea of obtaining a K-side pawn majority after playing d4 and exchanging for Black's e-pawn. White would have an endgame edge because Black's Q-side is difficult to mobilize. Many amateurs use this line to escape learning the massive amount of theory required to play the Closed Variations and other lines. Black obtains the Bishop-pair and easy development compensating for the doubled pawns, so usually there is a clear path to equalizing the game." (MCO-15 p 55)

For once I have no info on the illustrator or original source of this cartoon. L to R: Spassky, Chief Arbiter GM Schmid, Assistant Arbiter Gudmundur Arniaugsson and Fischer, who appears to be making the amazingly unexpected (and unnecessary) Bishop sac in Game 1.