Bobby Fischer Breaks Boris Spassky's Ego - Best Of The 70s - Fischer vs. Spassky, 1972 G6

Bobby Fischer Breaks Boris Spassky's Ego - Best Of The 70s - Fischer vs. Spassky, 1972 G6


The 1972 World Chess Championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky was a tremendous contest that ultimately concluded Fischer's untouchable 1970-1972 period (and even his career...).

Leading up to the match, Fischer put together an incredible run of 19 (20?) wins in a row by winning his final seven games at the Palma Interzonal (one by forfeit) and defeating both Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen with incredible 6-0 scores with NO draws. Tigran Petrosian finally ended Fischer's winning streak, but Fischer still won 6.5-2.5.

Having earned the right to play Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship, it became unclear whether Fischer would play. Friends pleaded with him, Henry Kissinger pleaded with him, the prize found was boosted by $125,000 by James Slater, and Fischer received a cut of the media rights before he finally did make the journey to Iceland.

Once there in Reykjavik, Fischer spectacularly imploded in game one, blundering horribly with a miscalculated attempt to win, a shocking display of hubris. In game two, he forfeited. Would the match just stop here? Thanks to concessions by Spassky, Fischer DID play AND win game three. Then he won game five, tieing the match. Here is game six, a breaking point, and a model demonstration of how to defeat hanging pawns.

"I like the moment when I break a man's ego." - Bobby Fischer.

The above quote is commonly attributed to Fischer, but as far as I can see he never quite said this sentence. Here is what he did say in an interview with Dick Cavett.

Top 10 Games of the 1970s

The game begins with a shocking first move. For almost the first time in his life, Fischer plays 1.c4, the English Opening. What is he trying to achieve? Perhaps it was exactly what happened in the game as play transposes back to the Tartakower variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Fischer's theoretical 14.Bb5 poses problems, and Spassky struggles to solve them.

With 19.Nxe6! and 20.e4!, Fischer blasts apart Spassky's hanging pawns and soon eviscerates his position.

My notes and relevant comments from great annotators are below. Here are the main resources I reviewed (Amazon links are affiliate links and support the content.).

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