This year is the 40th anniversary of the Fischer-Spassky Match and I have been thinking about the match a lot in no small part because I am going to Iceland on my honeymoon later this year . I have been looking back at the Interzonal Games and Candidates Matches that Fischer played. And it got me to thinking: what would have happened if Korchnoi had beaten Petrosian and played Fischer in the candidates final? Both players had incredible wills to win. Fischer was a powerhouse of clear, logical chess while Korchnoi played with greater risk and many times played moves that were more interesting than strictly correct. In the end, I do think Fischer would have won, but only by a point. It is sad that the chess world was robbed not only of that match but also of a possible Fischer-Tal Match. If only Tal's health had been better.
looking forward to thoughts/ideas on this
Tal was a tough opponent for Fischer early in Fischer's career and beat Fischer 4-0 in a tournament (I think it was an Interzonal.) They were more evenly matched later but then I think Tal got sick. A Tal-Fischer match would have been great. Wish the Fischer-Reshevsky match had finished but I can't blame Fischer for refusing to play when they changed the starting time of one of the games to the morning so the sponsor could go to a concert
A Fischer-Korchnoi match-up would have been very interesting. Korchnoi's lifetime record against Fischer was 3-1 with a couple of draws, although all the decisive games were from 1962 and their last two games were drawn.
Korchnoi was a risk-taker, but this should not be overstated: he also played three matches with Karpov and only lost the first two by a single point. So it would not have been so easy. He might have been the most challenging player in the world for Fischer to face in a match besides Spassky.
Of course, after 1971, Korchnoi has continued to play actively, even into his 70s and still sometimes, so if Fischer had wanted to play him, he had several decades to do it. Korchnoi has never been hard to find.
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