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Robert James Fischer vs Boris Spassky
Fischer - Spassky (1992), Sveti Stefan / Belgrade YUG, rd 23, Oct-21
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B23)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-04-04  Whitehat1963: This is actually an interesting game. Even if it is a draw, I'm surprised that I'm the first to comment on an 80-move game between these two chess titans!
Aug-10-07  RookFile: Yet another example from this match of Fischer using knight against bishop.... in contrast to practically everything that had taken place in his earlier career.
Jun-11-09  AnalyzeThis: You've got to hand it to these guys. Today, Kramnik plays 15 moves and calls it a draw. Here, the game is played until every resource is exhausted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <AnalyzeThis> Or maybe today's guys can see the positions so much better, that for them to try every time out to look at every nook and cranny in a given position will only lead down the same slippery slope, and thus wasted energy. ;)
Jun-11-09  AnalyzeThis: Like Kramnik overlooking mate in 1? :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <AnalyzeThis> Dagnabit! :)
Aug-22-09  WhiteRook48: no Kramnik plays 1 move and calls it a draw
Sep-09-09  mrandersson: or makes 1 move goes the toilet then back makes his move and goes the toilet again.
Mar-13-11  hottyboy90: hahaha ur cracking me up isnt that what kasparov did?
Mar-13-11  hottyboy90: This is the way chess should be played, right to the bitter end. Nice game...
Mar-13-11  fab4: I agree with <Rookfile>.. the Fischer who tsunamied the chess world in the 60's is unrecognisable here..

His willingness to give up his bishop pair in this match in situations which seemed unnecessary just speaks volumes on how different and lesser he was here.. yet still produced touches of genius.

Mar-13-11  hottyboy90: Even so I dont think it hurt his winning chances doing so, exchanging bishop for knight. Or maybe he just appreciated the advantages knights can sometimes give you but then again it depends on the position. Either piece can dominate given the right conditions!
Mar-13-11  hottyboy90: Fischer said that a knight is worth 3 and a bishop 3.25 but I think its all relative and Fischer is optimistically placing a value like that on a bishop when I think the 2 pieces are a lot closer in value with a difference of maybe + .05 for the bishop perhaps in a game where its about equal and the pawn structure hasn't been defined yet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <hottyboy90> Of course it's relative-Fischer, better than we mortals, understood the exceptions to the rule and was merely speaking in general terms.
Mar-14-11  micartouse: It's odd that the knight performs as well against the bishop in chess as it does. Assuming a piece has equal probability of being on any square, a knight has an average of 5.125 moves at any time, and a bishop has an average of 8.75 moves. But in practice a bishop is hardly 71% stronger.
Mar-15-11  hottyboy90: Indeed Fischer was a legend, don't agree with his rants as a person but as a chessplayer he was just absolutely brilliant. Completely unique! I wish a mere mortal like me could become as good as him.
Jun-23-11  iamdeafzed: @ micartouse

Your analysis is ignoring some crucial aspects. First off, in order for your notion of "equal probability" to mean much, you de facto have to make assumptions about the type of board your knight and bishop have an equal probability of being placed on (unless you have the ability and patience to come up with probability figures for umpteen-ridiculous-huge-number positions, and then average those all together). I'm assuming you came up with your figures based on a completely empty board. Unfortunately, that's not sufficient enough for getting an accurate comparison.

That's because the chess board is never entirely empty in practice. Any practical positions we'd concern ourselves with would have to have AT LEAST 5 pieces on the board in order for any kind of knight vs. bishop analysis to be meaningful (2 kings, 1 knight, 1 bishop, 1 other piece to not make the game a draw by insufficient material).

Aside from that, there's also the important point that knights, unlike a lone bishop, can control squares of either color. Which, if you ask me, is quite possibly THE biggest advantage the knight has over the bishop in certain endgames.

My point is that while mobility is a crucial factor in determining how strong a particular piece is, by itself it's not a sufficient measure.

Jun-23-11  micartouse: <iamdeafzed>

You're right that I used an empty board. I agree that it's a pretty much meaningless statement I made. I was just surprised that the knight's strengths are so compensating for this one quantifiable deficit. But yeah, I could just as easily have said that a knight should be 100% stronger than a bishop due to the squares it can eventually reach!

Even if we took all the positions in the chessgames database and averaged mobility of the minor pieces, it still probably wouldn't mean much. But I tend to find those side questions in chess interesting, perhaps because I'm not so hot at the actual minor piece endgames themselves.

Nov-21-11  VinnyRoo2002: I hear the argument that Fischer gave up his bishops frequently in this match. But if you look at the '72 match, he did the same thing in several games. Maybe his chess actually matured. I'm sure his calculating skills and stamina diminished with age, but maybe his understanding of the game increased to some extent with age.
Dec-23-13  Owl: Fischer offers Spassky the Bishop pair for the Knight pair and Spassky refuses even when Queens are off the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An entertaining draw as both sides promote.

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