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Boris Spassky vs Robert James Fischer
"The End of an Error" (game of the day Jun-01-2021)
Fischer - Spassky (1992), Sveti Stefan / Belgrade YUG, rd 30, Nov-05
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Panno (E83)  ·  0-1



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Jun-01-21  asiduodiego: <RookFile><By the way, Fischer didn't immediately retire. Instead, he posted the conditions under which he would play, as he said he would do before he became champ. This was long before Karpov emerged as the challenger.> What an absurd comment. Of course, if we were in 1974, we could argue that "Fischer hasn't retired yet!, he's just fighting against evil and corrupt FIDE". But, we are in 2021, and with the benefit of hindsight, we know that Fischer actually retired in 1972. If he really wanted to keep on playing, he could have done what Kasparov did, which was to say to FIDE: "So long, suckers!", and play a match outside FIDE, taking the prestige of the title with him. And probably it could have worked, as it worked for Kasparov: many of us still consider that he was the "legit" WC until Kramnik defeated him in 2000.

So, let's not run around the bush here: Fischer probably felt he needed a rest from chess after the 1972 match. Perhaps he didn't think he was actually retired (who knows, the only way to really know would be to be inside his head at the time the crucial decisions were made), but with the benefit of hindsight, we can clearly see that he just retired after 1972. I think that's the only fair assesment of the situation.

(Of course, one could argue that perhaps Fischer thought he had INDEED taken the prestige of the title with him, because of his ridiculous condition that this match was to be billed as a "World Championship". Now, I think the chess world has prefered to ignore this claim, because one can claim that it would be the most absurd WC match ever: the "World Champion" playing a WC match against a challenger rated around N°100 in the world. Everyone complains about Alekhine refusing to play against Capablanca, but at least Bogoljubov was a top contender in the 30s).

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: With the benefit of hindsight

Robert Fischer is the greatest chess player ever ..

with the benefit of hindsight .

Jun-01-21  Ron: < HeMateMe: <Russ09: A quick point about Fischer's 3 million payday. In 1973 the top Federal tax rate was 70% on income over 100k. So Bobby was lucky to walk away with 900k but NY had a state tax too.> i question whether Fischer had ever filed a tax return, in his life. He's sat for quite a few interviews, never seen this topic come up.

The American draft board let him slide, though he was a big healthy fellow, 6-2, normal eyesight, and a high school drop out. Those were the first guys 'chosen' for military service in the 1960s (Vietnam).

I'm pretty sure the American Treasury department let him slide, too. After 1975 at some point or other some chess playing tax accountant would have spoken out about how he, Aaron Auditor, had been the guy at the Manhattan chess club who prepared Bobby Fischer's tax returns over the years, at no charge.

Fischer never thought the rules applied to him. If I had to bet money I'd bet he never filed any returns, refused to let the feds or city/state touch his money. Not as a young man and not as a homeless guy in California. Fischer bet that he'd be left alone, because he was a great chess player. That was his little world.

That worked out until Fischer got on the radio in Manilla and publicly rejoiced about the 9/11 disaster, the attack on the WTC towers and other targets in the USA. That got Bob a year in jail in Japan and a USA court date. I'm pretty sure a massive audit was next, after standing trial for taking sports income in the off limits Serbia. Fischer never showed his face in this country again.>

1. Fischer was way more valuable to the US during the Cold War fighting the Communists over the chessboard, than him fighting in Vietnam.

2 . Concerning Fischer and his taxes: I read somewhere that Fischer sued Time magazine for breach of contract, lost, and then decided not to pay taxes. Maybe <Petrosianic> and others can set the record straight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby 1 v 0 Chessgames.Com
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bobby 4 v 0 SADDOS on Chessgames Dot Com
Jun-01-21  Agferna: For each published brilliant sacrifice and attack that successfully pushes on to a spectacular victory, I bet there are 5 to 10 unpublished attacking flops and defensive wins like this one. Of course coming from the Great Boris Spassky is truly sad. Yes, sadly the pun is absolutely accurate “the end of an era”, however for both. In fact a final end and curtains down for Fischer, as Spassky continued to play, though as is natural, with declining success. Cheers
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: How sad that the US Treasury didn’t get their cut of Bobby’s big payday from 1992. Think of all the good things that the US government could have done with that money.
Jun-02-21  RookFile: <asiduodiego: But, we are in 2021, and with the benefit of hindsight, we know that Fischer actually retired in 1972. If he really wanted to keep on playing, he could have done what Kasparov did, which was to say to FIDE: "So long, suckers!", and play a match outside FIDE, taking the prestige of the title with him. >

In context, we were talking about the word <immediately>. Your point of view is that Fischer immediately retired, mine is that he did not. Yes, Fischer could have done what you said, but that was not his way - he was not the organizing type. Whatever you want to call this period where he didn't play chess, it's fair to point out that this was at least the second time Fischer had done this. In the late 1960's, Fischer was unhappy with the rules for the US championship, so he went through a similar period where he didn't play any chess. When he emerged, he was actually stronger than he was before. Years after 1975, he was still in negotiations with Karpov to have a match with him. Guys who have immediately retired don't do that.

Jun-02-21  asiduodiego: <RookFile> One thing about Fischer we all know is that he was very stingy in his conditions for matches, but also, that when he REALLY wanted to play, he yielded in his requirements, as he did many times in the 60s. I don't know what he was actually thinking at the time (as I said, the only way to actually know would be to be inside his head), but his total and absolute reluctance to yield on any condition to return to play chess, puts me on the camp that, in practice, he retired in 1972, even if in his mind he was thinking "I'll come back to play some day, and everyone will see".

A chessplayer is a person who plays chess, not a person who says: "Yeah, I'll play, but ONLY if you blah blah blah, otherwise, I won't play a single serious game in the next 20 years". If that were the case, then I could claim that I'm the greatest chessplayer of the world without playing a single game, rather by declaring that I only will play in a board made of pieces of gold and silver, and I'll keep being the "greatest chessplayer of the world" until someone satisfies my demands. It doesn't work that way.

Jun-04-21  RookFile: This is interesting. Fischer yielded many times? When did he do that?
Jun-05-21  Dionysius1: Hi <harrylime>. That's a weird idea, that we can tell anything about "ever" with hindsight.

Are you claiming to stand at the end of time, looking back?

I think you've been pulling our leg, and the joke is wearing very thin

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <RookFile: This is interesting. Fischer yielded many times? When did he do that?>

I think that Fischer thought he should be board one in The USSR vs. The Rest of the World ten board match in 1970. In fact, I think Larsen had the best tournament record of western players that year so he was given board one (and had to play Spassky). Fischer took board 2 and beat Petrosian 3-1. Of course Fischer might have <preferred> to play board two as, BF had a losing career record against Spassky at that time.

Fischer might have played the Piatagorsky Cup without receiving an appearance fee, not sure about that.

Mostly, the older Fischer got the harder he was to work with, until Fischer finally just disappeared. A shame. If he was bipolar and dx'd as such at the time there is a chance that medications could have kept the demons away and he would have kept playing chess in the 1970s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Larsen's tournament successes in the period 1967-70 placed him above any player, western or Soviet, in that respect.

Fischer wanted board one in USSR-ROW but Larsen threatened to boycott the match if he were not given first board; in the end, Fischer acquiesced.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: horrible beat down at that 1970 event. Larsen loses in 17 moves:

<Larsen vs Spassky, 1970>

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: With retribution exacted in the next round: Spassky vs Larsen, 1970.

Spassky sat the fourth round, even with overall victory by no means certain, Stein taking his place. As one writer put it:

<Larsen, smouldering, beat Stein>

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Dionysius1: Hi <harrylime>. That's a weird idea, that we can tell anything about "ever" with hindsight. Are you claiming to stand at the end of time, looking back?

I think you've been pulling our leg, and the joke is wearing very thin>>


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<perfidious: Larsen's tournament successes in the period 1967-70 placed him above any player, western or Soviet, in that respect.>>



The Soviets held the World Crown


Jun-08-21  RookFile: I thought of the 1970 USSR vs. World tournament, but remember that <asiduodiego> says that Fischer yielded <many times in the 60s>. So, what I'm waiting for are some
examples of Fischer yielding in that time period.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <RookFile>
The only cases I can think of are: when his travel to Cuba for Havana (1965) was blocked, Fischer offered to participate by telex; Fischer threatened to withdraw from Skopje (1967) but compromised on the conditions and stayed in. But I, too, am very curious to know what <asiduodiego> has in mind.
Jun-09-21  Dionysius1: <harrylime> <BOBBY EVENTUALLY BROKE THEIR STRANGLEHOLD>.

For one match, after which the World Crown went straight back to the Soviets for a loooong time.

Jun-12-21  Ron: Here's a possible example of Fischer yielding: In the tournament he participated by teletype, he thought his opponent played D4 and thus played Nf6. But his opponent had played E4. Fischer, instead of making an issue about it, continued playing the Alekhine opening.

Still, I don't think Fischer yielded many times. And Fischer not yielding is due to the reason that circumstances were basically normal.

From what I understand, Korchnoi had won a candidates match against Kasparov by default, because Kasparov was not allowed to travel to the match. A match between the two later happened, with Kasparov winning. Korchnoi giving back his default match win attests to his character.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Ron> Yes, that incident with Kaspy and Korchnoi happened in 1982 or 1983. Kasparov we not permitted to travel to Bobby's back yard, Pasadena...for the match. It's a shame it never happened, cause maybe some events with Bobby would have happened had that match been allowed to happen. After playing Karpov in 1974, 78 and 81 the Soviets said "nyet" and were not going to allow Korchnoi to get a default victory over their new promising star! Also I believe the match in Pasadena was suppose to take place at The World Wide Church Of God Ambassador College Auditorium, the church Bobby was affiliated with up until the late 70's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Ron> Was not aware of the teletype error with Bobby thinking the move was d4 !! That must be the tourney they would not allow Bobby to attend cause it was in Cuba. Thanks!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: The game in question is this one V Ciocaltea vs Fischer, 1965. In the kibitzing, User: paulalbert related that he was the wallboard operator for this game, and the move came through correctly on the teletype but apparently was misreported to the back room where Fischer was playing. Yes, it's a great example of good sportsmanship by Fischer during a game.
Jun-12-21  RookFile: I think he was going to play Alekhine's Defense in the near future anyway. When this happened, he probably thought "Why not?"
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