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Svetozar Gligoric vs Robert James Fischer
Training Match (1992), Sveti Stefan YUG
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Modern System (E97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-10-14  Petrosianic: I left half a sentence off there. I meant to say the engineer who designed the Pentium IV vs. the engineer who designed ENIAC.
Mar-10-14  Petrosianic: <Unfortunately we will never know, I wonder if he even knew why he quit. Scared to lose? Was it really the match demands? Was there something major the public wasnt seeing?>

Nothing to do with the match conditions. He retired right after beating Spassky, it just took a while before people realized it. When he resigned the title, there were many people convinced, with some reason, that he was going to play outside of FIDE.

It's not a big mystery to me why Fischer quit, but it needs careful explaining. "Fear of losing" is too simplistic, and not really fair. What you need to understand is that for all of Fischer's many strengths, he had one big weakness: His chess regimen was a Total Immersion Technique.

Compare Fischer and Taimanov again. Fischer beat Taimanov 6-zip, right? But Taimanov had a life. He had a good family life, was an internationally famous concert pianist, and still had time to be one of the top chess players in the world. Not as good as Fischer, but pretty darn good. Taimanov was able to manage his time very well and achieve a lot of things.

Fischer couldn't play that way and couldn't study that way. To play at all, he had to GIVE it his all. It made him world champion, but it left no time for anything else. Probably at age 29, Fischer realized he didn't want to spend his whole life focused on chess and nothing else.

So, apparently, he took time off from chess. According to the New Zork times in Summer 1973, his friends were afraid Fischer would never play again because, unlike his previous absences from the board, he wasn't familiar with the latest games and innovations.

As all chess players know, there's a big problem with taking time off. You get rusty. You have to play yourself back into form. You have to take a few lumps to get back to where you were, and suffer through the knowledge that you're not playing as well as you could. In short, when you take time off from chess, it's DIFFICULT to get back into it. It's easier if you're somebody like Reshevsky, who never worked very hard at the game even when he was into it. It just came naturally to him. But when you're somebody like Fischer, and being in the game means being totally immersed in it, it must be very hard indeed to get back in. Probably Fischer thought about doing it a lot, but could never quite take that big step. Except just the one time when he really needed the money.

Mar-10-14  SpiritedReposte: Interesting psych eval. You could say his biggest strength was his biggest weakness, funny how that works. He really didn't have anything else outside of chess. No doubt a big reason he was so good at it.

Hard work beats talent but when talent works hard...good luck lol.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Petrosianic> Fischer did effectively retire after beating Spassky but not only did he not announce it but he indicated in the following interview after the Spassky match that he wanted to play a lot of chess, as well as wanting a rematch with Spassky: So it wasn't just wishful thinking on the part of the chess world that he intended to continue playing. And maybe he truly did at the time he gave the interview but as time progressed he simply didn't "get around to it". I don't know if he was invited to any tournaments after his match with Spassky but I would find it difficult to believe that he wasn't. He was certainly offered a lot of money for many chess-related activities but turned them all down.

And, while I agree that for most people staying away from top-level chess would make them rusty, Fischer may have been different. He effectively took a year off in 1969, not playing any games, and returned to play in 1970 stronger than ever. But as you said, unlike his previous absences from the board, he wasn't familiar with the latest games and innovations. So this time apparently it was different; he seemed to have lost his motivation for total immersion.

Why? No one really knows and, if they do, they're not saying anything. My personal thought was that Fischer had achieved all that he had set out to achieve and now he didn't know what to do next. Sort of like the ending sequence of the movie "The Candidate" when Robert Redford, after unexpectedly winning the election that everyone, particularly himself thought he would lose, is now sitting disconsolate and saying "What do I do now?"

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Petrosianic:> & <AylerKupp> good posts!
Mar-11-14  RedShield: <Petrosianic: By that [sic] criteria...>
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <SpiritedReposte> There is a story about Fischer, perhaps apocryphal, that Fischer was traveling on a train staring out the window with a melancholy expression on his face, telling his traveling companion that the only thing that he could do was play chess. But then he straightened up, smiled, his face brightened, and he told his traveling companion "But I'm really good at that!".

<optimal play> heard a similar story of Fischer saying the same thing to Euwe just after he won the World Championship.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to validate either story, but they are good stories nonetheless and perfectly fitting Fischer's personality and "All I ever want to do is play chess" approach to life.

Mar-11-14  RookFile: Fischer himself usually said the best was probably either Morphy or Capa.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: One possibility as to why Fischer quit chess. He had an image of himself as the greatest of all time. His accomplishments after the Spassky match gave him a strong argument for this.

There was nothing more he could do to bolster this belief as he decisively proved himself the best player in the world but by continuing to play he might lose and thereby lose the self image as the best player of all time.

Keeping the image of being the best player of all time was more important to him than money, playing further chess or defending his title.

I think he didn't just want to win the title. I think he wanted to prove himself to be the greatest player of all time. When he felt he did that he accomplished his objective. After that there was a chance his claim could be disproven but it couldn't be proven any more. So he chose not to play anymore.

Mar-11-14  RedShield: <Unfortunately I haven't been able to validate either story, but they are good stories nonetheless...>

Edward Winter, eat your heart out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <gezafan> I don't think that anyone gets to be known as the best of all time in anything by reaching the top and then quitting. One gets to be known as the best of all time by reaching the top <and staying there>, at least for a substantial period of time, until their inevitable decline. So if Fischer thought that he would keep or even enhance his image as the best player of all time by leaving the game as soon as he had reached the top then he was badly mistaken.
Mar-11-14  Petrosianic: It depends what "Best" means. Does it mean the person who played at the highest level? Or who showed the most dominance? Or overcame the most obstacles? Or what? Nobody's quite sure.

By some criteria, Philidor is the greatest player ever. No one will ever again be the clear World #1 for 50 straight years. But if you go by absolute playing level, and put him up against a modern master armed with MCO and computer analysis that he didn't have, then of course, he wouldn't fare that well. The modern player would have access to his work, but not vice versa.

Fischer lived at the end of a long era of primus inter pares champions. He was the first dominant player for some time (okay, Tal was for a while, but he slid back into the pack quickly). If Fischer had any idea that he would be followed by two more dominant champions, maybe he would have acted differently.

Sep-24-15  Helios727: Fischer did not view himself as a retiree. To the day he died he proclaimed himself to be World Champion since nobody had defeated him in a match after he became world champion in 1972. Not credible of course. If he could not agree on match terms with Karpov or Korchnoi, okay. He still could have played a match (1975 and onward) against any non-Soviet player in the world with all terms dictated by him. Plenty of GM's would have loved to take 1/3 of $5M if they lost, or more if they did not lose.
Sep-24-15  Petrosianic: <Helios727: Fischer did not view himself as a retiree. To the day he died he proclaimed himself to be World Champion>

Well, that's not entirely clear. Around 1997 or so, he admitted that he didn't play "the old Chess" any more. If he considered himself retired then, it's hard to see how he could consider himself the active player he'd need to be to be world champion at the same time.

Sep-25-15  RookFile: Best meant that if Morphy sat down and played a match with anybody else (except Fischer, of course), then Morphy wins. Allowances would be made for the need for Morphy to study the opening theory and other developments that occurred after his death.
Oct-12-15  Helios727: <Petrosianic>, That would show inconsistency on Bobby's part, but I don't think he was fully immune to inconsistencies.
Mar-27-20  ewan14: Gligoric did not play the Samisch in any of these training games. A surprise to me when Fischer avoided it previously , and Spassky was known to get some good wins with it
Mar-27-20  Petrosianic: Gligoric wasn't trying to win, he was trying to warm Fischer up. The last thing he'd have wanted to do (even if he could) was perform so well that Fischer wouldn't play the match at all.
Aug-20-20  BobbyDigital80: 40...Nb5 is indeed a misprint. It’s supposed to be 4...Nf5. I assume the descriptive notation confused someone. Fischer’s N-B4 might’ve been mid interpreted as Nb5.

Aug-20-20  BobbyDigital80: Misinterpreted* Is there no way to edit comments on here?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Once an hour has gone from the time of posting, no dice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: terrific game. I didn't know that Fischer's training games with Gligoric had been published. I wonder if Gligoric wrote down moves during the games, or put them down from memory afterwards? I'm guessing that the paranoid BF would have barred SG from writing down the moves during the games but he certainly couldn't block Gligoric from recreating the games from memory on his own time afterwards.

Reminds me of Seirowan's book <No Regrets>, about the '92 Fischer/Spassky rematch. He analyzed some of the games with Fischer during the match, on off days. YS put his notes down on paper afterwards and lets the reader sees what was happening. Pretty good book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <NoMatesHe> is so oblivious, it's painful.

It falls to me, I suppose, to upload the remaining seven games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hey, retard scarzzy makes an appearance! How's your boyfriend?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 27.Qxd6 was quite naive move. It was better to play 27.Nd1 at first to win a tempo, and to take the Pawn only after 27...Re2.
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