Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (12)

by Frederic Friedel
8/30/2017 – The score was 10½-7½ for the Challenger, who needed 12½ to win the title. Was Bobby Fischer content merely to sneak in by split points? "I don't believe it — it's never been his style," wrote commentator GM Robert Byrne. "I think the explanation for the draws is to be found in Spassky's improvements in his openings." In games 11 and 12 Fischer kept coasting, but he also relaxed somewhat with social encounters.

Spassky's ingenuity against Fischer's superior play

On August 25th 1972, the adjournment of the 18th game ended, and Fischer still had his three-point lead. Things were getting alarming close for World Champion Spassky.

Here are some general impressions of Fischer's strength and style, given by his contemporaries (as quoted in Garry Kasparov On My Great Predecessors, Part 4):

My Great Predecessors IV

Viktor Korchnoi: Fischer's main strength is his versatility. In his style a striving for the initiative and "respect for material" are harmoniously combined. He can sacrifice material for an attack, but he can also accept a sacrifice and engage in a difficult defence. Fischer has mastered the psychological method of preparation, selecting combat methods beforehand. Even so, one gains the impression that in a strategic battle he is not so strong, and lengthy positional manoeuvring tires or bores him.

Lev Polugayevsky: When Fischer knows what he has to do, he plays very accurately. But if the position is of a non-concrete nature, Fischer often loses the thread and plays planlessly. In contrast to a number of grandmasters, for Fischer it is not typical to change his plan during the course of a game (for the moment he still lacks the necessary flexibility in choice of plan). Fischer is obstinate in the accomplishment of his goal, even if it is faulty.

Efim Geller: Both in the opening, and in the middlegame, Fischer's main strength is that he quickly and excellently solves simple functions. It would appear that he has this "in his blood". He does not devise deep plans, but leaps from position to position. This is what comprises Fischer's style. His play is clear and transparent. It is not hard to guess Fischer's intentions, but it is more difficult to counter them, since his decisions are sensible and practical.

Boris Spassky (after the Piatigorsky Cup in Santa Monica 1966, where he had finished first, half a point ahead of Fischer, and drawn his game against the American): Fischer is a very talented player: he has interesting chess ideas, and in his style he resembles Capablanca. Fischer has an excellent knowledge of opening theory, but he feels less confident in unfamiliar set-ups. After the rounds I often met the American grandmaster. We established friendly relations. I saw how wholeheartedly Fischer loves chess. One even gains the impression that without chess he is lonely...

Brad Darrach, journalist and film critic, spent more time with Bobby Fischer than any other journalist. During the match in Iceland he was (as he claims in his book), "in constant contact with Bobby and his staff." Darrach wrote extensively for Life, Playboy, Esquire, Harper's and other magazines. In Bobby Fischer vs. the Rest of the World, he wrote:

Bobby Fischer vs. the Rest of the WorldAfter the eighteenth game, Bobby began to emerge from the groggy lull of the hot-pot era. He had found two (count 'em) two gorgeous Icelandic girl friends. The girls were both seventeen years old. Inga was tall, slender and blond with long legs and a pleasant girlish figure. Anna was somewhat shorter and bustier.

The romance had begun for the girls when they first saw Bobby's picture in the paper. "He's so handsome!" they had agreed. One day they waited several hours in the rain until Bobby arrived at the playing hall. Bobby didn't let himself get too friendly. "Gotta be careful, you know, till the match is over!"

Black-and-white photos courtesy of the Icelandig Chess Federation Skáksamband Íslands

Coasting to victory?

In Chess Life & Review January 1973, p. 17, Robert Byrne wrote:

Redoubled efforts by Boris Spassky to lop a point from the challenger's lead made for brilliant, hard-fought chess in the next stage of the match, which saw Fischer inching nearer and nearer to victory with draws in games 18, 19 and 20. Was Bobby content merely to sneak in by split points? I don't believe it — it's never been his style. I think the explanation for the draws is to be found in Spassky's improvements in his openings.

In games 18 and 20, Boris returned to the Sicilian Defense which worked well for him in game 4. On the strength of the latter game, in which Spassky discovered an excellent way to handle Fischer's 6.Bc4, Bobby was constrained to go over to 6.Bg5, entering into positions unfamiliar to him. The 18th contest was a great struggle in which Black's chances were never inferior to White's, and, in the 20th game, Fischer made no attempt to refute the defense, acceding to an early equality by Black.

The strongest blow Spassky struck in the entire match was his knocking out Fischer's favorite Najdorf Sicilian in games 11 and 15. That forced Bobby to run to the Pirc-Robatsch and Alekhine's Defenses; the former he had never played before, and the latter he had used very sparingly as his second string. The Alekhine's Defense in game 19 gave rise to a carnage of scintillating sacrifices, ending wondrously on level terms.

Still, all Spassky's ingenuity came to naught against Fischer's superior play. At the end of game 20, Boris continued to trail by 3 points, with the score 11½–8½.

 

_REPLACE_BY_ADV_1

The book Bobby Fischer Goes to War by David Edmonds and John Eidinow, first edition 2004 by Harper Collins, describes the mood of the Soviet side at this stage of the match:

By the time he arrived in Reykjavik, Spassky was feeling the strain caused by the breakdown of two key relationships during his training period, one with the director of the Central Chess Club, Viktor Baturinskii, the other with the champion’s personal coach, Igor Bondarevskii. There was also a quarrel with Mikhail Botvinnik, opening a rift sufficiently wide for Botvinnik to refuse to sign a petition to save the struggling magazine Moscow Chess from closure simply because Spassky’s signature was also on it.

The consequences of the breach with Baturinskii, in particular, were to be serious. Spassky put at arm’s length the man who had direct responsibility for chess and chess players, who led the negotiations with the Americans and with FIDE over the location of the match, and who might have been a highly effective team leader in Iceland.

The immediate cause of this dispute appears trivial. Spassky wanted to lend his car to a friend. To do this, he needed a duly notarized letter of authority (as is still the case in Russia today). In late November 1971, Spassky drafted such a letter and asked Baturinskii to affix the Central Chess Club seal and countersign it. Baturinskii refused. He was not qualified to sign, he told Spassky. (Actually, he thought there was something suspect about the document and believed Spassky would do better to take it to a lawyer.) The champion took this as a personal slight and made it plain that as far as he was concerned, Baturinskii was no longer to be trusted. From this point on, Baturinskii was effectively excluded from close contact with the preparations.

The row undoubtedly upset Spassky and drained his energy. Bondarevskii told Ivonin that he and Spassky could no longer work together and they had come to an amicable agreement to part. Since he became champion, Spassky had practically ceased to listen to his recommendations. Nor was Bondarevskii satisfied with Spassky’s work rate. ‘It’s impossible to work with him, impossible. I am standing down. He doesn’t follow my instructions: he gets on with all sorts of other things. With so little time before the match he can’t concentrate.

Some believe that Bondarevskii abandoned the team because he feared his trainee was heading for defeat and was apprehensive of being associated with failure.

We bring you excerpts of Byrne's commentary on game 20, in which according to Garry Kasparov in My Great Predecessors, Part 4 "a quiet, roughly equal endgame was quickly reached. Spassky then gained some advantage, but again nothing came of it."

[Event "Reykjavik World Championship (20)"] [Site "Reykjavik"] [Date "1972.08.29"] [Round "20"] [White "Fischer, Robert James"] [Black "Spassky, Boris Vasilievich"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B68"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2660"] [Annotator "Byrne,Robert"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "1972.07.11"] [EventType "match"] [EventRounds "21"] [EventCountry "ISL"] [SourceTitle "MainBase"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 Be7 10. Be2 {Up to White's 10th the opening is identical with that of game 18, in which Bobby continued with the usual 10.Nf3.} O-O $5 { Strangely enough, neither Kavalek nor I had taken this move into consideration in our analysis; nor had Fischer, judging from the further course of the opening. One obvious point in its favor is that White is not conveniently placed to carry out a Kingside attack.} ({The move 10.Be2, tried out by Lubomir Kavalek and me in several games, concentrates on simple development, with the idea that the routine} 10... b5 {can be answered strongly by} 11. Bf3 b4 12. Nce2 {when the Black Queen-side is a bit shaky. A secondary theme is to utilize the King Bishop for attack. in the event that Black castles Queenside.} ) 11. Bf3 $2 {This excessively cautious move allows Spassky to equalize at once.} h6 $1 12. Bh4 ({White cannot play} 12. Bxf6 $6 Bxf6 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. Qxd6 {since Black's chances against the weakened King position easily balance White's pawn after} Qa5) 12... Nxe4 $1 {Spassky's routine little desperado combination eliminates the center pawns and exchanges down to an even endgame.} 13. Bxe7 Nxd2 14. Bxd8 Nxf3 15. Nxf3 Rfxd8 16. Rxd6 {There is not the slightest shade of advantage for either side in this position, since the White Knights and Black's Knight and Bishop are exactly balanced, and White cannot sustain his Rook tempo to gain a foothold on the Queen file. This is the kind of position that grandmasters are sometimes criticized for not continuing, but the further boring course of the game only shows how mistaken the criticism is. } Kf8 17. Rhd1 Ke7 18. Na4 Be8 19. Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Nc5 Rb8 21. Rd3 a5 22. Rb3 b5 ({My guess is that Fischer would have taken the draw by repetition, had Spassky now played} 22... b6 {by} 23. Na6 Rb7 24. Nc5 {etc. Because of some vow, strategy, or phychological consideration, he was unwilling to reach a draw by offering it throughout the entire match. By this time, Spassky most have been well aware of that state of affairs, to we must understand his reply to mean that he wants to play on.}) 23. a3 a4 {For the sake of removing Fischer's Rook from its attack on the b-pawn, and to constrict the White Queenside, Spassky is willing to hamper his Bishop slightly by putting his pawns on squares of the same color.} 24. Rc3 Rd8 25. Nd3 f6 26. Rc5 Rb8 27. Rc3 g5 28. g3 Kd6 29. Nc5 g4 30. Ne4+ Ke7 31. Ne1 {Black has managed to create a hole at f3 for the use of his Knight, but all White need do is to keep it under observation by his own Knight.} Rd8 32. Nd3 Rd4 33. Nef2 h5 34. Rc5 Rd5 35. Rc3 Nd4 36. Rc7+ Rd7 37. Rxd7+ Bxd7 38. Ne1 e5 39. fxe5 fxe5 40. Kd2 Bf5 41. Nd1 {[#]The game was adjourned at this point, with Spassky holding a minute advantage in space.} Kd6 ({Even though he can obtain a protected passed pawn by} 41... Nf3+ 42. Nxf3 gxf3 {the game is hopelessly drawn after} 43. Ne3 Be6 44. Ke1 Kd6 45. c3 Kc5 46. Kf2 {for Black can never gain King entry.}) 42. Ne3 Be6 43. Kd3 Bf7 44. Kc3 Kc6 45. Kd3 Kc5 46. Ke4 Kd6 47. Kd3 Bg6+ 48. Kc3 Kc5 49. Nd3+ Kd6 50. Ne1 Kc6 51. Kd2 Kc5 52. Nd3+ Kd6 53. Ne1 Ne6 54. Kc3 Nd4 1/2-1/2

Move times and adjournments

Here are the times for games nineteen and twenty, as recorded by Lawrence Stevens, who visited the match in Reykjavik and jotted them down from the video screens:

Game 19, August 27th, 1972

Spassky Fischer
White Black
1. e4 Nf6
2. e5 Nd5
3. d4 d6
4. Nf3 Bg4
5. Be2 e6
6. 0-0 (0:04) Be7 (0:05)
7. h3 (0:06) Bh5 (0:06)
8. c4 (0:08) Nb6 (0:08)
9. Nc3 (0:08) 0-0 (0:08)
10. Be3 (0:16) d5 (0:27)
11. c5 (0:22) Bxf3 (0:27)
12. Bxf3 (0:43) Nc4 (0:27)
13. b3 (0:47) Nxe3 (0:28)
14. fxe3 (0:47) b6 (0:34)
15. e4 (0:59) c6 (0:40)
16. b4 (1:06) bxc5 (0:56)
17. bxc5 (1:06) Qa5 (0:56)
18. Nxd5 (1:08) Bg5 (0:57)
19. Bh5 (1:23) cxd5 (1:09)
20. Bxf7+ (1:25) Rxf7 (1:17)
21. Rxf7 (1:25) Qd2 (1:23)
22. Qxd2 (1:46) Bxd2 (1:23)
23. Raf1 (1:46) Nc6 (1:24)
24. exd5 (1:54) exd5 (1:25)
25. Rd7 (1:54) Be3+ (1:30)
26. Kh1 (1:54) Bxd4 (1:32)
27. e6 (1:57) Be5 (1:38)
28. Rxd5 (2:01) Re8 (1:39)
29. Re1 (2:01) Rxe6 (1:40)
30. Rd6 (2:02) Kf7 (1:40)
31. Rxc6 (2:06) Rxc6 (1:40)
32. Rxe5 (2:06) Kf6 (1:41)
33. Rd5 (2:08) Ke6 (1:41)
34. Rh5 (2:09) h6 (1:42)
35. Kh2 (2:11) Ra6 (1:43)
36. c6 (2:13) Rxc6 (1:45)
37. Ra5 (2:13) a6 (1:46)
38. Kg3 (2:14) Kf6 (1:48)
39. Kf3 (2:18) Rc3+ (1:52)
40. Kf2 (2:20) Rc2+ (1:52)
½-½

Game 20, August 29 + 30, 1972

Fischer Spassky
White Black
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 d6
6. Bg5 e6
7. Qd2 a6
8. 0-0-0 Bd7
9. f4 Be7 (0:04)
10. Be2 (0:09) 0-0 (0:14)
11. Bf3 (0:26) h6 (0:42)
12. Bh4 (0:30) Nxe4 (0:45)
13. Bxe7 (0:40) Nxd2 (0:46)
14. Bxd8 (0:40) Nxf3 (0:49)
15. Nxf3 (0:41) Rfxd8 (0:50)
16. Rxd6 (0:41) Kf8 (0:52)
17. Rhd1 (0:57) Ke7 (0:59)
18. Na4 (1:01) Be8 (1:01)
19. Rxd8 (1:03) Rxd8 (1:01)
20. Nc5 (1:05) Rb8 (1:06)
21. Rd3 (1:20) a5 (1:11)
22. Rb3 (1:20) b5 (1:17)
23. a3 (1:25) a4 (1:24)
24. Rc3 (1:28) Rd8 (1:26)
25. Nd3 (1:36) f6 (1:34)
26. Rc5 (1:40) Rb8 (1:38)
27. Rc3 (1:44) g5 (1:38)
28. g3 (1:46) Kd6 (1:46)
29. Nc5 (1:49) g4 (1:55)
30. Ne4+ (1:54) Ke7 (1:55)
31. Ne1 (1:55) Rd8 (2:04)
32. Nd3 (1:59) Rd4 (2:09)
33. Nef2 (2:01) h5 (2:09)
34. Rc5 (2:02) Rd5 (2:11)
35. Rc3 (2:06) Nd4 (2:14)
36. Rc7+ (2:07) Rd7 (2:15)
37. Rxd7+ (2:11) Bxd7 (2:17)
38. Ne1 (2:12) e5 (2:18)
39. fxe5 (2:12) fxe5 (2:18)
40. Kd2 (2:13) Bf5 (2:22)
41. Nd1 (2:23) Kd6(s) (2:37)
(Fischer was 9 minutes late for the adjournment.)
(ar) (2:32)
42. Ne3 (2:32) Be6 (2:38)
43. Kd3 (2:38) Bf7 (2:40)
44. Kc3 (2:41) Kc6 (2:40)
45. Kd3 (2:44) Kc5 (2:47)
46. Ke4 (2:49) Kd6 (2:49)
47. Kd3 (2:55) Bg6+ (2:55)
48. Kc3 (2:58) Kc5 (3:01)
49. Nd3+ (2:59) Kd6 (3:02)
50. Ne1 (2:59) Kc6 (3:10)
51. Kd2 (3:02) Kc5 (3:24)
52. Nd3+ (3:04) Kd6 (3:24)
53. Ne1 (3:04) Ne6 (3:27)
54. Kc3 (3:09) Nd4 (3:29)
½-½

To me, the activity at the board looked like Fischer was going to claim a draw by repetition with 55. Kd2, but Spassky agreed to the implied draw offer before it could be shown that the position had not yet been repeated 3 times.

On August 30th 1972, exactly 45 years ago, the adjournment of the 20th game ended, and Fischer still had his three-point lead.


Previous articles

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (1)
In the final week of June 1972 the chess world was in turmoil. The match between World Champion Boris Spassky and his challenger Bobby Fischer was scheduled to begin, in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, on July 1st. But there was no sign of Fischer. The opening ceremony took place without him, and the first game, scheduled for July 2nd, was postponed. Then finally, in the early hours of July 4th, Fischer arrived. Frederic Friedel narrates.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (2)
The legendary Match of the Century between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer was staged in the Laugardalshöllin in Reykjavik. This is Iceland’s largest sporting arena, seating 5,500, but also the site for concerts – Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie all played there. 45 years after the Spassky-Fischer spectacle Frederic Friedel visited Laugardalshöllin and discovered some treasures there.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (3)
On July 11, 1992 the legendary Match of the Century between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer finally began. Fischer arrived late, due to heavy traffic. To everybody's surprise he played a Nimzo instead of his normal Gruenfeld or King's Indian. The game developed along uninspired lines and most experts were predicting a draw. And then, on move twenty-nine, Fischer engaged in one of the most dangerous gambles of his career. "One move, and we hit every front page in the world!" said a blissful organiser.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (4)
7/16/2017 – The challenger, tormented by the cameras installed in the playing hall, traumatically lost the first game of his match against World Champion Boris Spassky. He continued his vigorous protest, and when his demands were not met Fischer did not turn up for game two. He was forfeited and the score was 0-2. Bobby booked a flight back to New York, but practically at the very last moment decided to play game three – in an isolated ping-pong room!

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (5)
7/21/2017 – After three games in the Match of the Century the score was 2:1 for the reigning World Champion. In game four Spassky played a well-prepared Sicilian and obtained a raging attack. Fischer defended tenaciously and the game was drawn. Then came a key game, about which the 1972 US Champion and New York Times and Chess Life correspondent GM Robert Byrne filed reports. In Reykjavik chess fan Lawrence Stevens from California did something extraordinary: he manually recorded the times both players had spent on each move.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (6)
7/26/2017 – In the sixth installment of our series we offer readers a glimpse of what had been happening behind the scenes of “The Match of The Century”, especially in the Russian camp. A tense Boris Spassky, cajoled by seconds Efim Geller and Nikolai Krogius, nevertheless failed to perform to the dismay of his friends and admirers. It’s also the story of a gamble that could have hurtled Bobby down the precipice in that fateful Game 6 of the match. A cautionary tale and object lesson for aspiring players.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (7)
8/4/2017 – After the first two traumatic games World Champion Boris Spassky was leading 2-0 in the Match of the Century. But then Fischer started to play and struck back: in the next eight games he scored 6½ points, chalking up a 6.5-3.5 lead. Games 8, 9 and 10 were quite spectacular, and are the subject of today's report. Younger players will also learn about "adjournments" and how exactly "sealed moves" were handled. Some were born after these practices were abandoned.


Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (8)
8/9/2017 – After ten games in the World Championship match in Reykjavik, 1972, the score was 6½-3½ for Challenger Bobby Fischer. The match seemed virtually over – in the last eight games Boris Spassky had only managed to score 1½ points. "If it had been the best of 12 games, as in the Candidates matches, Spassky would already have been on his way home..." wrote Garry Kasparov in his Great Predessors book. In game 11 Boris took on the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf Sicilian, even though he had obtained a lost position in game seven. Take a look at what happened.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (9)
8/11/2017 – In game eleven of the World Championship match in Reykjavik, 1972, Boris Spassky had comprehensively outplayed the challenger in his favourite poisoned pawn variation of the Sicilian Defence. In game 12 he made a confident draw with black and Fischer realized his opponent was gaining ground. In the 13th game he abandoned the Sicilian and, to the chagrin of Spassky, played, for the first time in a top-level game – the Alekhine Defence. It turned into one of the most exciting battles of the match, and is beautifully annotated by GM Robert Byrne.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago (10)
8/18/2017 – The Match of the Century was coming to a head, with Spassky, but despite all his efforts, unable to reduce the deficit. "I felt that Fischer was like a large fish in my hands," he lamented, "one that was slippery and hard to hold on to. At certain moments I let him slip. And then again the psychological torment would begin. Everything had to be begun again from the start ..." Spassky was beginning to feel despondent.

Bobby Fischer in Iceland — 45 years ago (11)
8/25/2017 – After draws in games 14 and 15, Fischer still had a three-point lead in the World Championship match, and the Spassky side was getting nervous. The Champion was fighting hard but not getting any points. Suspicion arose that Fischer might be using secret weapons: hypnosis, devices planted in the lights or the chairs, and even perhaps assistance from an "IBM" (Russian for "computer" at the time). All this was formally investigated, while Fischer continued to coast.


Editor-in-Chief of the ChessBase News Page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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psamant psamant 8/31/2017 09:35
The move timings seem suspect. In game nineteen, the two piece sacrifices from move 1 to move 22 require deep calculations. Neither player seems to have used more than 2 mins for any move up to move 22. I doubt this. Play with Queens active on board require a lot of calculations.
malfa malfa 8/31/2017 10:28
@psamant,

those actually are progressive timings, so for example after move 18 Spassky had spent more than one hour overall, while Fischer a little less than one hour.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 8/31/2017 11:28
Would be cool to get Inga and Annas story and to hear if they had any contact after the match and if they´ll encountered each other later on when Bobby lived in Iceland in his later years.
koko48 koko48 8/31/2017 03:00
The summer of '72...when chess groupies were a thing
marc.steinhebel@yahoo.com marc.steinhebel@yahoo.com 9/2/2017 06:16
Notes to game 19:

Move 18 is the first "crisis" point in the game. Both Timman and Kasparov quote GM Olafsson as recommending 18. Qe1 (incidentally the first choice of Houdini) After 18...Bg5 (18...Bc5 leads to a position analyzed by Kasparov as "Black fighting for a draw") 19. ed cd (if 19...ed 20. e6 [but not Kasparov's 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. e6 cd 22. ef Kh8 23. Qe6 a5 (instead of Kasparov's Nd7) 24. Qd5 Be3 25. Kh1 Qd5 26. Bd5 Ra7 with good drawing chances] Qd8 21. ef Kh8 22. Bh5 or Kh1 look very good for White) 20. Nd5 Nc6 21. Ne3 or Nf6 and Black again will have to fight for a draw.

19. Qd3 was recommended by Kasparov (and mentioned by GM Evans in his book on the match). After 19...ed 20. ed Na6 (Evans gives 20...Nd7 21. dc Ne5 22. de Qc5 23. Kh1 Qe5 24. Bd5 with advantage to White) 21. d6 Nc5 22. dc Qc5 23. Kh1 and now 23...Rae8 (instead of Kasparov's 23...Qe5) seems to give Black good drawing chances.

Last key moment was at move 24. In Byrne's book on the match, he mentions 24. Rc7 and gives 24...Nd8 25. Re7 Nc6 26. Re6 Nd4 as equal, but 25. Kf2 looks winning for White. In Evans book on the match, he gives 24. Rc7 Be3 25. Kh1 Nd4 26. Rff7 Bh6 and now instead of 27. ed ed leading to equality, 27. Rfd7 looks really good for White. Timman and Kasparov analyze 24...de as leading to a draw.
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