Understanding before Moving 176: Chess history in a nutshell (57)

by ChessBase
5/5/2024 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 176th episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to take a look at the career and games of Bobby Fischer, World Champion from 1972 to 1975. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Bobby Fischer (2)

The World Championship Match between defending champion Boris Spassky and challenger Bobby Fischer in Reykjavik 1972 is still referred to as "the match of the century". Fischer's achievement in Reykjavik and in the tournaments before, seem like something out of a dream.

Fischer started with a monster score at the Interzonal tournament in Las Palmas in 1970, which earned him a place in the Candidates Matches. He finished the tournament with seven wins against the best players in the world and in the Candidates Matches he then defeated the Soviet player Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen from Denmark both 6-0.

When Fischer also won the first game of the final of the Candidates Matches against Tigran Petrosian, he had won no less than 20 (or 19 if you don't count the victory by default against Panno at the Interzonal tournament) in a row! This is still unrivalled at the top level!

We have already mentioned how Petrosian reached the final. In both matches leading up to the final he played 9 draws and only won 1 game. But Petrosian also put an end to Fischer's  run. Petrosian outplayed Fischer in the second game of their match and won in brilliant fashion. This game was shown in UbM 169.

The next three games in the match between Petrosian and Fischer ended in a draw and a lot of people started to wonder... Some thought Fischer was on the verge of collapse and would lose the match. But suddenly the American won four games in a row and won the match 6.5-2.5 to become challenger of world champion Spassky. In the next issue we will talk about that historic match.

Fischer's way from the Interzonal tournament to the World Championship match remains phenomenal, and brought him a rating of 2785 and was miles ahead of his rivals at that time.

There are so many beautiful games by Fischer that it is difficult to choose. His play is - to this day - crystal clear. When replaying his games chess looks very easy. But because of all that's hidden beneath the surface, it's almost impossible to emulate. Fischer actually played according to the demands of the position. If the position required him to attack, he attacked. If he had to defend, he did so with the utmost tenacity. And if the best move was to liquidate into the endgame, he certainly didn't shy away from it.

He was also a master of the openings. His stubbornness sometimes led to an unnecessary defeat, but generally he came to the board armed to the teeth. Because he also played relatively quickly, he was rarely bothered by time problems throughout his career.

I can't resist showing his wonderful victory over GM Robert Byrne. Especially because there's a nice story behind it. And if you want to see a brilliant demonstration of the power of the bishop pair, you should watch this video! What is Black's next move in the diagram position?

Master Class Vol.1: Bobby Fischer

No other World Champion was more infamous both inside and outside the chess world than Bobby Fischer. On this DVD, a team of experts shows you the winning techniques and strategies employed by the 11th World Champion.

Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco delves into Fischer’s openings, and retraces the development of his repertoire. What variations did Fischer play, and what sources did he use to arm himself against the best Soviet players? Mihail Marin explains Fischer’s particular style and his special strategic talent in annotated games against Spassky, Taimanov and other greats. Karsten Müller is not just a leading international endgame expert, but also a true Fischer connoisseur.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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