Monday, May 17, 2010

Return of Bobby Fischer

Twenty years after Fischer won the famous "1972 Match of the Century", Fischer played active chess again in a match with his old rival Boris Spassky. This match held in former Yugoslavia in 1992 was one of the most exciting events awaited by chess fans throughout the world. Fischer has been an inspiration to a whole generation of chess players and news that this mercurial genius will play in public again created headlines around the world. The prize money sponsored by Jezdimir Vasiljevic, proprietor of Jugoskandik, a Belgrade bank was a record 5 million USD in total and the winner of the match would be the first player to win 10 games. The schedule was to be four games per week, every game played to a finish with no possibility of adjourning. Further, the match would use the Fisher-clock wherein at the start of the game, both players have a reserve of 90 minutes and on every move, 2 additional minutes is incremented.

The most important and disturbing element was that the UN had imposed international sanctions on Yugoslavia to stop the fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This match was seen as a violation of the sanctions and the international community came down heavily on Fischer. The US senate also got involved and after the match, issued an arrest warrant against him. He was on the run until 2004 when he was arrested at a Japanese airport and detained for 8 months.

Fischer won this return match in a mixture of brilliance and blunders. The score was 17.5 - 12.5 to Fischer. Fischer won the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 25th and 30th games. Spassky won the 4th, 5th, 12th, 20th and 26th games. Other games were drawn. I give below the most brilliant game of this match, the 11th game which is one of the most brilliant games ever played.

White: Bobby Fischer
Black: Boris Spassky
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 e5 7. b4!! cxb4 8. a3 c5 9. axb4 cxb4 10. d4 exd4 11. Bb2 d6 12. Nxd4 Qd7 13. Nd2 Bb7 14. Nc4 Nh6 15. Nf5!! Bxb2 16. Ncxd6 Kf8 17. Nxh6 f6 18. Ndf7 Qxd1 19. Raxd1 Ke7 20. Nxh8 Rxh8 21. Nf5!! gxf5 22. exf5 Be5 23. f4 Rc8 24. fxe5 Rxc2 25. e6 Bc6 26. Rc1 Rxc1 27. Rxc1 Kd6 28. Rd1 Ke5 29. e7 a5 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Rc5 Kd4 32. Rxa5 b3 33. Ra7 Be8 34. Rb7 Kc3 35. Kf2 b2 36. Ke3 Bf7 37. g4 Kc2 38. Kd4 b1Q 39. Rxb1 Kxb1 40. Kc5 Kc2 41. Kd6 1-0

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