Chess

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The Independent Culture
THE fifteenth game of the Fischer-Spassky match was one of the most entertaining so far, ending in a perpetual check after both players had shown considerable inventiveness.

For the first time in his life, Fischer led the game into a Catalan opening, obtaining a positional advantage thanks to

14. Ng5] and 17. Bxe4] Spassky fought back with 18 . . . e3] (19. Nxe3? loses to Qe4), and the crucial moment came four moves later. Unpinning his knight with 22. Qa3 (22. Qa4] would have been more accurate), Fischer allowed a fine combination. 'I never hardly considered this at all', he said of Spassky's reply.

The point of 23 . . . Bxf3] became clear with 27 . . . Qd7], threatening both Qd1+ and Qh3 followed by Qf1+. The crowd thought that Fischer was losing here, but after 29. Ne3], defending the f1 and d1 squares and blocking the e-file, nobody was sure what was going on.

30. g4 (30. Qb5 looks a good alternative) gave Spassky the chance to switch direction with 30 . . . Rb8] when 31. Qc2? loses to 31 . . . Rxb2] 32. Qxb2 Qg1+ 33. Kxe2 Qg1+. Fischer forced a draw with 31. Qd5] creating a perpetual check with Qg5+ and Qd8+ in the final position.

A cheerful fight, but now the analysts will sharpen their knives and find the mistakes.

White: Fischer

Black: Spassky

Game 15, Belgrade 1992 1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 Be7 5 0-0 0-0 6 d4 Nbd7 7 Nbd2 b6 8 cxd5 exd5 9 Ne5 Bb7 10 Ndf3 Ne4 11 Bf4 Ndf6 12 Rc1 c5 13 dxc5 bxc5 14 Ng5 Nxg5 15 Bxg5 Ne4 16 Bxe7 Qxe7 17 Bxe4 dxe4 18 Nc4 e3 19 f3 Rad8 20 Qb3 Rfe8 21 Rc3 Bd5 22 Rfc1 g6 23 Qa3 Bxf3 24 exf3 e2 25 Re1 Rd1 26 Kf2 Rxe1 27 Kxe1 Qd7 28 Qb3 Qh3 29 Ne3 Qxh2 30 g4 Rb8 31 Qd5 Rxb2 32 Qd8+ Kg7 33 Nf5+ gxf 5 Drawn

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