Chess

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The Independent Culture
NINE down and one to go. The victory that has brought Bobby Fischer to within one game of finishing the first-to-10-wins match was a polished attacking performance. The strategy, a direct barge down the g-file, was unoriginal, but there were some nice touches in the execution.

The most elegant of these came when Spassky offered a pawn with 14 . . . Bb7. After 15. Qxb4 Bc6, the exposed knight on a4, the open b-file and possibility of d5 all add up to enough compensation, but Fischer's 15. Nb6 was quite extraordinary. After 15 . . . Nxb6 16. Qxb4 White is sure to regain the piece (even after 16 . . . d5 17. Qb3]) with advantage.

As the game went, Fischer's k-side initiative always looked powerful. When White had pawns on g5 and h5, supported by rooks on g1 and h1, and Black's counter-attack had scarcely started, the signs looked ominous. Spassky did his best to patch up the weaknesses in his defences, but with White's major pieces taking over the g- file, it was only a question of time. Fischer wrapped it up neatly, jettisoning one h-pawn to set up the unstoppable threat of 36. Rg8+ Kxh7 37. Rh1+.

Answers to Miranda's mates yesterday: a) 1 . . . c1=N+ and c2 mate; b) 1 . . . c1=B and Nc3 mate; c) 1 . . . c1=R and Ra8 mate; d) 1 . . . c1=Q and Qb7.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Fischer Black: Spassky ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 e4 c5 19 h5 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 20 Be3 Be6 3 Nge2 d6 21 Rdg1 a5 4 d4 cxd4 22 g6 Bf6 5 Nxd4 e6 23 gxh7+ Kh8 6 Be3 Nf6 24 Bg5 Qe7 7 Qd2 Be7 25 Rg3 Bxg5 8 f3 a6 26 Rxg5 Qf6 9 0-0-0 0-0 27 Rhg1 Qxf3 10 g4 Nxd4 28 Rxg7 Qf6 11 Bxd4 b5 29 h6 a4 12 g5 Nd7 30 b3 axb3 13 h4 b4 31 axb3 Rfd8 14 Na4 Bb7 32 Qg2 Rf8 15 Nb6 Rb8 33 Rg8+ Kxh7 16 Nxd7 Qxd7 34 Rg7+ Kh8 17 Kb1 Qc7 35 h7 1-0 18 Bd3 Bc8 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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