Chess

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The Independent Culture
FISCHER'S win in the 16th game against Spassky in Belgrade showed many of the best features of the champion of 1972, but Spassky's downfall was caused mainly by his choice of opening. The move 6. Bg5 has had a poor reputation since the 1960s, with the temporary piece sacrifice, 9 . . . Nxe4, known to lead to a good game for Black for more than a quarter of a century. Spassky's play suggested that he had simply forgotten all about it.

Only with 14. h4 did he leave theory (the older move was 14. Qh5+), but the move did not succeed in its objective. The neat point is that after 16. Bh2 g3 Black still regains the piece with a dominating position. After the opening, Spassky was an hour behind on the clock, his king was exposed and one rook was stuck in a corner. Fischer's minor pieces were by far the more effective too. With proper preparation, White should have been able to work all this out before the game and avoid it.

Fischer pursued the attack with sparkling energy and all his old accuracy. 18 . . . Nd7] not wasting time protecting the g- pawn, 23 . . . Nxc4] and 26 . . . Rg3] were dynamic blows and 32 . . . e5] was a killer, striking at the vulnerable bishop on f3. At the end, 35. gxf3 Qa1+ 36. Qe1 Rg1+ is fatal.

Spassky-Fischer: Game 16

1 d4 Nf6 19 Qxg4 Ne5

2 c4 c5 20 Qe4 Bd7

3 d5 d6 21 Kg1 0-0-0

4 Nc3 g6 22 Bf1 Rg8

5 e4 Bg7 23 f4 Nxc4

6 Bg5 h6 24 Nh5 Qf7

7 Bh4 g5 25 Qxc4 Qxh5

8 Bg3 Qa5 26 Rb2 Rg3

9 Bd3 Nxe4 27 Be2 Qf7

10 Bxe4 Bxc3+ 28 Bf3 Rdg8

11 bxc3 Qxc3+ 29 Qb3 b6

12 Kf1 f5 30 Qe3 Qf6

13 Rc1 Qf6 31 Re2 b5

14 h4 g4 32 Rd2 e5

15 Bd3 f4 33 dxe6 Bc6

16 Ne2 fxg3 34 Kf1 Bxf3

17 Nxg3 Rf8 White resigns

18 Rc2 Nd7

Yesterday's answer: The end is 8. . .d2 9. Bb6 mate.

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