Drawn out game shows another Fischer rule

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The Independent Online
TWO more draws over the weekend in the chess series in Belgrade left Bobby Fischer still leading Boris Spassky by five wins to three, writes William Hartston.

Yesterday, the 15th game was an exciting affair with Spassky sacrificing a piece for the attack and Fischer finding a way to return it to force a draw. This was in considerable contrast to Saturday's game, which was of interest only for an incident that revealed another odd clause among the still unpublished match conditions.

Spassky allowed an exchange of queens at the seventh move into a dull and drawish position. Fischer played soundly and offered a draw after 14 moves. Spassky, surprisingly, declined the offer.

Nico Karaklaic, a match arbiter, later said that a rule stated that if any game was drawn in under two hours, a fresh game will be started the same day, to give the spectators value for money. Spassky, who has found the long sessions very tiring - some of the games have lasted more than seven hours - was reluctant to begin another, so prolonged the first.

The moves of game 14 were: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ White: Spassky Black: Fischer ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 d4 d5 18 axb5 axb5 2 c4 dxc4 19 Rc2 Rc7 3 Nf3 Nf6 20 Rdc1 Rac8 4 e3 e6 21 Bf3 Bxf3 5 Bxc4 c5 22 Ndxf3 e5 6 0-0 a6 23 Rxc7 Rxc7 7 dxc5 Qxd1 24 Rxc7 Bxc7 8 Rxd1 Bxc5 25 Nc2 Ne4 9 b3 b5 26 Na3 b4 10 Be2 Bb7 27 Nc4 f6 11 Bb2 Nbd7 28 Ne1 Ndc5 12 Nbd2 0-0 29 Nc2 Nxb3 13 Rac1 Rfc8 30 Nxb4 Nbd2+ 14 h3 Kf8 31 Nxd2 Nxd2+ 15 Kf1 Ke7 32 Ke2 Nc4 16 Ne1 Bd6 Draw agreed 17 a4 Bc6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------