Fischer is three games from victory

BOBBY FISCHER won the 17th and drew the 18th game of his chess match with Boris Spassky in Belgrade to increase his lead to 7-3, requiring three more wins for outright victory. The 17th game had been postponed from Thursday to Saturday after physicians had diagnosed Spassky to be suffering from exhaustion.

Fischer thought for more than 10 minutes over his first two moves before cheekily adopting a variation that Spassky has played often. After 20 moves, most grandmasters among the spectators were predicting an early draw, but gradually it became clear that Fischer had a small advantage. Although Spassky made no identifiable errors, his position slid from inferior to disastrous.

White: Fischer

Black: Spassky

Game 17

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nge2 e6 4 g3 d5 5 exd5 exd5 6 Bg2 d4 7 Nd5 Nf6 8 Nef4 Nxd5 9 Nxd5 Bd6 10 0-0 0-0 11 d3 Be6 12 Nf4 Bf5 13 h3 Rb8 14 Bd2 Re8 15 Re1 Rxe1 16 Qxe1 Qd7 17 g4 Re8 18 Qd1 Bxf4 19 Bxf4 Be6 20 Qf3 Nb4 21 Qxb7 Nxc2 22 Rc1 Qxb7 23 Bxb7 Nb4 24 Be4 Bxa2 25 Bd2 Bd5 26 Bxd5 Nxd5 27 Rxc5 Nb6 28 Kf1 f6 29 Ra5 Re7 30 Bb4 Rd7 31 Bc5 Kf7 32 Ke2 g5 33 Kf3 Kg6 34 Ke4 h5 35 Bxd4 Re7+ 36 Kf3 h4 37 Bc5 Re1 38 Rxa7 Nd5 39 Bf8 Re8 40 Bd6 Re6 41 Rd7 Nb6 42 Rd8 Nd5 43 b4 Re1 44 b5 Rb1 45 Rb8 Rb3 46 Ke4 Nc3+ 47 Kd4 Nxb5+ 48 Kc4 Rc3+ 49 Kxb5 Rxd3 50 Kc6 Rxh3 51 Kd5 Rf3 52 Ke6 Rxf2 53 Rg8+ Kh7 54 Kf7 Ra2 55 Rg7+ Kh6 56 Bf8 Ra7+ 57 Kxf6 Ra6+ 58 Kf7 1-0

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