Sunday, May 6, 2007

Fischer-Spassky 1972, Game 4

By far, this is the critical position from game 4 of the 1972 World Chess Championship.

The analysts agree that Spassky as Black missed a win beginning with 29...Rd8! 30.c3 Rh8 instead of the game continuation 29...Rh8 30.Nf3 Bxf3 31.Qxf3 Bd6 32.Qc3! which allowed Fischer to escape with a draw.

After 30...Rh8, many moves have been suggested for White. Among them are 31.Rf1, 31.Bd3, and 31.Bxe6. Until now*, no one has mentioned 31.Bf1 which may have been the defensive resource Fischer had in mind when he played his bishop to c4 on move 23.

For example, on 31...Bd6, White draws by perpetual check after 32.Nf5+ exf5 33.Qxg5+.

And, on 31...Rh4, White defends by 32.Nf3 Bxf3 33.Qxf3 Bd6 34.g3 Qxg3 35.Qxg3 Bxg3 with a likely draw.

*{This article originally appeared in the May-June 1988 issue of Atlantic Chess News}