Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky: Game 6 | 1972 World Chess Championship

Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky: Game 6 | 1972 World Chess Championship


In 1972 the chess world witnessed something
very special. It was this Round 6 game of the World Chess Championship between Bobby
Fischer and Boris Spassky. Special for many reasons. To name a few…Fischer for only
the third time in serious play began with c4, and regarding the game itself it’s maybe
best described in the words of International Master Anthony Saidy who said, “It was like
a symphony of placid beauty.” And not to be overlooked was a wonderful act of sportsmanship
by Boris Spassky who, after the game, stood up and applauded Fischer for the masterful
game he just played. This is that game. So Fischer opening up with c4, the English Opening.
But what we’ll soon see is that it transposes into a Queen’s Gambit Declined. And that can
be denoted by these group of pawns right here. After knight f6, knight c3, soon enough we
enter the Tartakower variation with this move seven, b6. This h6 move is just throwing a
question to the bishop. There’s not really going to be any way to exploit this type of
a weakness against the black kingside. It’s more longterm flight square for that king.
And you’ll note that after this b6 advance…it’s only at this point does Fischer decide to
release the tension between these two pawns. Only after black has spent a move in creating
a new door for this bishop. If white is to capture maybe prior to that b6 move, then
the bishop can make use of this classic diagonal. But again, only after that b6 advance does
white now clarify the structure in the center, capturing on d5. We do have a series of exchanges.
And after the smoke clears, this is the pawn structure we’re now dealt with. Rook c1, logical
enough applying pressure to this c7 pawn. Bishop e6, a curious move. One may think why
not just play to b7? b6 was played for a purpose but black is going forward with the bishop
e6 move. If you do a quick comparison between this e6 square and b7 square…some of the
differences may include well from b7 it’s unprotected…e6 it’s not. And additionally
the bishop might want to later make use of let’s say f5, or even harass the knight by
playing to g4. So now queen a4, and one of the interesting things in my opinion with
this game is how the white queen makes use of the whole chessboard. Or really, maybe
better stated, wherever she is that’s where the ensuing play will take place. So right
now stuff is happening on the queenside after this queen a4 move. Again still looking to
do something against this c7 pawn. Black presses forward challenging that d4 point of white’s.
Queen a3, this is a bit of an uncomfortable pin. A third piece is now hitting that c5
pawn…rook, pawn, and queen. It needs additional support. Rook c8 is decided on, and now more
development by white. One step closer to being fully developed, and why not play to b5. In
some sense you’re just boxing out that knight on b8. a6 is, for the moment, not yet a threat
since this rook is unprotected. So there’s no need to react to a threat that’s not there.
Instead we just have more clarification in the center with d takes c, b takes c, and
the resulting structure is the hanging pawn structure. So ideally white would like to
have both rooks on the c and d-file applying pressure to these guys. White castles, fully
development. And now only after rook a7, and the queen now defending that rook does white
react with bishop to e2 just tucking it away. And just taking a snapshot of this position
right here…it just seems so smooth right now. The knight on a classic square f3, the
bishop tucked away on e2, a rook very well placed, soon enough the f-rook one would think
is going to be placed to the d1 square, black being still in this slightly awkward pin…okay
yes it’s protected right here. But on the black end, look at the disjointed nature between
these rooks right here, and the knight still on its home square…an isolated pawn on a6.
After just these seventeen moves, okay it’s a pretty decent amount of moves but, the differences
between both sides I think is a great one. And soon enough what we’ll see is an additional
imbalance taking place. As it stands right now, it’s just with regard to the pawn structure…this
hanging pawn structure. So more development for black, fully developed at this point,
but again not so harmonious. Knight d4, making use of this pin. This knight is now providing
a disconnect between the queen and rook. So a very timely knight d4 is going to grant
this knight for bishop exchange. So the queen backs up, getting out of the pin and just
for the one moment…well just taking that bishop right away. And after the recapture
we have now one strike in the center that really is going to turn the tables. These
pawns right here…the furthest advanced ones…this pawn duo on the fifth rank is challenged with
e4, and something needs to be done. And what black tries is just pressing forward which
is typical. If you do have the knight you want to try and keep things closed. That d4
move is a step in that direction. It’s also a passed pawn. But as we’ll soon see, this
pawn really could just never get going and is no serious threat to white whatsoever.
Additionally with that advance, we now…looking a bit more closely at the pawn structure…recognize
that we have a four on three majority tipping in white’s favor on the kingside. Now that
said, that’s not to say you’re supposed to throw up all of your pawns in this direction.
It’s more commonly seen that just the f-pawn and e-pawn for white will be the ones to press
forward and try and induce some weakness against the black side. And the g and h-pawns would
just stay back and act as the shield for that white king. So that’s exactly what we see.
f4, these pawns get rolling, queen e7, and now e5. Right here this now a static point
for black, this pawn is immobile and will soon be pinpointed. So rook to b8, it wasn’t
really needed anymore to watch over that c5 square…so now coming back to this b-file
to exert pressure on b2. Bishop c4…repositioning time at this point placing this pawn in a
pin and looking forward to an f5 advance where this pawn is just going to strike at e6. Black
gets out of that, and now the queen swinging over. Again, really dictating where the play
will take place in the game. So making use of this whole third rank right here…sweeping
from a3 to h3 and now pinpointing that e6 pawn for a second time. Knight f8, retreat
to defend e6. And now something as simple as b3 makes these rooks look absolutely ridiculous.
Because there’s nothing that’s now going to take place on the queenside. You could forget
about it. Just this bishop and two pawns alone…this is one thing that I like to do in my own games
is just recognize how a particular grouping of pieces can negate an opponent’s group of
pieces. And right now it’s just these three highlighted white pieces negating these three
right here. Or in other words you could view it as like a five points negating eleven points.
And on the flip side of things there’s going to now be a group of let’s say these two rooks
and queen, and even the bishop that are influencing the kingside. This bishop right here really
being a multipurpose pieces in some sense…locking down on the queenside, and still exerting
pressure on that kingside. So a5, looking to get in this advance right here…looking
to maybe peel open that a-file. But things happen too quickly on the kingside. f5, something
needing to be done about maybe capturing on e6 or even pressing forward one more step
to f6, and that king will be in some serious hot water if that’s allowed. So the pawn is
captured, and it’s the rook on f that recaptures so that this rook can soon contribute…doubling
on the f-file. Knight h7, looking to reposition to that g5 square. White doubles, the queen
backs up to d8. Queen g3 allows this pawn to press forward to h4. And what we basically
see now is that move played. And look at this sad knight right here. It’s just completely
restricted, and this bishop is incredibly dominant. The differences between this bishop
and knight are just enormous. This bishop is just way too powerful, as we will soon
see in the resulting final position. So there’s not really a whole lot unfortunately for black
to be done right here. These rooks are just helpless to really doing anything. This is
the only completely open file, and white controls it. It really cannot be contested whatsoever.
So pressing forward with e6, rook c7 defending this c5 pawn. Queen e5, repositioning for
white . And unfortunately for black…for pretty much the duration of the game…just
can do nothing more that just shuffle the queen on these d8 and e8 squares. So basically
emphasizing at this point is white…you know what black has nothing to do. Just a4 doesn’t
even allow the possibility for black to play a4 and create some opening on the queenside.
So queen d8, rook f2…a slightly, I guess, curious move. Maybe in some sense it’s saying…
you know what…there’s nothing that you could even do. Maybe just emphasizing the fact that
black has again nothing. Or maybe also another way to view it is it’s wanting to play to
f3 so that after this queen d8 move…white has bishop d3 and this pawn can now not be
taken. White maybe wanting this particular sequence to come about so that bishop d3 could
be played and there’s not going to now be rook takes pawn if the queen is still on e8.
This would now be available after the bishop d3 move. But as it stands after queen d8,
white now focuses the attention on this diagonal right here, and soon enough we have a tactical
shot coming into play here. Nice battery…the threat now being rook to f8, which is going
to be deadly. For example, if rook takes e6 we would just have rook check, knight takes
rook, rook takes knight removing the defender of h7, queen takes rook, queen h7 and that’s
game over. So rook takes pawn is not played. Instead what is tried is just a knight move
to f6, but Fischer just rips the position right open…grabbing that knight, recapture
a couple times on f6, and king to g8. This is a hopeless position for black. What is
tried is just king g8. But after bishop c4, the king is just having to get off of this
diagonal so that this rook maybe has the possibility to move. Moving it now is going to allow the
pawn to just press forward…one step closer to queening as well as having a discovered
check against the king. So the king goes back to the corner. But after queen to f4, black
can do nothing more than resign right here. The threats are just way too much. We have
possibilities for rook to f8, winning the queen…rook takes h6 check…queen takes
h6 check. There’s not really a whole lot black can do. Just to show one variation…if the
king is to let’s say come back over to g8, we could have queen takes h6. And with now
the threat of rook g6 check, and pawn push…there’s not really a whole lot black can do. Just
kind of making a passing move…if rook b7, we could have this check, rook block, pawn
push discovered check. And what to do? The queen has to block. You could pick your favorite
way to mate at this point…promotion or just capturing right here. However you slice it,
black is beat from this position after Fischer’s 41st move, queen to f4. So, in this video,
it’s really my hope that it acts as a great example of how the whole chessboard can be
made use of…and how seemingly simple moves can translate into a significant advantage…and
of how competitors of this great game can, or really should carry themselves in a similar
way as Boris Spassky did in defeat.

100 thoughts on “Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky: Game 6 | 1972 World Chess Championship

  1. 11:30 Rook triangulation was for no such reason. If 34. R1f3 34…Qe8 35. Bd3 35…Rxe6?? than 36. Qxc7! If 36…Re1+ 37. Kh2 …white controls h2 b8 diagonal. White king is safe and black is even more busted than before.

  2. Thank you Hollywood and Universal Studios !! Now I know who is the greatest chees titans player . Bobby Fischer you are the Real Super Hero . You are living on my heart <3

  3. Spassky lost the game with bishop to e-6,,,he wasted a move, he should have put pressure on the knight. To move out half-way, with later intent is not a good decision.

  4. Im my opinion, once Fischer obtained the world title he was kind of forced back to reality since there was no more concrete goal to pursue. That is probably part of the reason why he was acting so strangely during the early matches against Spassky. He was starting to realize that the quintessential goal of his life was about to be achieved and that he would necessarily have to find a new one. That must have been a very scary idea for him.

    I think that this reasons added to the fact that he was already 29 at the time, had only been studying chess his whole life and could not keep doing this for eternity drove him away from chess. And the man that he became after was already lying dormant inside of him and simply was the small, undeveloped part of himself that wasn't totally devoted to chess. Still a very brilliant mind but one that had been shaped by chess only and thus totally unable to master any kind of emotions.

  5. Why Fischer didn't put his rock, protected by his bishop, in front of the queen. Threatning the queen and the rock of Spassky at the same time. The rock hadn't any protection…😕🔥(minute 9:48)

  6. Boris Spassky with great humility honored Bobby Fischer with a standing ovation and probably got
    in hot water for doing that with the Russian government no doubt. Arrogance is not a great trait
    that Bobby had, however a brilliant chess GM, who knows where he would of been on the FIDE scale?

  7. Thanks for the post. ChessNetwork!
    I remember the match. I couln't wait to see the latest game in my paper – and I was on vacation!
    Truly exiting. A match for the ages.

  8. Question: at the point Kd4 is played by Fischer (white @ 5:44), why didn't Spassky take K with pawn (pd4?)? Is there an analysis of what would have happened if that was the case? Is there an app on macOS that can load games so you can test different theories?

  9. what a simple lousy game. sooooo many errors made on black's part. sooo very defensive. always on the run. he had a break earlier.

  10. Great commentary – would prefer more tonal difference between the pieces – they come across as two shadows of grey.

  11. 0:50 MASTEFUL GAME DAMN IT
    1:56 damn it
    3:30 but then the pawn eats you dah
    7:27 to e5 damn it
    8:12 a good position
    11:13 just stay for it
    12:20 damn it

  12. Excellent video. I applaud your deliver. Just getting into chess. The thing that struck me as superb, was your use of the highlight system. I learned a great deal. Thank you for doing this

  13. The American Chess Congress was the official sponsor of the BOBBY FISCHER INT’L CHESS PARK proposed to be built in Santa Monica to honor the only American to have won the World Chess Championship. Bobby had an impressive career and for many is considered the greatest in chess. He began to study chess at the age of six and became a voracious student of the game. Fischer won the United States Chess Championship at the age of fourteen and at fifteen became the youngest Grandmaster at that time. In two consecutive years, he won the United States Chess Championship with a perfect score and has held the title eight times. In 1972, he captured the World Chess Championship with a decisive lead. In 1975, the Soviets and the International Chess Federation [FIDE] claimed the title on forfeiture in what is still a controversial issue and thus began the FIDE World Chess Championship. In 1992, Fischer emerged to play a rematch for the real title and won in good fashion. He died in 2008.

    The chess tables at the foot of the pier in Santa Monica, California are known of internationally. It was the former site of the old Santa Monica Bay Chess Club. Bobby first played in Santa Monica during the Piatigorsky Cup [a strong international tournament] in 1966. When Fischer lived in Pasadena in the late eighties, he would delight many with his visits to the tables. For these reasons, the tables have been selected to honor a great American chess hero.

  14. Mr Jerry Thank you for this very beautiful video I like the way you explain moves and variation by the way I'd like that you analyze the game between Fischer vs Najdorf it's only 24 moves

  15. Amazing video!! What a great explanation of a truely memorable game. You have helped me remember why I love chess so much. Again, I thank you for this video. Peace out.

  16. I felt like Bobby wanted to punish the russians for the way they set up the tournaments to decide the challenger. It took someone with overwhelming talent to overcome that blockade and get to the championship. And his shameful antics at the championship match took away some of the greatness of that victory. And then his descent into madness ended his career.

  17. Fischer was so clever, instead of askin.. how do I have defeat my opponent?,.. to ask why, do the pieces move like they do..?.. like he invented the game… and he played like he invented the game. Plain and simple.

  18. Thanks for the vid. One thing you might consider is when both the "white" and "black" pieces are actually different shades of gray it makes following much more difficult.

  19. Call this game Bishop vs Knight. Both had an equal playing field besides the 2 different pieces. Fisher played the Bishop to his advantage. My question is; is there and advantage to having the bishop or knight?

  20. The contrast between the coordination of White’s pieces and lack thereof in Black’s throughout was downright painful.

  21. Fischer would've never been the World Champion, and by extension the player we revere today, without Spassky's gentlemanly agreement to play Fischer in that back room for game 3.

  22. On my channel there are two bullet chess wins over the #2 ranked player on ICC in the one-minute pool.  He was 2473 then 2447 before dropping to 2420 after I was done point-robbing him.  Beat him twice in a row on the same day.  I've been training seriously again since 2015.  Elo strength is already over 2100 probably 2200 it is SO MUCH WORK though.  I want to retire and coach some kid who has a lot more time left than I do.

  23. My
    Man, great stuff Jerry. I keep coming back to your old stuff when I first stumbled on your channel. Been subscribed for 11 years now. Back in the MySpace days, lol. Anyways I’m glad your channel is doing great. I’m back on the chess addiction after I fell off the wagon. These videos make so much more sense to me now that I’m a stronger player. Thanks for inspiring me bud. I appreciate that.

  24. Who else sees that super obvious move within the first few minutes that would have absolutely changed the direction of the rest of the game had it been played??…. any skilled Chess player will notice it immediately! It's so obvious I'm not going to give it away; but it could have totally reshaped EVERYTHING!!

  25. The Butterfly effect really takes hold in these chess games. My mind is blown every time elaborate outcomes come from simple moves I'd overlook.

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