World Chess Championship 1972 - Game 13
In Game 13, Fischer avoided the Sicilian Defense, with which he had lost Game 11, instead preferring Alekhine’s Defense. The game swung one way, then another, and was finally adjourned with Fischer having an edge in a sharp position but no clear win. The Soviet team’s analysis convinced them that the position was clearly drawn. Fischer stayed up until 8 a.m. the following morning analyzing it (the resumption being at 2:30 p.m.). He had not found a win either. Amazingly, he managed to set traps for Spassky, who fell into them and lost. Spassky’s seconds were stunned, and Spassky himself refused to leave the board for a long time after the game was over, unable to believe the result. He remarked, “It is very strange. How can one lose with the opponent’s only rook locked in completely at g8?”
Former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik said that this game made a particularly strong impression on him. He called it “the highest creative achievement of Fischer”. He resolved a drawish opposite-colored bishops endgame by sacrificing his bishop and trapping his own rook. “Then five passed pawns struggled with the white rook. Nothing similar had been seen before in chess”.
David Bronstein said “Of all the games from the match, the 13th appeals to me most of all. When I play through the game I still cannot grasp the innermost motive behind this or that plan or even individual move. Like an enigma, it still teases my imagination.”
Spassky-Fischer 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 Bg7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. h3 a5 9. a4 dxe5 10. dxe5 Na6 11. O-O Nc5 12. Qe2 Qe8 13. Ne4 Nbxa4 14. Bxa4 Nxa4 15. Re1 Nb6 16. Bd2 a4 17. Bg5 h6 18. Bh4 Bf5 19. g4 Be6 20. Nd4 Bc4 21. Qd2 Qd7 22. Rad1 Rfe8 23. f4 Bd5 24. Nc5 Qc8 25. Qc3 e6 26. Kh2 Nd7 27. Nd3 c5 28. Nb5 Qc6 29. Nd6 Qxd6 30. exd6 Bxc3 31. bxc3 f6 32. g5 hxg5 33. fxg5 f5 34. Bg3 Kf7 35. Ne5+ Nxe5 36. Bxe5 b5 37. Rf1 Rh8 38. Bf6 a3 39. Rf4 a2 40. c4 Bxc4 41. d7 Bd5 42. Kg3 Ra3+ 43. c3 Rha8 44. Rh4 e5 45. Rh7+ Ke6 46. Re7+ Kd6 47. Rxe5 Rxc3+ 48. Kf2 Rc2+ 49. Ke1 Kxd7 50. Rexd5+ Kc6 51. Rd6+ Kb7 52. Rd7+ Ka6 53. R7d2 Rxd2 54. Kxd2 b4 55. h4 Kb5 56. h5 c4 57. Ra1 gxh5 58. g6 h4 59. g7 h3 60. Be7 Rg8 61. Bf8 (diagram) h2 62. Kc2 Kc6 63. Rd1 b3+ 64. Kc3 h1=Q 65. Rxh1 Kd5 66. Kb2 f4 67. Rd1+ Ke4 68. Rc1 Kd3 69. Rd1+ Ke2 70. Rc1 f3 71. Bc5 Rxg7 72. Rxc4 Rd7 73. Re4+ Kf1 74. Bd4 f2 0-1
When Spassky and Fischer shook hands, many the audience thought that they had agreed to a draw, thinking that 75. Rf4 draws. But 75… Rxd4! 76. Rxd4 Ke2 wins and 75. Be5 Rd1 76. Kxb3 Re1 also wins for Black.