Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LCCC Week 33-13 and Bobby Fischer’s Top Ten – No. 8

It was another nice evening of chess with eleven players making an appearance on a beautiful summer night. Some games played, some games played over and analyzed and some lessons learned.  But always a lot of fun!

 We WILL have a league this year. How many teams total or how many rounds have yet to be decided. So there is still time to tell us you want to play in the LCCC league. Plenty of room – so come on in!

 The League will be played on a regular Monday night – but once a month. A set schedule will be distributed so you will know which Mondays are league Mondays.
 And of course even if you are not in the league, there will be players for casual games on those nights.

 Now for Bobby Fischer’s No: 8 selection (picks made 8 years before winning the World Championship);

Boris Spassky
This Russian player makes the list primarily because of his unique style. His game is marked by super-sharp openings. In addition, he has his own openings and little lines which work quite well for him.
Spassky sacrifices with complete abandon.

I recall a game against Bronstein in a Russian Championship. Bronstein attacked Spassky’s rook with a pawn.

Spassky left the rook where it was and made a knight move instead. He lost the rook, sacrificed the knight a few moves later and then mated Bronstein!

In a game I played him a few years ago, he lost a pawn with no compensation. He continued to play like he had lost nothing. While I am trying to figure out what is going on in his head and where the trap door is, I blunder and lose.

Spassky sits there with that same dead expression whether he is winning or losing. He can blunder away a piece and you can never be sure whether it was a blunder or a long deep sacrifice.

He has some weaknesses, but he makes it very difficult to take advantage of them. He doesn’t play closed positional chess well. Still, he always seems to be a little ahead of you on theory.

He rates a place on my list because of his dynamic style.

(Ed. Note: It would be a shame not to mention what a true sportsman Boris Spassky has been. He was pressured by the great Russian Communist machine not to compromise with Bobby Fischer and take all forfeit wins and win the match by helping Fischer default.
But Mr. Spassky insisted on playing Fischer and did not want to stay world champion if he could not beat Fischer over the board.
How much Fischer's antics upset Spassky during the match is open for debate. But no one applauded harder than Spassky when Bobby Fischer took his crown.
And in all the issues Fischer had later in life, the media could not get Spassky to say anything negative about Fischer or their match. Boris Spassky is a true gentleman and a great ambassador for chess!
And lets face facts - without Spassky's class and Fischer's win - there is no Fischer chess boom.)


  1. Why do you think the Russians produced and continue to produce so many chess greats?

  2. It persists as part of old Soviet culture. Chess was chosen as a "safe" intellectual pursuit, meaning it was free of philosophical thinking ... the kind that would be a threat to a socialist republic or a dictatorship. It was encouraged, subsidized, and exceptional talent was incubated in special schools by world-class instructors. There is no comparable structure in the West.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.