fifty years ago, JULY 28, 1972 Archives

Fischer wins eighth game

Rekyjavik, July 27: American challenger Bobby Fischer to-night won the eighth game in the world chess championship when Russian titleholder, Boris Spassky resigned on the 37th move. The American challenger again failed to arrive on time for the start of the game, coming 12 minutes late. His first move was P-QB4 to which Spassky replied P-QB4. Fischer’s opening move was the same as the one he made in the sixth game on Sunday in which he forced Spassky to resign on the 41st move. But the Russian’s reply was different this time. There was silence in the packed auditorium when Spassky arrived level, and then returned to the stage. He told Fischer had only wanted reassurance that the camera there was not noisy. The opening game was pure cat and mouse: Fischer made a move, Spassky repeated it. The position on the board was symmetrical for the first six moves, with all four knights out and king side bishops free to move. Fischer’s choice of bishop’s pawn opening indicated he had not found an answer to Spassky’s innovation in the fourth game, when the challenger used his favourite king’s pawn opening and drew. Spassky’s mirror-play was thought designed to irritate Fischer, forcing him to play “against himself”. The symmetry was smashed at the seventh move as Fischer forced a pawn and then a knight exchange. This left his pieces better developed, with the queen well up.  

Fischer agrees to TV coverage: Bobby Fischer to-day agreed to allow television coverage of to-night’s 8th game of his world chess championship against Spassky so that his “millions of fans” could see him. The ABC television producer, Mr. Lern Hassan, said he spent 45 minutes discussing the final arrangements for televising tonight’s game with the American and Fischer agreed.


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