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Chess Under the California Sun

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World Champ. Spassky

In 1966 the Piatigorsky couple (the famous cellist George Piatigorsky and his wife Jacqueline) organised the “2nd Piatigorsky Cup”. The first one had taken place three years before. This time, Mrs Piatigorsky decided to invite Bobby Fischer who had not been invited in the previous one -provoking some disrespectful comments on Bobby’s part…-. The great event was scheduled to be played from July 17th all through August  15th, the venue was Santa Monica, California, USA. The importance of he tournament was such that even FIDE recommended its member nations not to organise  any other event during the celebration of the Piatigorsky one.

It was a double round-robin tournament and the always seemingly reluctant Soviet authorities (sending players to the USA…) even agreed to send two players to it , and they were no others than the current World Champion Tigran Petrosian and the challenger Boris Spassky, the two best players in the world (during those years I consider that the World Champion and the challenger were the best players in the world though it is a matter of opinion)  and who had just played for the title with the victory of Petrosian, as everybody knows.

Besides these two super GMs, the list of players included Bobby Fischer, B. Larsen, W. Unzicker, L. Portisch, S. Reshevsky, M. Najdorf, B. Ivkov and J. Donner. The event seemed tailored to Fischer’s taste: he had always complained about the USA Championships, with few players and in which any small “accident” may cost the championship: here every player would have to play eighteen games against some of the best chessplayers in the world.

Nevertheless, Fischer started the tournament in a rather dull way, with a poor showing: when the first round-robin ended -9 games- he only had 3.5 points. He reacted in the second part of the event beating Reshevsky, Portisch, Ivkov, Donner, Larsen and Najdorf. With two rounds to go Spassky and him were leading the field. But Spassky seemed unbeatable, playing overwhelmingly strong Chess to emerge as the winner with 11.5 points and no losses ( Boris won five of the nine matches and drew the rest losing no game at all). Fischer was second winning more games than Boris but losing three of them. The rest were Larsen, Unzicker, Portisch, Petrosian (a poor performance by the World Champion),Reshevsky,Najdorf, Ivkov and Donner. Knowing Fischer’s character, one may suppose that the worst for him was that  he was unable to defeat Petrosian (two draws) and the loss in his particular duel with Spassky (1.5 -0.5 for the Soviet). I have read that during Petrosian’s years as World Champion many people considered Spassky as the “real” champion (poles apart stylistically speaking ,one may share or not this opinion but it is understandable. Spassky was not only an attacking player  with what was defined as a universal style, he was also one of the most difficult players to beat, and up till 1972, he was Fischer’s “bête noir”).

W.: B. Spassky (1)

B.: R. Fischer  (0)

2nd Piatigorsky Cup, Santa Monica 1966

1. d4, Nf6/ 2. c4, g6 / 3. Nc3, d5 / 4. cd, Nd5/  5. e4, Nc3 / 6. bc, Bg7 / 7. Bc4, c5/ 8. Ne2, Nc6/ 9. Be3, 0-0 / 10. 0-0, Qc7/ 11. Rc1, Rd8/  12. Qe1, e6 / 13. f4, Na57 14. Bd3, f5 /15. Rd1, b6 / 16. Qf2, cd/ 17. Bd4, Bd4/ 18. cd,Bb7/ 19. Ng3, Qf7 /20. d5, fe/ 21. de, Qe6/ 22. f5, Qf7/ 23. Be4, Rd1/ 24. Rd1, Rf8/ 25. Bb1, Qf6/ 26. Qc2, Kh8/ 27. fg, hg/ 28. Qd2, Kg7/ 29. Rf1, Qe7/ 30. Qd4, Rf6/ 31. Ne4, Be4/ 32. Be4, Qc5/ 33. Qc5, Rf1?/ 34. Kf1, bc/ 35. h4, Nc4/ 36. Ke2, Ne5/ 37. Ke3, Kf6/ 38. Kf4, Nf7/ 39. Ke3, g5/ 40. h5, Nh6/ 41. Kd3, Ke5/ 42. Ba8, Kd6/ 43. Kc4, g4/ 44. a4, Ng8/ 45. a5, Nh6/ 46. Be4, g3/ 47. Kb5, Ng8/ 48. Bb1, Nh6/ 49. Ka6, Kc6/ 50. Ba2 .Black resigned.

W.: B. Larsen (0)

B.: B. Spassky  (1)

2nd Piatigorsky Cup, Santa Monica 1966

1. d4, d5/ 2.c4, dc/ 3. Nf3, Nf6/ 4. e3, Bg4/ 5. h3, Bh5/ 6. Nc3, e6/ 7. Bc4, Nbd7/ 8. 0-0, Be7/ 9. e4, 0-0/10.Be3, Bg6/ 11. Bd3, c6/ 12. a3, Rc8/ 13. Re1, Bh5/ 14. Rc1, a5/ 15. Be2, Bg6/ 16. Nd2, Ra8/ 17. Qb3, Qb8/ 18. Bf3, h6/ 19. g3, Rc8/ 20. Bg2, b5/ 21. e5, a4/ 22.Na4, ba/ 23. Qb8, Rab8/24.ef, Nf6/ 25. Nc4, Nd5/ 26. Ne5, Ne3/ 27. Re3, Rb2/ 28. d5, Rc2/ 29. Rc2,Bc2/ 30. Nc6, Kf8 /31. de, fe/ 32. Ne7, Ke7/ 33. Bd5, e5/ 34. Be4, Bb3/ 35. Bb7, Rc1/ 36. Kh2, Ra1/ 37. Re5, Kd6/ 38.Re3, Ra3/ 39. g4, Ra2/ 40. Kg3, Rb2/ 41. Re1, a3/ 42. Be4, a2/43. f4,Rd2/ White resigned.

W.: M. Najdorf (0)

B.: T. Petrosian (1)

2nd Piatigorsky Cup. Santa Monica 1966

1. d4, Nf6/ 2. c4, g6/ 3. g3, c5/ 4. d5, d6/5.Nc3, Bg7 / 6. Bg2, 0-0 /7.Nf3, Na6/ 8. 0-0,Nc7/9. a4, Rb8/ 10. h3, b6/ 11. e4, a6/ 12. e5, Nd7/ 13. ed6, ed6/ 14. Bg5, f6/ 15. Bf4, Ne8/ 16. h4, Ne5/ 17. Nd2, Nf7/ 18. Re1, g5/19. hg5, fg5 / 20.Be3, Ne5/ 21. Nce4, h6/ 22. Ra3, Ng4/ 23. Qc1, Rb7/ 24. Bf3, Rbf7/ 25. Bg4, Bg4/ 26. Qb1, a5/ 27. Qc1,Be5/ 28. Kg2, Qd7/ 29. Rh1, Qf5/ 30. Bg5, hg5/ 31. f3, Nf6/ 32. fg4, Qg4/ 33. Qd1, Qd1/ 34. Rd1, Ne4/ 35. Ne4, g4/ 36. Rd2, Bd4/ 37. Ra1, Re7/ 38. Nf2, Re3/ 39. Ng4, Rb3/ 40. Nh2, Rb4/ 41. Re1, Rc4/ 42. Re6, Ra4/ 43. Rd6, Rb4/ 44. Rc6, a4/ 45. d6, Kf7/ 46. Nf3, Ke6/ 47. Nd4, cd4/ 48. d7, Kd7/ 49. Rh6, Rf5/ 50. g4, Rd5/ 51. Kf3, d3/ 52. Rf6, b5/ 53. Rf4,Rc4/ 54. Re4, Kd6/ 55. Ke3, Rc2/ 56. g5, Rc1/ 57. Rg4, Re1/ 58. Kf2, Re8/ 59. g6, Kc5/ 60. g7, Rdd8/ 61. Kf3, b4/ 62. Kf2, Kb5/ 63. Kf3, a3/ 64. ba3, ba3/ 65. Kf2, Rg8/ 66. Ke3, Rd7/ 67. Rd3, Rd3/ 68. Kd3, a2/ 69. Rg1, Rg7/ 70. Ra1, Rg2/ 71. Kc3, Ka4/ 72. Rh1, Ka3/ 73. Rf1, Rg8/ 74. Rh1, Rc8/ White resigned.

W.: L. Portisch (1)

B.: T. Petrosian (0)

2nd Piatigorsky Cup, Santa Monica 1966

1. c4, g6/ 2. d4, Bg7/ 3. Nf3, Nc3/ 4. Nc3, Nf6/ 5. g3, 0-0/ 6. Bg2, Nc6/ 7. 0-0, a6/ 8. d5, Na5/ 9. Nd2, c5/ 10. Qc2, Rb8/11. b3, b5/ 12. Bb2, bc4/ 13. bc4, Bh6/ 14. f4, e5/ 15. Rae1, ef4/ 16. gf4, Nh5/ 17. e3, Re8/ 18. Nce4, Bf5/ 19. Bc3, Nb7/20. Qa4, a5/ 21. Rb1, Qe7/ 22. Rfe1, Bd7/ 23. Qc2, Bf5/ 24. Qa4, Kf8/ 25. Rb6, Rbd8/ 26. Qb3, Bc8/ 27. Nf1, Rd7/ 28. Nfg3, Ng3/ 29. hg3, Bg7/ 30. Qb2, f5 /31. Bg7, Qg7/ 32. Nf6 , Black resigned.

QuestChess.

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Written by QChess

December 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

Posted in CHESS, Chess History, Fischer, Spassky

Tagged with , ,

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