Saturday, 14 July 2018

Will This Thing Never End? Day 8 at the World Seniors' Team Championships

For those of us having to play every day, this is now beginning to resemble an endurance test rather than a chess tournament. Especially as the temperature is once again somewhere in the stratosphere. Somehow my personal dynamo just about had enough energy to propel me to another win this morning - my first with Black. It was a close run thing, and my play was far from  perfect (no surprise there, of course) but my Algerian opponent mistakenly swapped off into a bishops of the same colour ending in which his pawns were sitting ducks. Even my technique was up to the task. England 2 won the match 3-1 and find ourselves on Table 6 in the final round, where we have a very tough pairing against Germany 2. Don't expect too much in this match!

Bernard's search for his first win goes on after a doughty burgher from Ittersbach (where??) refused to play the good host, but a solid draw continues his surprisingly resilient performance - five draws from seven games is definitely not to be sneezed at, given he'd only played one game in the previous 5 years or so! A drawn match for his England 4 team leaves them in 65th= position, and tomorrow they have a wooden spoon showdown against 67th placed SG Priestewitz/Riesa. (Again, where????) To the winner the glory, to the loser, a shed load of abuse from their friends!

Four quick draws may be on the cards for Andy's 65+ England 2 team tomorrow, when they face Sachsen Anhalt in  a relatively low key final round. Today Andy drew after being much better early on, but the team edged home 2.5-1.5 against another German team, Stortebeker. (No, I have no idea where that is, either.)

At the sharp end of the tournaments, England 1 played themselves in to first place in the 50+ section with a 4-0 thrashing of Shachfreunde Leipzig 1, while co-leaders Lasker Schachstiftung GK were going down 3.5-0.5 to the USA. So England 1 take a 1 match point lead over the USA into the final round, but have by far the tougher pairing - number 2 seeds, Germany 1, while the USA face Canada. A draw for England will probably see the Gold medal decided on game points, which will favour the USA. We need Germany 1 to play like their hapless footie team at the World Cup!

In the 65+ tournament, Russia notched up their 8th consecutive win over Germany 1 today and are already champions. Sveshnikov - Hort was a heavyweight encounter between two former super-GMs, which Sveshnikov made look almost easy. He is still one hell of a player. England 1 kept their hopes alive with a narrow victory, but probably need to win again tomorrow against St Petersburg to get a medal.

Not too much to report on the cultural front, but I did have the pleasure of chatting to GM John Emms at breakfast this morning, and can vouch for the fact that he is a very pleasant chap indeed. If you want to hob-nob with such stars, though, you have to get up early. I am in the restaurant for breakfast at about 7.15 everyday, well before the likes of Messrs Rogers and Baruch are ever sighted. You know what they say, the early bird gets to chat to the GM!

Friday, 13 July 2018

Turning up the Heat - Day 7 at the World Seniors' Team Championships

Yesterday was cold and wet, but today its like an oven here - and one turned up to Gas Mark 10, to boot. Still, the air conditioning in the playing hall is holding up nicely, and a pleasant ambient temperature helped me play my best game so far this morning against a 2200 from Leipzig Chessfriends 1. Unfortunately, none of my team mates was able to replicate my win, and we went down 2.5-1.5 after a heroic defence on Board 4 came up just short. Our opponents reward for beating us is to take on joint leaders England 1 on Table 2 tomorrow. Meanwhile my team, England 2, has an exotic pairing against Algeria, when I will have my fourth chance to win a game with the black pieces.

Bernard played a solid game for England 4 in their match against German club team TSG Markkleeberg 2, with his draw helping the team to a 2-2 tie, their best result so far - with the possible exception  of the 4-0 bye in an earlier round! This stemmed the bleeding from two consecutive losses for Bernard, but time is running out for that elusive first win - just 2 rounds to go, and more German club opposition up tomorrow.

Andy's England 2 65+ team got well beaten 3-1 by a strong German team (yes, there are a few of them around!) Stiftung BSW/DBAG 1. Any (intelligent) suggestions as to what all those initials stand for would be much appreciated. Yet another German team awaits in the morning.

At the business end of the pairings, both England 1 teams won, with the 50+ boys giving Canada a 4-0 spanking (despite resting Jon Speelman) to remain joint leaders. With fierce rivals Lasker Schach-Stiftung GK facing the very strong USA team tomorrow, there is every chance that England may be able to take a lead into the final round. In the 65+ section, England 1 are still in with a medal chance, having seen off the challenge of Eppingen 3-1 today. Russia won again, though, to maintain their 100% record, and are nailed-on certainties for Gold.

Not much in the way of high culture to report today, but Bernard and I did indulge in a pleasant narrow gauge steam train ride to the nearby town of Moritzburg. Not a lot to see there - except for this!

Schloss Moritzburg - just your average German palace!
Still, it has to be said the coffee and cake consumed in the village was exceedingly pleasant. This is a very civilised country, indeed.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

When the Going Gets Tough.... Day 6 at the World Seniors' Team Championships

So here we all are in Radebeul, still putting in a hard shift in the service of our country.

Bernard putting in a hard shift in the service of his country, together with our friendly waitress at the Boxenstop Bar, before the World Cup semi-final. 

Occasionally this hard shift sometimes takes place at the chess board, though not always with the desired results. Since my last report, we've each played three games and between us we've chalked up exactly 50%. However, while I have been Mr Average with two draws, Andy has gone slightly berserk and scored consecutive wins. So if you are any good at maths you will be ahead of me in knowing that Bernard's impressive start is now nothing but a distant memory. Add in the footie defeat and he's not such a happy bunny as he was earlier in the week. In fact we've just come back from visiting the former Stasi and NKVD Prison Museum in Dresden, which was most appropriate for his current mood. I aim to point him at food and drink this evening though, and I reckon that will do the trick.

I have had two roller coaster games in the last two days. Against Germany Women 2 I got a rather poor opening, but my opponent then went mad and sacrificed a piece to open up my king. I thought it was unsound, and indeed it was. But after finding the first few moves to refute it, I then made a terrible oversight and promptly lost the piece back and was staring at a virtual forced mate. Thankfully the crunch move was not played, and with my opponent losing the thread completely I went from 2 pawns down to 1 pawn up. The dreaded opposite bishops then intervened to deprive me of a most undeserved win!

Today was less blunderful, but equally tense, as I eventually drew against a German IM, whose rating has fallen by nearly 200 points since his 2435 peak. I stood firm under growing pressure and then cheapoed my way to an extra pawn from nowhere at the time control. However, I then missed a tactical shot (spotted by Andy, curse him!) which would have netted a second pawn and given me winning chances. Instead I lost my extra pawn and was staring at an ending of two bishops against my two knights, in which there was only one passed pawn - and I didn't have it. And it was a long way from my king! I tried to set up a blockade with my knights, but instead of testing whether this would hold, my opponent swapped off one knight and tried to combine a king invasion with the threat to trap my knight. Thankfully, though, the knight always had just one square and I was able to hold a very hard earned draw (and secure a drawn match).

I can't tell you anything of Andy's or Bernard's games except the result. They might as well have been taking place in another room. (Which in Andy's case they were!)

What I can tell you is that England 1 are currently joint first in the 50+ section with a German club team. As this German club team has Arthur Yusupov on Board 2, you can tell they are a tad stronger than Olton A! Canada, Austria and the USA are one point behind. All still to play for over the next three rounds. In the 65+ section, the gold medal has probably been decided, as Russia have a two point lead and have already beaten their nearest rivals. A pairing with Germany 3 tomorrow probably doesn't have them quaking in their boots!

To finish, some art. Or at least what passes for art in this part of the world. There is a rather startling statue in our hotel grounds, which I have to pass every time I leave my room. I can assure readers that no KCC member posed for this!

A fine figure of a man! Personally I prefer The Three Graces. 
But if this statue is a tad unsettling, let's end with one of the greatest paintings in the world, which is on display in the Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden.  Don't say these reports don't bring you a bit of culture as well as some chess!

The Sistine Madonna, by Raphael (including two very cheesed off cherubs).
Message to Bernard C - this is what a proper painting looks like!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

That Really Hurt - Day 4 at the World Seniors' Team Championships

I am writing this in a darkened room in a state of some distress, after an agonizing loss by me cost England 2 victory in our match against Post SV Ulm - and yes that is the Ulm Post Office/Mail Sports Club. Pretty strong those Ulm posties, I can tell you. It was an epic game where I chanced my arm in the opening; got away with it; and after finally equalizing (or so I think, the silicon beast has not yet been unleashed to shatter my illusions), I then seemed to gain the advantage in a rook and same bishop ending. My opponent had connected passed g and h pawns, and I had connected passed d and e pawns. Regrettably the outside pawns won the day after around 5 hours of suffering. So only 2-2 in our match, where my loss was balanced by a crushing win for us on top board.

Andy's day was much less eventful, as he drew against 87 year old (!!) IM Edwin Bhend of Switzerland in 12 moves - or was it 12 minutes? Possibly both. This is a man who once beat Tal (with Black!), drew with Fischer and played in 12 Olympiads for Switzerland. Andy has done none of these things, but he used his 20 years advantage remorselessly to get a draw. The England 2 o-65s drew the match 2-2 thanks to 4 draws against higher rated opposition. But Andy's was by far the quickest, so at least KCC has something to be proud of today. Tomorrow Andy's team play against Leipzig Chess Friends, which is a nice name for a club, don't you think? Kenilworth Chess Friends, anybody?!

Meanwhile Bernard has kept his 50% score by taking another day off. In fact his entire England 4 team took the day off as they had the bye. The 4-0 win they got for this has propelled them up the table and, rumour has it, Bernard is actually going to have to play a game of chess tomorrow rather than go shopping (!) - which is what he has done today.

In the massive Board 1 encounters for the two England 1 teams, there was good news and bad news today. The o-50 boys upset the top seeded USA team thanks to a solitary win by John Emms on Board 2 over Joel Benjamin. Jon Speelman very nearly beat Shabalov with Black, so this was a pretty emphatic win even if the margin was ultimately the smallest possible. Not such good news in the o-65s, where unsurprisingly England went down to number 1 seeds and defending champions Russia. A win for Nigel Povah on Board 3 was more than offset by losses on Boards 1 and 4, for a narrow defeat.

That's a pretty comprehensive round up of today's action, only made possible by the fact that its raining (bet you can't say the same!) and I've decided to have a rest from sightseeing and take it easy this afternoon. But of course, I still have to report on last night's Blitz tournament, where it seems I had too little faith in our brave boys. Despite playing atrociously to begin with (including a loss to Shveshnikov, who he didn't even recognise!), Andy recovered in  the last few rounds to end on 4.5/9 (52nd place). When you sink low enough in the tournament, you will eventually get some friendly pairings. Like this!

Bernard defied all my expectations by scoring an excellent 4/9 for 61st place and got to play a couple of titled players. He was generally playing much tougher opposition than Andy, but while he may lack in recent standard play practice, he is the veteran of a zillion Thursday evening blitz games. Just goes to prove - you can take the man out of The Gauntlet, but you can't take The Gauntlet out of the man!

A few minutes later, Bernard had his first ever international victory!

A few minutes after this, Andy had another loss to add to his tally!

The overall event was won jointly by Keith Arkell and a Leipzig Chess Friend with 8/9. 5 GMs, 5 IMs and oodles of FMs took part in a total field of exactly 100.

The crucial top board Round 9 encounter between Keith Arkell and Jim Plaskett about to start. Meanwhile a Leipzig Chess Friend adjusts the pieces on Board 2, and Mark Hebden looks longingly towards the bar on Board 4!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Three Happy Campers - Day 3 at the World Seniors' Team Championships

Today, anyway - yesterday, not so much!

I was pitched in at the deep end in Round 2 when England 2 got paired against England 1. While two of my team mates secured excellent draws with the White pieces against GMs Speelman and Hebden, England 1 were simply too strong on the boards where they had White. I was well beaten by Jim Plaskett on Board 2. After my opening went slightly wrong I tried to liberate my position with a tactical pawn break, but not for the first time my calculation contained a hole, and the GM went straight for it, winning an exchange and then cleverly giving it back almost immediately to nullify my activity. He planted a monster bishop on e5 and I simply ran out of time trying to find a way to neutralise his passed a pawn while also defending my very vulnerable king.

Andy also contrived to lose (even more quickly than me) against the splendidly named Swede, Bengt Hammar. As Andy's team are still marooned in the annexe, at least I was spared having to witness any of his debacle.

Which leads us on to our reluctant hero Bernard, who followed up his highly creditable opening draw with another against a near-2000 rated German in Round 2. Regrettably it didn't do his team any good, and England 4 remained on nil points. Which is where they stayed today, as an implosion in Round 3 saw them transform a winning match position into a third consecutive loss, this time against Finnish opposition. But our man maintained his 50% record by ……… being rested. Consequently he was very happy at being allowed a late breakfast and a leisurely morning, while Andy and I put ourselves through the mill. As we will have to do every day, since neither of our teams has a reserve!

But sometimes the effort is rewarded, and Andy chalked up his first win by despatching his German opponent, though apparently not without some inevitable alarms and travails. England 2 (over-65s) duly chalked up a 3-1 win, and my team, England 2 (over-50s) did exactly the same against Liechtenstein.  My game was rather dubious in the opening, but once I got into the middle game I started to outplay my opponent as a strong passed d pawn and control of the e-file saw Black pushed back into an untidy and unstable heap. It was only a matter of time before something fell off and a d7 pawn fork of rook and queen eventually did the business.

So it was three happy campers who took the tram up to the old town for a leisurely lunch. Only one KCC player drank beer - can you possibly guess who?!

Bernard has another day off tomorrow, as his hapless bunch have the bye - doubtless another late breakfast beckons in the morning - which is guaranteed to send them shooting up the table come Wednesday's round, when our man is scheduled to play on Board 2. Whereas Andy and I have tough opposition to worry about tomorrow - me against a strong German team from Ulm, and Andy against mighty Switzerland. It will be a big day in both the over-50 and over-65 sections tomorrow, as England 1 have been drawn against the top seeds (USA and Russia, respectively) for a couple of mouth-watering showdowns. But probably England 1 v Croatia 1 on Wednesday is even more important!

While I have been writing this report up, Bernard and Andy, for reasons known only to themselves, have signed up for a 9 round Blitz tournament, and should have finished round 1 by now. Lucky them - only 8 more to go! I almost got talked into playing, but came to my senses just in time. I have not seen who has entered this event, but with a Euro250 first prize, I expect a few penurious GMs will be looking to supplement their modest incomes. Consequently I am predicting scores of 3.5/9 for Andy and 2.5/9 for Bernard. I hope I've underestimated their Blitz prowess - but only time will tell. I guess it will be my job to rebuild their egos (and maybe their ELOs) after what I expect to be an inevitable pummelling. Just another area of responsibility for the Club Organiser!

Saturday, 7 July 2018

And They're Off!

So here I am again, in Radebeul near Dresden , for the 2018 World Seniors Team Championship. Two years after my debut, I am once again playing for England 2 in the over-50s championship - though despite my incompetence I have somehow risen to Board 2 - but this time around things are very different. Because I have been joined by both Bernard R and Andy B, in a three pronged attack on the World title. Andy finds himself playing for England 2 in the O-65s section, while Bernard is in the England 4 team in the O-50s.

Play got under way at 16.00 today (the same time as England v Sweden kicked off over here), and after all 3 of us were thrown into the heat of the Round 1 battle, the KCC contingent ended the day undefeated, with at least two of us highly chuffed by our performances.

The less chuffed Andy B finished first. I saw nothing of his game as he had been consigned to the annexe where all but the top 6 or 7 over-65s matches had been consigned. Faced with a London System as Black, Andy managed to blunder a pawn relatively quickly - at which point his opponent (from the German club team Freibauer Niedersachsen) promptly offered a draw. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Andy wisely accepted.

Next to finish was Bernard. Quite what he's doing here is a matter for some discussion, as we all know he's only played one serious game in the last six years and - to put it mildly - that hadn't gone well. Today, though, he was inspired, and played very sensibly against a 2114 rated opponent from Dresden, and was never worse. Indeed, he agreed a draw from what was probably a position of strength. An excellent performance, which doubtless owed much to the pre-match beer he felt obliged to consume at lunchtime!

And so to me, as always the last to finish, but when the game ends in mate it isn't such a hardship. Having almost 200 points advantage over my Finnish opponent, I fairly quickly and easily built up a big advantage on the white side of a 3 Bb5+ Sicilian. But with the win in sight, I faltered and allowed an exchange which should have led to an immediate draw. However, the quality of the play from both players then deteriorated markedly, and after a few rather nervous moments, my opponent kindly self-destructed in spectacular fashion to allow me to force mate with queen and knight.

We have celebrated in appropriate fashion tonight at a truly excellent pub, which has so far not been discovered by anyone else at the tournament! Its not haute cuisine, more substantial grub, and we'll be back there again tomorrow evening. It has the added advantage of being right next to a narrow gauge steam railway. And when I say right next, I mean right next!

Bernard relives his train-spotting youth! Luckily we have remembered to look both ways when leaving this pub.

I may not be so up-beat with my next report, as I already know that I am playing GM Jim Plaskett tomorrow, when England 2 go head to head with England 1. Bernard is up against a 2000 rated player from the German club team Horst-Emscher 1931, while Andy is playing ….someone! The draw is not yet up for the really oldies section.

I know that the results are only half the story - you really want to know the celeb gossip. Well, on that point I can tell you that yesterday we shared a taxi from Dresden Airport with Jon Speelman (of course we let him have the front seat!) while less creditably Bernard almost trod on legendary GM Vlastimil Hort. As he has a bad foot (Hort not Bernard!) that could have caused an international incident, but thankfully actual contact was avoided by an inch or so. Yesterday evening we found ourselves dining in an Italian restaurant where we were definitely not sitting at the strongest table - GMs Speelman, Emms, Plaskett, Hebden, Benjamin and Kudrin just edged us.

Most important of all, though, Bernard has proved himself an absolute star on the linguistic front - Anglo-German relations are consequently much better at our level than between May and Merkel. Long may it continue!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Taking a Week Off

Because of an unfortunate clash with the England v Belgium World Cup match on Thursday June 28th, there will be no club meeting at The Gauntlet on that night. Normal service should be resumed the following week on July 5th - at least the World Cup won't get in the way, as its a blank day in the schedule. For those of you frustrated or disturbed by the loss of your weekly chess fix, and who are not interested in football, you need to calm down, relax and enjoy the break. This should help you chill out for a few hours.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Game of the Month, June 2018

Alright, alright! I know its been a long time since the last Game of the Month, but this feature has exacting standards, and just any old rubbish will not do. But when a victory by a (future) KCC member over a (future) GM falls into my hands, I just know that the wait has been worthwhile.

In this encounter, we are transported back to a simpler time, some 35 (!!) years ago, when Kenilworth's invisible man, Andy Baruch, was actually an active chess player who was more than a bit useful. Here he takes on a young whipper-snapper in the shape of a 15 year old David Norwood, who would get his IM title just 2 years later and his GM title a further 4 years after that (age 21). In this battle between Innocence and Experience, though, its the old codger who comes out decisively on top.

A small selection of further games by Andy from his golden years has come into my possession, so I think you can reasonably assume that some other big names will be biting the dust on these pages in the not too distant future. Sigh, if only he could still do it today!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Worst AGM EVER!

Brexit, Trump and then just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, along comes the 2018 Leamington League AGM. Any thoughts you had of turning up on September the whenever to play another season under the rules and conditions that you are used to can go straight out the window.

First, the AGM voted to adopt a registration system to try and stop sharp/questionable practices in the selection of stronger players in weaker teams, or of ringers being brought in to strengthen teams at the end of the season. Laudable aims both, but potentially at a considerable cost in terms of selection flexibility and yet more work for club and league volunteers alike. I do not doubt for a second that the same result could have been achieved by less onerous methods. Watch this space to see how this develops, since the actual rules of the registration system are yet to be finalised, but rest assured there will doubtless be issues for us and every other club as a consequence.

But that was by no means the low point of the evening, since in the space of about 10 minutes the proposal from Banbury to change the League's time limit to 90 minutes for the entire game, with no intermediate time control, was tabled, discussed and voted through. No substantive argument was made in favour by the proposers and when I spoke against the change and asked about the reason for the proposal, the only answer given - and I kid you not - was that some people at Banbury found it difficult to set the clocks. (I have played with digital clocks at Banbury for at least two seasons, and the clocks were set correctly every time on all boards - but hey, what do I know?) Rob Reynolds of Olton  said a few words against the proposal and then Dave Thomas, one of England's most senior Arbiters, also spoke and recommended that the proposed change should not be approved. As far as I recall, no-one spoke in favour, though there were a couple of oblique references to some apparently well-known Birmingham League incidents - of minimal/dubious relevance as far as I could tell.

So then we voted. And quite bizarrely the AGM was in favour of a new time limit for which not one coherent argument had been advanced. Utterly mystifying. A time limit I have never heard a single complaint about is replaced on an apparently perverse whim. If I have in any way misrepresented the Banbury proposal or the discussion on the subject that took place, I am happy to be corrected, but the above is certainly my honest recollection. Ben, Mike J and Dave were all in attendance, and they can put me right if necessary.

Anyway, I'm bloody depressed, and to make matters worse, I now have to immerse myself in the accursed registration system proposals and find out what that does to my rapidly diminishing sanity. Happy days.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Bobby Fischer; a Personal Pilgrimage - Part 5, Postscript

The story of my pilgrimage has basically already concluded, but never one to report in four articles what can be strung out to five, there are still a couple of loose ends for me to wrap up:-

1 Suggestions for Further Reading

Only a day or so ago I discovered the existence of a book called "Bobby Fischer Comes Home", written by Icelandic GM (and leading player in the establishment of the Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss) Helgi Olafsson.   Before I went to Iceland, I really should not only have known about this, but also read it. Still, it's never too late, so the book is hopefully winging its way to me even as I write. I am expecting both a rattling good read and a few tears before bedtime. How could this ultimately be anything other than very sad?

But there is an even sadder book out there. Bobby's greatest friend and supporter in his final years in Iceland was Gardar Sverrison. In 2015 he published a book entitled, "Bobby Fischer's Final Years." Or more accurately, "Yfir farinn veg meĆ° Bobby Fischer", because the book is not available in English - even though there is a full translation in existence. This translation needs to be published - and soon!  A flavour of the book - and its a quite disturbing and distressing flavour in truth - can be found in a long extract that was published on the Chessbase site on January 17th, 2018 - exactly ten years after Fischer's death. It's harrowing stuff, but compulsory reading and can be found here.

2 Some More Photos

There is one specific image of Bobby which carries - possibly unintentionally - enormous symbolic power. You can see it in the Chessbase article referenced above, and it also adorns the cover of Helgi Olafsson's book. I reproduce it here, duly acknowledged as far as possible, and hopefully not exposing myself to copyright issues, but it is so integral to my own interpretation of Bobby's story that I can't resist.

Main photographer unknown. The inset portrait is by Einar S Einarsson.

The location of this shot is the Thingvellir National Park, about 45 minutes drive outside Reykjavik, and a must see tourist stop on the Golden Circle itinerary undertaken by virtually every visitor to Iceland. As well as being the original site (in around 930) of (one of?) the world's oldest parliament, the Althing, this area is of enormous geological significance. (Bad news for me as I failed my Geology O Level!) It is here that Iceland is split by the Mid Atlantic Rift, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are gradually moving apart - fortunately at only 2.5 cms a year. As Bobby walked down the gorge, the rock face on his left was formed by the edge of the North American tectonic plate. Reykjavik lies firmly to the west of the Rift, so that for the last few years of his life, Bobby was actually back in North America, although only in a geological sense. The image is full of symbolism - a man caught between two continents/worlds; a man geologically home in North America , but politically forever stranded in Iceland; and a man turning his back once and for all on the rest of the world.

I wouldn't be the pathetic wannabe you know me to be, if I hadn't stood in almost exactly the same place as Bobby, albeit looking the other way!

Does Donald know you can walk up a path from Eurasia into North America. Build a wall, quick!!

But the final image of this account shouldn't be of me. And it shouldn't be of the altogether reclusive and diminished Bobby of his later years. Let's remember him in his prime.

Bobby as we need to remember him - a Chess God
(This autographed photo hangs on the wall of the Bobby Fischer Center, Selfoss)

3 Another Game

And so the journey really does end here, but I can't go without one more game. This must surely be one of the greatest fighting games of chess ever played.* It is truly epic, particularly in the late middlegame/endgame phases where both men play out of their skin, Fischer trying to win, and Spassky trying to save the game. While a modern engine is remorseless in its identification of some mistakes, this hardly diminishes the drama or lessens one's respect and admiration for the two players. In the end, Fischer's incessant pressure, fuelled by an incredible will to win, forces Spassky into a tragic blunder when he was within touching distance of a draw. This was indeed a game that Fischer deserved to win, but Spassky surely deserved to draw.