5

Is it true that Boris Spassky stood up and openly applauded at Fischer after the sensational round 6 win by Fischer in the 1972 World Championship match? (The QGD Tartakower), as portrayed in the 2014 "Pawn Sacrifice" movie?

9

Yes.

The game itself was majestic, by far the best to date. Harry Golombek described it as "a masterpiece through and through." Fischer was able to create and then remorselessly exploit vulnerable spots in Spassky's barricade, prizing his defenses apart before battering him with the rooks and queen, and without once leaving his own position at risk. Spassky was virtually in zugzwang -- a term referring to an unusual position where a player would prefer not to have to move, since all possible moves will only make his position worse. Black's resignation position was quite pitiful, the king humiliatingly exposed to the world, like a naked man caught in the shower after the rest of his house has collapsed about him. The packed auditorium rose as one; a bemused, crushed Spassky joined in the applause, clapping for his opponent in recognition of the artistic creation to which he had fallen victim.

Edmonds and Eidinow, Bobby Fischer Goes to War (2003)

5

Svetozar Gligoric, who was there, wrote in his book on the match:

With thousands of spectators applauding Fischer's classical style win in the sixth game, Spassky did the same, while offering his hand to the challenger. In order not to be touched by his opponent's gracious behaviour, 'I had to go away' said Fischer to friends afterwards.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.