Fifty years ago: Fischer leads 8:5

After ten games in the World Championship match in Reykjavik, 1972, the score was 6½-3½ for Challenger Bobby Fischer. The match seemed virtually over – in the last eight games Boris Spassky had only managed to score 1½ points. In game 11 Spassky took on the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf Sicilian. “Fighting with the desperation of the doomed: he sensationally crushed his opponent in the 11th game” (Kasparov). In the twelfth he held Fischer to a comfortable draw. And then came the 13th round. Fischer played, for the first time in a top-level game, the Alekhine Defence. It turned into one of the most exciting battles of the match, and is beautifully annotated by GM Robert Byrne.

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