Wednesday 3 February 2016

Fischer v Spassky World Championship Match 1972

The Neuhausen-Zurich Candidates Tournament of 1953 (see my article of 23rd January) generated more books in English than any previous tournament and it is quite clear which chess match gave rise to the largest number of books and pamphlets.  At least 25 publications in English alone followed the match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in Rekjavik in 1972 and there were many more in other languages.

Most of these books are very well known but I give details of some of the less frequently seen publications below. 

A Souvenir Record of all the Games; Spassky-Fischer; World Chess Championship Iceland 1972 by Harry Campbell, published by Monospools (Pty) Ltd. Cape Town c1973, 60pp
Campbell front cover
Campbell rear cover

This book includes a Foreword by Leonard Reitstein, a Preface by the author,  brief notes about the contestants and the 21 games with annotations aimed mainly at newcomers to chess. The game between David Isaacson and Boris Spassky played at the Tel Aviv Olympiad in 1964 is also included; this being the only game played by a South African against Spassky.

The 1972 World Championship; Reykjavik Island; Spassky versus Fischer; commentary, games, notes, statistics by P.H.Clarke and W.J.Welch, published by The Hexagon, Barnstaple 1972, 70pp

Clarke front cover

With a Foreword by P.H.Clarke, World Championship History, brief details and career records of Boris Spassky and Robert Fischer, a summary of the 1971 Candidates Series, Previous Encounters between the players, and The Match Arrangements. There follows the 21 games with commentaries and notes by Clarke, a Conclusion, statistics compiled by Welch and finally an Openings Index followed by 2 pages of adverts for Clarke's other chess works. 

Fischer-Spassky; World Championship Match & Fischer's 1971 Candidates Matches from the Soviet Point of view, compiled by Alfred Kalnajs and translated by A. Karklins, published by Alfred Kalnajs, Chicago 1973. 158pp

Karklins front cover

The main part of the book consists of the 21 games annotated exclusively by Soviet grandmasters including Botvinnik, Bronstein, Kotov, Smyslov, Tal, Flohr, Polugaevsky, Korchnoi, Stein, Karpov, etc. In addition, all of Fischer's candidates matches are included, similarly annotated by Soviet masters and grandmasters.

How Fischer Won; World Chess Championship - 1972 by C.J.S.Purdy, published by E.J. Dwyer, Sydney etc. September 1972. 101pp

Purdy front cover

Includes a Preface by Purdy, a History of World Champions through 1000 years, The Pre-Match Cold War, biographies of Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. The 21 games include commentary and notes by Purdy, followed by a discussion of the significance of the evolution of "opening theory" during the match, Chess Notation and a Chess Glossary.

Four years later Purdy published his Post-Mortem  1976 to Fischer-Spassky 1972. A Supplement to How Fischer Won and a Commentary on the Annotations in the other Books of the Match. 8pp

Purdy Post-Mortem

This included Purdy's "second thoughts" based on reading other books and annotations published on the match in English. Also included is an errata to Purdy's 1972 book on the match.

I will give details of five more lesser known books on the match next time.

                                            © Michael Clapham 2016

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