It's been 50 years since the most famous match in chess history took place: The 1972 World Chess Championship between defending champion Boris Spassky and challenger Bobby Fischer. The match was to the best of 24 games, and Fischer won 12 ½-8 ½, becoming the 11th World Chess Champion and the first American-born player to do so.
The match captured the imagination of millions as it embodied the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. It also had many twists and turns that made it quite unique: Fischer's late arrival to the first game, his forfeit of game two, and his many complaints about the playing hall, the cameras, and lighting.
In the end, Fischer came through and ended two-plus decades of Soviet chess dominance. Fischer returned to the United States as a national hero and celebrity.
Unfortunately, the world would not see or hear much of Fischer after the match. He would not defend his title in 1975, and marred by his own internal battles and struggles, Fischer went into reclusion and spent almost 20 years off the radar. On the other hand, Boris Spassky continued his chess career but never again earned a chance to regain the World Chess Championship.
Fischer passed away in 2008, and Boris Spassky, now 85, lives in Moscow, Russia having moved there from France in 2012.
To commemorate the match anniversary, the World Chess Hall of Fame is holding an exhibit on the match titled: 1972 Fischer/Spassky: The Match, Its Origin, and Influence. The show features more than 500 artifacts, including chess pieces used in pivotal game three, a replica of the tournament table created by the makers of the original, and never-before-exhibited books from the personal library of Bobby Fischer. The exhibition will remain open to the public until April 2023.
September 1 – September 13, 2022
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club annually, the Sinquefield Cup continues its tradition of classical format that will conclude the 2022 Grand Chess Tour. As the ending tour stop, this will be the final opportunity for competitors to earn points for a chance to be crowned champion of the entire Grand Chess Tour.
More information here.