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Kasparov Says Fischer Was Not at His Best Against Spassky

November 7, 1992 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) _ American Bobby Fischer is capable of playing better chess than he did against Boris Spassky, says world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Fischer won the match because of inconsistencies in Spassky’s game, Kasparov told Friday’s Izvestia newspaper.

″The quality of the game by both participants picked up somewhat as the match went on. In some games, at some stretches, it approached what I call modern chess,″ Kasparov was quoted as saying.

″But to my mind, most games lacked the elements of truly modern chess, the intensity and resilience of the two sides,″ he said.


Kasparov, who was born in Azerbaijan and now lives in Russia, has been world chess champion since 1985. The International Chess Federation stripped Fischer of that title in 1975 after he refused to defend it against Anatoly Karpov in a dispute over rules.

Fischer’s match against Spassky was his first public competition since he beat the Russian-born Spassky in 1972.

The two men played 30 games over two months in what organizers billed as the world championship. It was not recognized as such by the chess federation.

Kasparov said Fischer is having trouble adjusting to changes in world-level chess competition after 20 years.

″He won the match convincingly by scoring twice as many wins as Spassky. But in most cases he won because the quality of Spassky’s game fluctuates wildly from game to game,″ Kasparov told Izvestia.

″Will Fischer, given time, manage to adjust himself to the dramatically changed world? My feeling is that he won’t. But surely, the way he played in this match was not the best he is capable of,″ he said.

Two months ago, Kasparov was far less diplomatic in his comments about Fischer: ″There sits this poor fellow with whom you cannot converse normally, and what’s more he plays bad chess.″

Fischer has repeatedly accused Kasparov of fixing games with Karpov when he beat him to win the world championship.

At a joint news conference with Spassky on Friday, Fischer referred to Kasparov’s ″clownish behavior″ in playing out games he claims were ″strictly rehearsed.″