1. Toronto
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    09 Jan '21 20:351 edit
    What do people think about John Donaldson's new book "Bobby Fischer and His World: The Man, the Player, the Riddle, and the Colorful Characters Who Surrounded Him"? I just ordered it from Amazon.
  2. Standard membermchill
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    10 Jan '21 12:18
    @tefeather said
    What do people think about John Donaldson's new book "Bobby Fischer and His World: The Man, the Player, the Riddle, and the Colorful Characters Who Surrounded Him"? I just ordered it from Amazon.
    I've not ordered or read it yet, but the feedback so far is pretty good. I know the author (I.M. John Donaldson) from his tournament days in Seattle. John does his homework well. His books favor accuracy over literary drama, and I expect this one will be no different.
  3. Standard membercongruent
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    11 Jan '21 21:08
    Shame that Fischer never faced Karpov or the other strong chess players of his time. Everyone should have a Fisher book and I thoroughly liked Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games.
  4. Standard membersundown316
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    13 Jan '21 23:07
    I've already read the book, and it is fascinating, especially several "lost" Fischer games. There are a slew more of newly found Fischer games found in a box of Bobby's possessions, and were donated to the Marshall Chess Club by Russell Targ, who was married to Fischer's sister, Joan. I have little hope that any of these games will see print, as the Marshall is notorious for it's treatment of archives.
  5. Standard membermchill
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    20 Jan '21 06:02
    @congruent said
    Shame that Fischer never faced Karpov or the other strong chess players of his time. Everyone should have a Fisher book and I thoroughly liked Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games.
    Shame that Fischer never faced Karpov or the other strong chess players of his time.

    I agree. I think Karpov would have been a little stronger than Spassky by 1975. Too close to call IMHO. By the mid 70's however Fischer's psychological demons were getting the better of him.
  6. Zugzwang
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    20 Jan '21 06:08
    @mchill said
    Shame that Fischer never faced Karpov or the other strong chess players of his time.

    I agree. I think Karpov would have been a little stronger than Spassky by 1975. Too close to call IMHO. By the mid 70's however Fischer's psychological demons were getting the better of him.
    In 1974, Karpov defeated Spassky in a match by the score of 7 to 4 (4 wins 6 draws 1 loss).
    Most GMs predicted that Spassky would win. Botvinnik predicted a victory for Karpov.
  7. Toronto
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    20 Feb '21 19:332 edits
    For what it's worth, Anthony Saidy thought that it would have been easy for Fischer to defeat Karpov. See the YouTube video at YouTube&ab_channel=Holgerv.d.Linde - "It would be an easy task." at 1:03. I tend to agree. I suspect that Karpov would have agreed, but it clearly was not a certainty.
  8. Toronto
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    20 Feb '21 20:16
    See also https://en.chessbase.com/post/fischer-vs-karpov-in-1975-who-would-have-won:

    It was a tragedy for chess that the match never took place. However, we can be quite confident that Fischer would have prevailed. It is true that the model does not directly account for factors such as Fischer’s mental health. However, his 2780 rating that was used in the simulations was his actual rating — the rating he attained in spite of his issues. This is not an imaginary problem-free version of Fischer.

    Are nerves a factor in a world championship match? Of course they are. But the ratings used in the simulations come from real tournaments and matches in which nerves were also a major factor. Thus, the results in the simulations cannot be easily dismissed.

    Karpov’s chances are low even if we twist the model’s assumptions in his favour. Even if we pick a system in which Fischer does not have draw odds and even if Karpov were underrated, Fischer is still the heavy favourite. Fischer’s chances are — at the bare minimum — 70%. I do not know how long Fischer’s reign would have lasted; perhaps Karpov would learn important lessons from their match and come back stronger in 1978. But we can be quite confident about the outcome in 1975.
  9. Zugzwang
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    20 Feb '21 20:593 edits
    @tefeather said
    See also https://en.chessbase.com/post/fischer-vs-karpov-in-1975-who-would-have-won:

    It was a tragedy for chess that the match never took place. However, we can be quite confident that Fischer would have prevailed. It is true that the model does not directly account for factors such as Fischer’s mental health. However, his 2780 rating that was used in the simulations was ...[text shortened]... their match and come back stronger in 1978. But we can be quite confident about the outcome in 1975.
    In 1975, Anatoly Karpov was 24 years old and still improving. It seems likely that
    he would have been more psychologically resilient than Boris Spassky was in 1972,
    when Spassky apparently had passed his peak.

    Predictions about Bobby Fischer should be taken with a large dose of salt:
    1) It's questionable that, after an absence of three years from chess, Fischer would
    have played as well in 1975 as in his almost miraculous run in 1970-72.
    2) Fischer had a long record of self-destructive behavior, particularly under adversity.

    I doubt that Karpov in 1975 was already as strong as Fischer was in 1972.
    Yet if Karpov had succeeded (perhaps due to a surprise opening innovation or two
    from his Soviet GM support group) in winning one or two games early and holding
    a lead over Fischer, then Fischer might have accused Karpov of 'cheating' (or whatever)
    and walked out of the match. Note that Fischer quit his match with Reshevsky,
    though I think that Fischer already was stronger than Reshevsky.

    If Bobby Fischer had been really fully confident, then why did he demand the advantage of draw odds?
  10. Joined
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    20 Feb '21 22:192 edits
    Karpov would have won.

    I can't wait for the American John M. Burke to win the world championship so we can stop hearing about Fischer.
    The people who think Fischer would have won against Karpov and is the greatest of all time are usually Americans.
    There being only one American champion also adds to Fischer's fanbase.

    John M. Burke is the youngest player to reach 2600 and is definitely a contender for the world championship. A real American and not an import.
  11. Joined
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    20 Feb '21 22:20
    @Duchess64

    Exactly right.
  12. e4
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    20 Feb '21 23:41
    I'll not go out of my way to get the book. I have quite a few on Fischer already.
    (I am currently going through the Soltis book on Carlsen - I'll blog my review end of March.)

    Karpov v Fischer
    (leaving aside Fischer mental illness that made him give up and what might have
    happened with him walking. Stay with chess and what we know.)

    The feeling amongst all the other 1000's (no exaggeration) of posts I've
    seen on the Karpov - Fischer result is a slight tip to Fischer wins in 1975 and Karpov 1978.

    The general comments in favour of Fischer are:
    The off the board antics of Fischer and his OTB stamina would have got to Karpov.
    Karpov's suspect stamina was highlighted by him losing three games out of four
    in the tail end of the 1978 match along with all the chaos of the 1978 match.
    (and of course the Moscow Marathon).

    Come 1978 he would have had the 1975 experience and by then he was the great
    player he became. (we will never know if Fischer could have gotten stronger
    although not playing he was looking at games - even finding missed wins v
    Karpov in 1974 see: https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067850 )

    My one reservation is our man Geller, he would have been Karpov's second and
    Karpov would have listened to him (he was Spassky's second in '72 and Boris
    refused to look at Bobby playing anything but 1.e4.) see Blog Post 251
    For a 1972 pre-match cover of 'Chess Life and Review' anticipating just this.

    Geller (and Tal) would have cooked up a few surprises.
    But Bobby too would have had a few as well. (Also Kavalek who helped him out
    in the latter half of the 1972 match. He was opening expert.)

    I've also debated elsewhere that if we are ignore Fischer's issues than we
    must ignore the Karpov stamina matter. So two fit players. Still Fischer 1975
    he was a great chess player. (we must never forget that.) and Karpov himself
    says every chess player owes him a great deal for raising the level of the
    conditions, the media interest and of course the money.

    (In 1969 the Petrosian - Spassky purse was $3,000 - in 1972 it was $138,000
    which was the main reason Spassky did not walk away after the 2nd game default.
    If he walked he would have got his appearance fee, nothing more.)

    Karpov 1978, in 1975 not quite there yet, but close, very close.
    But alas... (alongside no Morphy v Staunton or Alekhine -Capablanca return match)

    Not a Fischer fanboy, in fact I like Karpov more. Met him once, spent a couple
    of hours with him, just him and me at the Edinburgh Chess Club. Great day.
  13. Zugzwang
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    21 Feb '21 01:31
    @greenpawn34 said
    I'll not go out of my way to get the book. I have quite a few on Fischer already.
    (I am currently going through the Soltis book on Carlsen - I'll blog my review end of March.)

    Karpov v Fischer
    (leaving aside Fischer mental illness that made him give up and what might have
    happened with him walking. Stay with chess and what we know.)

    The feeling amongst all the o ...[text shortened]... im once, spent a couple
    of hours with him, just him and me at the Edinburgh Chess Club. Great day.
    Regarding the value of money in the USSR, it did not matter that much if one had many rubles.
    There were not many high-quality consumer goods for most Soviet citizens to buy.
    What was more important was access to scarce (often imported) high-quality consumer goods.

    My point is that a person who had 100,000 rubles in the bank typically did not
    enjoy a quality of life ten times better than a person who had 10,000 rubles.
    So, in that sense, money was less important in the USSR.
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    21 Feb '21 03:45
    @Duchess64

    Interesting 🤔
  15. Zugzwang
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    21 Feb '21 07:29
    @phil-a-dork said
    Karpov would have won.

    I can't wait for the American John M. Burke to win the world championship so we can stop hearing about Fischer.
    The people who think Fischer would have won against Karpov and is the greatest of all time are usually Americans.
    There being only one American champion also adds to Fischer's fanbase.

    John M. Burke is the youngest player to reach 2600 and is definitely a contender for the world championship. A real American and not an import.
    John Burke is now a 20 year old GM rated 2522 FIDE, which is far from being a world championship contender.
    Jeffery Xiong (born in the USA) is now a 20 year old GM rated 2709 FIDE.
    Awonder Liang (born in the USA) is now a 17 year old GM rated 2592 FIDE.
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