Spassky Postpones Second Game Due to Exhaustion
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ The 17th game of the chess rematch between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky was postponed on Thursday after Spassky complained of exhaustion.
The match was rescheduled for Saturday. The postponement came one day after Fischer, who beat Spassky for the world championship 20 years ago, defeated his old rival again to take a 6-3 lead in their $5 million match.
The postponement was Spassky’s second so far. He delayed the 10th game because of ″physical exhaustion and sleeplessness.″ He had lost three straight games prior to that due to major blunders.
After examining Spassky at his own request on Thursday, a three-man physicians’ panel found him suffering from ″exhaustion stress,″ match organizers said.
Match arbiter Nikola Kraklajic said a player is allowed four postponements. If a player is unable to play after that, the match is forfeited, he said.
Spassky had a kidney ailment that forced him out of the last French championship.
On Monday, he told reporters he was in ″optimum condition″ for the rest of the match.
But on Sept. 14, he had said: ″I started this marathon match like a sprint distance, and now I am really tired. I have put in so much energy (as) I have never done before in my life.″
Spassky took an early 2-1 lead on Sept. 9 but has won only once in the last 11 games.
The match began Sept. 2 in the Montenegrin coastal resort of Sveti Stefan. It is being played in defiance of U.N. sanctions on Yugoslavia, now comprising only Serbia and Montenegro, for fomenting war in the breakaway republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The first player to win 10 games takes the first prize of $3.35 million, and the loser gets the remainder.
The International Chess Federation stripped Fischer of his world title in 1975 because he refused to defend it. He insists he is playing for the title again now, but the rematch is not sanctioned by the chess federation.
The money has been put up by Yugoslav businessman Jezdimir Vasiljevic, who hopes the match will promote the Sevti Stefan resort and Yugoslavia’s image.