After posting The Evolution of Soviet Chess Organization, based on 'Soviet Chess' by D.J. Richards, I started to look for other resources on the topic. One that came to mind was 'Russians Versus Fischer' by Plisetsky and Voronkov (I have the 1994 edition), which I referenced previously in Convergence of Two Themes and Soviet GMs on Fischer's Style. While I did find a few odds and ends relevant to Soviet chess organization, I'll save those for another time.
More interesting was the rediscovery of a chapter (p.234) titled 'Fischer's play: An analysis (The Conclusions of a Special Methodological Meeting)', signed Boleslavsky, Polugaevsky, Shamkovich, and Vasyukov [Vasiukov]. Based on the chapter's position in the book, it appears to have been written between the quarterfinal candidate match vs. Taimanov and the final candidate match vs. Petrosian, both played in 1971.
The analysis gave some valuable insights into Fischer's style together with examples from his play. Here, for example, are extracts from the section on the 'The Middle Game' together with links to Chessgames.com for the referenced games.
'1. He is highly skilled at playing with his pieces.'
'2. Fischer calculates swiftly' [no game references]
- Fischer vs Bent Larsen; Candidates Match (1971, g.1)
- Vasily Smyslov vs Fischer; Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
- Fischer vs Fridrik Olafsson; Havana ol final 1966
'3. Fischer has a very good eye for combinations.'
'6. When on the defensive, Fischer is very resourceful and ingenious...'
- Fischer vs Jacek B Bednarski; Habana ol 1966
- Fischer vs Peter Dely; Skopje (1967)
- Fischer vs Jorge Alberto Rubinetti; Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
'7. Typical of Fischer is a flair for isolating his opponent's pieces from the battlefield. [ala Capablanca]'
- Lubomir Kavalek vs Fischer; Sousse Interzonal (1967)
- Mark Taimanov vs Fischer; Candidates Match (1971, g.5)
- Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian; USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970, g.3)
'8. Fischer displays a distinctive attitude to the balance of material on the board. In the opening stage of the game he fairly often resorts to a Pawn sacrifice'
- William Winter vs Jose Raul Capablanca; Nottingham (1936)
- Lajos Portisch vs Fischer; Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966)
- Rudolf Maric vs Fischer; Skopje (1967)
'At the same time Fischer readily picks up Pawns in the opening and the mid-game even at the price of considerable risk.'
- Fischer vs Efim Geller; Bled (1961)
- Fischer vs Gyozo V Forintos; Monte Carlo (1967)
- Fischer vs Peter Dely; Skopje (1967)
- Fischer vs Arthur Bisguier; Buenos Aires (1970)
- Fischer vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian; Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966)
- Fischer vs Mark Taimanov; Candidates Match (1971, g.2)
'9. Fischer willingly exchanges one type of advantage for another'
- Miguel A Quinteros vs Fischer; Buenos Aires (1970)
- Bojan Kurajica vs Fischer; Rovinj/Zagreb (1970) [the book reference says Skopje 1967]
- Fischer vs Milan Matulovic; Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
The Soviet GMs also detected some weak spots: 'Fischer's mid-game play, like that of any other player, is not devoid of certain faults:'
'1. In some games he accepts too big a risk'
'2. In mutually hazardous positions [...] Fischer feels less confident than usually'
- Fischer vs Vladimir Kovacevic; Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
- Henrique Mecking vs Fischer; Buenos Aires (1970)
- Renato Naranja vs Fischer; Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
I find this analysis useful on several levels. First, it catalogs the attributes that top grandmasters look at when they examine the play of their main competitors. Second, it shows how Fischer measured according to those attributes. Third, and perhaps most important, it provides some specific examples of those attributes from real play. Note that most of the examples were from Fischer's most recent games at the time.
I intend to examine in more detail a few of these attributes and examples. One can always learn from the play of top GMs.