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Fischer up 7-3 over Spassky

Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky on Saturday to take a commanding 7-3 lead in their $5-million chess rematch.

The game, the 17th in the match, had been postponed twice from Thursday after doctors who examined Spassky found him suffering from exhaustion.

Spassky, looking relaxed at the start of Saturday's contest, chose the Sicilian Defense, which he has used in two previous games. Fischer, playing white, varied from earlier games by playing the closed system with his second move, Nc3.

The game's delay was the second in the match because of Spassky's health. Spassky, 55, received a postponement of Game 10 on Sept. 17 after complaining of kidney problems.

In the current rematch, the first player to win 10 games claims the $3.35-million top prize, and the loser gets the rest. Draws do not count, and there are no adjournments. The match began Sept. 2.

Fischer, 49, won the world championship 20 years ago by beating Spassky, a Russian who is now a French citizen.

The International Chess Federation stripped the American of the title in 1975 because he refused to defend it. The rematch is not sanctioned by the federation.

Game 17

Fischer Spassky

(White) (Black)

1. e4 c5

2. Nc3 Nc6

3. Nge2 e6

4. g3 d5

5. exd5 exd5

6. Bg2 d4

7. Nd5 Nf6

8. Nef4 Nxd5

9. Nxd5 Bd6

10. 0-0 0-0

11. d3 Be6

12. Nf4 Bf5

13. h3 Rb8

14. Bd2 Re8

15. Re1 Rxe1+

16. Qxe1 Qd7

17. g4 Re8

18. Qd1 Bxf4

19. Bxf4 Be6

20. Qf3 Nb4

21. Qxb7 Nxc2

22. Rc1 Qxb7

23. Bxb7 Nb4

24. Be4 Bxa2

25. Bd2 Bd5

26. Bxd5 Nxd5

27. Rxc5 Nb6

28. Kf1 f6

29. Ra5 Re7

30. Bb4 Rd7

31. Bc5 Kf7

32. Ke2 g5

33. Kf3 Kg6

34. Ke4 h5

35. Bxd4 Re7+

36. Kf3 h4

37. Bc5 Re1

38. Rxa7 Nd5

39. Bf8 Re8

40. Bd6 Re6

41. Rd7 Nb6

42. Rd8 Nd5

43. b4 Re1

44. b5 Rb1

45. Rb8 Rb3

46. Ke4 Nc3+

47. Kd4 Nxb5+

48. Kc4 Rc3+

49. Kxb5 Rxd3

50. Kc6 Rxh3

51. Kd5 Rf3

52. Ke6 Rxf2

53. Rg8+ Kh7

54. Kf7 Ra2

55. Rg7+ Kh6

56. Bf8 Ra7+

57. Kxf6 Ra6+

58. Kf7 resigns

Final positions:

White: Kf7, Rg7, Bf8, pawn g4.

Black: Kh6, Ra6, pawns g5, h4.