Candidates final: Fischer vs Petrosian. Fischer wins the right to face Spassky for the world championship.
In 1972, Church's Fried Chicken sponsored an international chess tournament in San Antonio. Petrosian, Karpov, Keres, Larsen, Portisch, Gligorich, Hort, and Mecking took on many of North America's best, Browne, Suttles, D. Byrne, Evans, Saidy, Campos-Lopez, and Kaplan.
The surprise entry was Chess Digest's Ken Smith, a national master, a local favorite, and, of course, the namesake and chief exponent of the Smith-Morra Gambit. 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3
Smith tried the gambit three times in San Anontio, losing all three times. In his notes to Smith's game against Mario-Campus-Lopez after 1.e4 e6, Larsen wrote: "Stronger is 1...c5, which wins a pawn."
Here are all of the games in the 1972 San Antonio international, and here is the crosstable.
Petropolis Interzonal, 1973. This year, there are two interzonals. Mecking places first at Petropolis ahead of Geller, Polugaevsky, and Portisch
Leningrad Interzonal, 1973. Karpov and Kortchnoi place first at the Leningrad Interzonal
Portoroz playoff. Polugaevsky and Portisch qualify for the candidates
Madrid, 1973. Karpov wins (11/15) ahead of Tukmakov and Furman.
41st USSR Championship, 1973. In the aftermath of Fischer's win, the Soviet chess federation bans draws before move 30. Spassky shows his strength with a convincing win ahead of Karpov and Kortchnoi.