The Immortal Mutual Fear Game

Yuri Averbakh vs. Bobby Fischer

Portoroz - 1958

The only encounter between Averbakh and Fischer, and one of the few times in his career that Fischer "wimped out".

Sacrificing a piece for a wildly unbalanced position, Averbackh and Fischer didn't feel like playing it out, and agreed to a draw on Move 21. As Fischer explained afterwards "I was afraid of losing to a Soviet Grandmaster, and he was afraid of losing to a kid."

The game ended up having enormous consequences. Had Fischer lost it, he might never have qualified for the 1959 Candidates Tournament. In light of the excuse given for the early draw, I've dubbed this one "The Immortal Mutual Fear Game"!