A Fischer Brief

A Fischer Brief

GreenLaser
NM GreenLaser
May 23, 2009, 12:00 AM |
19 | Chess Players

Robert James Fischer was born March 9, 1943 and died January 17, 2008. He learned how to play chess at the age of six. At seven, he began to play in clubs and have instructors. In 1956, at 13, which is the record, he won the United States Junior Championship. He also won in 1957. After winning the U.S. Open and the New Jersey Open, he won the U.S. Championship. He won that event every time he played in it, eight times. In the 1963-64 championship, he scored 11-0. This was the only perfect score ever obtained in the championship. At the Portoroz Interzonal of 1958, Fischer became the youngest person to qualify for the Candidates (then a tournament) and the youngest to become a grandmaster. Those records were broken decades later. He won the Stockholm Interzonal of 1962. In 1963, he won the New York State Championship. Fischer was clearly winning the Sousse Interzonal in 1967 (8.5/10), but withdrew. In the USSR-Rest of the World match, Fischer beat Tigran Petrosian, the 9th world champion, 3-1. The World Championship of Lightning Chess, though an unofficial 5 minute contest, was impressively won by Fischer with a score of 19 out of 22 and a 4.5 point lead over Tal in second place. In his next events he won without any losses. Fischer won the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal of 1970 (18.5/23) with one loss. Fischer then went on to dominate his opponents in three 1971 candidates matches, defeating Mark Taimanov 6-0, Bent Larsen 6-0, and Tigran Petrosian 6.5-2.5. In 1972, he defeated Boris Spassky 12.5-8.5 to become world champion. He refused to defend the title three years later. Anatoly Karpov was the beneficiary of this default and perhaps, in a way, the victim, due to losing his chance to compete against Fischer. Maybe Fischer would have "broken" Karpov so that he never could have become champion, or perhaps, Karpov would have grown strong enough, even in losing, so that he could have won the title from Fischer in 1978. Later, Kasparov became stronger after playing many games against Karpov. Karpov did not have that opportunity against Fischer, who never played chess seriously again, unless his rematch with Spassky in 1992 is counted. The following game was selected because it is interesting and not among Fischer's best known. He is playing against the Dragon, against which he regarded White's strategy as sac, sac, mate. When this game was played, Fischer did not know his opponent and did not even get his name. All I know is that the gentleman played in seven Olympiads for Mongolia from 1962-74 and had a score of 15.5 out of 38.

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