Fischer's First Memorable Game

billwall
Mar 13, 2008, 12:00 AM |
10 | Amazing Games

By August, 1957, Bobby Fischer, age 14, played over 200 match and tournament games.  His first rated event was in May, 1955 when he played in the U.S. Amateur championship in Lake Mohegan, NY.  He won 2, drew 2, and lost 2 for a first time provisional rating of 1826 and coming in 33rd place out of 57 placers.  In the next few months, he won the class B championship at the Manhattan Chess Club, which he had just joined.  His next major tournament was the 10th US Junior championship in Lincoln, Nebraska in July, 1955.  He won 2, drew 6, and lost 2.  He was the youngest player in the event.  His USCF rating dropped to 1726.  In January, 1956 he played in the Greater New York City Open and had 5 wins and 2 losses.  His rating shot up to 2157.  He tied for 5th-7th place and won top Class B.  Following that, he won the Class A prize at the Manhattan Chess Club.  In May, 1956, Fischer played in the U.S. Amateur Championship held in Ashbury, NJ.  This time he had 3 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss.  He took 21st out of 88 and his rating dropped to 2003.  In July, 1956 he played in the 11th U.S. Junior championship in Philadelphia and won his first major event.  He won 8 games, lost 1 and drew 1 for 1st place out of 28 players.  His rating shot up to 2321.  He was the youngest US master at 13 years, 3 months, 29 days.  His prize was a typewriter.  A few weeks later, Fischer was playing in the 57th U.S. Open in Oklahoma City.  He won 5, drew 7, with no losses to tie for 4th place,  His rating was now 2349.  In August 1956, he played in the 1st Canadian Open and won 6, drew 2, and lost 2 for 8th-12 place.  In October 1956, he was invited to play in the 3rd Lessing J. Rosenwald tournament.  He won 2, drew 5, and lost 4 to take 8th-9th.  But it was this event that he played the game of the century with Donald Byrne.  His rating was now 2321.  In November 1956, he played in the Eastern States Open in Washington DC and won 5, drew 1, and lost 1.  He took 2nd-4th and his rating dropped to 2298.  His first tournament in 1957 was the Log Cabin Open in West Orange, New Jersey.  He won 4 and lost 2 and took 6th-14th out of 61.  His rating dropped to 2222.  On July 4, 1957, he played in the New Western Open in Milwaukee and had 5 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss.  He took 6th-7th out of 122.  His rating fell to 2103.  A week or two later, he flew out to San Francisco and won the 12th U.S. Junior championship with 8 wins and 1 draw, winning another typewriter.  His rating was back up to 2298.  In August, he played in the 58th US Open in Cleveland and took 1st with 8 wins and 4 draws.  His rating dropped slightly to 2264.  By now, Fischer had played almost 200 games and was US Junior and US Open champion.  In August-September, 1957, he played in the New Jersey Open and took 1st place with 6 wins and 1 draw.  His rating shot way up to 2605 after this event.  It was round 7 that he met and defeated Jimmy Sherwin, whose rating was 2447 and ranked #15 in the US at the time.  It was this game that Bobby Fischer annotated as his first memorable game in My 60 Memorable Games.  The game was also featured and annotated by John Collins in the Nov 20, 1957 issue of Chess Life.  The game transposed into a King's Indian Reversed.  Larry Evans called the game Too Little, Too late, referring to Sherwin's defense and his missed equalizing opportunities.   Fischer made a sound sacrifice and crushed Sherwin.  Sherwin is still alive and well, living and playing chess in England.  Fischer is now gone, but his games live on.  Here is his first memorable game that he chose.

 


More from billwall
Bill Addison (1933-2008)

Bill Addison (1933-2008)

The Cognitive Psychology of Chess

The Cognitive Psychology of Chess