Fischer's First Published Game

Fischer's First Published Game

billwall
billwall
Mar 15, 2008, 12:00 AM |
14 | Amazing Games

In July, 1956, Bobby Fischer, age 13, played in the 57th US Open in Oklahoma City (101 players in the event).  He was the youngest player in the event.  As a publicity stunt, he was paired with the oldest player in the event, 78 year old A. Shank.  Fischer easily won the game.  His next two games were drawn. 

In the 4th round, he was paired with Dr. Peter Lapiken, a master from Montana and California.

Peter Petrovich Lapiken (1907-1983) was born in Riga, Latvia and later moved to China.  In the 1930s, he was chess champion of Manchuria, China.   He came to the United States in 1939.  During World War II, he was a translator and a language instructor for the US Army.  In 1953, he tied for 1st place in the California Open and won the brilliancy prize.  In 1958, he won the Idaho Open. He won the Montana Open in 1958, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, and 1971.  He played in 12 US Opens from 1955 to 1973.  He was president of the Montana Chess Association in the 1960s.  He received a PhD in Slavic Languages from UC Berkeley and taught for several years at UCLA and the University of Montana.  In the 1955 US Open in Long Beach, Lapiken drew with Reshevsky, missing a win. 

Fischer won the game against Lapiken and ended the tournament with 5 wins and 7 draws, for an 8.5-3.5 score and good enough for 4th through 8th place.  After the event, his rating was 2349, putting him around #30 in the nation.  The event was won by Arthur Bisguier.  A few weeks earlier, Fischer won the 11th US Junior Championship held in Philadelphia.  After that event, his rating was 2321, making him the youngest master up to that time at the age of 13 years, 3 months, 29 days.   In this game, Fischer plays his favorite opening up to that time, a King's Indian Attack (also known as Zukertort's opening or the Reti).  This was Fischer's first published chess game.  It appeared in the Aug 5, 1956 issue of Chess Life in a column written by John Collins.  The game also appeared in the September, 1956 issue of Chess Review

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