Bobby Fischer's Game Of The Century: Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners
Best game ever by a middle schooler?

Bobby Fischer's Game Of The Century: Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners

NM SamCopeland

Bobby Fischer's Game of the Century is widely considered one of the greatest chess games of all time.

The 13-year-old Bobby had recently, in his own words, "got good," and with this game he announced his talent to the world. The game was publicized in every corner of the chess world and has ever since been a classic. If a casual chess enthusiast has only seen one master game, there's a good chance it is this one, and the position after 17...Be6!! has been emblazoned on shirts, postcards, and more.

Almost as famous is the move 11...Na4!! which starts the conflagration that consumes the white position. Hans Kmoch wrote of the move in Chess Review (subtitled the "picture chess magazine"):

A brilliant most surprising stroke ... A murmur went through the tournament room after this move, and the kibitzers thronged to Fischer's table as a fish to a hole in the ice.

Even at such a young age, the game perfectly captured core aspects of Fischer's adult style: sharp, well-prepared openings, excellent positional principles, no fear, and a relentless desire to punish imperfect play.


  • Don't waste moves in the opening. (Rd1, Bg5)
  • Wasted opening moves must be punished with aggression. ...Na4!!
  • Know your chess patterns. (smothered mate, windmill, forks, skewers, decoys, pins, etc.)
  • When winning, don't rush.

I've annotated the game one move at a time below; I hope you enjoy and get something new out of the game!

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