Fischer-Sherwin, NJ 1957 - King's Indian Reversed


The famous game Fischer-Sherwin, New Jersey Open (played at Edgar McCormick's Independent Chess Club in East Orange, NJ) is found in several sources.  It is game one in My 60 Memorable Games by Fischer.  The game first appeared in Chess Review, October 1957, page 309.  Jack Collins annotated it for Chess Life, Nov 20, 1957.  Eric Schiller annotated it in his book on Fischer.  Fischer had just won the US Junior championship two months before this game and had won the US Open a few weeks before this game.  The game was played in the 7th and final round of the New Jersey Open with 81 players.  Fischer took 1st place (6 wins and 1 draw) and $125 ($956 in 2009 currency).  Not bad for a 14 year old.  I took all the annotations I could find and added a few of my own to annotate this game.  Fischer knew when to sacrifice a piece to open up the king, and did not get too greedy when Sherwin offered a piece or two of his own. 


Durn, what a mess of annotations!  Thanks.


This was smack dab in the period where Fischer's rating jumped hundreds of points in a flash.

He didn't spend much time as a mere master.


John Donaldson and I tracked Fischer's ratings from USCF rating cards at the time.  HIs first OTB rating was 1826 after the US Amateur Ch in May, 1955.  He dropped to 1726 after the 1955 US Jr Ch (he tied for 11th-21st) in July, 1955.  He then did well in the NY City Open in Jan, 1956 and got a 2157 rating.  He then did poorly in the US Amateur Ch in May 1956 (21st place) and dropped to 2003.  He then won the US Jr ch in July, 1956 and jumped up to 2321.  He took 4tth-8th in the 1956 US Open and was at 2349.    He dropped afer the 3rd Lessing Rosenwald tourney in Oct, 1956 to 2321 as he ended up 8th-9th, and dropped again after the Eastern States Open in Nov, 1956, taking 2nd-4th.  His rating was then 2298.  He then did poorly in the Log Cabin Open (6th-14th) in Feb, 1957, falling to 2222.  He then did poorly at the New Western Open in June-July, 1957, ending up 6th-7th and now down to 2103.  But after that, his rating skyrocketed.  He won the US Jr Ch again in July, 1957 and got a 2298 rating.  Then he won the US Open in August, 1957 and the New Jersey Open in September, two weeks later.  His rating was now 2605.  At the end of the year, he won the US Championship and his rating was 2722 as a 14-year old in 1957.


Thats very interesting Bill. I believe I read that after he won the US closed in 1957 that Fischer won every event he played in on US soil after that with the exception of 2 I believe. One was an event in which Spassky came first and Fischer second and I dont know the other one, help me here ?


Reb, the other one is the Fischer-Reshevsky match in July 1961.  It was 2 wins, 2 losses, 7 draws each (a draw so far), but then Fischer forfeited after a dispute with Mrs. Piatigorsky and the schedule change that went against his religious beliefs (and a signed contract as to when the games were to be played).  And he took 2nd in Santa Monica in 1966 at the Piatigorsky Cup, behind Spassky.


those high ratings  came in an era without the benefit of computers for training and analysis....good posts t/y


Thanks Bill, an incredible accomplishment by Fischer to be sure. I side with him in the dispute as they broke a contract he had signed concerning the dates and times the games would be played. I saw an interview with Seirawan on youtube in which he also defends Bobby in this incident.


July 1957, obviously that's when he sold his soul to the devil  Wink  Unbelievable run after that.


Thank you Bill for your article.  I love reading your articles they are full off interesting facts and a very good read indeed.

its so refreshing reading your articles and very instructive indeed.