Fischer's My 61 Memorable Games

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
click for bigger versionThis week a remarkable story on Bobby Fischer appeared on the net: a new edition of the American chess legend's famous games collection was published, and put on eBay: My 61 Memorable Games. It was said to be a revised edition of My 60 Memorable Games, with "improved analysis and commentary" and a 12-page foreword by the Man himself (the 61st game being the first match game from the Fischer-Spassky 1992 match).

Larry Evans, who worked on My 60 Memorable Games with Fischer, inspected the sample page provided by the seller. He found "some wording was changed and the analysis was indeed improved, possibly with the aid of a computer."

My 61 Memorable Games was priced $24.95. This is from "Fischer's" foreword:

"I know many readers seek answers to probing questions regarding the Bobby Fischer of 1972. That person no longer exists. I've wanted to release an official version of my book updated in algebraic notation with a few minor corrections. And why now? The United Bank of Switzerland has taken almost all of the money from my 1992 rematch with Borris Spassky -- over $3,000,000. My ongoing battle with them is getting nowhere despite International Law clearly being on my side. So I bring to you my previous 60 games plus one from the event that has caused me so much trouble, in the hopes that sales of this book will reverse that situation."


This little piece of text already gives enough reasons to cause doubt on the whole story. Except for the obvious mistakes (it's Union Bank of Switzerland, not United Bank of Switzerland, and of course Boris instead of Borris Spassky), the whole money argument is nonsense, since Fischer could easily make more money by signing some copies of his books (or at least a number of this "new" one, a service which wasn't provided by the seller).

The book cover on the top right was published on an Icelandic chess blog. I put a little shadow around it, to make it look more like a book, but the original is of course not more than a digital image, making the eBay item even more suspicious. In the meantime, Icelandic papers have reported that Fischer has denied writing the "book", and was quite angry when he heard about it.

Last Monday the book was pulled by eBay, and the seller's account was suspended: "We recently suspended this seller's trading privileges. Due to privacy concerns we cannot share further details." With a smile, we draw the conclusion.
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