Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Robert James ‘Bobby’ Fischer

Authored by my students, Ashrit and Rohit

Born on March 9, 1943 Robert James Fischer went on to become one of the all-time greats in chess. His unique ideas about hypermodern chess impressed everyone. These ideas are about controlling the center with the pieces rather than the classical and most accepted way i.e. with pawns. These openings start with usually Nf3 and continue with other piece moves. It is only later the pawns develop.

He lived in America (Illinois), Germany, Hungary and Iceland (Reykjavik).
On January 17, 2008, Fischer died from degenerative renal failure at the Reykjavik hospital. This year was his third death anniversary. The URL to a website about him is

At the age of 13 he won a ‘brilliancy award’ that is now known as ‘The Game of the Century’. Aged 14, he played in eight United States Championships winning by at least one point’s margin. When he was about 15 years he went on to become the youngest Grandmaster and Candidate for the World Chess Championship of his time.
Here are records of all his years of the US Chess Championships:
His scores were:
• 1957–58: 10½/13
• 1958–59: 8½/11
• 1959–60: 9/11
• 1960–61: 9/11
• 1962–63: 8/11
• 1963–64: 11/11
• 1965–66: 8½/11
• 1966–67: 9½/11
He did not attend the 1961-62 Championships as he was training for the Interzonals.

His playing style was magical. He played really well in Sicilian Defense Najdorf variation which was his main weapon against any King pawn opening.

He captured Boris Spassky with his miraculous play, in the year 1972.
Perhaps the best game of the 1972 match and certainly one of the most famous games in chess history. And to think this was the first time Fischer had played the white side of a Queen's Gambit as an adult.
But here he plays his best and establishes a clear advantage from the opening. That alone would not be enough to make this game a classic - Fischer then goes on to play one of the most beautiful middle games in the history of chess.
He also played the English Defense for the third time in his career in Game 6 which I present before you now. Spassky chooses to defend with the Tartakower Variation of the Orthodox Defense, probably a good choice as he had previously never been beaten in this opening.
When Spassky resigned he too joined in the applause.

Here is an video of the game.

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