Reshevsky had White in the odd-numbered games.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
Fischer 0 1 = = 1 = 0 = = = = 5.5
Reshevsky 1 0 = = 0 = 1 = = = = 5.5
FISCHER vs. RESHEVSKY Result Fiasco
The long awaited match between the U.S. champion Robert J. Fischer and former champion Samuel Reshevsky was arranged under the auspices of the American Chess Foundation with a fund for players’ expenses and about $6000 in prize money from Jacqueline Piatigorsky and the George P. Edgar trophy.
Various masters abroad, Bent Larsen, Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres and Tigran Petrosian predicted a Reshevsky victory, the last two by two and three points respectively. Opinion here was seemingly more neutral with a high opinion of Reshevsky as a match player to temper the regard for Fischer’s four straight victories in the U.S. Championships. On the other hand, Isaac Kashdan predicted that Fischer would win by two points.
The match began with four games in New York. They were played at forty moves in 2.5 hours at the Empire Hotel with adjourned sessions at the nearby Manhattan Chess Club. Reshevsky won the toss for colors the day before play began and so had White for odd-numbered games.
In Game 1, Reshevsky won a Pawn against Fischer’s King’s Indian Defense, made it good in adjournment to win in 60 moves.
In Game 2, Fischer defeated Reshevsky’s Sicilian Defense in 38 moves.
In Game 3, Fischer’s Nimzo-Indian Defense ended in a draw in 25 moves.
In Game 4, Reshevsky improved play in the Sicilian to draw in 43 moves.
In the Herman Steiner Chess Club in Los Angeles, after some ceremonies conducted by Jose Ferrer, Game 5 went to adjournment after 42 moves in a Queen’s Gambit Declined. Fischer won to go ahead in the match after 57 moves (and after Game 6 had been played and completed).
In Game 6, Reshevsky again used the Sicilian, and a draw in 25 moves ensued.
In Game 7, Reshevsky evened the match score by defeating Fischer’s play in a Queen’s Gambit Declined in 28 moves.
So far, each player had won twice, and three games had been drawn.
In Game 8, another Sicilian, Fischer as White adjourned a Pawn up after 40 moves, and again after 73 moves, but only drew after 80 moves.
Meanwhile, Game 9, a King’s Indian Defense by Fischer, once adjourned, ended in a draw after 52 moves.
In Game 10, Reshevsky, who seems to have put the Dragon Variation in good standing again in this match, achieved his fourth successive draw with it, this in 40 moves.
In Game 11, Fischer’s King’s Indian led to clear winning chances as the game was adjourned at 40 moves. In the adjourned session, however, he did not succeed in securing the win and drew in 57 moves.
Comment on the play will appear in the analysis of the games in Chess Review by Hans Kmoch. But it is safe to say that both players missed several opportunities to win, Reshevsky notably in the early games and Fischer in Games 8 and 11.
The quality of play, however, all went for nothing. For, after the eleventh game, the match broke up. At second and third hand, the story is not easy to tell.
It seems that the time for the twelfth game was switched to three or four different hours with the agreement of all the parties. It was then changed to 11 AM, and to this Fischer objected. When he did so has not been made clear. He was told to appear at 11 AM or forfeit. He refused to appear, and Irving Rivise, the match referee in Los Angeles, declared the game forfeit.
The next date for play was Tuesday, August 15, in New York, and that day Fischer phoned from Los Angeles to say he’d not play unless the forfeit was voided. He was told to be present for play by Thursday; but, by then the match committee had stated that Game 13 would be played. The forfeit would be ruled on later. Fischer then failed to appear, and Al Horowitz, the referee in New York, declared a forfeit “in abeyance on the arbiter’s decision.” Walter Fried, President of the American Chess Federation then declared the match forfeited in favor of Reshevsky.
Fischer and the Foundation both speak of taking the matter to the law courts – Chess Review, September 1961, p. 264.
Fischer Threatens to Quit His Series
He Says He’ll Walk Out if Forfeit in Chess Is Upheld
LOS ANGELES, August 14 (A.P.) Bobby Fischer of Brooklyn, the 18-year-old United States chess champion, thinks he has been rooked.
He refused to show up at 11 A.M. yesterday for the twelfth game of a series of sixteen against Samuel Reshevsky of Spring Valley, N.Y. Fischer said he wasn’t accustomed to playing in the morning.
The referee called it a forfeit and Reshevsky took the lead in the series 6.5 to 5.5. Fischer said forfeits weren’t allowed in title series. And if New York officials upheld the forfeit, he said, he won’t continue the series.
No one is sure whose move is next.
The problem began ten days ago when local officials rescheduled the twelfth game from Saturday to Sunday. Reshevsky will not play on the Jewish Sabbath.
“I’m not used to playing at 11 A.M. It’s ridiculous,” Fischer said. “Why should I accommodate him? Maybe he hoped I’d be tired and he’d get a draw.”
Despite repeated calls and warnings, Fischer refused to leave his Hollywood hotel.
“So when he didn’t come by noon,” said Referee Rivise, “I called it a forfeit.”
“I never expected this one,” said Reshevsky. He promptly checked out of his hotel and left for New York, where the series is scheduled to resume tomorrow night.
But Fischer said he wouldn’t accept the forfeit. He said: “We agreed before the match there could be no forfeits. It’s just a little joke they’re trying to play on me. We just have to play this off in New York.”
Fischer said the officials for the eight games were “pro-Reshevsky.”
“They’ve been making the adjourned games at screwy hours. I’ll be tired,” he said.
The temperamental Fischer, who became United States champion at 14, has had previous run-ins with chess officials.
At 15, he threatened to quit a tournament in Chile when he discovered the prize money was $1000 instead of $2000. The next year, he protested the way the pairings were drawn in the United States championships, but went on to defend his title.
As for the referee here, Fischer said, “He just thinks I’m a kid or something," - New York Times, August 15, 1961, p. 36.
Based on Game Collection: 1961 Fischer - Reshevsky by User: TheFocus.