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Robert James Fischer vs James Bennett
San Francisco ch-jr (1957), San Francisco, CA USA, rd 1, Jul-08
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Dragon Variation (B60)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Tony Bennett was a much better singer than chess player


Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: What?! A rook sac! Did you run out of queen sacs?
Mar-04-13  mistreaver: Monday.White to play.30.Very Easy.
38 Rd8+ Qxd8
39 Qxc3+ Qd4
40 Qxd4 ++
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <lost in space: <I love Mondays! 38. Rd8+! Qxd8 39. Qxc3+ Qf6 40. Qxf6#>> Same here! :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: Useful exercise in endplay.
38. Rd8+
if 38. Qxd8
39. Qxc3++ (the Black queen can delay this by one move by Qd4 but it would be a bit undignified). if 38........ Kg7
39. Rxc8
As ever, the trick is not seeing this on POTD Monday but over the board.
Mar-04-13  TheTamale: Oh for crying out loud, here's what I saw:

38) Qxc3, Qxc3
39) Rd7#!!!

Except that Rd7 is NOT mate; the king just escapes (and if the bishop were able to prevent it, as I hallucinated, Black would already be in check!).

And here I was, patting myself on the back for finally understanding a Fischer ending...

Mar-04-13  James D Flynn: Matterial is equal but Black’s K is in a corner and if the White Q could check on the back rank by diverting the Black Q e.g 38.Rd7 Qxd7 39.Qa8+ Kg7 40.Qg8# Kf6 41.Qf8+ then Black only move is Qf7 then 42. Qxf&#. However, the Black Q is not forced to take on d7 and it would take 2 more moves to control the back rank bu Rxa7 and Ra8, but White’s K has a square on h3 which prevents the Black R cannot check continually and draw by perpetual check. There is another Q check that would win: if the White Q could check on the long diagonal that would be immediate mate. Currently the B on c3 is preventing that but the White Q is attacking that B and its capture is prevented by the Q on c8. Hence if is there another move to force the Black Q off the defense of c3 , it would probably win. 38.Rd8+ Qxd8 39.Qxc3+ and Black’s only legal move is Qd4 when 40.Qxd4#.
Mar-04-13  snakebyt: Got it. Rook sacrifice. 38 Rd8+ QxR 39 Qxc3+
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Keep up your strength at express delivery it hoofed,

in having look it is low easy in delights queen camoflauge of f3 er vantage white in ho hum ascent for queen chimera,

elevated rook in conicals a done jam I suppose a wave in queen eyes c3,

then for headings 38.Rd8+ lucky fob styriker 38...Qxd8 I'm all forthright again do it double in xray it is hob sequester 39.qxc3+ in crick etc back hod duplicate 39...qf6 just among it brave get able it is ar king h8 good jail in son escape it her in bind i f6 spot,

for thatch queen in weave a path us tell this aint over 40.Qxf6 for flambasted you gouge they establish one crow in manage see rook drive in d8 over free the key together 38...Qxd8 cam 39.quxc3+,

download in f6 or duty it is captured after c8 ink offlight 38...Kg7 rook machinate deserter c8 rumble it her booking h8 a slot until a been to pick clean on me white still mate as queen across a f6 enact next ranketh over 40.Qxf6#

Mar-04-13  MountainMatt: 37...Bxc3????

I can almost hear Bobby saying with a bemused sigh, "Beginners..."

38. Rd8+ Qxd8 39. Qxc3+ Qf6 40. Qxf6# 1-0


38. Rd8+ Kg7 39. Rxc8 1-0

Mar-04-13  Abdel Irada: <MountainMatt: 37...Bxc3????

I can almost hear Bobby saying with a bemused sigh, "Beginners...">

Then perhaps the real story here is that Black missed a spite check by interposing the queen on f6 rather than d4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I was looking at this one bass-ackward. I was looking for a queen sac at c3. Of course,the rook sac at d8 diverts the adverse queen and forces a mate in two.The king can escape,only at the loss of the whole queen.
Mar-04-13  BOSTER: At the beginning of the game black gave up one pawn after 12.Nxd6 without any fighting , maybe counting that he was playing vs kid.

Then black should give up another pawn after 28.Bxc4. But when black managed to take the open e file 32...Re1 and 33...Qe8, the game suddenly began more sharp, and white decided to return major pieces rook and queen for defense playing 34.Qf3 and 35.Rd1,and returned one pawn after 35...Rxb2, and this pos.(my opinion) was already draw, if black played 36...Re2 with threat Re3 and Re1+ (diagram).

click for larger view

After white quiet move 37.h4 black lost his attention and blundered with 37.Bxc3.

Mar-04-13  RookFile: Black had chances because of the opposite colored bishops. In other words, Fischer owned the light squares, and black owned the dark squares. In such a situation, the side behind in material may yet win or draw if he can mount an unopposed attack on the dark squares.
Mar-04-13  waustad: I confess to having looked at a Q sack first (it is Monday after all). Once I saw that it didn't work, it wasn't hard to find the other forcing move.
Mar-04-13  Patriot: 38.Rd8+ Qxd8 39.Qxc3+ and mate next.

38.Rd8+ Kg7 39.Rxc8

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Heh. After <36..Qc8> Fischer thought:

"now how can I pass a tempo and make it look plausible?"

<37.h4> or Kh1 -- decisions, decisions ...

Mar-04-13  talsqueen: After yesterday's 'insanely' difficult one, this one was a pleasurable one to crack :)
Premium Chessgames Member

Fourteen-year-old Bobby Fischer of Brooklyn won the 1957 U.S. junior championship by the convincing score of 8.5-.5. The nation's youngest master gave up only one draw, to runner-up Gil Ramirez of San Francisco. Ramirez, who is simultaneously State Champion and State Open Champion, also lost no games to post a 7.5-1.5 score. Stephen Sholomson of Los Angeles, who lost to Fischer and Ramirez and drew one game, was third, 6.5-2.5. Ronnie Thacker of Richmond was fourth, 6-3, ahead of six players tied for fifth, 5.5-3.5.


Thirty-three young hopefuls set their sights on '56 Champ Bobby Fischer's title when Tournament Director George Koltanowski officially opened play in this nine round Swiss tourney, July 8. Bobby's second Junior Championship, at the advanced age of 14, should remain in the record book for a long, long time. Young Fischer lost no games, and only a draw with second place Gil Ramirez marred his perfect record.

Play continued through the July 14th, <the auditorium of Spreckles-Russell Dairies providing spacious, light and quiet setting for the matches. The host company provided milk and ice cream for the Juniors. A monumental quantity of each disappeared.> Sponsorship of the tournament was shared by Chess Friends of Northern California and the Chess For Youth Committee.

The number of entries was among the highest ever recorded in this event, but fell short of anticipations. Only seven states other than California were represented: Fischer from New York; Andy Schoene from New Jersey; James Bennett of Texas; Tom Heldt Jr. and Warren Miller from New Mexico; Bobbie Killough Jr. of Kansas; Richard Owen of Utah; and Bob Walker from Oregon. As a result, pre-tournament favoritism settled on Fischer, Ramirez, and Los Angeles' favorite son, Stephen Sholomson.

As one might expect, play was spotty. Rich Owen's well-played 1st round draw against Gil Ramirez illustrates one extreme. Our GAME OF THE MONTH, reported on page 8 of this issue represents the other. Inexperience and "tournament jitters" claimed several victims, 10-year-old Fred Wreden among them. A couple of Freddy's games deserved a better fate than his score shows.

<In addition to trophies, Bobby Fischer walked off with his second consecutive portable typewriter.> Gil took home a radio, and Sholomson now owns a handsome leather bag. Five book prizes also were awarded. Getaway Day featured, besides the prize awards, a blindfold Knights' tour by 11-year-old Bobby Killough.

<Wednesday, July 10th, saw the afternoon devoted to the Speed Championship, another Bobby Fischer triumph.> Three sectional round robins were played, with Bobby mopping up in the finals. His skill in move-on-move play has been demonstrated against fast company at MICC on several occasions since. Old timers gasp!

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: Bobby Fischer established his absolute dominance of scholastic chess in 1957 in the US Junior Championship in San Francisco.

As told to our founder Eric Hicks, by local chess master and long time San Francisco resident, Roy Hoppe.

Fischer began playing tournament chess in 1956. When he won the US Junior Championship in 1956 in Philadelphia, he did it as an unknown. It was the only major tournament he played in that year and it was considered in the scholastic community to be sort of a fluke. He was 13 years old. He was much lower rated then the rest of the contenders, a big psychological advantage because no one knew who he was or how well he could play. Plus the top rated junior of the day, Gil Ramirez did not play in the tournament. For winning first place in the US Junior of that year, Fischer won a portable electric typewriter. Reportedly he was not pleased with this prize.

In 1957 the Junior Championship happened in San Francisco in the Spreckles-Russel Dairy on 14th and Mission, just two blocks from the current Academic Chess headquarters. The morning before the tournament was scheduled to start the dairy hosted a milk and ice cream party for the young players. Bobby was nowhere to be seen. Young Bobby became the talk of the crowd. He was a type of mysterious character, who then would appear and disappear off of the scene. No one had seen him since his dramatic unexpected win of the 1956 tournament. According to Roy, the consensus on the scene was that no one expected Fischer to win the 1957 championship. Gil Ramirez was the overwhelming favorite.

When the first round started, Fischer was still not present. The young players were kind of whispering to each other on how the defending champion did not even show up to defend his crown. 10 minutes after the clocks had started, Fischer burst into the room, with a dramatic entrance that few in the room will ever forget. Fischer stormed in, and walked with extreme confidence and arrogance as if he was on a grand mission. Kids who were standing near the door when he walked in clamored over to greet him. Fischer ignored them determinedly walking straight to the tournament Director's table. Bobby was wearing patched and holed Levis, two different colors of Converse tennis shoes, and a flannel shirt. His head was shaved, by all accounts an intimidating presence.

George Koltanowski, world blindfold champion, and legendary California chess organizer was the tournament director for this event. He was stunned to see young Bobby storm across the room. Everyone in the quite tournament hall heard Bobby ask, "What's first prize?!" Koltanowski walked Bobby to the prize table and showed him an electric typewriter, identical to the one he one the year before. Bobby stomped his feet and raised his voice and screeched, "I do not want another typewriter!" to the dismay of everyone.

Ivan Vegvary, a player in the tournament who was standing nearby kind of snickered and said, "Don't worry about it because your not going to win it."

Ivan would be remembered for this comment.

Fischer glared at Ivan and said, "You don't know me."

Roy remembers himself and others taken back by this brash entrance.

In swiss tournaments, the highest rated players play against the lowest rated players in the early rounds. Everyone was anticipating Gil Ramirez, the highest rated junior at the time, and Bobby Fischer to meet in one of the last rounds. Both Bobby and Gil finished their rounds early.

Outside of the tournament hall, Gil was playing speed chess with some other kids. Bobby walked up, observed for a moment and then walked away.

After winning his second round game, Bobby walked out again, and the strongest players in the tournament including Gil were playing speed chess again. Gil offered this time for Bobby to sit down and play. Bobby shook his head again and walked away. "Too weak" he said to a flabbergasted bystander.

It was not until after the 4th round, that Fischer accepted the invitation of Gil to play speed chess. Both he and Gil had won all four of their games and everyone was anticipating the moment when Gil and Bobby would meet in the tournament. But now the two would spar off in a speed chess dual. A large crowd gathered around as they set up the pieces and set the clock. One of the strongest Grand Masters of the time, Najdorf, pushed his way through the crowd to see the two young players face off.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: What happened next was an astonishing display of Fischer's chess genius. Bobby not only beat Gil, he beat Gil again and again decisively. Roy estimates they played 25-30 games, and Fischer did not lose or draw a single game. Fischer, who today is widely recognized as the best speed chess player of all time, played instantly. Roy does not remember Fischer using even a minute on any of his games. (Each player has 5 minutes) Gil had around a 2200 rating at the time, which was higher than Fischer's rating. Roy thinks that without a doubt, Fischer was already playing at Grand Master strength, even if his rating did not reflect it.

Everyone watching the speed chess match was stunned, and no one had a doubt after that who was going to win the tournament. Grand Master Najdorf commented, "Its like angels are moving his hand!" a comment Roy would never forget.

Roy, who was 13 at the time, told me that this event forever changed him. All at once, in the midst of a great young chess genius, Roy realized his own limitations in chess. Roy would play Bobby in Davis California in a beautiful win for Fischer that would later be published. Fischer bought Roy a drink in New York after Roy achieved his chess master's rating.

As for Bobby and Gil? Bobby of course won the 1957 Junior Championship in San Francisco with a final score of 8.5 out of 9. He won a second typewriter that he would create the manuscript "My 60 Memorable Games" on. For all the young players at the tournament, they already knew who was going to win after that memorable speed chess challenge. Gil then offered Bobby a ride to Cleveland to play in the US Open Championship. Bobby and Gil shared a room but were not the best of buddies. Bobby won the US Open Championship (an adult tournament) with a black eye, that by all accounts he got from a punch from Gil.

Fischer became the youngest chess world champion of all time.

Roy and Gil never achieved chess fame, stopped playing competitive chess, and now belong to the same bridge club in Marin.

Mar-05-13  Shams: <Random Visitor> Thanks for transcribing; good story.

Jesse Dioquino still running the Academic Chess show down there?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Brilliant story. Thanks.
Oct-14-15  kamagong24: thanks for sharing
Aug-06-17  AnjumSKhanBpl: Not upto the mark by Fischer, weakening his K side pawns, when black's f7 was already vulnerable.
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