Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Robert James Fischer
Number of games in database: 994
Years covered: 1953 to 1992
Last FIDE rating: 2780
Highest rating achieved in database: 2785
Overall record: +420 -86 =247 (72.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      241 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (182) 
    B90 B32 B88 B44 B57
 Ruy Lopez (119) 
    C92 C69 C95 C97 C98
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (75) 
    C92 C95 C97 C98 C89
 French Defense (65) 
    C19 C11 C18 C16 C15
 Caro-Kann (52) 
    B10 B11 B18 B14 B17
 French Winawer (40) 
    C19 C18 C16 C15 C17
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (119) 
    B92 B99 B97 B90 B93
 King's Indian (116) 
    E80 E62 E97 E60 E67
 Sicilian Najdorf (77) 
    B92 B99 B97 B90 B93
 Nimzo Indian (23) 
    E45 E46 E40 E43 E21
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D79 D86 D98 D80 D85
 English (18) 
    A16 A15 A10 A19
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956 0-1
   Robert E Byrne vs Fischer, 1963 0-1
   Fischer vs Spassky, 1972 1-0
   Fischer vs Myagmarsuren, 1967 1-0
   Fischer vs Fine, 1963 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 0-1
   Fischer vs Benko, 1963 1-0
   Fischer vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1958 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Netanya (1968)
   US Championship (1966)
   Skopje (1967)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Zurich (1959)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Havana (1965)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1964 Fischer simul exhibition tour by gauer
   Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
   Match Fischer! by amadeus
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by wanabe2000
   Bjelica_125 by Gottschalk
   Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by KingG
   Fischer Favorites by atrifix
   Fischer 101 by rea
   Fischer's Finest by morphyvsfischer
   fischer best games by brager
   Bobby Fischer Rediscovered (Andy Soltis) by AdrianP
   Games by Fisher by gothic
   Bobby Fischer's Road to the World Championship by WeakSquare

   Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858
   Robert E Byrne vs Fischer, 1963
   Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961
   Korchnoi vs Fischer, 1970
   Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Robert James Fischer
Search Google for Robert James Fischer

(born Mar-09-1943, died Jan-17-2008, 64 years old) United States of America (citizen of Iceland)

[what is this?]
Robert James ("Bobby") Fischer was born on March 9, 1943 in Chicago. At 13, he won the stunning brilliancy D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956, which Hans Kmoch christened "The Game of the Century." At 14, he won the US Championship (1957/58), making him the youngest U.S. Champion ever.

Fischer's victory qualified him for the Portoroz Interzonal (1958). He tied for 5th–6th, which sufficed to advance him to the Candidates Tournament to decide the challenger to World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. It also made him, at 15, the youngest grandmaster ever - a record that stood until Judit Polgar broke it in 1991. At the Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Fischer finished fifth out of eight, the top non-Soviet player.

Fischer won the US Championship all eight times he played, in each case by at least a point. In the US Championship (1963/64) he achieved the only perfect score (11-0) in the history of the tournament.

He won the Stockholm Interzonal (1962) 2½ points ahead of Efim Geller and Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian. This made him a favorite to win the Curacao Candidates (1962), but he only finished fourth, behind Petrosian, Geller, and Paul Keres.

In a famous article in Sports Illustrated magazine, The Russians Have Fixed World Chess, Fischer accused the Soviets of cheating: Petrosian, Geller, and Keres had drawn all 12 of the games among themselves at Curaçao. Because of this, he refused to play in the next Candidates cycle. He did play in the Sousse Interzonal (1967), but left it while leading, because of a scheduling dispute occasioned by Fischer's refusal to play on Saturday, his Sabbath.

He won the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970) by a record 3½ points. The following year, he shocked the chess world by sweeping the Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971) and Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971) by identical 6-0 scores, the only perfect scores in the history of the Candidates Matches. He also won the first game of his Candidates final against former World Champion Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, giving him a modern record of 20 consecutive wins at the highest level of competition. He won the Fischer - Petrosian Candidates Final (1971) by 6½-2½ to advance to the World Championship match against reigning champion Boris Spassky. This also gave him a FIDE rating of 2785, making him at that time the highest-rated player in history.

In Reykjavik, he won the Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972) by 12½-8½ to become the 11th World Chess Champion. In 1975, Fischer forfeited his title after FIDE refused to meet his conditions for a World Championship match with Anatoly Karpov. He then virtually disappeared from the public eye for nearly 20 years.

After ending his competitive career, he proposed a new variant of chess and a modified chess timing system. His idea of adding a time increment after each move is now standard, and his variant "Fischerandom" (or "Chess960") is gaining in popularity.(2)

Fischer resurfaced in 1992 to play a match against his old rival Spassky in Yugoslavia. Fischer won Fischer - Spassky (1992) 10-5 with 15 draws. The United States considered that Fischer, in playing this match in Yugoslavia, violated U.S. Treasury Department regulations that forbade transacting business with Yugoslavia. Fischer evaded authorities for twelve years until July 13, 2004, when he was arrested in Japan. On March 22, 2005, he was granted Icelandic citizenship and finally freed from Japan. He died of renal failure in Iceland on January 17, 2008 at the age of 64.

Fischer's anthology, My 60 Memorable Games, was published in 1969. It has been described as a "classic of objective and painstaking analysis"1, and is regarded as one of the great classics of chess literature.

(1) Hooper & Whyld. The Oxford Companion to Chess. 1992

(2) Wikipedia article: Bobby Fischer

(3) User: jessicafischerqueen 's YouTube documentary of Fischer

 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 994  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D Mayers vs Fischer 1-017 1953 Blitz GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
2. J Altusky vs Fischer 0-18 1954 Offhand GameC71 Ruy Lopez
3. Fischer vs J Altusky 1-012 1954 Offhand GameE90 King's Indian
4. Fischer vs K Warner 0-128 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
5. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-012 1955 Correspondence GameE70 King's Indian
6. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-123 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
7. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-144 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½28 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
9. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½33 1955 US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
10. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½25 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
11. Feuerstein vs Fischer ½-½31 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
12. Fischer vs E Nash 0-151 1956 US Amateur ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
13. R Sobel vs Fischer 1-027 1956 Montreal CA-openA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
14. C Grossguth vs Fischer 0-129 1956 US Junior Ch.B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. Fischer vs H Matthai ½-½108 1956 Montreal CA-openB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
16. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½36 1956 New York ManhattanB32 Sicilian
17. B Owens vs Fischer ½-½43 1956 57th US OpenE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
18. Fischer vs M Fox 0-162 1956 Montreal CA-openA07 King's Indian Attack
19. A Turner vs Fischer 1-053 1956 New York ManhattanE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
20. Fischer vs S Popel ½-½38 1956 57th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
21. K Blake vs Fischer 0-120 1956 Philadelphia ch-jr (09)B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
22. K Smith vs Fischer ½-½51 1956 57th US OpenB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
23. Fischer vs P Lapiken 1-019 1956 57th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
24. Fischer vs W Stevens ½-½20 1956 57th US OpenC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. E Nash vs Fischer 0-148 1956 WashingtonB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 994  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Fischer wins | Fischer loses  

Now on DVD

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2078 OF 2078 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-01-15  Petrosianic: <France is a member of the U.N. and apparently it was U.N. sanctions that were broken.>

No, it was US law that Fischer broke, specifically, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Spassky was not subject to US law, and broke no French law by playing. He was clean.

Jul-01-15  Petrosianic: <Perhaps Fischer could have avoided his problems by renouncing US citizenship and moving to another country,>

That would have defeated the whole point. The point was to do something wrong and get away with it. Now if you do it in a way that's not wrong, then you're not doing it.

He was contemplating the same kind of thing a few years earlier when he was planning to go to South Africa and break the FIDE ban on playing there. He SHOULD have done that. It wasn't criminal, and the worst that would have happened to him would have been a ban on playing in FIDE events (Big Deal!). In the end, Quinteros went without him and got banned by himself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Petrosianic> Silly me, I forgot that we were talking about Fischer, not about the usual person that might know that they were doing something wrong and that they wanted to get away with it. Fischer was definitely not the usual person.

Your mention of South Africa reminded me of Paul Simon who recorded there what is probably his best album, "Graceland" in 1985 – 1986. He was criticized for doing so and breaking the cultural boycott of South Africa at the time to protest South Africa's apartheid policies. In this interview,, Simon claims that he had no regrets about recording "Graceland" in South Africa at that time because no one told him what was going on and he was basically unaware of the boycott. But, if someone had told him about it, he probably would not have done it.

Somehow I can picture Fischer as part of the dancing group in the background,, convincing Simon that the name of should be "You can call me Bob". I'm sure that Fischer would have been able to do it. Imagine Fischer playing the part of Chevy Chase in that last video. After all, Chase is 6 ft. 3.5 in tall, a close match for Fischer's 6 ft. 4 in height (no Tobey McGuire here). Perhaps someone skilled in video editing could substitute Fischer's face for Chase's. I'm ROFL just thinking about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <AylerKupp> Great tune by Simon, thanks:-) But Bobby was 6ft. 2 inches
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Joshka> Oh well, the first site I checked (which, of course, I can no longer find) indicated that his height was 6 ft. 4 in. or 194 cm). But the majority of sites say 6 ft. 2 in. and 188 cm, so I obviously should have checked better. But his passport ( indicates his height at 185 cm or 6 ft. 1 in. It figures that even something about Fischer as apparently non-controversial as his height would have different answers depending on the source!

To me it doesn't matter much. I'm 5 ft. 8 in. tall so anyone 6 ft and over I simply consider "tall" since I would basically be looking at their chins.

Jul-01-15  diceman: <AylerKupp:

But the majority of sites say 6 ft. 2 in. and 188 cm, so I obviously should have checked better.

But his passport ( indicates his height at 185 cm or 6 ft. 1 in. It figures that even something about Fischer as apparently non-controversial as his height would have different answers depending on the source!>

Fischer didn't show up for passport photo due to camera noise.

...and was forfeited an inch.

Jul-01-15  RookFile: I know a fellow who used to be 6 foot 5 but is 6 foot 4 now. As he got older, his spine curved a little, according to his doctor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <RookFile> Thanks a lot. Now I can "look forward" to being 5 ft. 7 in. as I age further. Of course, I think that it is better to be 5 ft. 7 in. above ground than 6 ft. under ground.
Jul-01-15  Sally Simpson: When I was a kid I swallowed a bottle of mercury.

In the Summer I'm 6 ft. 6 ins. in the Winter I'm 4 ft.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Listening to an interview with the late George Harrison, he said, "The fans gave their money, their screams, but The Beatles, gave their nervous systems, which is really a much more difficult thing to give"........couldn't help but think how this related to Bobby as well.
Jul-04-15  ljfyffe: Being from Canada, I used to be 6 foot one inch in height, but now I'm only 1.86 meters tall!
Jul-04-15  Sinio.Pampanga: The GOAT.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: 1992 was not the first time that I found myself in agreement with Fischer regarding political aspects of chess. Both of us had our chessboards taken from us as high school students ( as perhaps did you) and were prohibited to study games as some stupid teacher pontificated; both of us circumvented the prohibition.

Later, in the Vietnam era, both of us were ordered by draft boards to report for physical examinations. One of Fischer's biographers ( maybe it was Brady? ) wrote that Fischer was excused from any military "obligation" ever after this exam, but he gives no explanation. How Fischer, in perfect health and with an athlete's physique, managed to best the authorities in this encounter remains a mystery. I have never seen a hint of an explanation, and I expect the answer is forever lost.

Certainly Fischer would have made a very poor soldier ( as well as, <AylerKupp>, a very poor U.S. president), but I only wish I had known then as Fischer did how to flunk a physical. It is only speculation, but perhaps he managed to convince the examiner that he was crazy - although this is definitely not Fischer's style as he insisted on his sanity. I have seen photos of Fischer in swimming trunks, so racist tattoos cannot be the explanation, although I would myself try this tactic were I faced with induction for war today.

Jul-05-15  HeMateMe: My high school pre-calculus teacher said "Chess is nonsense," when I suggested that it would help math students if they also played chess.

I don't think he ever got laid, either.

Jul-05-15  SpiritedReposte: Maybe they knew Fischer was the best chess player America could hope to produce? Or maybe they didn't care but Bobby had some "friends" that intervened.

Seems like a waste of talent to send him off as a grunt, but they did it to Muhammad Ali (at least tried) as well.

Jul-05-15  HeMateMe: The truth has been hidden for years, but it recently came out that during his draft board interview Fischer blurted out "They're ALL COMMIES to me!", when asked what he knew about Vietnam.

Fearing that Bob would likely try to shoot South Vietnam troops as well as the NV regulars, they wisely stamped him 4-F and gave him bus fare home.

Sometimes subtly in these manners is rewarded. Down south, two other guys were trying to avoid going over to the 'Nam. Greg Allman wore women's underwear to his physical, and his older brother Duane shot himself in the leg, the day of his draft appearance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: < HeMateMe>
May I ask, please, the source of this information?
Jul-06-15  Petrosianic: <May I ask, please, the source of this information?>

A fifth of Scotch.

Jul-06-15  HeMateMe: It was mixed in with Hillary's non-deleted Emails. Top secret stuff.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Diocletian> I am glad that there is at least one person besides myself that would not vote for me for U.S. President. Hopefully we can get enough others to block any constitutional changes and have enough votes to make sure that it does not happen. Relying on my "If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve." attitude is leaving too much to chance.

But I think that the funniest story I heard of during the Vietnam era (if anything about the Vietnam era can be considered funny) is a letter that a student supposedly got from his draft board during that time. It said something like "Your student deferment has been cancelled. In order to maintain your student deferment your academic standing must be in the upper one-half of your class and you were merely in the upper one-fourth."

Talk about a possible life-altering mathematical misconception! But the story is too good not to be true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: I have seen every aspect of Fischer's career discussed a hundred tines over - but never his draft status 4-F. Why?

The draft was a huge issue in those days for millions, and those millions and their friends and girlfriends filled the streets in protest for years. Elvis Presley was drafted, but given a safe post as his death would have been bad press for the war makers; Muhammad Ali ( Cassius Clay ), for his refusal ( "No Vietcong ever called me @#$%*&"), beat a prison sentence only on a legal technicality: it was not a problem that could be solved easily, and playing chess, no matter how well, could not have been a way out.

Since there is absolutely no published information, I can only speculate, but I have one idea. The year of Fischer's physical examination was given by Fischer's biographer, and perhaps the month too. I do not currently have access to my library or I would look the occasion up, but 1963-1964 sounds about right - Fischer would have been 20-21, prime draft material. Now I personally know some boys who beat the system by convincing a psychologist to prepare a letter to the draft board declaring them crazy, emotionally disturbed, schizophrenic - whatever - unsuitable, and this was in those days one of the most effective ways of avoiding "service." Such letters were far from easy to obtain, but Fischer would have fit right into this class.

It was in this time period too that Fischer was friendly with Reuben Fine. They played six games in 1963 that are listed on this website, and I believe that some of these games and others were played at Fine's home in New York. Now if they were in fact friendly Fine could in all truthfulness have prepared such a letter for Fischer, and Fine was of course perfectly qualified to prepare a letter that would have to be accepted.

I am speculating that this is what happened. Maybe some still living friend of Fischer or his sister or mother will offer some information. The world should know.

Jul-06-15  TheFocus: <Diocletian> <Elvis Presley was drafted, but given a safe post as his death would have been bad press for the war makers>

Elvis would have been pretty safe as we were not involved in a war at that time. His draft notice was December 20, 1957.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <The draft was a huge issue in those days for millions, and those millions and their friends and girlfriends filled the streets in protest for years.>

There were no major protests against the draft in 1963-64. Vietnam was not yet a major war, still less an unpopular one. That came later.

The draft board probably figured out what we all learned eventually: Fischer was cuckoo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: <TheFocus> You are absolutely right, and I was aware of this slight flaw in my argument. But there was no chance that he would have been drafted into the marines, or that he would have become a military "adviser" in Vietnam ( beginning 1959), or landed in Lebanon during the insurrection of 1958, or sent to protect U.S. nationals in Cuba during the revolution.

So my argument unchanged, but your point is well taken. Thank you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: <The draft board probably figured out what we all learned eventually: Fischer was cuckoo.>

I'm not sure keypusher. You can see here that protests began in 1963, which means that many boys were already very concerned about being drafted; certainly the protests grew mightily in following years.

But I don't want to nitpick. I want to know how Fischer beat the draft.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 2078)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2078 OF 2078 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. Don't post personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies