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Robert James Fischer
The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Number of games in database: 998
Years covered: 1953 to 1992
Last FIDE rating: 2780
Highest rating achieved in database: 2785

Overall record: +420 -86 =246 (72.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 246 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (183) 
    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 (53) 
    B10 B11 B18 B14 B13
 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 E40 E46 E43 E51
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D86 D79 D98 D80 D90
 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
   Fischer vs Benko, 1963 1-0
   Fischer vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 0-1
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   Fischer vs Panno, 1970 1-0

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Netanya (1968)
   Skopje (1967)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Havana (1965)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   -ER by fredthebear
   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
   Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
   Bjelica_125 by Gottschalk
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by KingG
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Jaredfchess
   Fischer Favorites by atrifix
   Fischer 101 by rea
   Veliki majstori saha 30 FISCHER (II) -Marovic by Chessdreamer
   Veliki majstori saha 29 FISCHER (I) -Marovic by Chessdreamer
   fischer best games by brager

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

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 (federation/nationality 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 998  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D Mayers vs Fischer 1-017 1953 Blitz GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Fischer vs J Altusky 1-012 1954 Offhand GameE90 King's Indian
3. J Altusky vs Fischer 0-18 1954 Offhand GameC71 Ruy Lopez
4. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-012 1955 Correspondence GameE70 King's Indian
5. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½33 1955 US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
6. Fischer vs K Warner 0-128 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
7. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½25 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
8. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-123 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
9. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½28 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
10. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-144 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
11. A Turner vs Fischer 1-053 1956 New York ManhattanE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
12. J Tamargo vs Fischer 0-140 1956 New York ManhattanB22 Sicilian, Alapin
13. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½36 1956 New York ManhattanB32 Sicilian
14. Fischer vs S Baron 1-053 1956 New York ManhattanC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
15. Fischer vs M Pavey 0-152 1956 New York ManhattanA07 King's Indian Attack
16. Fischer vs J Casado ½-½48 1956 Simul, 12bB32 Sicilian
17. Fischer vs E Nash 0-151 1956 US Amateur ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
18. K Blake vs Fischer 0-120 1956 Philadelphia ch-jr (09)B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
19. C Grossguth vs Fischer 0-129 1956 US Junior Ch.B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
20. A M Swank vs Fischer 0-143 1956 57th US OpenB20 Sicilian
21. Fischer vs H Gross ½-½17 1956 57th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
22. C F Tears vs Fischer ½-½45 1956 57th US OpenB25 Sicilian, Closed
23. Fischer vs P Lapiken 1-019 1956 57th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
24. B E Owens vs Fischer ½-½43 1956 57th US OpenE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
25. Fischer vs Santasiere ½-½19 1956 57th US OpenA06 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 998  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Fischer wins | Fischer loses  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 102 OF 2153 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-13-04  Catfriend: My previous post refers to <WMD>'s reposted kibitz, to avoid confusion
Feb-13-04  AdrianP: <ughaibu> Kramnik v Kasparov 2000 was +2 =13 -0 so far as I can count (from chessbase: there not all on chessgames, which is scandalous...!)

Polgar v Spassky 1993 was +3 =5 -2, so far as I can count, which is hardly as convincing as Fischer's win.

<WMD>'s 2650 performance rating sounds about right, maybe a little low. Give Fischer another 50 ELO for being out of shape / not as sharp with opening prep, and he's in the 2700 bracket. I.e. not far off top 10 but could expect a pummelling from Anand, Kramnik, Kasparov. Of course, he's probably declined a bit more since 1992...

Feb-13-04  ughaibu: AdrianP: If those figures are correct I agree with you. I thought Kramnik had won 4-0 and that Polgar had won twice as many as Spassky did but I'd trust your investigations over my memory where this issue is concerned. Collateral form separated by even one degree is notoriously unreliable so I'm at a loss for a suggestion.
Feb-13-04  AdrianP: <ughaibu> Yep, I was surprised about the Kramnik v Kasparov... I thought that Kramnik had won by a larger margin. Here's a website which confirms the figures though
Feb-13-04  unsound: <Stavrogin> I agree with you about that Alekhine's defense win in the '72 match, which inspired me to take up the opening. The later draw in this opening Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 was also a very enjoyable game--as was Fischer's win with A's D over Suttles in the '70 Interzonal: Suttles vs Fischer, 1970
Feb-13-04  rover: "Brain microevolution is difficult to prove, but the IQ tests are perhaps the best evidence for now."

Hope you don't mind me joining in on this one. I only read the past 2 pages, so I might repeat things that have already been said. Here's an article on the so called "Flynn effect" or increase of IQ scores from the Scientific American webpage: Not too informative but there is a point that could be important in this debate. IQ test scores have increased between 5 and 25 points per generation in the examined countries, on the Raven Matrices test.

Now Benjamin do you truly believe that such a large change can be completely, or even largly explained by evolution? This puts the average kid of today in the top 16% of the previous generation's scale. It's what we would expect if only the population's top 30%, in terms of IQ test taking ability, had children or if everyone had children but the bottom 70% would have died out through natural selection. Indeed, just the opposite is the case. Members of social classes that are generally statistically assosiated with lower intelligence, on average, have more children which in itself should make us expect lower test scores. There might well be a change in brain chemistry but then the possibility of this different brain chemistry was present in the previous generations. Only, it wasn't activated in most people for one reason or another.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: I'll wait until clendenon comes on line to see what he has to say, since he is the "world's foremost authority on IQ's". I think that was his major at the USND.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Rover, some very good points you make, much better than those of chess2003. I don't want to get mired in a genetics debate again, but I'll offer some of what I think.

< if everyone had children but the bottom 70% would have died out through natural selection. Indeed, just the opposite is the case. Members of social classes that are generally statistically assosiated with lower intelligence, on average, have more children >

I think that you erred statistically to assume that it *must* be one side of the population that dies out. I think that the general population improves. Assuming there is an approximately standard normal distribution for Raven Matrices IQ (which is likely), I think that shifting the mean (average) up by about 10 points or so to account for the Flynn effect on the Raven Matrices test does not necessitate that a whole social class on the bottom die out as you suggest. It more likely means that each "class" or group of people has improved. Keep in mind that even within the "higher" classes, there are some below the average relatively speaking, and it is often these who get the boot from a "natural selection" point of view. Why is it that we should talk about the fights between members in the same class rather than classes between each other? It's because the rich and the really rich tend to compete more because they tend to live in closer areas; analogously, the poor and the really poor tend to compete more because of geographical reasons. Think about slums in the cities or other concentrated areas of poor/rich (i.e. the idea of a "west side"/"east side.) A better example would be the continents, there is no doubt people in North America (who are by and far much richer than most people in the world except in Europe and some parts of Asia) compete biologically more with themselves than others.

Anyway, I hope you understood my ramble, I'm very sleepy. As it is, I believe that both genetic and environmental factors have had significant contributions. If you disagree and think that there has been no change whatsoever, great, but I don't want to continue the debate for much longer, I have a lot of work to do.

Feb-13-04  rover: Benjamin Lou: Just 2 points. One: I think it's very difficult to deny the influence of the environment, especially since in some countries (the Netherlands and I believe Belgium) the change has been over 1.5SD between 1950 and 1980. Once you accept this you have to accept that it works everywhere where the environment changes in a certain way, not just where the score changes are too great to be explained in any other way. Two: Your explanation has certain consequences. What I tried to say in my previous post was that a change of 1SD in a generation is _equivavlent_ to the younger generation being the descendant of the top 30% test scorer of the previous generation. It assumes much greater evolutionary pressures that I believe are present. That does not deny that the process works in this case, only I find it hard to believe it can create changes on this scale in such a short timeframe.
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Rover:

My points:
(1): You mispelled my name.

(2): Please just use "Ben" or "BL," not the entire handle, it's very annoying.

(3) <I think it's very difficult to deny the influence of the environment>

I never denied the influence of the environment. Anyone who thinks this did not read my post as I stated I believe that the Flynn effect is clearly the result of both. "As it is, I believe that both genetic and environmental factors have had significant contributions" - previous post.

(2) <Your explanation has certain consequences. What I tried to say in my previous post was that a change of 1SD in a generation is _equivavlent_ to the younger generation being the descendant of the top 30% test scorer of the previous generation.>

Good, what you say makes more sense now; your previous post is completely contrary to this, it made it sound as if only the lower classes would die out, which is not the case. For geographical reasons, the weakest of each class die out, not just the weakest in general because each class has competition mainly among itself, not with others.

<Your explanation has certain consequences>

Which would be? You never said what they are.

<It assumes much greater evolutionary pressures [than] I believe are present.>

Well, what you believe is irrelevant, no? No one knows what the evolutionary pressures are in today's society. They can believe what they want, but it doesn't matter really. Rover, what country do you live in? Would I be correct in speculating that it is on the better side of things (i.e. not in Africa, the very poor parts of Asia, South America, etc)? I think that those of us who live in more or less privileged areas often dismiss "evolutionary pressures" by taking for granted things like proper health care which may not be available in many parts of the world.

<That does not deny that the process works in this case, only I find it hard to believe it can create changes on this scale in such a short timeframe.>

I am confused about what you're referring to. Which process? If you're referring to microevolution, well, it does happen in a relatively short time frame. It is hard to believe, yes, but it happens all the time in subtle ways.

Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: How amusing, I misspelled the word "mispell."
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Further to the idea of evolutionary pressures, even in the U.S. they exist to some degree, it's not as if they simply disappear. A college student who through diligence or talent enters a prestigious school is more likely to earn over 100K then a highschool dropout who has probably has either little intelligence, little diligence, or a poor environment. It comes down to three basic factors: your genes, your effort, and your environment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <AdrianP & ughaibu> With reference to the ratings of Spassky and Fischer in 1992, Ray Keene in his little pot-boiler book of the match had Bob Wade compute their ratings.

"When the match started, Spassky's offical FIDE rating was published at 2560. Fischer had an unpublished FIDE rating of 2780, equivalent to his last published rating in the mid-1970's. After each game of this match I shall give new ratings calculated for the two, adjusted to take their progressive scores into account. These ratings have been calculated especially for this book by International Master Bob Wade, a member of the FIDE Qualification Commission."

The final ratings after 30 games were:

Fischer 2736.6

Spassky 2603.4

Hope this helps.

Feb-13-04  WMD: Spassky gained 5 points at Fischer's expense in 1972 and 43 points in 1992. Come 2012 he may win enough to put him back in the world's elite.
Feb-13-04  PinkPanther: You guys don't find it amazing that Fischer can come out of retirement after 20 years and still play 2736 chess?
Feb-13-04  Benjamin Lau: Who said they didn't find it amazing?
Feb-13-04  marcus13: Why is Fisher not playing anymore? I am sure he would beat everyone. HE is so good.
Feb-13-04  matein8: <<PinkPanther> You guys don't find it amazing that Fischer can come out of retirement after 20 years and still play 2736 chess?>

I respect Fischer's achievements in 1972 and prior. But I think that he was somewhere in the 2600's level in 1992 (as noted by WMD above). Spassky's elo at the time of the '92 match was 2560. Fischer scored 17.5/30 (or 58.33%) over Spassky in their 1992 match. According to the elo tables (see source below), Fischer's elo differential over Spassky is about 60 points (interpolating 58% and 59% differential of 57 and 65 points respectively). So Fischer's performance rating was actually 2620 based on Spassky's elo of 2560 at the time. The 2736 elo is based on Fischer's previously high elo of 2780 and the K-factor of 10 used by FIDE.

I used these websites as sources for doing the calculation:

As a rough check I looked at what Fischer and Spassky's chessmetrics elo's were in 1992. Spassky is listed at 2591 on 8/31/1992, 31 points higher than the historical FIDE rating. Fischer is listed at 2666 on 9/30/1992.

Feb-16-04  uglybird: <ughaibu> <I'm impressed that not even the die-hard Fischer fans felt they should challenge the statement "Fischer has probably made more absurd and unreliable claims than all other world champions added together." After 100 pages this thread's made some progress.>

Speaking of absurd and unreliable claims, I clearly remember you posting that Fischer was not a particularly good speed chess player and you backed this up by making the absurd and unreliable statement that to paraphrase you "he could not even get a plus score vs Korchnoi in the 1970 Herceg Novi speed tournament". Of couse what you failed to mention and undoubtebly knew and conveniently left out was that Fischer won that tournament with the score of 17 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss, finishing 4.5 points ahead of the likes of Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov and Reshevsky. By the way after the tournament Fischer called off from memory all of the moves from his 22 games, involving over 1,000 moves.

Feb-16-04  pawntificator: What was Fischer's IQ?

I'm not sure if I think microevolution is occurring or not. On one hand, I suspect that humans are evolving to the point where we are losing our pinky-toes. Mine is all crazy looking and might as well not be there at all.

I suspect male pattern baldness may also be evidence of an advancement in evolution. There is no real need for the hair. However, when you consider the breeding selections made by the most desireable women of the species, it does not explain how this baldness perpetuates.

On the other hand, I think using the IQ argument to support the brain microevolution theory is very flimsy. Maybe we are just better at brainwashing our children for the whole standardized testing process than they were a generation ago. However the test has changed quite a bit, unless everyone still takes the same test, which I doubt.

To me, IQ means nothing. I supposedly have a very high IQ, yet I still consider myself somewhat of a scatterbrain. IQ is about as reliable as a Rorschach ink blot test as far as I am concerned.

There was an IQ test given to rural children and they all scored very low. One of the questions was "if ten birds are sitting on a fence, and you shoot one of them with a gun, how many birds will remain on the fence?" The correct answer was supposed to be 9 birds, a simple math question, but all the kids answered 0, because in their life experience all the other birds fly away when the gun goes off. They were all labeled idiots and were never allowed to get into college. heh heh

Feb-16-04  Benjamin Lau: pawntificator, no one knows. I think someone once claimed to have the numbers, but I also think that later Fischer rebuked him for bringing it up.

As for IQ, I personally don't think it is a direct measure of inteligence, but for it to go up one standard deviation is quite significant statistically, and I believe that this may hint towards gradual microevolution. Certainly it is open up to interpretation. I take it you're joking about male pattern baldness, the toes, and a lot of the stuff? Lol, you are pretty funny. Nevertheless, I don't want to bring up the genetics debate again, it's tiresome defending my view from chess2003 who pretends to be a biologist.

Feb-16-04  square dance: <pawntificator> i heard or read fische's iq was in the 180's. very impressive since 140 is considered genious i believe.
Feb-16-04  pawntificator: Wow 180s sounds way too high to me. That beats out Einstien or something. Somehow I feel Fischer would not do well on an IQ test. He didn't like school very much, and there is a lot of conditioning involved in being prepared to do well on that sort of test.

Actually, I was serious about that IQ question about shooting birds. Although I did make up the last sentence about them not being allowed into college.

And I'm not sure if I am kidding about the toes and the baldness. However, I am definitely a scatterbrain.

Feb-16-04  WMD: When one has an IQ over 200 one can afford to claim not to put too much store by it. Noblesse oblige as the French would say.

A leading proponent of the view that IQ is a robust and meaningful measure of general intelligence is Arthur Jensen:

Feb-16-04  square dance: i dont know if what i stated was accurate, but i only know i heard or read it somewhere.
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