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The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Robert James Fischer
Number of games in database: 997
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.
      244 exhibition games, 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 (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
   Fischer vs Benko, 1963 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 0-1
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   Fischer vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1958 1-0

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Skopje (1967)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Netanya (1968)
   US Championship (1966)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (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
   -ER by fredthebear
   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
   Bobby Fischer's U.S. Championship Games by LionHeart40

   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 (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

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:52:29

 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. 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. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-012 1955 Correspondence GameE70 King's Indian
5. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½25 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
6. Fischer vs K Warner 0-128 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
7. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-123 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
8. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-144 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
9. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½33 1955 US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
10. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½28 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
11. Bisguier vs Fischer 1-033 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyE78 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, with Be2 and Nf3
12. Fischer vs N Hurttlen ½-½14 1956 Eastern States opC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. Fischer vs Seidman 1-039 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyA07 King's Indian Attack
14. E W Marchand vs Fischer 0-155 1956 WashingtonA15 English
15. Fischer vs S Bernstein ½-½56 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyC70 Ruy Lopez
16. C F Tears vs Fischer ½-½45 1956 57th US OpenB25 Sicilian, Closed
17. Fischer vs E Nash 0-151 1956 US Amateur ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
18. Fischer vs M Pavey 0-152 1956 New York ManhattanA07 King's Indian Attack
19. D Byrne vs Fischer 0-141 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyD92 Grunfeld, 5.Bf4
20. F R Anderson vs Fischer ½-½19 1956 Montreal CA-openB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
21. D Ruth vs Fischer 0-124 1956 57th US OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
22. Fischer vs E Hearst 0-140 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
23. W Walz vs Fischer 0-140 1956 Montreal CA-openB25 Sicilian, Closed
24. Fischer vs Santasiere ½-½19 1956 57th US OpenA06 Reti Opening
25. H Goldhamer vs Fischer 0-125 1956 WashingtonB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 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 2129 OF 2129 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-14-16  gokusano: In my opinion, Morphy could have become a GM with a strength at par or even better with today's elite GM's. The lack of strong oppositions in his time prevented him achieving such condition. His talent was not develop in maximmum because of this. He could have been if today's strong computer program were available during his time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi unferth,

That is a good guide and I have seen it before.

I agree it could be updated with Carlsen and his top 10 pals using a super-duper Carlos Fandango computer.

It may throw up some unexpected results due to the number of games the lads play these days.

For instance on the 15 year chart Carlsen from 2005-2014 has had 448 decisive games.

(I think. This site has all the blitz,blindfold etc mixed in with the classical games. Why have they done that. I may be out by a few either way.)

This is a lot more than any other player mentioned on that 15 year table. But it probably should balance out.

The fact the linked players played adjournments so 'theoretically' should have less errors in the ending (stressing theoretically') does not come into because the range was taken from 16-40 moves.

But it does need updated with modern players and kit.

I vote Alerkupp take up the the task, he seems to have a lot of time on his hands. I think he is in prison.

Aug-15-16  todicav23: <unferth: I've always found this to be persuasive:

According to this study, Fischer is clearly the best player ever in terms of pure chess strength.

This is not surprising since he studied chess harder than anyone else and he was the greatest fighter the chess world has ever seen. He faced the biggest obstacles in his way to become world champion. He showed extremely impressive results. He reached a level of play still unmatched by any other players.

Let's not forget that Fischer played in the "golden era" of chess, facing players like Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Korchnoi, Bronstein, Geller (I almost forgot about him). After 1970 not many great players appeared, except Karpov and Kasparov. That's why Korchnoi played for the world title at 50 and we won strong tournaments in his sixties. Smyslov played in the candidates at 62. Tal won the World Blitz Championship at 52 (ahead of Karpov and Kasparov).

For instance Tal (past his prime) had very decent results against Karpov and Kasparov:

Anatoly Karpov: +1 −3 =11
Garry Kasparov: +0 −1 =19

Korchnoi at 47 lost a very close match with Karpov (who was at his peak probably). Around 1970 Korchnoi clearly said that nothing can be done against Fischer.

Karpov and Kasparov had teams working for them. Kasparov especially took advantage of this. He was a great attacker and tactician but his main strength was the openings. That's how he beat Karpov. If you remove the opening phase from the picture, Kasparov was not stronger than Karpov. I really think Karpov was unlucky in his matches with Kasparov.

Kasparov was not an amazing player in matches. He barely beat Karpov and he lost to Kramnik and Deep Blue. That's because for a match both players are very well prepared and Kasparov's advantage in openings is not that big. I would probably give Kasparov (at his best) against Fischer (at his best) 30-35% chances to win a match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Surprising to me how great the variance is for Anand between the sets of results: when one accounts for only his decisive games, he stacks up very well vis-à-vis the historical greats, but tails off to middle of the pack across the board when one includes the drawn games--not that there is anything wrong with that position in this august company.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm surprised that Tal had 20 games against Kaspy, if that above number is correct. was Tal even active or qualified to play in the big events that Kasparov was in? I wouldn't think his rating would be high enough after 1985. Could some of those 20 games be blitz or rapid chess? Only one loss is amazing, though. GK was a monster.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM> Inter alia, they played the World Cup, plus there were some Soviet finals in Kasparov's early career (1978-79, perhaps others).
Aug-16-16  todicav23: Sorry, this is the real score against Karpov and Kasparov (from Wikipedia):

Anatoly Karpov: +0 −1 =19
Garry Kasparov: +1 −3 =11

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> I vote Alerkupp take up the task, he seems to have a lot of time on his hands. I think he is in prison.>

Thanks for the vote of confidence. To update my status, yes, I am currently in prison with a lot of time on my hands. I was released from a mental institution several months ago because, I assume, the doctors felt that after several years of strong medication and shock therapy, I was no longer a threat to myself and others. But, just to hedge their bets, I've been placed in solitary confinement, and the lights are always off. Sort of the ultimate Ignore List. The only light I have is from my old, slow computer, which I use to compose posts like this one. And unfortunately my data disk crashed and it's contents are (hopefully) being recovered as we speak.

I have also seen as well as and several other papers from what I refer to as the "Gang of Four", the other two being Ken Regan and Guy Haworth. But my opinions and findings are off-topic for this page so, if you're interested, please follow this link: Computer (kibitz #119).

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <AK> Dang, and Ah thought <mah> iggy list was that there thing called perdition (aint it perdishun? Thass what it sounds lahke!).

Sounds lahke yew drew the short straw, friend. Hang tuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Lasker was Champion for 27 years and brought Chess into the Modern Era. We all have our favorites but Nakamura whiffed on that one.

Lasker beat Steinitz to be Champion. Steinitz was great. If you look at his games there are lots of King's Gambits and Vienna games. Fun games from a bygone era.

The last Lasker - Steinitz match was Ruy Lopez and Queen's Gambit Declined. Welcome to the Modern World of hardcore analysis from BOTH sides of the board. And over 100 years before Stockfish.

Aug-16-16  gokusano: Naka's aim is to be regarded as the greatest american champion. But considering his age, he may not be able to duplicate bobby's feat, world champion at age 29. At the rate he is going, his greatest achievement so far is the solitary win against the world champion. After that win is a dismal performance in sinquefield. But I'm just being skeptical.
Aug-16-16  unferth: Nakamura's 28 now, so he's definitely not going to be world champ at 29. I'll be quite surprised if he ever is, as there are three younger and stronger players already, and several more younger guys coming up on him fast. not sure he has the temperament to accomplish it anyway.
Aug-16-16  todicav23: <gokusano: Naka's aim is to be regarded as the greatest american champion. But considering his age, he may not be able to duplicate bobby's feat, world champion at age 29. At the rate he is going, his greatest achievement so far is the solitary win against the world champion. After that win is a dismal performance in sinquefield. But I'm just being skeptical.>

In order to be regarded as the greatest American player he needs to be able to beat:

Mamedyarov or Grischuk: 6-0
Aronian or Caruana: 6-0
Kramnik or Anand: 6.5-2.5
Carlsen: 12.5-8.5

Aug-16-16  Petrosianic: Fischer and Steinitz were American world champions, while Caruana is the highest rated American player. Nakamura may become world champion some day, but the odds of him being head and shoulders above those three are slim.
Aug-16-16  Petrosianic: Mind you, to be regarded as the greatest American champion, he wouldn't necessarily have to be world champion at 29. If he became world champion, and held it longer than Fischer's 1 year and 10 months, he would exceed him in that regard. But Nakamura will probably never have the dominance that Fischer and Steinitz did, and it's doubtful that it's even possible for anyone to have that kind of dominance in the computer era.
Aug-16-16  unferth: I find it hard to imagine Nakamura will ever be world #1, let alone head and shoulders above the field. Caruana and MVL are younger and stronger; Carlsen of course is younger and far stronger; So, Giri, and Liren are all much younger and nearly as strong. it would take truly unusual late development on his part and/or a whole bunch of declines & stunted progress to give him any kind of shot IMO.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Korchnoi pulled off the feat to become clearcut number two after being a perennial top ten resident--well within that group for many years, at that, but that was a tall order for even a character possessing the iron will of Viktor the Terrible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Fischer was the progenitor of the Sicilian Defense.

Yes, Virginia, the Sicilian Defense was played before Fischer.

Big difference: He turned it into a winning weapon with black. Now almost everyone plays the Sicilian. But, with computers, the Sicilian has been analyzed quite a bit!

perfidious, glad to see you back to normal. How was The Ozarks?

Aug-17-16  unferth: <perfidious> Korchnoi's rise was somewhat wind-aided by the retirement of Fischer, as was Anand's by the departure of Kasparov. maybe Nakamura's moment will come if Carlsen decides he's ready for a full-time life of models and coke.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <unferth: <perfidious> Korchnoi's rise was somewhat wind-aided by the retirement of Fischer,...>

not in 1974. And after Fischer's retirement everybody moved up a place (minimum).

Anand's case is arguable, imo.

Nakamura lacks the spirit of Fischer to be a numero uno even when Carlsen retires.

Aug-17-16  Olavi: I don't think Anand improved after Kasparov's departure; they had been very even with Kramnik for over ten years and he played one particular match better. Korchnoi got clearly stronger, but possibly that would have happened in any case?
Aug-17-16  todicav23: <Olavi: I don't think Anand improved after Kasparov's departure; they had been very even with Kramnik for over ten years and he played one particular match better. Korchnoi got clearly stronger, but possibly that would have happened in any case?>

My theory is that the competition got weaker after 1972. That's why Korchnoi appeared to be stronger than before.

Keres died in 1975 I think. Fischer and Botvinnik stopped playing. Petrosian, Spassky, Tal, Smyslov, Bronstein, Geller, Larsen were past their prime. Mecking got seriously ill. Except Karpov and Kasparov later, no other very strong player emerged in the 70's and 80's.

Of course that probably Korchnoi was able to improve his play as a result of playing Karpov. So maybe the competition got weaker while Korchnoi became slightly stronger.

Aug-17-16  Petrosianic: <And after Fischer's retirement everybody moved up a place (minimum).>

No, they didn't. The pecking order was totally shaken. Before 1972, you could confidently argue that the best players in the world (in no particular order), were Spassky, Petrosian, Fischer and Larsen. After 1972 (well, 1974 at least), none of them were serious contenders for the top spot, it was Karpov or Korchnoi, that's it.

Aug-20-16  todicav23: Comparing the chess strength of some players based on computer analysis:

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Doesn't young Donald Trump, far left, bear a striking resemblance to Bobby Fischer?


The eldest of the three Trump brothers, standing, was an alcoholic and died in 1981. All that glitters is not gold.

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