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The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Robert James Fischer
Number of games in database: 993
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.
      240 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 (68) 
    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) 
    E62 E80 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
   R 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 Tal, 1961 1-0
   Fischer vs Benko, 1963 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?]
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Skopje (1967)
   Netanya (1968)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Zurich (1959)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Havana (1965)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   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
   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
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 1) by Anatoly21

   Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858
   R 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, becoming the youngest player ever to do so.

Fischer's victory qualified him for the 1958 Portorož Interzonal. 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 Candidates tournament, held in Bled/Zagreb/Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 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 (1963) he achieved the only perfect score (11-0) in the history of the tournament.

In 1962, he won the Stockholm Interzonal 2½ points ahead of Efim Geller and Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian. This made him one of the favorites to win the Candidates Tournament at Curaçao, but he only finished fourth, behind Petrosian, Geller, and Paul Keres.

In a famous article in Sports Illustrated, 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 1967 Sousse Interzonal, but left it while leading, because of a scheduling dispute occasioned by Fischer's refusal to play on Saturday, his Sabbath.

In 1970 he won the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal by a record 3½ points. The following year, he shocked the chess world by sweeping the Fischer-Taimanov Candidates Match (1971) and the Fischer-Larsen Candidates Match (1971) by identical 6-0 scores. 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 beat Petrosian 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 vanished 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, which he won 10-5 with 15 draws. This action allegedly 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 993  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. Fischer vs K Warner 0-128 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
5. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-123 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
6. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-144 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
7. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½33 1955 US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
8. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½28 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
9. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-012 1955 Correspondence GameE70 King's Indian
10. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½25 1955 Lincoln ch-US jrE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
11. Feuerstein vs Fischer ½-½31 1956 Third Rosenwald TrophyE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
12. R Sobel vs Fischer 1-027 1956 Montreal CA-openA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
13. C Grossguth vs Fischer 0-129 1956 US Junior Ch.B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
14. W Whisler vs Fischer 0-128 1956 Candas op 92\\09E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
15. Fischer vs H Matthai ½-½108 1956 Montreal CA-openB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
16. Fischer vs C Sharp 1-033 1956 CAN-opC78 Ruy Lopez
17. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½36 1956 New York ManhattanB32 Sicilian
18. B Owens vs Fischer ½-½43 1956 57th US OpenE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
19. Fischer vs M Fox 0-162 1956 Montreal CA-openA07 King's Indian Attack
20. A Turner vs Fischer 1-053 1956 New York ManhattanE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
21. Fischer vs S Popel ½-½38 1956 57th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
22. K Blake vs Fischer 0-120 1956 Philadelphia ch-jr (09)B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
23. K Smith vs Fischer ½-½51 1956 57th US OpenB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
24. Fischer vs P Lapiken 1-019 1956 57th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
25. Fischer vs W Stevens ½-½20 1956 57th US OpenC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
 page 1 of 40; games 1-25 of 993  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 1999 OF 1999 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-24-14  Petrosianic: <john barleycorn>: <That what they are known for is not why they were deferred.>

Well, that was the question. We already knew that he was, the question was why was he?

The implication of this list is that these people got deferments <because> of their celebrity status, but in many cases that is indisputably untrue.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <Petrosianic: ...
The implication of this list is that these people got deferments <because> of their celebrity status, ...>

I do not see it that way. The list contains "name", "occupation", "birth", "death" and "known for" columns. No "deferred because of". Those who want to read it in it, ok none of my business.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Given his reputedly very high IQ, Fischer must have been classified 4F because he was too smart. See my one fourth / one half post above.
Nov-24-14  Petrosianic: Funny, and reminds me of horror stories from people in New Mexico trying to convince people, even college professors, that they were actually a part of the US. (I heard one story where someone applied to a college for grant money, and was told to go to their own country). But since Fischer was a High School dropout, it seems unlikely that he got any deferments for academic proficiency.
Nov-24-14  MissScarlett: Could one get a deferment on the basis of a close relative being a suspected Commie spy?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Has the precise reason as to why Fischer was rejected by the army ever been disclosed?>

The same reason Stalin spared all of the Russian and soviet bloc chess titans from fighting on the front lines. The Soviets put emphasis on chess as a way in which they could compete with the west. They were special.

Bronstein, for example was part of a construction brigade in Ukraine, cleaning up and rebuilding what had been destroyed when the Nazi's came through. Safe, well away from the fighting. The soviets were drafting men up to age 60, to make up for the horrible losses that occurred in the first two years of the war. still, the great chess players of the 1930s were not part of their draft.

I imagine Fischer was deferred for the same reason. The USA state department, or possibly a special patron WAY up the food chain, decided that Fischer was a guy who was a REAL bug up the butt of the Soviet Union, and he was of more value at a chess board than as a grunt hauling a pack and M-16 in the Mekong Delta.

<The funniest one here is Al Franken, listed as Senator From Minnesota>

would you want to go into battle with Al franken?


Nov-24-14  Petrosianic: Well, the original question was has it ever been <disclosed>. Not "has it ever been guessed at?"
Nov-24-14  Alien Math: <Frank Brady's 'Profile of a Prodigy' (Dover, 1973), chapter IX, p.79:-

The question of Fischer’s potential military service was an acute one, since as a “1-A” candidate, he was scheduled to undergo his physical examination at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station on Whitehall Street in New York, and at that particular time it was believed that he might play in the Interzonal at Amsterdam [1964].

Harold M. Phillips, past president of the U.S. Chess Federation, had been a member of a local draft board for years and I called him to see if he could suggest a way that Bobby could qualify for a temporary deferment until after the Interzonal was completed.

Eventually, Bobby took his physical examination and was rejected for reasons that have never been made public. Perhaps the local board decided that this young American would be much more valuable sitting across a chess board in the capitals of the world than he would be toting a bazooka through a Vietnamese jungle. Whatever the reason, Fischer never served in the military. >

Various alternate notes of why appears at

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Feynman's deferment makes for a good story:

From <Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!>

An excerpt, according to Feynman he wrote the following to the draft board:

<Dear Sirs:

I do not think I should be drafted because I am teaching science students, and it partly in the strength of our future scientists that the national welfare lies. Nevertheless, you may decide that I should be deferred because of the result of my medical report, namely, that I am psychiatrically unfit. I feel that no weight whatsoever should be attached to this report because I consider it to be a gross error.

I am calling this error to your attention because I am insane enough not to wish to take advantage of it.

R.P. Feynman

Result: "Deferred. 4F. Medical Reasons.">

Nov-24-14  Petrosianic: <Eventually, Bobby took his physical examination and was rejected for reasons that have never been made public. Perhaps the local board decided that this young American would be much more valuable sitting across a chess board in the capitals of the world than he would be toting a bazooka through a Vietnamese jungle.>

The first statement is a statement of fact. The second is one of those totally wild guesses that Brady became annoyingly famous for in <Endgame>. It's hard to imagine the Army caring much about chess, or drafting Ted Williams, and letting Fischer off. Brady's swag seems really unlikely.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Maybe it wasn't the army. If Nixon and Kissinger knew he was potentially better at the Soviet game than the Soviets, maybe someone put the right message in the right person's ear.

Unless, that is you feel that 6-2 completely healthy, intelligent young men who are high school drop outs (no college deferment) get labeled 4-f by the Vietnam draft boards.

Nov-24-14  RookFile: I think the Army got it right. You need a guy who is willing to be a team player. He's going to save your life and you're going to save his.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Sally Simpson: I like HeMateMe's answer about Fischer complaining about the lighting in the barracks.

But you can spin any yarn you want to on this one.

How's about:

Since his 'Russians have fixed World Chess' outburst it was felt if Fischer had gone to Vietnam the Russians would have got the Viet Cong to target Fischer in virtual suicide missions thus putting him and his comrades in mortal peril.

So they felt it best to keep him out of the military.

File this under unproven rumours and stick with it with all the others.

Or copy and paste and it in at least 3 other forums on the net and by Christmas it will become a fact.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> Why will it take that long? Just post it on Facebook or Twitter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp, You will have to do it mate.

Facebook password I forgot. Only use to go one once a year, added all the friends, (why not?) told everyone how sad they were and left.

No Twitter account - I'll never have one.

Nov-24-14  pcomanici: Was Fisher a diabetic? He died of renal failure. (Common among diabetics) that would explain his rejection from the draft. Bottom line the guy was a beast! Probably the strongest chess player we will ever see. Today we have rating inflation, the GM's of today are no stronger than the GM's of previous. Only difference is this new crop lives in the information age. Hence, there prep is stronger, but that isn't the same as Chess technique/skill.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Not a whole lot is in print about Fischer's health records. He was overweight and might have had type II diabetes, which if untreated could have damaged his kidneys. The people who know aren't talking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sleepwalking: Well I opened up a can of worms!

It just struck me as odd that a young man who was reported to be at the peak of his physical fitness was rejected...on the surface he looks like the ideal candidate for such undertakings.

It's possible (and probably likely) that there is a wholly innocent reason as to why he was never drafted but part of me wondered whether it's possible that he was dubbed 'unfit' after a clinical psychiatric assessment.

I believe Brady mentioned that after Fischer's altercation with Benko, the latter remarked 'He was not a well man even then..' or something along those lines. It makes you wonder how early Fischer was displaying clear signs of mental illness and perhaps how different the situation would be if he was alive today (in terms of diagnosis and treatment).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: In 1961 I believe we only had a few advisors/trainers in Viet Nam that were left over from the Eisenhower administration. Kennedy then sent more in 1962, so Bobby really was not in the type of drafting they did when my generation was supplying the young men to go over there and fight, 4-8 years later. I believe they even turned you down if you had flat feet! So it wasn't all that hard to be turned away from the draft in the late 50's to very early 60's. Still since they won't release the reason makes me wonder what were they hiding!!??
Nov-26-14  lamont: ###

means Sunrise.

(yr/ move

Nov-26-14  lamont: ###

Great mathematicians are all mad.
~Paul Erdos (pr. Air-dish

Madness is also not foreign to chess.
A sane Bobby wd/ never have become Champ.
(He lived like a Trappist monk.
11-0 sweep of U.S. Championship
7-0 + 6-0 + 6-0 + 1-0 = 20-1
are demonically mad achievements.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sleepwalking: <lamont> Indeed, madness isn't foreign to Chess. What I find ironic is that, a game so mentally stimulating and challenging is probably perceived on the surface to be tantamount to a healthy mind. However it seems that the further up the food chain you go, the more the line between an active mind and an obsessive one becomes blurred.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: GM Wojo put it well, when he said: The better you get at chess, the more self-centered you become.

Self-focus, and the arrogance that often accompanies it, is a one way ticket towards paranoia or other mental illness, from which several chess players have not recovered.

In just about any technical field, the better ones technical skills grow, the weaker ones interpersonal skill become.

That's why for instance, computer programmers make terrible trainers, and in chess the best instructors are not anywhere near the highest rated. Look at Pandolfini, and Heisman, premier chess teachers in the U.S., no where near the top in rating.

Chess, sadly for some, can become an unhealthy addiction, particularly when playing is an occupation; but as an avocation it rules!

Some of the happiest chess people I know, make their living in chess, but not by playing it. Teaching it, organizing events, running tourneys and chess camps, etc.. Playing, they do just for the sheer joy of it.

I know others who enjoy chess more by studying it than by playing, and play rarely but spectate and study very often. To me, studying without playing in serious tournaments, is a waste, but who can debate where ones joy comes from.

Nov-26-14  kamagong24: Are all GM's chess addicts? especially those who became world champs?
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Some probably have a higher tolerance than others.

The general definition of an addiction is: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

So I would say no, most GMs are not addicts.

In chess I see many who are afraid of becoming hooked because they see the lives of those who are.

A chess addict (who cannot work a regular job) who is not good enough at chess (in all of its possible ways of making a living) is often (but not always) a sad picture indeed, that most of us would not want to be.

Seeing four USCF rated chess masters playing a speed tourney to see who got to sleep in the one bed in the motel room they were all sharing, because none had anywhere near the money to afford a better situation, was a real eye-opener to me many years ago.

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