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Robert James Fischer
The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Number of games in database: 1,077
Years covered: 1953 to 1992
Last FIDE rating: 2780
Highest rating achieved in database: 2785

Overall record: +421 -85 =245 (72.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 326 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (197) 
    B90 B32 B88 B44 B77
 Ruy Lopez (123) 
    C92 C69 C95 C98 C97
 French Defense (80) 
    C19 C18 C11 C16 C15
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (75) 
    C92 C95 C98 C97 C89
 Caro-Kann (52) 
    B11 B10 B18 B13 B14
 French Winawer (47) 
    C19 C18 C16 C15 C17
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (121) 
    B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
 King's Indian (117) 
    E80 E62 E97 E60 E67
 Sicilian Najdorf (82) 
    B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
 Nimzo Indian (23) 
    E45 E46 E40 E43 E56
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D79 D86 D80 D98 D92
 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
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   Fischer vs Panno, 1970 1-0
   Fischer vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 0-1

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Skopje (1967)
   US Championship (1966)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Netanya (1968)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Bled (1961)
   Zurich (1959)
   Havana (1965)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   -ER Fischer by fredthebear
   1964 Fischer simul exhibition tour by gauer
   Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
   Match Fischer! by dwinco
   Match Fischer! by amadeus
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by wanabe2000
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by fernando.laroca
   Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
   Bjelica_125 by Gottschalk
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Patca63
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Patca63
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by demirchess
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by KingG
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Jaredfchess

   Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961
   Unzicker vs Fischer, 1962
   Korchnoi vs Fischer, 1970
   Fischer vs Julio Bolbochan, 1962
   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 a chess prodigy 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. At age 15, Fischer became both the youngest grandmaster (at the time) and the youngest candidate for the World Championship.

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. Gravestone photo:

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: 2018-09-23 15:50:12

 page 1 of 44; games 1-25 of 1,077  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Mayers vs Fischer 1-0171953Blitz GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Fischer vs J Altusky 1-0121954Offhand GameE90 King's Indian
3. J Altusky vs Fischer 0-181954Offhand GameC71 Ruy Lopez
4. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-0121955Correspondence GameE70 King's Indian
5. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½331955US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
6. Fischer vs K Warner 0-1281955Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
7. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½251955Lincoln ch-US jrE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
8. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-1231955Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
9. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½281955Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
10. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-1441955Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
11. Fischer vs Franklin Saksena 1-0221955Lincoln ch-US jrC53 Giuoco Piano
12. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½361956New York ManhattanB32 Sicilian
13. Fischer vs S Baron 1-0531956New York ManhattanC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
14. W Whisler vs Fischer 0-1281956?E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
15. Fischer vs M Pavey 0-1521956New York ManhattanA07 King's Indian Attack
16. A Turner vs Fischer 1-0531956New York ManhattanE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
17. J Tamargo vs Fischer 0-1401956New York ManhattanB22 Sicilian, Alapin
18. Fischer vs J A Casado ½-½481956Simul, 12bB32 Sicilian
19. Fischer vs E Nash 0-1511956US Amateur ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
20. K Blake vs Fischer 0-1201956Philadelphia ch-jr (09)B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
21. C Grossguth vs Fischer 0-1291956US Junior Ch.B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
22. A M Swank vs Fischer 0-143195657th US OpenB20 Sicilian
23. Fischer vs H Gross ½-½17195657th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
24. C F Tears vs Fischer ½-½45195657th US OpenB25 Sicilian, Closed
25. Fischer vs P Lapiken 1-019195657th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 44; games 1-25 of 1,077  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 108 OF 108 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's got a new foreword by <Ed Trice>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <"Perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived, he would beat anybody today in a set-match.
--- Fischer (on Morphy)>

Did everyone finally agree on what Bobby meant by "set-match"?

I mean, I assume there was heated discussion of it, at some point in the 20 years of this website.

Maybe multiple discussions!

I think he just meant "match" and added in a superfluous word, because he was thinking that matches have to be set (up).

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <thegoodanarchist> Out of curiosity I did kibitzing searches for <set-match> and >"set-match"> and it didn't find any, including your last post. I then did a search for <"set match"> and it found 335 pages of posts containing the word "match", including your last post. So I guess I don't know how to properly use the Search Kibitzing function.
Feb-13-20  1d410: I think Fischer knew very well the reason Morphy was so accurate. He was just fooling the other Americans so he could beat them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <AylerKupp:

So I guess I don't know how to properly use the Search Kibitzing function.>

Neither do I.

But I have a very good recollection for wrong things that people say in the Rogoff forum, so when I want to find those posts I can usually just guess search criteria until I stumble onto what I am looking for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < MissScarlett: It's not bad; I mean, it does what it says on the tin. >

The book is packaged in a tin?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi thegoodanarchist,

This discussion will be scattered all the forums not just on this page.

Bobby, probably like most of us, would chop and change his mind depending on what mood he was in or who was asking the question.

His top 10 list came out in January 1964. At the 1960 Olympiad when asked who was the best players of today he said Botvinnik, Tal (who was then the current world champion), and Spassky adding:

"but I think Petrosian is better than all of them."

Petrosian and Spassky went onto win the title.

In the 1964 list, Botvinnik and Petrosian were left out of top 10. Here it is, not in any order:


As for 'set-match' he may have been hinting that <sometimes> Morphy lost the first game against a good player he had never played before. Then having judged his style Morphy would roll them over. (emphasis on 'sometimes' not always.)

So in a 'set-match' he could afford a loss or two whereas in a tournament (and here we must remember Morphy only played in one tournament.) losses to a rival meant he would have to depend on other players to beat him to catch him up.

But that is me speculating. The main point was Bobby changing his mind after a few years.

More details here at the Edward Winter site.


Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <set-match>

I would think a "set" number of games.
(like his 1972 match with Spassky)

Speculating, it could be a "set" of rules
not related to game count, to decide the match.
(like his 1992 match with Spassky)

The only certainty:

<he would beat anybody today in a set-match>

Fischer didn't consider himself part of the "anybody." :)

Feb-14-20  JustAnotherMaster: Fischer played great for a few years against competition that would not be in the top 100 today ..Magnus has been WC for 8 years now and still going....Karpov...Kasparov and more dominated their times for much more than Booby ever did...Morphy was just so much better in his time it's a joke to compare him to Bobby who ran like a coward after winning one title and NEVER defending it cause of fear that he would lose. The truly great have/had no fear. Period
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Isn't it somewhat useless to try and compare players from different eras? BF became a GM at age 14-15, when it was not the norm, when there weren't the number of tournaments available against GM competition to make norms, back when computer analysis wasn't available. Spassky and Karpov didn't become GMs until their late teens. Fischer travelled with a suitcase of those monthly updates on GM games called <Informants>. That was his internet, if you will.

Coward? I would say he was mentally ill for much of his adult life. A sad story of a life only half lived. Fischer could have accomplished so much more, not just in playing more GM chess but in writing on the game, commenting at tournaments and being a spokesperson for the game. Emotional problems kept him from doing so much of this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <JustAnotherMaster> is now <JustAnotherTrollOnIgnore>
Feb-15-20  Absentee: <thegoodanarchist: <JustAnotherMaster> is now <JustAnotherTrollOnIgnore>>

You're giving him too much credit. Simple stupidity is almost always a better explanation than malice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Consequently the psychiatrists of the world (including many irresponsible publicists) have been attributing to Fischer pathological characters;

Megalomania, persecution mania, monomania (in fact, every mania except nymphomania.)

Gerald Abrahams, Encounter, 1973.


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, although it should be noted that Fischer's uncharacteristically poor result at Buenos Aires 1960 has been attributed as being due to the distractions of a local senorita.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm just glad Bob wasn't down with a Moonie or a Witness, or some survivalist group. Lord knows, the man had enough trouble just fitting in at the Pasadena public library.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

After taking a pop at all the armchair psychiatrists who even back then we queing up to give their unqualified diagnosis we get his comments on Game One and Fischer's ill-fated 29...Bxh2.

He gives plausible reasons why Fischer played this move.

Not wanting to settle for a draw he missed a Zwischenzug 7 moves later or it was OK but later went wrong. (at the time the jury was still out - and would remain so for many years if the Bishop sac OK.)


"The patzers of the world are content to think that he overlooked the loss of the Bishop, and so there is hope for them all."

An entertaining article with a few thought provoking moments.

Gerald Abrahams, Encounter, 1973.

He concludes with:

"As for Fischer’s control of chess, let it simply be said that from now onwards the phrase Grand Master is meaningless."


Feb-19-20  Petrosianic: <perfidious: <Geoff>, although it should be noted that Fischer's uncharacteristically poor result at Buenos Aires 1960 has been attributed as being due to the distractions of a local senorita.>

Excuses are as old as chess itself. Everyone knows that no healthy chess player ever lost a game.

A good example of that is the Fischer-Petrosian match. Petrosian's excuse for games 6-9 was the weather, while Fischer's excuse for being lost in the first 3 games (even though he only actually lost one of them) was feeling UNDER the weather. Games 4 and 5 (both draws) seem to be the only real games played in the match.

After the Lasker-Tarrasch match, Tarrasch made some kind of excuse based on too much sea air, even though the match was played a hundred miles or so inland. One of Tarrasch's supporters made some diplomatic comment to the effect that maybe any gift that sensitive to disturbance wasn't resilient enough to be world champion.

Of course it was Janowski who was the real uncrowned King of Excuses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Petrosianic

Perfidious was jokingly trying to get a link with Fischer and nymphomania which, as Abrahams hints, is one of the very few 'manias' that has not been attached to Fischer by everyone with a keyboard and a Teach Yourself book on psychotic behaviour.

(perfidious, I think it best if I do the jokes. :))


Feb-19-20  Petrosianic: Well, I don't want to kill his joke with too much analysis.

There's a Jack Benny gag about Jack's toupee falling out of an airplane window when he waved goodbye to everyone. Mary asks how this could have happened when you can't open the windows on an airliner, to which Jack says "My sponsor pays me to be funny, not technical."

Later on, Dennis (who works for Colgate), gives an involved description of how toothpaste is put into tubes and sealed, with the explanation "My sponsor pays me to be technical, not funny."

Feb-19-20  Petrosianic: For the record, I don't think Fischer ever suffered from Beatlemania or Hulkamania either.
Feb-19-20  Absentee: <Petrosianic: <perfidious: <Geoff>, although it should be noted that Fischer's uncharacteristically poor result at Buenos Aires 1960 has been attributed as being due to the distractions of a local senorita.>

Excuses are as old as chess itself. Everyone knows that no healthy chess player ever lost a game.>

I think we can regard that particular case as an excess rather than a lack of health.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Curiously enough, I do not believe Fischer himself has ever been quoted as stating he felt unwell through the first five games vs Petrosian, or was ever quoted as the source of the anecdote regarding the young lady in Buenos Aires 1960, something mentioned by Levy in <How Fischer Plays Chess>, very much the opposite of Larsen in the aftermath of his loss at Denver.
Feb-19-20  Petrosianic: True, Fischer tended not to make excuses himself unless they enormous ones (i.e. Korchnoi was throwing games). With Bueonos Aires and the Candidates Final, other people have made those excuses on his behalf. He never did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Out of curiosity I did a search for Fischer and The Beatles.

I think I have the place where the picture on this page was taken.

Look at the picture here with Bobby showing the kids a game in the park in Buenos Aires, 1971.

Same shirt and tie, background to the picture here is grass/foliage.


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm surprised that Hannibal Lecter wasn't also portrayed as a chess master in the film <The Silence of the Lambs>. It just seemed a logical portrayal.

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