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Robert James Fischer
The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Number of games in database: 1,099
Years covered: 1953 to 1992
Last FIDE rating: 2780
Highest rating achieved in database: 2785

Overall record: +434 -87 =247 (72.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 331 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (200) 
    B90 B32 B88 B44 B77
 Ruy Lopez (128) 
    C92 C69 C95 C98 C97
 French Defense (81) 
    C19 C18 C11 C16 C15
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (79) 
    C92 C95 C98 C97 C89
 Caro-Kann (52) 
    B11 B10 B18 B13 B14
 French Winawer (48) 
    C19 C18 C16 C15 C17
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (125) 
    B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
 King's Indian (117) 
    E80 E62 E97 E60 E67
 Sicilian Najdorf (83) 
    B92 B99 B90 B97 B93
 Nimzo Indian (23) 
    E45 E46 E40 E43 E58
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D86 D79 D98 D80 D97
 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
   Fischer vs Benko, 1963 1-0
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 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?]
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   US Championship (1966)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Rovinj/Zagreb (1970)
   Havana Olympiad Final-A (1966)
   Netanya (1968)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Skopje (1967)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Zurich (1959)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Havana (1965)

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 amadeus
   Match Fischer! by dwinco
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by wanabe2000
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by fernando.laroca
   Bjelica_125 by Gottschalk
   Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
   book: Russians versus Fischer by Baby Hawk
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by KingG
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by dikaio
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Patca63
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by Patca63

   Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961
   Unzicker vs Fischer, 1962
   Korchnoi vs Fischer, 1970
   Fischer vs 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 1,099  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Mayers vs Fischer 1-0171953Blitz GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
2. J Altusky vs Fischer 0-181954Offhand GameC71 Ruy Lopez
3. Fischer vs J Altusky 1-0121954Offhand GameE90 King's Indian
4. A W Conger vs Fischer 1-0121955corrE70 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 F Saksena 1-0221955Lincoln ch-US jrC53 Giuoco Piano
12. Fischer vs M Pavey 0-1521956New York ManhattanA07 King's Indian Attack
13. A Turner vs Fischer 1-0531956New York ManhattanE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
14. J Tamargo vs Fischer 0-1401956Manhattan CC chB22 Sicilian, Alapin
15. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½361956New York ManhattanB32 Sicilian
16. W Whisler vs Fischer 0-1281956?E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
17. Fischer vs S Baron 1-0531956New York ManhattanC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
18. Pat Smith vs Fischer  0-1231956Casual gameC48 Four Knights
19. Fischer vs I Spector 1-0351956Casual gameB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
20. J R Florido vs Fischer 0-1261956Capablanca CC - Log Cabin mC50 Giuoco Piano
21. Fischer vs J A Casado ½-½481956Simul, 12bB32 Sicilian
22. A Jenkins vs Fischer 0-1181956North Carolina - Log Cabin CC mB20 Sicilian
23. Fischer vs J F Bacardi  1-0281956US Amateur chA04 Reti Opening
24. Fischer vs E Nash 0-1511956US Amateur chA05 Reti Opening
25. R Riegler vs Fischer  0-1341956US Amateur chB20 Sicilian
 page 1 of 44; games 1-25 of 1,099  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 129 OF 129 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <keypusher> is obviously using the term 'Communist' with heavy irony here, though Botvinnik, as few others did, personified Soviet Man in all outward behaviour.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Viking707: keypusher: the term "communist" is inappropriate. >

It's irritating to get a post like this after I wrote <* I'm using the term "Communist" loosely, obviously.>.

<I have no idea what the political ideologies of Botvinnik, Smyslov or Tal were>.

If you have <no idea> about a topic, don't post about it.

Botvinnik really was a Communist, apparently to the extent of criticizing the CPSU when he thought it wasn't being communist enough. According to Kramnik he maintained his belief in communism even after the USSR collapsed. Smyslov was, I understand, a Christian. I have a hard time seeing Tal subscribing to any doctrine, sacred or profane, but he seems to have been happy and even eager to help Spassky against Fischer (see <Russians vs. Fischer>, p. 315) and, later, Karpov against Korchnoi. Whatever that's worth.

But <Joshka>, to whom I was responding, was obviously applying "Communist" indiscriminately to the Soviet Union and everyone in it. Hence my usage of the term.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Viking707> Is that chess bookstore on Newbury St. about a block or two from Mass Ave. still open?? I never realized folks wrote books on chess until I stumbled into that bookstore way back in 1978 while the Karpov-Korchnoi Match was taking place!! thanks in advance!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <joshie>, the bookstore closed soon after your visit. I got there the following year and that was all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <keypusher> Yes , I've read that Smyslov was a Christian as well, so that cancels him out of the Communist Party. Karpov is a devout Communist, accepted the "Order of Lenin" but also enjoys the riches of Capitalism as a millionaire;-) Tal and Kasparov I'm not quite sure about, although I think I read that Garry's mother was a devout Christian she recently has passed on. Fischer belonged to a fundamentalist Christian sect back in the late 60's early 70's. Didn't Spassky renounce his Communist upbringing?
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer would have killed Karpov in 75.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <harrylime: Fischer would have killed Karpov in 75.>

I guess he was crazy enough. Maybe for the best that he didn't show up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Maybe, maybe Karpov was too young and inexperienced in 1975.

But even Kasparov never "killed" Karpov. His victory in every match was about as narrow as could be.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<Diademas: <harrylime: Fischer would have killed Karpov in 75.> I guess he was crazy enough. Maybe for the best that he didn't show up.>>

Over the 64 squares NUMPTIE

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<saffuna: Maybe, maybe Karpov was too young and inexperienced in 1975. But even Kasparov never "killed" Karpov. His victory in every match was about as narrow as could be.>>

Yes. Nice point. Very true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Even Karpov rated his own chances as no better than being a 3-2 dog in 1975.

Karpov was a born match player, and it took everything Kasparov had, and who made himself into an outstanding one, to overcome his great adversary.

May-06-21  Petrosianic: <harry david chapman> <Fischer would have killed Karpov in 75.>

Nice choice of words, Killer.

May-06-21  Petrosianic: <keypusher>: <Yes, I think you're right that there was no rematch clause in 1975, but Karpov got one in 1978. IIRC Ed Edmondson backed Karpov's request for a rematch clause because he was trying to get Karpov's help to get Fischer to play again. But that is a very vague recollection.>

What happened is that Karpov didn't want to play an Unlimited match. He wanted to go back to Best of 24. Edmondson and the USCF very much wanted to try the Unlimited Match, a) because it was Fischer's proposal, and b) because a lot of people back then really believed that it would reduce the number of draws (the 1978 and 1984 matches killed that idea and the Unlimited Match, but that was later).

So, Edmondson went to Karpov and agreed on a compromise whereby Karpov would play an Unlimited Match in exchange for USCF's support for a rematch clause.

May-06-21  Petrosianic: Incidentally, before the Rematch Clause was reinstated, there was another forgotten rule that was intended to give the champion a slight advantage: Namely that the Champion gets White in Game 1. That way, if the match ends, say, 6-5 with with 22 draws, then the champion will have had one extra White. An advantage, but a very minimal one.

But that rule was tossed out when the rematch clause was reinstated, and Korchnoi had White in Game 1 of the 1978 match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<perfidious: Even Karpov rated his own chances as no better than being a 3-2 dog in 1975. Karpov was a born match player, and it took everything Kasparov had, and who made himself into an outstanding one, to overcome his great adversary.>>

Fischer is/was just a better player than Karpov.

Play thru Karpov's games and itza chore ... it's hard work lol lol lol

Play thru Fischer's games is a delight ... and is a journey into the heart of chess ..

The karpov v Korchnoi match in 1978 was just embarrassing .. Korchnoi missed a mate in four in one game

Fischer is simply a better chess player than Karpov.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It became clear why unlimited matches did not suit Karpov: he only survived the 1978 tilt with Korchnoi after blowing a three-game lead, then beating the spots off Viktor Lvovich three years on when the latter clearly had little chance, then got ground down physically and mentally in the first go-round with Kasparov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: I think people have difficulty just accepting Robert Fischer was/is a better chess player than Anatoly Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Weird, Fischer never played chess with Karpov.
May-07-21  optimal play: <perfidious: Karpov was a born match player>

<perfidious: It became clear why unlimited matches did not suit Karpov>

How can someone be a "born match player" yet not be suited to unlimited matches?

Someone who is a "born match player" is presumably suited to any kind of match under any kind of conditions, otherwise it is erroneous to describe him as a "born match player".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <harrylime> Are you confusing "more entertaining" with "better"?
May-07-21  Petrosianic: <harry david chapman> <I think people have difficulty just accepting Robert Fischer was/is a better chess player than Anatoly Karpov.>

That's partly because of you, Killer. If you'd just switch from blindly worshiping Fischer to blindly worshiping Karpov, Fischer would get a lot of new support. But then you don't want that, because you've admitted that you actually hate the real Fischer.

May-07-21  Petrosianic: <beatgiant: My understanding of the facts: Fischer could have defended the title in 1975 under the same conditions as Petrosian (1965, 1968) and Spassky (1972).>

Probably. The 1971 FIDE Congress in Vancouver had voted to make the 1975 match go to 10 wins. But then they capped it at 36 games.

There seems to have been some confusion on this, as some of Fischer's own people, like Fred Cramer, thought this was still basically Fischer's rules. But this is the one and only point that Charles Kalme was right about. 10 Wins No Limit is a totally different match format than 10 Wins, 36 games max. The first format has a Wins <requirement>. The second has no requirement at all, only a Wins <option>. In theory the match could still go +0=0=36.

<He also could have played in 1975 under the conditions "unlimited number of games, first to win 10" that he demanded, but without the 9-9 tie clause.>

Correct, but not right away. As I say, in 1971, FIDE voted to make the 1975 match go to 10 wins. In June 1974 they voted to limit it to 36 games. At that point, Fischer immediately resigned his title, without making any effort to fight further. (Mind you, with a 36 game limit, Fischer would still have retained the title on an 18-18 tie, so he could have had draw odds or an Unlimited Match, but not both).

Ed Edmondson kept negotiating behind the scenes, though. In early 1975 Ed got FIDE to agree to take away the 36 Game limit and make it an Unlimited Match again, but without a 9-9 tie clause. Fischer still refused to play.

<I think (but am not sure) that there was no rematch clause, which was why there was no attempt to organize one in 1976.>

Completely correct.

<Also, Fischer was seeded into the 1977 Candidates matches but declined to participate. His spot was given to Spassky.>

Also correct. In those days the Candidates had 8 players, consisting of 6 interzonal qualifiers and two seeds. The seeds were the loser of the world championship match (Fischer), and the loser of the candidates final (Korchnoi).

When Fischer dropped out, the alternates were the losers from the 1974 Candidates semifinals. These were Petrosian and Spassky. Petrosian had already qualified, so it went to Spassky.

If Spassky had declined, it would have gone to Robert Byrne, simply because he was the ONLY other player from the 1974 Candidates that wasn't involved in the 1977 candidates (Mecking, Polugaevsky, and Portisch had also already qualified).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: The person who really should know all the ins and outs of what conditions were allowed for 1978 is <Raymond Keene> with regards to Petrosian and the others. He was heavily involved in FIDE proceedings, and wrote many books on the World Chess Championships! That's the authority to whom we need to address some of these questions.
May-07-21  Petrosianic: <The person who really should know all the ins and outs of what conditions were allowed for 1978 is <Raymond Keene> with regards to Petrosian and the others.>

Keene doesn't disagree with anything I just said. It's all public knowledge, as printed in Chess Life & Review. If you think he does, or should disagree on something or other, point him this way. But he won't.

Premium Chessgames Member

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