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Robert James Fischer
The Championship Season: Bobby Fischer in 1972.  
Number of games in database: 1,100
Years covered: 1953 to 1992
Last FIDE rating: 2780
Highest rating achieved in database: 2785

Overall record: +433 -87 =248 (72.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 332 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (201) 
    B90 B32 B88 B44 B77
 Ruy Lopez (128) 
    C92 C69 C95 C97 C98
 French Defense (80) 
    C19 C18 C11 C16 C10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (79) 
    C92 C95 C97 C98 C89
 Caro-Kann (52) 
    B11 B10 B18 B13 B14
 French Winawer (47) 
    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 E21
 Grunfeld (20) 
    D86 D79 D80 D98 D73
 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
   Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971 1-0
   Letelier vs Fischer, 1960 0-1
   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)
   Vinkovci (1968)
   US Championship 1963/64 (1963)
   Havana Olympiad Final-A (1966)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Skopje (1967)
   Rovinj / Zagreb (1970)
   Netanya (1968)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Fischer - Spassky (1992)
   Bled (1961)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Zuerich (1959)
   Havana (1965)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)

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
   Bobby Fischer: Selected Games from 1955-1992 by igiene
   Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
   Russians versus Fischer by PassedPawnDuo
   Bjelica_125 by Gottschalk
   book: Russians versus Fischer by Baby Hawk
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by KingG
   Robert Fischer's Best Games by demirchess

   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.

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. This made the 15-year-old Fischer the youngest candidate for the World Championship. It also made him 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 V 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 Curacao. 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 unknown player, 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 Spassky - Fischer 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 greats 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: 2022-01-07 23:43:50

 page 1 of 44; games 1-25 of 1,100  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. Fischer vs S Greene ½-½111955US Amateur ChB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
6. A Humphrey vs Fischer ½-½331955US Amateur ChE61 King's Indian
7. Fischer vs K Warner 0-1281955Lincoln ch-US jrB58 Sicilian
8. W Whisler vs Fischer ½-½251955Lincoln ch-US jrE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
9. J Thomason vs Fischer 0-1231955Lincoln ch-US jrE90 King's Indian
10. Fischer vs D Ames ½-½281955Lincoln ch-US jrC47 Four Knights
11. Fischer vs V Pupols 0-1441955Lincoln ch-US jrC40 King's Knight Opening
12. Fischer vs F Saksena 1-0221955Lincoln ch-US jrC53 Giuoco Piano
13. Fischer vs M Pavey 0-1521956Manhattan CC chA07 King's Indian Attack
14. J Tamargo vs Fischer 0-1401956Manhattan CC chB22 Sicilian, Alapin
15. A Turner vs Fischer 1-0531956Manhattan Chess Club Semifinal BE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
16. Fischer vs K Vine ½-½361956Manhattan Chess Club Semifinal BB32 Sicilian
17. Fischer vs S Baron 1-0531956Manhattan Chess Club Semifinal BC98 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 1,100  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
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Jul-19-22  stone free or die:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match That Made Chess Great Again> (Simon & Schuster, 2018), pp.67-69:

<In order to answer my editor's questions about Magnus, I felt like I had to better understand Fischer. I read as many books and saw as many documentaries about him as I could - watched everything I could find on YouTube. The most revealing were the three interviews Fischer did on The Dick Cavett Show.

In the lead-up to [the] 1972 world championship, Cavett asked Fischer, "What's the moment of pleasure for you? Is it when you see the guy in trouble? Where's the greatest pleasure that corresponds to hitting the home run in baseball?"

"Uh, the greatest pleasure?" Fischer stroked his chin, pondering. "Huh. Well, when you break his ego. That's where it's at. You know?"

Fischer then smiled sadistically before offering Cavett a face worthy of the Coney Island clown horrifyingly come to life. Fischer giggled uncontrollably as the studio audience gasped.

"Really?" Cavett asked.

"Yeah." Fischer giggled some more, this time with the audience joining him.

"And when does that occur? When he sees that he's finished?"

"Yeah, you know. He sees it coming and, uh, breaks up all inside."

Later that same year, after winning the title from Boris Spassky in Reykjavik on September 1 in front of one of the largest global television audiences in history, Fischer came back on Cavett's show for the final time.


Fischer, wearing a burgundy suit, received a roaring ovation when he arrived onstage. Cavett's other guest was actor Tony Randall, from the TV hit The Odd Couple.

"The New York Times reviewer," Randall said, referencing Pulitzer Prize winner Harold Schonberg, who covered both music and chess for the paper, "wrote that you are a merciless sadist without feelings for others, whose only wish is to destroy your opponent. Is that true?"

Fischer smiled coyly.

"No," he said.

"Crushing a man's ego," Cavett jumped in. "Was there that moment? A specific moment?"

"I'll tell you," Fischer said with a grin, his eyes beginning to gleam with the casual menace of Rasputin. "That was the one thing I didn't really enjoy about this match. Because I never felt he gave up. He never just ... collapsed. He tried to make a fight of it to the end."

"So you never really had that moment?" Cavett asked.

"Just at the very end," Fischer said. "The last game. The last couple of games. I started to feel him getting a little despondent. I kinda started to feel it a little bit. But not the real full measure, you know, that I like."

"But you're not a merciless sadist who likes to destroy your opponents," Randall said.

"Of course not," Cavett said.

The three men and the crowd laughed.

I wrote to Cavett asking if he would speak to me. He had gotten a fair bit of @#$% over his fondness for Fischer, especially when in 2008 he wrote a column in the New York Times referring to Fischer's death as "among this year's worst news." He mailed me recordings of all three of their conversations but said he no longer wished to discuss their relationship.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: The '72 title match was 50 years ago this summer. It wasn't shown on our American television where I lived. Our TV programming was picked up off our rooftop atena from local television stations which were few in number and affected by the wind/weather), but we craved game reports. We had ABC, CBS, NBC and Public TV, no cable, no ESPN or HBO, etc. Sometimes my dad would get the ladder out and climb up on the roof to twist/shake our TV atena and we'd holler up through the window to tell him if the picture had improved or not. The programming might vary by region. We might have still had a black-and-white television then, but most homes quickly shifted to color television sets when they could afford it.

I remember it (the atmosphere of pulling for our American) well. We hated/feared the communist Ruskies. People did "take cover" training for atomic bombs (useless in the actual event, but that was the plan similar to tornado protection) like folks do active shooter "take cover" drills today. A "Red Dawn" invasion was feared. Bobby Fischer whipped the Russian chess machine single-handedly!

Today, I much enjoy Boris Spassky's games. He was a gentleman, a class act, and a fine player.

THE GAME OF THE DAY should come from the Fischer-Spassky '72 match on its anniversary: Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972)

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Russia today -- Forced Relocation of once free people:
Jul-22-22  stone free or die: <<Fred> Russia today -- Forced Relocation of once free people: >

Would be better posted on <Rogoff>, or even the <Cafe>. Certainly not here, much as Fischer disliked the Soviet system.


Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Dipstick, you're not my daddy. Hopefully, you're nobody's daddy, for their sake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The hockey summit series: In 1972 the two greatest teams in the world, the USSR and Canada played a seven game series won by Canada, 4-3. Was this played before or after Fischer beat Spassky?

One of the first chess books I owned:


Still the greatest chess book cover. Ever.

Premium Chessgames Member


Paul Henderson was Canada's hero!

I believe the hockey was finished before the chess? Certainly there were few in Canada who followed both.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: I'm guessing the hockey match was a tune-up for the Olympics? American swimmer Mark Spitz was the most decorated athlete in the '72 Summer Olympics.

Your Fischer-Spassky book link was written by C.H. O'D. Alexander, very recognizable. All sorts of authors put out a book on the '72 match -- the NY Times, Gligoric, Golumbek, Euwe, Purdy, Reshevsky, etc. I read the Larry Evans version because it had all the diagrams. I probably have a half-dozen of the others on a bookshelf that I haven't looked at since BF passed.

Well, it was probably just dumb luck that I got the Evans book second as I recall. The first book I got on the match seemed a bit complicated, but I can't remember for sure who wrote it at this late hour. It'll probably pop into my head next week. I was hoping they'd play the King's Gambit all the time back then. I thought Fischer was going hog wild playing those "different" opening surprises like Alekhine's Defense.

Jul-22-22  stone free or die: OK, <joylessstick>, let's agree I'm not your daddy - which is pretty obvious even without the paternity test.

The fact of the matter is you endlessly wag on and on about how other posters aren't posting chess, and how egregious it is for <CG>.

Then you turn around and do the same, often by hiding the crap in a chess post, but in this case just out on its own:

Robert James Fischer (kibitz #59177)

I think you posted your external link merely because the title mentioned bear.

Regardless, it's the hypocrisy and double standard I'm calling attention to.

Jul-22-22  Cassandro: <HeMateMe: Still the greatest chess book cover ever.>

It is also a great book. Alexander wrote some of the book even before the match began, and it perfectly captures the Cold War atmosphere surrounding it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <HeMateMe> <Still the greatest chess book cover. Ever.>

The one with the map, or the one with both players' photographs? I had the latter, and I loved that book. All the pictures, and the slightly landscape format. It felt very special.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the photos in the Alexander book were terrific. His notes weren't deep, perhaps just superficial. Certainly a more gifted player like Petrosian, Karpov or (gasp!) Fischer himself could have done better analytical work. But, that's ok. the book was written at the level of the club player and it works just fine like that.

thank you all for your comments. I looked around for other books on the match but used copies just weren't floating around.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <fredthebear:

but we craved game reports. We had ABC, CBS, NBC and Public TV>

It was on Public TV in the NY area.

Aug-27-22  FM David H. Levin: <diceman: <fredthebear: but we craved game reports. We had ABC, CBS, NBC and Public TV> It was on Public TV in the NY area.>

I recall that WNET covered in real time the entire first playing session of each game, which could last up to five hours (!). The host was Shelby Lyman, and among his guests were Robert Byrne, Eugene Meyer, Bruce Pandolfini, and I think James Sherwin. Lyman used two demonstration boards: one for the actual position and one for analysis.

I believe that the resumption of play after adjournments was also covered live, although I'm hazier about this.

Although I hadn't been playing seriously for long, I found this coverage a treat!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Knightf7mate: Happy 50th Anniversary. Wish you were here.
Oct-07-22  Helios727: Was Fischer ever an IM before he became a GM? Or did he go directly from untitled to GM?
Oct-07-22  ndg2: ^Yes, Bobby was an IM before becoming a GM. The US Championship 1957/58 served also as the US Zonal Tournament for the 1960 WCC cycle. Winning this (the Zonal) FIDE awarded Bobby the IM title.
Oct-08-22  Helios727: <ndg2> If it had been a different year when it was not a Zonal Tournament, would the IM title have been awarded?
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <fredthebear: ...Your Fischer-Spassky book link was written by C.H. O'D. Alexander, very recognizable.>

Choda also wrote the third volume in Alekhine's greatest games series. AA wrote the first two volumes, but was (ahem) "unavailable" to write the 3rd one.

Not trying to disparage Choda, but he just didn't have the way with words that AA had:

Alekhine vs H Weenink, 1931

I'd offer another quote, but the comments pages have been purged from the AA-Weenink game. So I will paraphrase:

(after 22.g4, IIRC) <By this advance, the White pawn threatens to set afire the Black King's house, and cannot possibly be stopped from that dark design.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Oh, serendipity!

User: micartouse posted the exact quote:

Alekhine vs H Weenink, 1931

So maybe the comments were not purged. Maybe just no one cares about poor Weenink.

Nov-05-22  stone free or die: What <fred> is doing here with such a post is nothing but pure harassment.

Shameful, petty, and pathetic.


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <<stone free or die: What <fred> is doing here with such a post is nothing but pure harassment. Shameful, petty, and pathetic.>>

You are a fookin numptie..

I'd love to meet you.

Nov-05-22  stone free or die: Over at Goldsby's forum there's another discussion (however brief) about <Fischer's 61>.

It's a good excuse to come here and link to Edward Winter's take on the matter:

As to the legitimacy of the edition, I'll just quote these two quotes from Winter:

<Via Frederic Friedel (Hamburg, Germany) we learn that Garðar Sverrisson, who may be regarded as Fischer’s closest confidant in Iceland, states that Fischer would never have considered bringing out a book such as My 61 Memorable Games without consulting him. Mr Sverrisson writes:

<‘When I told Bobby about the forgery in early December 2007 he just became sad and disappointed, exactly as he used to react when he learned about slander or a similar betrayal. At that time his health was deteriorating, and we had other things to worry about than who might be behind this book.

When we discussed the possibility of having My 60 Memorable Games republished he was very much against using any improvements of his own or others (including computers). And changing the notation from the descriptive to the algebraic was out of the question.

We never saw My 61 Memorable Games, and I still have not seen it.’>>


<At our request, Aðalsteinn Thorarensen (Reykjavik) has kindly provided an English translation of a paragraph about My 61 Memorable Games on pages 168-169 of the new book mentioned in C.N. 9568, <Yfir farinn veg með> Bobby Fischer by Garðar Sverrisson (Reykjavik, 2015):

‘Some time after he came home [from hospital] we became aware of a new book in circulation, My 61 Memorable Games, which was claimed to be by Bobby. The book supposedly contained the 60 games that he had selected and annotated in his book My 60 Memorable Games with the addition of one game from his match against Spassky in 1992. Every time he had discussed the possibility of re-issuing this book [My 60 Memorable Games] he had been opposed to my idea of publishing it with revised annotations by himself and others, which I was convinced would make the book even more valuable. To Bobby, it was more important that the original sources should be preserved in their original form. To meddle with the text of an already published book was so ridiculous to him that I doubt whether he would have agreed to correct even obvious spelling mistakes, if found. My 60 Memorable Games was no less dear to him than many of his victories in chess. He was therefore very sad when I brought him the news of that counterfeit publication, which, we discovered later, had been illustrated with the Icelandic flag and photographs taken for private use by Icelanders with whom he was no longer associated.’


C.N. 11654 reported that an English translation of Sverrisson’s book had been published: Bobby Fischer The Final Years (Reykjavik, 2019).>

n.b. [Last update 2022-10-22]

* * * * *

This was why I originally stopped by here today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yet, in the face of incontrovertible proof, <joshie> marches to his own tune, much in the style of Ed Trice.
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