Robert James Fischer (1943–2008) is a household name in the world of chess and beyond. Many non-chess players are also aware of his existence and regard him as a genius. Despite the fact that his chess career was brief, he left a legacy of brilliance and creative ideas that are studied by every chess enthusiast across the world to this day.
Six-year-old Bobby and his sister Joan began to play chess following instructions from a candy store set in March 1949. When Joan lost interest in chess and his mother Regina did not have time to play, Fischer was left to play many of his first games against himself. When the family vacationed at Patchogue, Long Island, New York, that summer, Bobby found a book of historic chess games and studied it intensely.
The family relocated to Brooklyn in 1950, first to a one-bedroom apartment on Union Street and Franklin Avenue, then to a two-bedroom apartment at 560 Lincoln Place. “Fischer quickly became so absorbed in the game that Regina concerned he was spending too much time alone there,” Regina said. As a result, Regina addressed a postcard to the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper on November 14, 1950, asking if any other youngsters Bobby’s age would be interested in playing chess with him. The paper turned down her ad because no one knew how to classify it, but directed her query to Hermann Helms, the “Dean of American Chess,” who informed her that Master Max Pavey, a former Scottish champion, would be giving a simultaneous exhibition on January 17, 1951. Fischer was a participant in the exhibition. Although he held on for 15 minutes, garnering a mob of observers, he eventually lost to the chess expert.
One of the viewers was Brooklyn Chess Club President, Carmine Nigro, an American chess expert of near master strength and an instructor. Fischer’s play impressed Nigro so much that he invited him to the club and began instructing him. Fischer reflected on his time with Nigro as follows: “Mr. Nigro may not have been the finest player on the planet, but he was an excellent instructor. Meeting him was most likely a deciding element in my decision to pursue chess.”
Nigro hosted Fischer’s first chess tournament at his home in 1952. Fischer, aged 12 years old, joined the Manhattan Chess Club in the summer of 1955. Fischer and Nigro were together until 1956, when Nigro moved away.
Bobby Fischer demonstrated a deep mastery of the game from an early age, becoming a Grandmaster at the age of 15 – the youngest Grandmaster at the time. He’s also the first player to ever win the US Championship with a perfect score (11/11!). In 1971, he became FIDE’s first official number one player after winning the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a margin of 3 12 points.
In 1972, he defeated Boris Spassky in a match held in Reykjavik, Iceland, to claim the title of World Champion. He held the title until 1975, when he declined to defend it owing to a disagreement with FIDE over match circumstances. As a result, Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, another legend of our game, was given the title automatically.
As a player, Fischer had not learn chess openings and was quite predictable in this area. However, he had a broad understanding of the variants and numerous innovative ideas in the openings he played, making it difficult for his opponents to take advantage of this weakness. He made a significant contribution to chess theory as a specialist in the Ruy Lopez and the Najdorf Sicilian (with black). He was able to show that the Poisoned Pawn variation, which had been regarded as suspect for many years, was, in fact, safe to play for black.
He didn’t stop there, despite his apparent contribution to the chess community through his games. He is the one who patented a new sort of chess clock that works by incrementing a small amount after each move. He also created a new style of chess called as “Fischer Random” or “Chess 960,” which is still played today.
1.The Century’s Game
We’ll show you some of his brilliance and contributions to our game in this article. We’ll begin with the “Game of the Century,” a brilliant offensive game that Fischer played with the black pieces versus Donald Byrne in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament in New York City in 1956 when he was 13 years old. If you haven’t seen it yet, we are confident that you will be impressed, and if you have, you will undoubtedly love replaying it:
2.Fischer’s idea in the Hedgehog
The notion of playing Kh8, followed by Rg8, and g5-g4 in the Hedgehog pawn formation, which is today a fairly well-known plan in the Hedgehog pawn formation, was originally played by Fischer in his game against Ulf Andersson. He started with the white pieces and 1.b3, but the game quickly switched to a reversed Sicilian. The plan is clear and straightforward: orchestrate a crushing assault against the dark king. Take a look:
3.Fischer versus the Najdorf
Bobby Fischer [here are his 10 favorite openings] was not only a master of the Najdorf, but he also made significant contributions to the development of white side theory. 6. Bc4 was his weapon against his own favored Sicilian line, with the goal of placing pressure on the f7 spot. The Fischer-Sozin Attack, named after Fischer, became quite famous in the 1970s after he used it in tournament play. The following game, at the Olympiad in 1966, versus Jacek Bednarski, demonstrates some of its deadly ideas:
We hope you enjoyed reading this post and that playing the games listed above inspires you to learn and watch more traditional players’ games. It’s an excellent approach to improve your chess skills and knowledge. Thank you for taking the time to read this!