Lies And Truths About Bobby Fischer: Take The Test!

    Who would you choose for dinner – alive or dead – in Paris? Be careful with the answer if you’re married, dating or thinking about dating someone!

    Ever wondered if you could choose the company of the legendary chess world champion Bobby Fischer?

    Since this is not possible, you will have to conform (or rejoice) to the company you have chosen. But if it were possible to choose Fischer, would you be able to talk to him about his biography?

    To know the answer to this question, we prepared an article with lies and truths about the controversial world chess champion.

    Let’s go to the test ?!


    Lies and truths about Bobby Fischer:


    1. Fischer was a prodigy and became Champion of the United States for the first time at the age of 14.



    Bobby Fischer learned to play at age of six with his older sister, Joan, who amused him with a chessboard while his mother, Regina Wender, went to work.

    In fact, he was a prodigy and became American Champion eight times and the first of them was at the age of 14.

    So this is TRUE!

    2. He became Grandmaster at the age of 12 and to this day is the youngest chess player to achieve such a feat.



    Fischer achieved the GM title at the age of 15 and became the youngest grandmaster ever, when he first qualified for the Candidates Tournament.

    He was stripped of the post of youngest chess grandmaster in history  by none other than Judit Polgar in 1991, due to a difference of 1 month between their ages.

    Currently the record for the youngest grandmaster, achieved at 12 years and 7 months, belongs to Sergey Karjakin.

    So this is a LIE!


    3. In 1967, at the Interzonal in Sousse, Tunisia, Bobby left the tournament claiming religious issues. He was leading the field.



    In 1967, the Interzonal was held in Sousse, Tunisia. Bobby Fischer led the tournament when he left the competition claiming religious issues.

    The incident began when he refused to play between Friday’s sunset and Saturday’s sunset. Although there was no objection from the organizers, Fischer did not agree to compensate for the delay and play 4 games in 4 days in a row.

    So this is TRUE!


    4. He won the Candidates Tournament in 1971 beating Taimanov and Larsen by 6×0 and Petrosian by 6.5 x 2.5.



    The first time Fischer took part in the Candidates Tournament was in Belgrade in 1959, and the winner was with Mikhail Tal. His second participation was in 1962, in Curaçao,  when Tigran Petrosian won. At the time, Fischer accused his Soviet opponents of combining the results of the games they played with each other so that in the last round one of them was ahead. The famous episode was never proven, but the International Chess Federation changed the format of the Tournament and from then on it adopted the match system, avoiding suspicious results.

    At the 1971 Candidates Tournament, Bobby had this exceptional performance and won the right to challenge Boris Spassky.

    So this is TRUE!


    5. The 1972 match, known as ” The Match of the Century”, was fairly even and after winning the first game Fischer began to make demands that were not accepted by Boris Spassky.



    The famous 1972 match began even before the first move, when Bobby Fischer started to impose innumerable demands concerning the place where the games would take place, the adjournments and  the prize fund, which was eventually sponsored  by a British banker.

    Already on the board, the battle began in an incredible way, with one of the most mysterious blunders in the history of chess. Fischer, in a completely drawn position, captures a “poisoned” pawn and loses.

    In the second game, complaining about the conditions of the playing hall, Fischer did not attend and the score was 2×0 for Spassky.

    Perhaps disturbed by the strange course of the match, Spassky played the remaining games below his regular level and the American chess player was vastly superior, winning by 12.5 x 8.5.

    So this is a LIE!


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    6. Fischer no longer defended the world title after beating the Boris Spassky and thus ended his career.



    When in 1974 the young up-and-coming chess player Anatoly Karpov defeated Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi and won the right to challenge the world champion, Bobby Fischer announced on June 28 that he was giving up his title. FIDE even gave him 3 months to rethink the decision and the capital of the Philippines, Manila, offered $5 million to organize the match. However, there was no agreement as to the format of the dispute.

    At the time Fischer decide not only to give up his world title, but also to stop playing. The end of Bobby Fischer’s career is attributed by many to his fear of losing and by others to mental disorders. The fact is that chess history was definitely changed after this drastic decision. He would still stage a comeback many years later, but his brilliant career was effectively over in 1972.

    So, unfortunately, this is TRUE!


    7. Many years later, in 1995, he played another match with Spassky in Moscow. The match would only end when a player won 10 games and Fischer was victorious with a score of 10×5. After the match, Bobby Fischer returned to the United States and was received as a national hero.



    After years in reclusion, Fischer had unusual and rare public appearances.

    In 1992 – not in 1995 – Fischer promoted a late rematch against Boris Spassky, winning by 10×5. The event nevertheless occurred in Yugoslavia, during a period of international sanctions against the Slobodan Milosevic government.

    As a result, the United States announced that Bobby would be arrested if he returned to his country.

    So this is a LIE!


    8. Soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Fischer gave an interview celebrating the tragedy and making anti-Semitic statements.



    Fischer was an eccentric figure and often made absurd statements. One of the most famous episodes concerns an interview he gave to a radio station in Manila, capital of the Philippines, celebrating the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. At the time, he made anti-Semitic statements , despite being Jewish himself.

    So this is TRUE!


    9. In 2004 Fischer was detained in Japan for having his US passport expired and had his deportation requested by the United States.



    In 2004, Bobby Fischer was arrested in Japan for having his US passport expired. The United States asked for his deportation, where he would be arrested.

    However, Fischer won the impasse, gaining Iceland citizenship, where he passed away in 2008.

    So this is TRUE!


    10. Fischer is the author of the phrase: “To be a champion it is not enough to be a strong player, you must also be a strong human being.”



    Fischer is the author of memorable phrases about chess, such as “Chess is life”; “Do not tell me about losing. I can not think of that! “; “In chess there are two types of players: the good ones and the hard ones. I am one of the hard ones “; Among many others.

    However, the above sentence is attributed to Anatoly Karpov and not to Bobby Fischer.

    So this is a LIE!


    11. The United States dominated the chess world at the time Fischer became world champion.



    When Fischer became world champion chess was dominated by players from the former USSR. At the time the Cold War was at its height and the chessboard – like the space race – became the center stage of the battle between the US and the former USSR.

    The hegemony of the USSR in chess was absolute. Since Mikhail Botvinnik, the Patriarch, won the world title in 1948, the Soviets always had the crown: Smyslov in 1957, Botvinnik again in 1958, Tal in 1960, Botvinnik again in 1961, Petrosian in 1963, and finally Spassky in 1969.

    It was precisely for this reason that the american’s victory became a landmark in US history.

    So this is a LIE!


    12. Fischer took Russian lessons to read magazines and chess books in that language.



    When Fischer began to learn chess the game was dominated by USSR players, as you saw above, so learning the language was imperative to his evolution as a player. However, he learned the basics of Russian alone, not with classes.

    So this is a LIE!


    13. Fischer is the author of the book My 60 Memorable Games, one of the most notable texts of chess literature, in which he included his main victories and also some defeats.



    This is definitely one of the masterpieces of chess literature. Fischer wrote an extremely honest selection of his games and even included some losses and draws. Be sure to read this unique work and, if possible, compare Fischer’s analysis of the late 1960s with powerful modern engines. Or better yet, compare Bobby’s analyzes with those of Kasparov, published in Volume 4 of the “Great Predecessors” series.

    So this is TRUE!    


    Devoted to chess from his early childhood, a fighter obsessed with the 32 black and white pieces, Fischer had an aggressive, innovative, genial spirit, as well as being very eccentric!

    He is regarded by many as the greatest chess player ever and has an undeniable legacy. Therefore, in addition to understanding his playing style and studying his best games, knowing the history of the life and career of this great player is mandatory for chess lovers.

    So, do the math and find out how you did in the knowledge test on the 7 truths and 6 lies of the legendary Bobby Fischer!

    And do not forget: tell us how your performance was!


    Written by Rafael Leitão Chess Academy on 08/20/2017.  



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    14 Replies to “Lies And Truths About Bobby Fischer: Take The Test!”

    • Pedro

      Desculpe, Leitão, mas Fischer é "apenas um entre os melhores da história", mas não é "O" melhor.
      Pra mim, Kasparov venceria 7 a cada 10 partidas contra Fischer, assim como Carlsen, Aronian, Anand, etc.
      O fato inegável é que ele é um ponto fora da curva, um "estranho no ninho". E isso, por si só, o destaca no cenário enxadrístico, principalmente por ser norte-americano (e a gente sabe que tudo que é dos Estados Unidos é alardeado por eles mesmos como sendo melhor do que dos outros países).
      Assim como o jogador de basquete Isiah Thomas causou mal-estar ao afirmar (com razão!) que o branquelo Larry Bird (tido pelos norte-americanos como um dos melhores jogadores de basquete da história) seria apenas mais um dos muitos excelentes jogadores de basquete se fosse negro, não tenho medo de afirmar que, se Fischer fosse russo, ou mesmo nascido em qualquer outro país que não fosse dos Estados Unidos, ele seria lembrado "apenas" como mais um grande enxadrista da história (ao meu ver, numa "prateleira" até mesmo abaixo da prateleira onde estão nomes como Capablanca, Alekhine, Kasparov e Carlsen).
      Sem falar que o Fischer é um ser humano DESPREZÍVEL - mas isso é outra discussão. Mas, mesmo ignorando o lado (des)humano do Fischer (que alguns relevam sob a desculpa de que ele ficou louco), insisto na tese de que, apesar de ele ter produzido belíssimas partidas, ele está longe de poder ser comparado com Kasparov e outra meia dúzia de enxadristas que estão acima dele.
      Resumindo, o Fischer é produto da mídia norte-americana. Não que eu seja comunista, ou anti-americano, mas que o cara é extremamente "over rated", ah, isso é.

      • Rafael Leitão

        Obrigado pelo comentário e pela opinião, mas discordo completamente. Para mim, Fischer foi o melhor. O único comparável a ele é o Kasparov.

      • Roberto Pedetti

        Vai catar coquinho:
        Fischer x Tajmanov 6-0
        Fischer x Larsen 6-0
        Fisher x Petrosian 6,5-2,5
        Ninguem nunca teve uma superioridade tao grande.

      • Eddie

        Fisher ser humano despresivel? Ai nao amigo, comente sobre xadrez e nao sobre a vida pessoal do enxadrista.

        • Filipe Fernandes

          É isto!
          Os factos estão escritos em notação algébrica!

          O resto nunca saberemos. Todos podem contar uma história e, infelizmente, há muitas histórias mal contadas - nós só não sabemos quais são.
          Então quando há política envolvida... tudo piora. (Basta ver os noticiários dos USA: o canal dos Republicanos conta uma história, o canal dos Democráticos conta outra. A "verdade" passou a ser uma variável.)

          Se o enxadrista era má pessoa? Talvez sim, talvez não. Mas era um ótimo enxadrista.

      • 1323

        isso é

    • Renato

      Também discordo completamente e faço minhas as palavras do Rafael: " Para mim, Fischer foi o melhor. O único comparável a ele é o Kasparov."

    • Robert Callinger

      I knew of ten of these and got them right, two I missed, I knew he has said some anti Semitic statements ( never could figure that out, since he was also Jewish, but didn't know of his view on the 9-11 attack.
      I think BobbY becoming Grandmaster at his age and during the time his was Harder, Judit Polgar had many more Tournament possibilities and openings to do so. Bobby was not getting into those matches without being tremendous.
      What makes Bobby the greatest, not only his mind and play, but he defeated a SYSTEM, THE SOVIET SCHOOL OF CHESS, and how the Soviets controlled tournaments with players using the system to pass on players to the top.

      • Włodzimierz Holsztyński

        @Robert Callinger, " Judit Polgar had many more Tournament possibilities"

        Just the opposite, Fischer had more. Judith Polgar was discriminated against as a woman. In those times, in communist Hungary, this was a major factor that limited her wonderful potential. Polgar was a true wunderkind, perhaps the greatest in the whole history (Samuel Reshevsky would be another candidate, then Morphynand Capablanca would follow). On the other hand, Robert Fisher became good quite early but was not a wunderkind.

        • John Stephens

          A player that at the age of 15 competes in a Candidates tournament is NOT a wonderkid? What would you like him to do? Also swallow fires or something...?

    • Haim

      Nice article, thanks for sharing, Master! Saludos de México.

    • Jorge Gonzalez

      Great article, thank you very much. Fisher was an all rounded player, making great improvements in openings like the Sicilian Defense. To be a World Champion during the Soviet Dominance of the chess, you need to have a super master class level, in 1972 he had a peak ELO of 2785, 125 points ahead of the second in the world, Boris Spassky and 20-win run in official games. Simply the best and most brilliant player on Chess History.

      • Jorge Gonzalez

    • Walter

      One small correction: the youngest grandmaster ever is Abhimanyu Mishra at the age of 12 years, 4 months and 25 days.

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