<%-- Page Title--%> Time Out <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 149 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

April 9, 2004

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Match of the Century Chess

Bobby Fischer is undoubtedly the most enigmatic and elusive chess player that the world has ever seen. He appeared on the international chess scene when the game had become a private preserve of the new generation of Soviet players. Fischer challenged the Soviet supremacy almost single-handedly and wrested the world championship from the Russians in the 'Match of the Century' in 1972.

The match turned out to be a turbulent encounter between Fischer and Boris Spassky, who was apparently under tremendous psychological pressure as he was representing a chess school built over nearly 50 years, and a system which was not 'ready' to concede the world championship to a non-Soviet . Fischer started behaving in his own erratic manner right from the beginning , but finally won the match without much of a trouble, though he was trailing 0-2 at one stage. It was more of a psychological warfare than a chess match. Spassky, known as the gentleman of the chess world , could not live up to the expectations of the millions of Soviet chess fans.

Fischer had started his career as a prodigy showing great promise. He won the US championship in 1956 at the age of 13 only, and never looked backed as he became the leading contender for the world title in the early sixties. But he had to wait until 1972 as he had withdrawn from the Sousse Inter Zonal in 1967.

Fischer's performance in the world championship cycle was amazing . He won no fewer than 19 games in a row against the top grandmasters! But he could not stay at the top for more than three years as a dispute with the FIDE saw him abdicating without playing the match against Anatoly Karpov in 1975. Thus the career of Robert Fischer ended on a sad note.

Fischer had a universal style. He was equally good in both unleashing fierce combinative attacks and doggedly defending difficult positions( the 'poisoned pawn ' in the Sicilian Defence, for example).

Here is his famous game against Donald Byrne.

White-Donald Byrne
Black-Robert James Fischer [D97]
New York, 1956
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 00 5.Bf4 d5 6.Qb3 6...dxc4 7.Qxc4 c6 8.e4 Nbd7 9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc5 Bg4 11.Bg5? 11...Na4!! 12.Qa3 12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qb6 15.Bc4 15...Nxc3! 16.Bc5 16...Rfe8+ 17.Kf1 Be6!! 18.Bxb6 Bxc4+ 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Nxd4+ 21.Kg1 21...Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nc3+ 23.Kg1 axb6 24.Qb4 Ra4 25.Qxb6 Nxd1+ 26.h3 Rxa2 27.Kh2 Nxf2 28.Re1 Rxe1 29.Qd8+ Bf8 30.Nxe1 Bd5 31.Nf3 Ne4 32.Qb8 b5 33.h4 h5 34.Ne5 Kg7 35.Kg1 Bc5+ 36.Kf1 Ng3+ 37.Ke1 Bb4+ 38.Kd1 Bb3+ 39.Kc1 Ne2+ 40.Kb1 Nc3+ 41.Kc1 Rc2# mate 01




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