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Bobby. Fischer
1943 -

Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 Main

"The world's greatest Chess player"

   Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago, Illinois at the Michael Reese Hospital by the banks of Lake Michigan on March 9th, 1943.  His father Gerhardth  Fischer was born in Berlin,  Germany in 1909, he was  a biophysicist.  His mother was Regina Wender.  They separated when Bobby was 2 years old, and Regina had custody of Bobby and his older sister Joan who was then 7 years old.   She was a  qualified registered Nurse and wanted to take a Master's Degree at  New York University  in  Nursing  Education.  She decided to move to Brooklyn. It is there that the legend of the world's greatest Chess  player begins.

  On May 1949,  Bobby and his sister Joan learned how to play the game with a Chess set given to them as a present. Both, six and eleven, learned the moves from the instructions that went with the set. Even as a six-year-old, Bobby became increasingly fascinated with  Chess and enjoyed enough success in solving its complexities.  By age seven, he was so thoroughly absorbed that his mother became worried. "Bobby isn't interested in anybody unless they play Chess and there just aren't  many  children who  like it" she once said. She also attempted to place an ad in the Brooklyn Eagle inquiring  whether there might be other children of Bobby's age who would come and play Chess with him.  On January 17, 1951 Bobby played a game against master Max Pavey who was giving a simultaneous exhibition and Bobby lost in 15 minutes.  A  few  weeks later  Bobby joined  the Brooklyn Chess Club, headed by Mr. Carmine Nigro, President of the Brooklyn  Chess Club and for the next few years he rarely missed a Friday evening.

  In 1953, Bobby Fischer played his first chess tournament at the Brooklyn Chess Club Championship when he was ten, he placed fifth.   In 1955, Bobby score 4 - 3  in a Washington Square Park Swiss tournament.   On May he scored  three points in  the U.S. Amateur Championship in Lake Mohegan, New York.  He joined the Manhattan chess club in June,  1955 and soon won the class C championship and  the  class  B Championship. He often was given the opportunity of playing against the  Club's finest masters. Reshevsky gave a simultaneous blindfold exhibition in which  Bobby competed and he was ecstatic when he defeated the Grandmaster.  On July he won 2 games, drew 6 games, and lost 2 games  at  the U.S. Junior  Championship  in  Lincoln,  Nebraska.   He took  3rd place in  the U.S.   Junior Speed Championship.

On  March 1956,  Bobby  traveled  with  the  Log  Cabin  Chess   Club to Cuba and gave a simultaneous exhibition at the Capablanca Chess Club. His U.S.C.F. rating was published at 1726.   On April he won the class  A Championship at the Manhattan Chess Club.  On May he   played  in  the  U.S.  Amateur  Championship  in  Asbury  Park, New Jersey,  winning three games, drawing two, and losing one.  At thirteen, he was the youngest player in the event.   On July he took  first place at the U.S.  Junior  Championship  in Philadelphia with eight wins,  one draw,  and one  loss.   His U.S.C.F. rating  in  the  event  was 1830.   At 13 years  and 4  months,  he  was the youngest player to win the U.S. Junior Championship.

  A  few weeks later he played in the 57th  U.S. Open in Oklahoma City, winning 5 games, drawing 7 games and  tied  for  4th-8th  place.   On September he tied for 8th place at  the Canadian Open in Montreal.  On October he took  8th place in the Rosenwald  tournament in New York.   His win against David Byrne won the brilliancy prize and  has  been called the game of the century.   On November   he  tied for  2nd-5th  place  in  the Eastern States Open in Washington, D.C.  On December Bobby won the rapid   transit  play  and  took 4th place in the Manhattan Chess Club Championship.

  On March 1957, Bobby played 2 games against former world champion Max Euwe in New York,  drawing one and losing one.   On April he won the  New York  Metropolitan League. In July he tied for sixth place at the  New   Western  Open  in  Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   A few days later he played in  the  U.S.  Junior  Championship  in  San Francisco  and took first place and another typewriter.   He  also  won  the  U.S. Junior Speed  Championship. On August he tied for  1st - 2nd at  the 58th U.S. Open  in Cleveland and  won  $750.  His official USCF rating put him at 2231,  making him the   youngest player  in the  U.S.  with a master's rating at  that  time, at age 14 years  and 5 months.  On September he  won  the New  Jersey  Open  Championship.   On December  he  won  the North  Central  Open  in Milwaukee.

  On January 10, 1958 Bobby Fischer at age 14 years and 9 months won the 1957 / 58 U.S. Championship and Zonal with 8 wins, 5 draws and no losses.  His USCF rating climbed to 2626.  Except for Santa Monica 1966, Bobby Fischer would win every U.S. tournament he played in.   In August  he took 5th-6th at the Portoroz  Interzonal and  gained  the Grand- master title.  At  the same time he became the world's youngest Candidate for the world championship at age 15 years, 6 months.  On January 1959, Bobby Fischer again won the U.S. Championship with  six  wins and   five draws.  Bobby later dropped out of school to become a  professional chess   player.   Fischer's  academic records indicated an I.Q. of 180 with an incredibly retentive memory.

  On April 1959 he took  3rd-4th  at  Mar  Del  Plata,  Argentina.   On May he took 3rd-4th at Zurich, Switzerland behind Tal and Gligoric, with 8 wins, five draws, and two losses.  On September he took 5th-6th at the Bled / Zagrev / Belgrade Candidates tournament, won by Mikhail  Tal.  Fischer's  USCF  rating  was 2636,  behind Reshevsky's  2693 rating.   On January 1960 again, Fischer  won  the  U.S. Championship with 7 wins,  4 draws,   and no losses. On April he tied for 1st-2nd with Boris Spassky  at  Mar Del  Plata,  Argentina, then took  first place at Reykjavik, Iceland in October. On November he played board 1 for the United States  at  the  Chess  Olympiad  in  Leipzig,  winning 10 games,  drawing  6, and losing 2.  His USCF rating was 2641.

  On January  1961, Bobby again won the U.S. Championship with 7 wins, 4 draws, and no losses.   On July he started a match with  Sam Reshevsky and tied it with 2 wins,  7 draws, and 2 losses. "I am going to win  the  World   Championship,"  he  predicted to  American journalist Robert Cantwell.  On March 1962 he  won  the  Interzonal  in  Stockholm  with 13 wins, 9 draws, and no losses. This was the first interzonal that a Soviet player did not take first place.   On May he took fourth place at the  Curacao  Candidates  tournament, won by Petrosian.    On   October  he  played  board   one  for  the  United  States at  the  Chess Olympiad  in  Varna, Germany and scored 8 wins, 6  draws, and 3 losses.  His USCF rating was 2687.

  On January 1963,  Bobby won the U.S. Championship with  six wins, four draws, and one loss  (Edmar Mednis).   He  announced  he  was  boycotting  FIDE  tournaments  until the Russians stopped fixing chess.  On July he won the Western Open in Bay City, Michigan. On September he won the New York State Open with a perfect score of  7 wins, no draws,  no losses. On November he was to play 400 opponents at once in  an exhibition,  but was postponed because of President Kennedy's assassination.   His USCF rating was 2685.

  On January 1, 1964 Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Championship with a perfect score of 11  wins. He then began a nation- wide simultaneous  exhibition for the rest of the year.  The  first international rating list was published by Arpad Elo in 1964. The top two players were  Fischer and Petrosian at 2690.  His USCF rating was 2734.  
On August 1965, he participated  in the  4th  Capablanca  Memorial  in Cuba by  playing through a teletype machine at the  Marshall Chess Club in New York.  He tied for 2nd-4th with 12 wins,  6 draws, and 3 losses. On December he won the  U.S. Chess  Championship  with  8  wins, 1 draw, and  2  losses.  Fischer's USCF rating climbed to 2734.

  On July 1966,  Bobby  took  2nd  place at  the Piatigorsky Cup in Santa  Monica, behind Spassky.  In November he played  Board 1 for the  U.S. at  the 17th  Chess  Olympiad in Havana, scoring 14 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss. In December he won the U.S. Championship with 8 wins, 3 draws,  and no losses. This  was  his  8th U.S. Championship title.  On April 1967, Bobby took 1st  place at  Monaco.  In  August he won at  Skopje, Yugoslavia.  In October he  participated  in the  Sousse Interzonal, but withdrew after leading the event with 7 wins and 3 draws. His USCF rating was 2762.

 
On July 1968 he took first place at Netanya, Israel.  In September he took  first place at Vinkovci, Yugoslavia.  In 1969 Bobby finished  his  book, "My 60 Memorable Games."  He played  Board 1  in a New York  Metropolitan League and  won.  On April 1970, he played Board 2 in the USSR vs  Rest of the World match in Belgrade, beating Petrosian with two wins and 2 draws.   He then went on to  Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia and won the unofficial world 5  minute Championship with 17 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss. After the tournament he called off from memory all of the moves from his 22 games, involving over 1,000 moves. In
May he took 1st at  Rovinj/Zagreb.   In August  he   took  1st place at  Buenos Aires. 
On September he played Board 1 for the U.S. at  the 19th Olympiad in  Siegen, Switzerland. On November,  Pal Benko gave  up his spot  at the Palma de  Mallorca Interzonal so that Fischer could play.  Bobby won the event with 15 wins, seven draws, and 1 loss. Fischer won the chess Oscar for 1970, 1971, and 1972.

  On June 1971, Bobby Fischer defeated  Mark Taimanov with 6 wins, no draws, no losses in the Candidates  quarterfinals in Vancouver, Canada.  On July he defeated Bent Larsen also with a perfect  6-0  score  in the Candidates  semi-final  in Denver, Colorado.  His performance rating was 3060.  On August Bobby won the Manhattan Chess Club 5-minute blitz with 21 wins and  1 draw.   On September, Bobby defeated Tigran Petrosian with 5 wins,  3 draws, and 1 loss  in Buenos  Aires for the Candidates finals.   He now became challenger for the world Championship.  His USCF rating was at its peak of 2825.

  On July 11,  1972 he began his  match with  Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland for the world championship. On September 1, 1972 Bobby became world champion after winning 7 games, drawing eleven games, and losing three games (1 on forfeit).  Fischer received $160,000 for his efforts and another $40,000 in royalties. Bobby Fischer's last published USCF rating was 2810.   His  FIDE  rating was 2785.   On April 3, 1975 Bobby Fischer forfeited his title  as  world Chess Champion to  Anatoly  Karpov  without playing a single chess game since winning the world championship.

  In 1977 Bobby played 3 games against the MIT Greenblatt computer program.  He turned down  $250,000 to play one chess game at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and $3 million to play in a tournament in the Philippines. In 1978 Bobby Fischer filed a $3.2 million lawsuit against  the  publishers of  a magazine critical  of  the  Worldwide  Church  of   God.  He
claimed the writers taped his  conversations  without  his  consent.   He then accused the church of reneging on their promise to finance the lawsuit.

  On May 26, 1981, Fischer was arrested in Pasadena under suspicion of a bank robber.
He was stopped by a police officer who said he fit the description  of a bank robber.  Fischer refused  to answer some questions as  was arrested.   In 1982 Fischer published, "I WAS TORTURED IN  THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE."  He used the   pseudonym Robert James.  In 1987 the House of Representatives passed House Resolution  Bill 545 recognizing Fischer as the world chess Champion.  In  1988 Bobby patented   the Fischer digital  chess  clock which adds two minutes per move.  On September 1, 1992, Bobby  Fischer came out of his 20 year retirement  and gave a press conference  in  Yugoslavia. He pulled out an order from   the    U.S.  Treasury   Department  warning  him  that  he  would be violating U.N sanctions if  he played chess in Yugoslavia.  He spit on the order and now faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine  if he returns  to  the U.S.   In addition,  he  must   forfeit  his $3.65 million  to  the U.S. Treasury and forfeit 10% of any match royalties earned.

On September 30, Bobby Fischer began his rematch with Boris Spassky in Sveti Stefan, Yugoslavia.  The match was organized by banker Jedzimir  Vasiljevic. On November 11, Fischer won the match with 10 wins, 5 losses, and 15 draws. He received $3.65 million for his  winnings and Spassky received $1.5 million. The match used the new Bobby Fischer chess clock.  In 1996 Bobby traveled to Argentina to promote his   random  chess,  where you set up the pieces in a random manner. This would take away the book knowledge of regular chess.   The  President  of  FIDE  offered  Fischer  $100,000 and a  piece of  land in the Kalmyk  Republic in  redress for copyright violations by former Soviet publishers.

  Bobby Fischer is now reported living in Budapest.