News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

RIP Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer, the man that made Chess popular, All-American, and ultimately as bizarre as ever has died at the young age of 64. Some Fischer facts

Some Fischer facts

  • Born: March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Died: January 17, 2008 in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Learned the rules of chess at age 6!: 1949
  • First recorded tournament game: July 1955
  • International Grandmaster title: 1958
  • U.S. Champion eight times in eight attempts!: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966
  • Winner of: every tournament and match in which he participated from December, 1962 through World Championship match 1972 with the exceptions of Capablanca Memorial, 1965, (2nd place - ½ point behind Smyslov), and Piatigorsky Cup, 1966, (2nd place - ½ point behind Spassky).
  • Bobby Fischer's tournament and match results: 415 wins, 248 draws and 85 losses out of 748 games played from 1955 through 1992 for a performance average of .721 or 72.1%
  • Fischer's highest achieved rating: 2785 ELO.
  • Inspired Rick Imig's Chess Tourney's at WHS
The last point is particularly enlightening, imagine a reclusive Chess prodigy igniting a Chess frenzy in a rural town in central Illinois. Pretty much everyone in my grade school and junior high class played chess at every game time in the winter. Seems unlikely, but it did happen in Wapella, as a result of Chicago-born Fischer beating the Soviet Champ Boris Spasky in the Cold War Championship in Iceland in 1972.

RIP Bobby.


Anonymous said...

There was a 1972 chess renaissance in the fifth grade classroom of Mrs. Doris Turner, as I recall. It spread to Mrs. Genevieve Drake's fourth grade class where I recall Khory league pitching standout Mike Schrieber to be the top chess-man as well at WGS. Kudos Mike. I couldn't beat you! Paul Schmid was a participant as well, but was plagued by a standard weak move-- pawn: h4, followed by rook: h3. Paul was a great sportsman however, and a joy to play.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit, the mod was one of the better chess players I've come across. He beat me in London just a few years ago. I'd like a re-match on home soil.


Anonymous said...

Dear DIT,

Cut it out. Stop being nice to that guy. He doesn't deserve it.


Anonymous said...

Hi AW,

Been a while.. How have you been? How is the hair?


Anonymous said...

The picture of the Mod and DIT playing chess in an old London pub, sipping pints of bitter is such a Dickensian/Shane MacGowan moment, only to be ruined moments later by their rowdy game of shirts'n'skins Twister.

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