Who was Bobby Fisher?

Bobby Fisher was a Chess Grandmaster. He was born in America in 1943 in Chicago. He was, in fact, the youngest grandmaster at the time, being awarded the title at the tender age of 15. Bobby actually started playing chess at the age of 6 years and showed a natural aptitude for the game.  He played at the Manhattan chess club and Brooklyn chess club in New York City, where he became better at it. At the Brooklyn chess club, he was mentored by Carmine Nigro who Bobby later credited for being a great instructor.

A Young Prodigy

He was a brilliant and clever strategist when it came to the game of chess. He won the Junior Chess Championship at the age of 13 in 1956. A year later, at the age of only 14, he won the United States Chess Championship, being the youngest person to ever do so. At the age of 20 he won the United States Championship competition with a perfect score. He actually bested every single game that he played, which had never been done before. Thus, he won all 11 of the matches he played to claim the title of United States Chess Champion.


American Legend

In 1972, at the age of 29, Bobby Fisher became the first world chess champion who hailed from America. He actually beat Boris Spassky who was from the USSR. There was some controversy a few years later and Bobby Fisher would not agree to defend his title against the chess contender Anatoly Karpov. As a result, Karpov then became the new world chess champion by default.

At the time, the political situation between the United States and Russia was very tense. After this time, Bobby Fisher became more withdrawn and was not really seen in the public spotlight. In 1992 he did play a rematch game against Boris Spassky, although this was a controversial game. The United States had imposed sanctions on Yugoslavia and the game was held in Yugoslavia. This meant that Bobby Fisher was breaking US law by playing this match against Spassky in that particular country. The end result was that Fisher ended up in some trouble, being arrested in Japan. Eventually the Iceland government came to his rescue and they allowed him to move permanently to Iceland, where he lived for the remainder of his life.


An Inventor

Bobby Fisher certainly made a great contribution to chess. He even invented a timing system, which added an extra element of time to the game. Fisher is also credited with developing a new type of game called Chess 960 or Fisherandom. The name Fisherandom refers to the fact that the starting positions of the chess pieces is random, so it is harder since now that the setup is different each time the game is played. This new type of chess was first shown publicly in 1996. The same chess board and pieces are used, but its the positions that can vary. Bobby Fisher was certainly responsible for much of the increasing interest in chess that took place in America.


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