I saw this movie called Searching For Bobby Fischer last night and was curious to learn more about him.
This movie is about the life of a young chess prodigy in the US who is born during the period right after Bobby Fischer became the world champion. People who see him play chess compare him with Bobby Fischer and this story is all about how he manages to overcome the pressure to be nasty to his opponents and yet plays the game and wins in a admirable way.
After seeing this movie, I was very curious to learn more about Bobby Fischer and I ended up Searching For Bobby Fischer 🙂
I have heard many things about him the past such as
– he became a world champion in the past by beating Boris Spassky (I knew this only when I was around 10 or so)
– he came back from retirement in 1992 and beat him again (I was in teens then 🙂 )
– he had problems with the US government, then he had some problems with the Japanese government and finally he was given citizenship of Iceland where he died a few years ago.
Due to my curiosity to know more about Bobby Fischer, I read up about him and found quite a few interesting facts about him on Wikipedia. The one that caught my attention was the game Bobby played when he was 13 to beat a former US champion Donald Bryne. This game was called ‘The Game of the Century’ because of the extraordinary style with which this thirteen year old Bobby used material sacrifices to finally win the match. This quote from Wikipedia sums it all:
In this game, Fischer (playing Black) demonstrates noteworthy innovation and improvisation. Byrne (playing White), after a standard opening, makes a seemingly minor mistake on move 11, losing tempo by moving the same piece twice. Fischer pounces, with brilliant sacrificial play, culminating in an incredible queen sacrifice on move 17. Byrne captures the queen, but Fischer gets far too much material for it – a rook, two bishops, and a pawn. At the end, Fischer’s pieces coordinate to force checkmate, while Byrne’s queen sits, helpless, at the other end of the board.
I decided to try and trace each move in an attempt to understand what must have gone through each player’s mind before and after each move. Though the excerpts on this game focus on move 11, 17 and then the end game, I loved tracing it from move 1 as it was a treat to see what a thirteen year old was thinking during each move in this game.