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.

[Event “New York Rosenwald”]
[Site “New York”]
[Date “1956.10.07”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Bryne, Donald”]
[Black “Fischer, Bobby”]
[Result “0-1”]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 O-O 5.Bf4 d5 6.Qb3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 c6 8.e4 Nbd7
9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc5 Bg4 11.Bg5 Na4 12.Qa3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qb6 15.Bc4 Nxc3 16.Bc5 Rfe8+
17.Kf1 Be6 18.Bxb6 Bxc4+ 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Nxd4+ 21.Kg1 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+ 0-1


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