Robert (Bobby) Fischer

1943 -

11th World Champion, 1972 - 1975

Robert James Fischer is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. He was born in Chicago, USA in 1943 and brought up in Brooklyn where his mother moved after she was divorced in 1945. He learned to play chess at the age of 6 and soon became deeply absorbed in the game saying "All I want to do, ever, is play chess." At the age of 13 he became the youngest national junior chess champion in the USA and at the age of 14 he became the youngest senior US Champion. In 1958, at the age of 15, he became the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess.

He broke the Soviet domination of the World Championship when he became the first American to win the title by defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972. In 1975 FIDE refused to meet Fischer's conditions for a World Championship match with the Soviet Anatoly Karpov and Fischer refused to play. Consequently FIDE awarded the title of World Champion to Karpov. After this dispute Fischer vanished from public eye for twenty years and moved to Europe.

In 1996 Fischer launched a new game called "Fischerandom Chess" in which the major pieces on the back rank are randomly shuffled behind their pawns. Fischer maintained that this form of chess was a better test of a player's skill and got away from opening theory homework.

Robert Fischer vs. Boris Spassky
World Championship match (game 6)
Reykjavik 1972

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