Oct 2, 2011

THE ECCENTRIC GENIUS OF CHESS



Robert James "Bobby" Fischer
(March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) 


He was an American chess Grandmaster and the 11th World Chess Champion. Fischer is widely considered one of the greatest chess players of all time. In 1972, with a Cold War type set-up, Fischer captured the World Championship defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in Reykjav√≠k, Iceland, that was widely publicized as a Cold War confrontation. Unfortunately, in 1975, Fischer forfeited his title over disagreements with FIDE over the terms of the match.

At 15½ years old, he became both the youngest grandmaster and the youngest candidate for the World Championship up until that time. In the early 1970s he became the most dominant player in modern history—winning the 1970 Interzonal by a record 3½-point margin and winning 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps in the Candidates Matches leading to the World Championship with Spassky.

In 1992, after 20 years of seclusion he returned back to competitive and won an unofficial rematch against Spassky. The competition was held in Yugoslavia, which was then under a United Nations embargo. After ending his competitive career, he proposed a new variant of chess (Chess960) and a modified chess timing system by imposing an idea of adding a time increment after each move is now standard.



It was a lucky 13 for Fischer as he won a rarely used Alekhine defence in a very enterprising game on the 13th game of the 1973 World Chess Championship. (Note: Houdini 1.5 evaluates the moves for us)





Books written with Fischer as Subject:
  • Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness, by Frank Brady, 2011, Crown, ISBN 978-0-307-46390-6


  • Bobby Fischer: A Study of His Approach to Chess by Elie Agur, Cadogan 1992, ISBN 1-85744-001-3

  • Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games. Batsford (April 7, 2009). ISBN-10: 190638830X




  • Bobby Fischer: The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion by GM Karsten Muller, Russell Enterprises. ISBN-10: 1888690593





Sep 29, 2011

THE ATTACKING VIRTUOSO


Mikhail Tal
(November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992)

He was Latvian born Soviet chess player, a Grandmaster, and the eighth World Chess Champion. Tal was often called "Misha", a diminutive for Mikhail, and "The magician from Riga" for his daring combinatorial style. Tal is considered to have been the greatest attacking Grandmaster of all time.
He holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess. From July 1972 to April 1973, Tal played a record 86 consecutive games without a loss (47 wins and 39 draws). Between October 23, 1973 and October 16, 1974, he played 95 consecutive games without a loss (46 wins and 49 draws), shattering his previous record. These are the two longest unbeaten streaks in modern chess history.Tal played in 21 Soviet Championships winning it a record six times (1957, 1958, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978), a number only equalled by Botvinnik. A chain smoker resulting in a long history of poor health caused some dent his play. The Mikhail Tal Memorial is held in Moscow each year since 2006 to honour his memory.

         One of the leading Russian champions faces a formidable 18 year old genius, Bobby Fischer in an exciting game during the 1959 Candidates Matches.





Books written with Tal as Subject:
 
§  Tal, Mikhail (1997). The Life and Games of Mikhail TalEveryman ChessISBN 1-85744-202-4.



§  Tal, Mikhail (2001). Tal-Botvinnik, 1960. Russell Enterprises. ISBN 1-888690-08-9.



§  Tal, Mikhail, Iakov Damsky and Ken Neat (tr.) (1994). Attack with Mikhail Tal. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-043-9.



Sep 28, 2011

THE RUSSIANS ARE HERE!

Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik
(August 17, 1911 – May 5, 1995)

      He was the leading Russian international grandmaster and three-time World Chess Champion. Botvinnik laid the foundation for Russian supremacy in the game. Botvinnik was also a prominent electrical engineer aside from having a distinguish chess career. Botvinnik was among the first 27 chess players to be awarded with the grandmaster title in 1950 by FIDE. And, shortly after receiving the title on the academic side, he received a doctorate degree on 1951.

            After decades of playing in top flight chess, he became an eminent chess author and one of the pioneers of
 computer chess, and a great chess teacher in his later years. Botvinnik played an influential role as a leading member of the coaching system that enabled the Soviet Union to dominate top-class chess during that time. Among his famous pupils includes World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. 



The 1961 World Chess Championship, produces some gems like this game between an attacker (Tal) and a positional player (Botvinnik):


Books written by Botvinnik:
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1960). One hundred selected games. Courier Dover. ISBN 0486206203. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1972). Cafferty, B.. ed. Botvinnik's best games, 1947–1970. Batsford. ISBN 0713403578.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). Garry, S.. ed. Soviet chess championship, 1941: Complete text of games with detailed notes & an introduction. Dover Publications. ISBN 0486221849.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). World Championship: The Return Match Botvinnik vs. Smyslov 1958. Chess Digest Magazine.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1973). Alekhine vs. Euwe return match 1937. Chess Digest.
  • Matanovic, A.; Kazic, B., Yudovich, M., and Botvinnik, M.M. (1974). Candidates' matches 1974. Centar Za Unapredivanje Saha.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1978). Anatoly Karpov: His Road to the World Championship. Elsevier. ISBN 0080211399.
  • Botvinnik, M.M.; Estrin, Y. (1980). The Gruenfeld Defense. Rhm Pr. ISBN 0890580170.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1981). Cafferty, B.. ed. Achieving the Aim. Pergamon Press. ISBN 0080241204.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1981). Selected Games: 1967–1970. Pergamon. ISBN 0080241239.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1982). Marfia, J.. ed. Fifteen Games and Their Stories. Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, U.S.A: Chess Enterprises. ISBN 0931462150.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1985). Botvinnik on the Endgame. Chess Enterprises. ISBN 0931462436.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (1996). Neat, K. and Stauss, E.. ed. Half a Century of Chess. Cadogan Books. ISBN 1857441222.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 1: 1925–1941. Moravian Chess. ISBN 807189317.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 2: 1942–1956. Moravian Chess. ISBN 8071893706.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2000). Neat, K.. ed. Botvinnik's Best Games Volume 3: 1957–1970 - Analytical & Critical Works. Moravian Chess. ISBN 8071894052.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2002). Championship Chess : Match Tournament for the Absolute Chess Championship of the USSR, Leningrad-Moscow 1941. Hardinge Simpole. ISBN 9781843820123.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2004). Match for the World Chess Championship Mikhail Botvinnik-David Bronstein Moscow 1951. Edition Olms. ISBN 3283004595.
  • Botvinnik, M.M. (2004). Botvinnik, I.. ed. World Championship Return Match: Botvinnik V. Tal,Moscow 1961. Olms. ISBN 9783283004613.