Chess Champ: Whiz, 15, Declines An Honor
CHESS CHAMP Whiz, 15, Declines An Honor Free Prrtahleaca New Seniea NEW YORK International Grandmaster of chess Robert J. Fischer aske dthat presentation of his second consecutive United States championship cup be delayed briefly. The presentation would have conflicted with his prepara tions for midyear examinations at Erasmus High School, where 15-year-old Fischer is in his junior year. BOBBY FISCHER said to be the youngest international grandmaster in the history of chess won't slight his school-work. "If I ad a lot of money, I'd like to play in chess tournaments and nothing else. But you can't make a living on chess, he says. His prize as American champ was $600. ' BOBBY LOVED puzzles as a baby, according to his mother, Mrs. Regina Fischer, a nurse. His parents were divorced when J he was two. His sister taught him chess when he was six. In fourth grade he won a scholarship to a Brooklyn school where I nis cness was encouraged. He was 14 when he beat 'famed Samuel P.eshevsky, then j46, for the U.S. championship 'the first time. REPEATING THE FEAT a second year sealed Bobby's achievement. It couldn't be "luck" twice. is in or Short on friends his own age, Bobby spends most of his after-school hours study- T " f Pa on the 75, an in son not Bobby Fischer Ing books on chess (which he remembers practically totally) and playing the game with adults. Winning chess demands athlete-type training, boning upj on opponents' past games, plan-! ning strategy. That plus school- work puts a heavy strain on Bobby's time. It took the combined efforts of a television show, wealthy chess patrons, the U.S. State Department and the Soviet Government to get htm to Europe for big matches last year. "Little Bobby", as enthusiastic Yugoslav fans dubbed him, won the right to return in September 1959 for eight- man playoffs. THE 1959 winner takes on world champion Mikhail Botvin-nik of Russia in 1960. At Erasmus high, he studied Russian to use in Moscow. "I'm pretty good at Spanish, and I like science, astronomy most of all", he says.