Brooklyn Schoolboy Hailed As Chess Prodigy
Brooklyn Schoolboy Hailed A» Chen Prodigy NEW YORK I*!—A quiet group huddled around a table in the corner of the Marshall Chess Club, watching an almost unbelievable game. The players were Donald Byrne, n chess master, and Bobby Fischer, a 13-year-old Brooklyn schoolboy playing in his first major tournament. Time and again—with bold, surprising moves—Bobby outfoxed his more experienced opponent. "Impossible," whispered one of the onlookers. "Byrne is losing to a. 13-year-old nobody." "Mate," said this "nobody," and the game was over. Bobby had earned his first victory in the Leasing J. Rosenwald Trophy Tournament. Chess Reviews magazine called it the "game of the century—a stunning masterpiece of combination play performed by a boy of 13 against a formidable opponent, matching the finest on record in the history of chess prodigies." Bobby didn't win the RosenwaM tournament—the trophy went to Sammy Reschevsky, the ranking U.S. player—but the crew-cut youngster who would rather play chess than eat established himself as a young man t o watch. New York chess enthusiasts have recognized Bobby's ability for several years. Hans Kmoch, secretary-manager of the Manhattan Che.ss Club, says: "For his age, I don't think there is any better chess player in the world. He is a genuine prodigy and one of the toes; players in our club." • Bobby appears embarrassed by all the attenticm he has drawn since he defeated Byrne. "I just made the moves I thought were best," he says modestly. "I was Just lucky." Where did he learn the game? "My sister taught me when I was 6," he says. "She was 12 and din't know too much about the game, but she told me where and how to move the pieces. I EXPERT AT 13: Bobby Fischer studies move on way to victory over Donald Byrne, one of the best chess players in the United States. liked it and have been playing it ever since." Does he want t o continue playing the game and perhaps become one of the great players? "I could play chess all my,life," he answers shyly. "I like tournaments and would like to play in a lot of them. As for being great, I don't know about that." Kmoch, however, has fewer reservations: "The outlook is brilliant. If he continues to proceed the way the way he has the past year or two, he's likely to become one of the greatest players of all time."