Sayre Youth, Chess, Bobby Fischer

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Sayre Youth, Chess, Bobby Fischer - Sayre Youth --' .(Continued from Page 1) of...
Sayre Youth --' .(Continued from Page 1) of Bobby Fischer, 14. Bobby started playing chess at the age of six, when most children are having a hard time learning to read. On Aug. 17 he was declared the winner of the U.S. open tournament in Cleveland, the youngest player ever to gain this honor. This tourney was the strongest ever held, ie, had the largest a'mbunt of masters competing. It would seem that only lack of opponents to provide practice is going to stop the Sayre youth from achieving the same goal. Alex takes a small chess board to the breakfast and lunch ta ble. He plays as he sits watching television or talking to visitors (he has 40 boards scattered over the . house so he can play wherever he is). He has accumulated a library of 46 textbooks on chess and chess games. He writes a monthly column on chess tactics in a national chess magazine. He spends an average of four to five hours a day immersed in chess one way or another. By mail he-plays concurrently 64 games with people in this country. England, Finland, Can ada and India (a code has been set up for chess by mail, and the moves in this code are sent back and forth on post cards). He has taught most of his friends how to play so that he could get actual playing practice. , He has played and defeated just about every chess player, young or 'old. in the Valley including men who have studied and played the game for more years than "he is old. But he can win so easily against local competition that he can no longer get "opponents. So he plays all day against himself, making inferior plays on purpose to see if he can still win the game. Even his older brother Aubrey, now a teacher In Syracuse, is no longer a match for Alex, although the older Dunne placed second in the chess tournament at Fort Benning, Ga., the largest infantry center in the world. Chess is played on the same board of squares as checkers (which evolved from the ability of the queen chess piece to hop over other on the board. This ability has now been canceled.) Each player has 16 pieces eight pawns, two each of knights, bishops and rooks and one each of the queen and king. Most of these pieces must move diagonally or straight ahead but the Knight must go in an "L" pattern. The object of the game is not so much to remove all the opponent's pieces as to corner or checkmate his king. Alex's initiation into the wonders of chess came one dull July day in 1955 when a friend called and said he had a book on the game. Would Alex like to learn? The two of them figured out the rules, and soon Alex sold his six year collection of stamps to become in his own words, "a chess fanatic." "Chess," Alex says, "is like art. In every game is the potentiality for a masterpiece or a colossal blunder. Every game is different; in fact a game played exactly as some famous game was played makes the newspapers." The challenge of creating something new as well as ' a strong drive to win apparently explains the hold chess has over the Sayre youth. Alex will not concede that chess requires a superior intellect. He credits the powers of concentration, application and a precise mind as being more important. Age, obviously, has little to do with success. "Most people regard chess as a game for elderly people but I'd say that the average age of the tournament players was 25 and there were no competitors over 50," Alex pointed out. A good memory is also an asset. Games of chess have been so analyzed and recorded that there are., patterns for almost every move in the first 12. Thus if your opponent does not know these analyses and must figure out each move; you may be free for half an hour to leave the table and, if at a tournament, watch other games. Competition in the open tournament is limited to those who have a national chess rating. A tournament game can last only five hours, and each player is limited to half of that time. He may take two hours and 29 minutes to make his first move, theoretically, as long as he can make the rest of his moves in a minute. If he goes over this limit he loses by forfeit. The longest Alex took for one

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Times,
  2. 27 Aug 1957, Tue,
  3. Page 6

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  • Sayre Youth, Chess, Bobby Fischer

    BobbyFischer – 05 Mar 2018

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