Brooklyn Schoolboy A Chess Prodigy
Brooklyn Schoolboy A Chess Prodigy NEW YORK m 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, a chesg 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 Leas ing J. Rosenwald Trophy Tourna ment. Chess Review magazine called It the "game of the century a stun ning 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 didnt win the Rosenwald tournament the trophy went to Sammy Reshevsky, the ranking U. S. player but the crew-cut youngster who would rather play chess than eat established himself as a young man to watch. New York chess enthusiasts have recognized Bobby's ability for several years. Hans Kmoch, eecretary-manager of the Manhattan Chess 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 best players in our club. Bobby appears embarrassed by all the attention he has drawn since he defeated Byrne. "I just made the moves I thought were best," he says modestly. -was Just lucky." Where did he learn the game? "My sister taught me when I was 6," he says. "She was 12 and didn't know too much about the game, but she told me where and how to move m ,. m i w i - '' - ' ', EXPERT AT 13: Bobby Fisher studies move on way to victory over Donald Byrne, one of the best chess players In the United Eta tea. the pieces. I liked it and have been playing it ever since." Does he want to continue playing the game and perhaps become one or the great players? "1 could play chess all my life," he answers shyly. "I like tourna' menu and would like to play in i lot of them. As for being great ; don't know about that." Kmoch, however, has fewer re servations: "The outlook is brilliant. If he continues to proceed the way he has the past year or two, he's likely to become one ot the greatest players of all time."