The Austin American from Austin, Texas on October 17, 1958 · 18
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The Austin American from Austin, Texas · 18

Austin, Texas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 17, 1958
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V 'VfVVJ ' impute mhwfi. m ' The Austin American Pace A13 Austin. Texas Friday, October IT. "1958 t - j - ,..,,,v . - 4 ... vv AkIIk1 Prcu budding chess pose during ' Young Bobby Fischer, hailed as a penius. is caunht in a characteristic tournament match at the Manhattan Chess Club: nail bitten fingers to lips, coalless and tieless, a atudy in deep concentration. This 15-year-old Brooklyn boy has already won international fame for his chess play, but remains virtually unknown, outside of chess circles, in his own country. CHESS CONTEST Brooklyn Teenager Shoots for Crown NEW YORK (AP)-Thrre's a Batman comic book cn his bedside table and a rock 'n' roll program blaring over his rc iio. He's slouchy, gangly and crew-cut. But Batman is sprawled over an open chess book and his nail-bitten fingers are deftly moving chess pieces over the black and white board which means more to him than anything else in his life. Bobby Fischer doesn't want to be a baseball star of a football player or the most popular fellow He adolescent slump and light brown hair, sat on his bed. idly moving the figures on the chess board in front of him. He was dressed as usual in a sports shirt. Bobby won the American chess championship in dungarees and a T-shirt; no one remembers seeing him in a coat and tie. The Russians kept winning the big ones in chess, he said, because "everybody there plays. They're subsidized. "No, you don't talk at chess at the prom. He wants to be chess I tournaments. Why should you champion of the world and jt j talk? Exec when you offer a seems a pretty sure bet he will; draw. But you can say anything, j,,, They know what you mean. Chess Most Americans don't know it, ! players speak lots of languages. Knt thrir honor in a bic interna- i "Fun? No, a tournament's no tional contest with Russia is rid-, fun, but they're all right." ing on the thin shoulders of this 15-vear-old boy from Brooklyn. Bobby is hailed by the experts as the greatest chess mind the world has produced in many years. LABELED A OLMl S Does he think he can win the Challengers' and get a shot at the championship? He shrugged and twisted his lip. "I don't know." Bobby has few friends his own age. He conies home from school about 2 o'clock and picks up a chess book. Every spare minute, "He doesn't look like one he ne js cjtncr reading about chess, looks more like a farmer's boy analyzing moves on his bedside than an intellectual but he is ajchess board or going somewhere genius," says Hans Kmoch, scc-jto play chess, re'tary of the Manhattan Chess Girls are nothing to him. "Girls Club, which is the nerve center can't play chess," he says, of chess in the United States, j "Bobby isn't interested in any-"Fischcr is something unique.; body unioss t,ey pav chess and None of the great ones ever ac- there just aren't many kids who complished so much so early." (like it," says Mrs. Fischer. He has become an international j To make friends with Bobby, grand master the youngest in tne!yoll not onlv nave to p,ay .npss lnnp historv of the name and will meet the world's top seven players this year in a challenger's tournament. The exact date and place remain to be determined. The winner will get a crack at the present world champion, Russia's Mikhail Botvinnik. So far, this hasn t meant mum you have to play good chess, Maurice Kasper, president of the Manhattan Giess Club, commented: "We have alxmt 100 students in the club that Bobby could associate with. But he is so much superior, you see. He just plays with the stronger players. ies, Bobby definitely does In most Americans, who look on think well of him.vlf. Hut "hp is a chess as an intricate pastime for . phenomenon that happens once in contemplative grayocarah.. m now even people uninterested in rhrss are beginning to feel it a hundred years in a thousand. "He is also a young boy. He is not accustomed to such publicity vould be a fine feattier in unciejanf) hc can't handle it yet. But! Sam's cap to have Bobby wnipjvnu must Ejvc him a little time Russia s best players m a gmr;lp js a Rno(i that commands great attention in Europe and South America. Bobby lives with his mother in a small fourth-floor walkup apart- Bohbv himself who presents a ;n a noat Krrtinn of Rrnnk porcupine exterior to the world ,vn jIis 21-year-old sister, Joan, doesn't show much interest in pos-jivcc there t00 until her marriage sible cold war implication- of his , ast momn. Their parents separ-career. He just wants to be cham-- atwj wnen was 2. pion. ) Mrs. Fischer, a University of If he makes it tins try, ne n oe Colorado graduate, is a registered the youngest world champion in chess history and only the second American ever to occupy that lofty position. The first U.S. champion was Paul Morphy, who turned the trick at 21 a century ago. HE'S KEEPING MUM nurse now earning her MA degree Bobby, she says, is no disciplinary problem. DISCIPLINE UNNEEDED "There's nothing to discipline him about," Mrs. Fischer ex plains. "The only thing I do is nag him to take his nose out of Bobby, who could give'a clam; his chess books and go outside for lessons on how to Keep its moutn some fresh air shut, won't say what he thinks of; Bobby started in the game at his chances. Nobody else thinks -age 6 when Joan got a chess set he will make it this time. and the two puzzled out the direc But then, nobody thought hejtions. Mrs. Fischer doesn't know could win the American chess championship at 34 and nobody expected him to do well at the recent international chess tournament in Yugoslavia. Bobby, playing in his first international competition, tied for fifth place winning his place in the star-studded Challengers. Bobby, a tail boy with the class- a thing about chess. 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