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Robert 'Grandmaster' Fischer

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Hey, Camp People!

A beloved camp activity among those of the more intellectual persuasion is the ancient game of Chess. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Chess on this Blog; you can learn a little more about it and some other old games by clicking here. But today, I want to learn about the biggest name associated with Chess—Robert James Fischer (a.k.a. Bobby Fischer). Having passed away a little over a decade ago, this post goes out to commemorate this proclaimed grandmaster of Chess.

The early teenage years brought big changes to his world. Earning his successThe rarely defeated Bobby Fischer, Chess legend! and fame early on, Bobby was only 13 when he won an epic game of Chess that was so intense it was categorized under what they, in the Chess world, call A Brilliancy. This game went down in history as ‘The Game of the Century’. One year later, he the Chess Champion of the United States. And the year after that, he was crowned grandmaster (the youngest of the time) and he became the youngest World Championship candidate.

He was 20 when he dominated the US Championship, winning 11 consecutive games—a total shutout and the only perfect run in the entire history of the tournament! And by 27, he won 20 consecutive games in the Interzonal Tournament of 1970!

What started this indomitable performance from Bobby? Well, he grew up in poverty and board games were a good way to pass the time for cheap. In 1949, Bobby was six years old. He and his sister journeyed into their local candy store with a small amount to spend. They ended up purchasing instructions for some old Chess pieces they had found.  

It wasn’t long before his sister lost interest, but Bobby only got more and more obsessed. He didn’t have anyone else to play with, but that didn’t stop him! He’d play games against himself. It was that year that his family saved enough money to summer vacation at Patchogue, Long Island in New York. While on this trip, chance had it that Bobby found a book of old chess games.

He studied this book night and day. And thanks to his diligent study of this game that he found such a passion for, he came to be considered the greatest Chess player of all time! Are you passionate about Chess like Bobby Fischer was? Devote yourself to the things you’re passionate about who knows where it can take you! And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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