Fischer needed little time to win
Saturday December 15, 2012 9:32 AM

Great chess players have exceptional, rapidly adjusting vision at the board. This ability allows them to excel at speed chess as well as much slower traditional chess.

When Bobby Fischer pulverized his opposition to become world champion in 1972, he was also vastly superior to all in the game’s blitz format (five minutes per game per person).

In his book The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories, Arnold Denker describes Fischer at 9 years old: “He invariably attracted attention by tugging at my trousers, which was a prelude to a question that also never varied: ‘Wanna have a game?’ ”

Later, Fischer formally demonstrated his ability at fast chess when he won the U.S. Junior Speed Championship in 1957.

His mentor and friend, John Collins, recalled a somewhat inebriated Fischer at a 1967 New Year’s party:

“He insisted on playing blindfold chess while his opponent had sight of the board.

“Still, he won effortlessly.”

In April 1970, Fischer also effortlessly triumphed in the strongest blitz tournament ever held, in Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia (now Montenegro).

Three former world champions — Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian and Vasily Smyslov — lagged far behind Fischer.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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