This is My Claim to Fame!
- Beating Bobby Fischer in a chess match!
- April 15, 1964
- Sacramento, California
- 50 Game simultaneous given by Bobby Fischer.
- Fischer was 47 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses that night.
- See "A Legend on the Road" by IM John Donaldson:
- See My Account below ...
The Game in PGN:
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4 d5 4. Qf3 Bc5
5. exd5 Bg4 6. Qg3 O-O 7. h3 Bd7 8.
Nge2 e4 9. Qh4 Na6 10. a3 c6 11. b4 Bd6 12. dxc6 bxc6 13. Bb2
Qb6 14. O-O-O
Rfe8 15. g4 c5 16. g5 Nh5 17. Bg2 cxb4 18. Nd5 Qb7 19. Nf6+ Nxf6
20. gxf6 bxa3 21. Bc3 a2 22. d3 e3 *
about 60 seconds to load ..
See the game with Chess Viewer
click on move list, then use arrow keys to step through game)
The set: (King is 5", the squares on the board are 2 5/8")
The copper and brass board, squares 2 3/4": (approximate
colors!, thankfully(!?) it no longer exists!)
Me: (In the middle, head bent over, with pen, about move 5)
My Account ...
First, it almost didn't
happen. On the day of the simultaneous, I had gotten a couple
of deficiency notices from school, probably English and biology.
My parents didn't want to let me go, but since I had already
paid ($5!) they relented. (Whew!!)
I drove the family car to
McCellan Air Force Base, went into the hall and set up my 5 inch
red/white plastic set on a copper/brass chessboard a friend had
made for me in a metal shop class.
I remember Bobby Fischer
walking in, kind of like a gunfighter, tall, awkward, gangly,
hands in his pockets, head down, surveying the room out of the
corner of his eyes. He had come from winning the US Chess Championship
11-0. He gave a lecture describing a game he played against Addision
from that event.
The simultaneous began, Fischer
took white on all boards, I was board #5 of 50 in a U shaped
layout, Fischer on the inside.
On Fischer's 4th move he
brought his Queen out, ordinarily a weak move. I assume it had
something to do with him viewing the youngster before him with
a set he had gotten for Christmas with a homemade metal chessboard,
and thinking he would have some fun.
I was able, with a little
skill and a lot of luck, to maintain an advantage throughout
the game. As it got near the end I could see I had a winning
advantage, but was nearly paralyzed with fear that I had missed
something, or that I would blunder and blow the game.
Finally, I moved the pawn
that exposed my Queen, but checkmate was inevitable. Fischer
looked at the position a few extra seconds, and turned over his
A restrained hub-bub ensued,
with folks squeezing in to see the position and take pictures
of kid beating Master (kid 17, Master 20). Fischer went around
a few more times and on the next turn pushed the pieces off the
board. Not wanting to disappoint my new admireres, I meekly reconstructed
the final position and took a safer position away from my #5
Note: My first chess tournament
in 11/1962 I beat an expert in 20 moves and got a rating of 1750
(ratings run from about 800 to 2600). After fourty five years
of chess study my rating today is 1693.
But, I beat Bobby Fischer.