|Bobby Fischer, 15 ans, prêt pour partir à Moscou avec la Sabena.|
In 1958 the 15-year-old Fischer visited Moscow along with his sister. Yuri Averbakh has described how the U. S. Champion played lightning games at the Central Chess Club, apparently mopping the board with such young comers as Yevgeny Vasyukov and Alexander Nikitin. In 1971, directly after the Fischer-Taimanov match, Bobby would astonish Vasyukov by recalling his games against him from memory. More on this feat below. In Moscow in 1958, Bobby wanted to do more than play the young comers. He wanted to play against the Soviet world champion and the cream of the imposing Soviet grandmasteriat. Tigran Petrosian or a Soviet editor inventing comments from Petrosian afterwards claimed, I was the person summoned to the Club to cope with a youth who was beating the Moscow masters at lightning chess. How well he coped with Fischer remains unclear. Fischer biographer Frank Brady claims that Bobby won some games from Petrosian, who had already twice been a candidate for the world title. If the match were at all close, then Petrosian did not cope well with a 15-year-old. Indeed, one suspects that Fischer scored excellently in Moscow. Here is a revealing passage from GM Mark Taimanovs memoirs: [Fischers] memory was amazing. Just one more example. It happened in Vancouver, Canada in 1971. At the closing of my infamous match against Fischer, Fischer and I were sitting with fellow grandmasters at a banquet and were talking peaceably after the preceding storms .... The conversation revolved around the match until my second, Yevgeny Vasyukov, suddenly turned to Fischer: Bobby, do you remember that in 1958 you spent several days in Moscow and played many blitz games against our chessplayers? I was one of your partners. Of course, I remember, Fischer replied. And the result? Vasyukov asked. Why only the result? Fischer responded. I remember the games. One was French. And he rattled off all the moves! There is nothing discreditable to Fischer in the above. Far from it, in fact. Yet the conversation between Vasyukov and Fischer does not ring true. Fischer would almost certainly have answered the question about his results, and Taimanov does not choose to fill in the blank. The logical supposition is that Bobby scored very well in blitz back in 1958.
(by Larry Parr September 1, 2002)
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