|Bobby Fischer vs Bent Larsen, Denver 1971 (6-0 !)|
Fischer first visited Denver in his only nationwide simultaneous tour, when he played 55 players (winning 50, drawing four, and losing one) at the Brown Palace on April 26, 1964.
Fischer returned to Denver in 1971 for the World Championship quarterfinal match (which he won 6-0) against Bent Larsen of Denmark. He then went on to beat Russian Tigran Petrosian in the semifinal match to earn the right to play Spassky.
As the official scorekeeper for the first two games of the Fischer-Larsen match, Traibush observed that whenever Fischer moved, he very carefully and politely slid the piece to the center of the square he was moving it to. (It is considered poor sportsmanship when a player slams a piece or screws it into the board.)
In the diagrammed position with today's column, when Fischer played the aggressive and decisive 19.f5!, Traibush observed that Fischer actually picked up the pawn and tilted it slightly toward Larsen as he moved it forward.
On the drive from Denver to Traibush's house in Boulder for dinner, Traibush asked Fischer if he was aware of how he moved the pawn. Traibush says Fischer didn't realize that he had done it and was mortified.
Noticeably disturbed by his action, Fischer said, "That was very unprofessional."
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