Bobby Fischer’s Visits to Colorado

Bobby Fischer visited Denver on April 26 during his only nationwide Simultaneous Exhibition Tour where he gave a lecture and simul against 55 players. In Todd Barwick’s extensive report (pdf), which you can find on coloradochess.com or here at US Chess, he shows those simul games.

Fischer later returned to Denver during the hot summer of 1971 to play the World Championship Quarter Final Match against Bent Larsen of Denmark – the only match on Fischer’s journey to become World Champion in 1972 that was played on U.S. soil.

Fischer vs. Larsen in Denver, from Chess Life & Review

 Fischer won this historic match 6-0.  Also included in the full article is a detailed summary of eye witness accounts of the match with their encounters and insights into the character and personality of the two famous Grandmasters.

The most significant move, setting the tone for the match was Fischer’s 19.f5! from the first game.

Vic Traibush, the “Official Scorekeeper” for the first two games, observed that every time Fischer moved a piece, he very precisely slid the piece to the exact center of the square. Vic noted, however, that when Fischer played 19.f5, he picked up the pawn and slightly tilted it toward Larsen as he moved it forward. On the drive from Denver to Boulder to Traibush’s house after the game that night for dinner, Vic asked Fischer if he was aware of how he moved the pawn. Vic said Fischer didn’t realize that he had moved the pawn that way and was mortified. Noticeably disturbed by his action, Fischer said, “That was very unprofessional.”

Todd Bardwick

Todd Bardwick is a National Master, 5-time Denver Chess Champion, and has been a full-time chess teacher for over 25 years. Bardwick wrote the Colorado Chess Column for the Rocky Mountain News (1993-2009), The Chess Detective® column for Chess Life for Kids (2002-2017), and is the author of Teaching Chess in the 21st Century, Chess Strategy Workbook, and Chess Workbook for Children which is translated and published in Russia, Korea, and the Czech Republic. Bardwick’s website is www.ColoradoMasterChess.com

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