Shelby Lyman on Chess: No Compromises

Published: 8/9/2016 10:54:35 AM
Modified: 10/26/2014 12:00:00 AM
Hint and Explanation: 
Force Checkmate

Most of us steer a course between independence and conformity.

Not so with Bobby Fischer, who defeated Boris Spassky in a now legendary 1972 world championship match in Iceland. Almost from birth, as few are able, he defined his own reality.

As a child, Fischer was “difficult,” we were told by Regina, his mother. In fact, adults found it easier to adapt to the child’s demands than impose their own.

When Fischer was 16 his mother left — to their mutual relief — to pursue her dream of becoming a physician.

Living in a low-rent Brooklyn apartment with adequate income from his burgeoning chess career, Fischer strove to transcend even larger boundaries. Embattled off the chessboard as well as on, he never ceased to generate excitement and controversy.

A 1992 contretemps, in which he defied the U.S. government to play a politically charged rematch with Spassky in war-torn Yugoslavia, led to his de facto exile from the U.S. and eventual asylum in Iceland.

For the remainder of his life, Fischer dared not leave the island in face of a worldwide Interpol alert to detain and extradite him to the U.S.

Before the 1972 match with Spassky, the British grandmaster C.H.O’D. Alexander offered an apt description of the often enigmatic American: “Fischer makes no compromises, accepts no second-bests and preserves a unity of purpose and personality.”

Below is a win by Igor Kovalenko against Pouria Darini from the Baku Open tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Darini Kovalenko

1. e4 c6

2. d4 d5

3. e5 c5

4. dxc5 Nc6

5. a3 Nxe5

6. b4 g6

7. Bb5ch Nc6

8. Bb2 Nf6

9. c4 Be6

10. Nf3 Bg7

11. Ng5 Qd7

12. O-O O-O

13. Nxe6 Qxe6

14. cxd5 Nxd5

15. Re1 Qf5

16. Bxg7 Kxg7

17. Ra2 e6

18. Rd2 R(f)d8

19. Bc4 Nf6

20. Nc3 Qf4

21. Bd3 Ne5

22. Ne2 Qh4

23. h3 a5

24. Bc2 Nf3ch

White resigns

Solution to Beginner’s Corner: Qe5ch! Kg8 2. d6ch! Kf8 3. Qe7 mate.

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