Have Pawn, Will Travel


Forty-seven years ago today, the first game of the 1972 World Chess Championship between Robert “Bobby” Fischer and Boris Spassky began in Reykjavik, Iceland. This was about the time that I learned to play chess and had it not been for this cold-war struggle of the minds, I might not have enjoyed this game so much for the last half-century. The blog post title, “Have Pawn, Will Travel” is from a 1964 Saturday Evening Post article of the same name.

This first game was a Nimzo-Indian Defense. Fischer blundered his bishop spectacularly on move 29 allowing it to be trapped on h2 after capturing a pawn. Fischer was able to get two pawns for his bishop, but the ending was lost and Fischer resigned on move 56. You can play through this game on chessgames.com.

We all know how “strange” Bobby Fischer was and there have been many articles, books, even movies about him. However, he was clearly one of the best players in history. So, here are a few links to some interesting articles about Bobby Fischer should you wish to read a little more about this enigma of the chess board.

World Chess Championship 1972
– Wikipedia article

King of the Board: The Soviet Collusion Against Bobby Fischer
– Saturday Evening Post article from August 31, 2017.

Bobby Fischer
– New World Encyclopedia

The Russians Have Fixed World Chess
– Sports Illustrated, August 20, 1962 (article by Bobby Fischer)

I am a little hesitant to post this next link, as it seems to be quite controversial. So, please be forewarned, this next link may be offensive to you due to the blog author’s strong opinions. However, it has images of newspaper articles all collected together that might be hard or even impossible to find anywhere else.

Bobby Fisher 1972 Newspaper Archive
– “Vindication of Bobby Fischer” website/blog, which includes a comprehensive newspaper archive covering 1955 through 2008

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