Bobby Fischer’s first Olympiad ⎸Fischer vs Pachman, Leipzig 1960

Robert James Fischer vs Ludek Pachman, French Defense, Burn Variation C11
1960 Chess Olympiad Finals, Leipzig

At the age of 17, Bobby Fischer made his first appearance at an Olympiad. He was playing board one for the US (he was by far the best US player at the time). They finished second, just behind the Soviet Union, who appeared with a super-team; Tal, Botvinnik, Keres, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Petrosian. Bobby won the bronze medal individually with an amazing score of 13/18.

This game was played in the finals against Ludek Pachman, the best Czechoslovakian player at the time. Bobby Fischer had the white pieces and he played e4. It was a seemingly boring French Defense in which he didn’t have too much out of the opening, but his simple style and simple moves soon compounded into a bigger and bigger practical advantage. They were in late middlegame, with queen and rook each, when Fischer’s advantage materialized. Pachman made a one-move blunder and lost a pawn and thus the game. Had he not blundered, Bobby would’ve won anyway because he managed to build up a space and pawn structure advantage. and he had a more active king.

This victory isn’t an immortal sacrificial game, but it perfectly depicts Fischer’s style and approach to chess. His principle was to follow the opening rules, consider each move individually and ignore his opponent completely: “I don’t believe in psychology, I believe in good moves.”

Game moves:
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6
Bxf6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O c6 10. Qe2 b6 11. Rad1 Qc7
12. Nxf6+ Nxf6 13. Qe5 Qe7 14. c3 Bb7 15. Rfe1 Rfd8 16. Ng5 h6
17. Ne4 Nxe4 18. Rxe4 Qd6 19. Qh5 c5 20. Rg4 Kf8 21. Rd3 cxd4
22. Rgxd4 Qc7 23. Qh4 Rxd4 24. Qxd4 Re8 25. Bb5 Bc6 26. a4
Bxb5 27. axb5 f6 28. c4 Rc8 29. b3 Re8 30. f4 Ke7 31. h3 Rc8
32. Kf1 Ra8 33. Kg1 a5 34. Qe4 Rd8 35. Rg3 Kf7 36. Qh7 Rg8
37. Qg6+ Ke7 38. Qxg7+ Rxg7 39. Rxg7+ Kd6 40. Rxc7 Kxc7 41. g4
Kd6 42. h4 e5 43. g5 1-0

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