Fischer notes

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Roger de Coverly
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Fischer notes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:26 pm

ChessBase has a piece about the auction of some notes made by RJF during the famous blitz tournament in 1970 at Herceg Novi (Yugoslavia).

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8472

What struck me as odd, is that images of score-sheets from the 1972 match show RJF continuing to use descriptive, whilst these notes are in algebraic.

Perhaps they were intended for publication in an algebraic magazine.

Daniel Young
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Daniel Young » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:54 pm

Thanks Roger. I thought the same thing when I first saw it; indeed, Fischer was still using descriptive in 1992 (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischergligoric.html)

A letter on the CB article from the son of the tournament organiser says "A book containing all matches from Hercegnovi tournament was published and if I remember correctly, Bobby was paid two million Yugoslav Dinars for his part." Meanwhile Chessgames has a number of Fischer's games from this tournament annotated by him (see http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?annotatedby=19233) and the Korchnoi-Fischer game at least matches exactly, so I assume the aforementioned tournament book is their source.

Also note that the game scores are very neat by Fischer's standards - even in slowplay games his writing is almost impossible to read by the end (another example: http://blog.chess.com/qixel/famous-score-sheets2) so I would guess that he recorded the games, quite possibly in descriptive, deciphered his scoresheets (something no-one else has managed to do, judging by the Winter article! :) ) then wrote them up relatively clearly in algebraic later with notes, and gave that to the organiser for the book.
"A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool speaks because he has to say something."

Leonard Barden
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Leonard Barden » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:21 pm

I have my doubts about the genuineness of these annotations.

Quite apart from the notation and the uncharacteristic handwriting, the phraseology often isn't Bobby as I remember him.

Just one example: in Fischer v Petrosian (page 44) his opponent's name seems misspelt and he refers a couple of times in Korchnoi v Fischer as quoted by Chessbase to Zagreb 1970 as 'turnir mira' which a Serbo-Croat speaker might do. I believe Bobby would have just referred to Zagreb.

Caveat emptor!

Peter Sowray
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Peter Sowray » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:16 pm

I've seen these notes published in a book by Dimitrije Bjelica called something like Chess Meets of the Century. The book was in very poor English and contained all the games from the USSR vs. World match and all Fischer's games from the blitz tournament. Sadly, I'm not sure whether I'd be able to find my copy.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:30 am

"I've seen these notes published in a book by Dimitrije Bjelica called something like Chess Meets of the Century. The book was in very poor English and contained all the games from the USSR vs. World match and all Fischer's games from the blitz tournament. Sadly, I'm not sure whether I'd be able to find my copy."

I have that book (and also cannot recall exactly the title or where it is). I seem to remember that Mr Bjelica attracted some unwelcome publicity later. Possibly some misunderstanding has arisen over the authorship of the notes.

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John Clarke
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby John Clarke » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:32 am

Bjelica certainly did publish a book with that title and content. The purist in me (now largely moribund) was mildly offended at seeing for the first time the word "meet" used as a noun.

If I remember rightly, Fischer actually sued Bjelica over that book - I forget on what grounds. They ran into one another while the case was going on and Bjelica said "I offer you a draw". Fischer, of course, declined. I don't recall hearing about the eventual outcome of the proceedings.
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James Pratt
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby James Pratt » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:33 am

I am in no doubt that the notes are Bobby's. I have studied handwriting analysis all my life and would bet five quid on it. That they are in algebraic was not to help anybody. Bobby spoke for himself and could record his chess anywhichway but draw. That is Fischer.

If Peter wants to find his book I would urge him to look for a bright orange cover.

Do I take it that all the notes are published elswhere? I'd hate to miss a trick here.

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Ola Winfridsson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:22 pm

Even though I've never having studied handwriting in my life, I'd say that if they're not by Fischer's hand, someone's done a very good job of copying it. Having said that, I was also surprised by the algebraic notation. And everyone makes spelling mistakes every now and then.

James: They were published on ChessBase last week.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:34 pm

Ola Winfridsson wrote:Having said that, I was also surprised by the algebraic notation.


I would have thought an American writer would not have used a Serbo-Croat phrase internationally little known as the description of the tournament. As Leonard Barden suggested, surely you would just say Zagreb, or if you wanted to be more specific, the Zagreb Peace Tournament . That's more or less how it is described in the "The Chess Player".

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/T ... edir_esc=y

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Fischer notes

Postby Ola Winfridsson » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:47 pm

Yes, I fully agree that that is odd, as is the comment "Robert Byrne, the American grandmaster". However, isn't it conceivable that Fischer was asked to provide commentary to the games for a Yugoslav audience, and then fell out with mr Bjelica? It wouldn't have been the first time.

Anyway, I'm not bidding for the papers, forgery or not ... :P


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