Bobby Fischer, Spassky, Capablanca and Tal. The best anecdotes!


Bobby Fischer
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Bobby Fischer reads the future to Tal…

In the big Bled tournament of 1961 gathered the best players of the time: Tal, Petrosian, Keres, Geller, Bobby Fischer, Gligoric…

In the opening ceremony, Bobby Fischer wanted to act as a fortune-teller and asked Tal for permission to read his hand, which was granted.

“I see in your hand, Misha, that you are a good player, but very soon will be champion a young American master…”

This came like a lightning to William Lombardy:
“Congratulations!” Tal won the tournament, but Bobby Fischer scored 3 points of 4 against the Soviet players.

Chess bishops of different color…

Boris Spassky divorced his wife, Young. The always insidious journalists investigated the possible reasons for the separation. And Spassky gave them an explanation which perfectly summarizes the feelings of both, and it could not be more related to chess: “We were like chess bishops of different color!”

Your majesty, Capablanca…

His widow, Olga Capablanca-Clark, shared in an interview how she met the great Cuban champion. It turns out that her sister took her to a reception at the Cuban Embassy, in New York.

Once there, she asked genuinely, “Who is Capablanca?” The answer couldn’t be more explicit, “Don’t worry. When he comes into the room, you will immediately recognize Capablanca.”

Olga pointed out to us, “Capa didn’t behave like a king – he was a king.”

Tal and his assault ratio…

The inborn propensity of our idol Mijail Tal to sacrifice pieces was a consequence of his aggressive chess playing. Besides his practice, Tal has contributed to a concept on the theory of attack. Although not entirely new, he was the main popularizer to the theory: the assault ratio. It refers to the relationship between attacking and defending pieces.

When his colleagues, including his trainer, put their hands to the heads due to the number of sacrificed pieces in a given position, Tal said calmly:

“Bah, they can only take them one by one.”


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