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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fischer's Worst Tournament Ever

Fischer and Bazan snooze on a train trip in 1960
    In one of the strongest tournaments held that year, Victor Korchnoi, Soviet champion and Samuel Reshevsky tied for first place in the Jubilee tournament in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the revolution for Argentine independence. 

     Laszlo Szabo of Hungary placed third and a quadruple tie for fourth to seventh places among Larry Evans from the United States, Carlos Guimard and Hector Rossetto from Argentina and Mark Taimanov from the USSR rounded out the top finishers. 
     Korchnoi and Reshevsky both struck snags that prevented them from finishing clear first. Reshevsky suffered his only defeat when he lost for the first time to Larry Evans. Korchnoi lost to Hector Rossetto and the last place finisher, Robert Wade. Szabo only lost one game...to Carlos Guimard. 
     Bobby Fischer finished in a disappointing tie for thirteen through sixteen with a score of +3 -5 =11, tying with Ludek Pachman, Bernardo Wexler and Borislav Ivkov. Fischer's first known encounter with a woman, it is believed, was with a prostitute when Larry Evans took him to a whorehouse during the tournament. Rumor has it that Fischer also entertained the ladies in his room at night. It's possible this accounted for his bad result. Fischer's explanation: bad lighting. There also have been rumors floating around for years that Larry Evans often frequented houses of ill repute, but if they're true, it didn't affect his play much though he did lose to Sazbo, Guimard and...Wexler. 
     Besides the players mentioned, Olafsson, Unzicker, Gligoric, Benko, Uhlmann, Eliskases, Bazan and Foguelman were the other participants. 
     Fischer's opponent in this game, Bernardo Wexler (1925–1992), was an Argentine International Master. Born to Jewish parents in Bucharest, Romania, he emigrated to Argentina at the age of seven. His chess career began after World War II. In this game Fischer was almost unrecognizable. 

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