Chess Barbs

Champ Hot N Cold On Bobby

by Jude Acers

BERKELEY BARB: June 30-July 6, 1972

The queen on her color-
blood red on black silk sheets.
They have been stained before
   even before my birth
And after your's
witch of nostalgic chess games.

The queen on her color.
Then begin
   with one of your pawns.
Does it seem a small sin
   to treat him as expendable?
Fuel for the checkmate of kings
They sing songs about it-
subtly subversive
And we learn to be clever assassins.

     — by James


"In my opinion, the upcoming match in Reykjavik will be very interesting from the point of view of chess art," said world champion Boris Spassky at a press conference of Soviet and foreign newsmen, June 16, prior to leaving for Iceland on June 21.

The world champion fielded a variety of questions:

"Who would you have selected as challenger for the title, if you had been given the choice?"

"Definitely Fischer," replied Spassky. "I think very highly of him both personally and as a chess player. I am looking forward to the match as a great chess event, although, naturally, I cannot predict how it will come out."

"Fischer's match results against the other challengers are without precedent in the history of chess. How do you assess them?"

"Fischer was stronger than his opposition."

"Do you place much importance on physical preparation for the match?"

"No less than theoretical preparation."

"What are you favorite sports?"

"Lately, tennis," answered Spassky. "I am still not very good, but I keep at it."

"In preparing for the match with Fischer, have you learned all his strong and weak points?"

"Permit me not to answer that question. After all, I do have a right to professional secrets!"

"Fischer always carries a collection of all your games around with him," observed one of the American reporters. "Do you have all of his games?"

"Yes, of course, I have them all."

"Tell us about your theoretical match preparations. "

"Without fail," responded the champion with a smile, "I will tell you after the match."

"What do you think about Fischer's assertion that he will definitely win the match in Reykjavik?"

"Fischer has a right to talk that way."

"Fischer," noted the American newsmen, "alleges that Soviet chess players always try to make life unpleasant for him. Is this so?"

"I entertain no such view." Retorted Spassky. "Besides, Fischer's accusation is not substantiated by the facts. I do not understand such statements."

Asked for some biographical information about himself, Spassky revealed that he is 35 years old, was introduced to chess at the age of 9 and became a grandmaster at 18. He is married, has a daughter, Tanya, and a son, Vasya, who will be 5 years old on the day the match begins.

International grandmasters Yefim Geller (Spassky's second) and Nikolai Krogius and international master Ivo Ney will accompany the world champion to Reykjavik.

(translated from "Sovetsky Sport" (RRS), June 17, 1972)


by Jude Acers (US senior master)


Q. What chance to local players like Dennis Fritzinger, Roy Ervin, Craig Barnes and John Grefe have to play in the tournaments which qualify them for international mastership?
A. None. The US Chess Federation in New York does not even know that these Masters doth breathe. I detect no anger from them and do not know why this is so - time flies.
Q. Fischer said on nationwide television that he is NOT a genius, really a fantastic Statement. Who do you think have natural talent or genius in the United States today?
A. As Fischer said, this is not very important, but to answer your question: Milan Vukcevich (Cleveland, Ohio), Reuben Fine (Washington, DC), Robert E. Burger (Berkeley), Arthur Bisquier (New York) and George Koltanowski (San Francisco). Some of the things done by these players defy belief. Burger once beat Fischer in 13 moves in an exhibition game. Fine once played 5 players simultaneously blindfolded at 30 seconds a move for a Florida television station (1 expert, 1 Class A player and 3 lower rated players). He won 3, lost 1, drew 1. Koltanowski played 32 opponents at one time BLINDFOLDED in Scotland and did not lose a single game. But Fischer remains the No. 1 player in the world.
Q. I have heard some incredible things about Walter Browne, Jude Acers and Bernard Zuckerman. It is difficult to believe that professional chessplayers interest women at such a mad-clip pace. Be honest - are women or "chess groupies" part of the chess world?
A. Why, do you think that all American ladies worship Mr. Joe Namath? Browne has more machismo, savvy and lady killing tendencies in his little finger than any athletic jock who ever lived! One of the best things that the recent Life magazine articles on Fischer achieved was the humanization and maleness of a professional chess master. Chessplayers are tough hombres. They have to be just to survive. Dennis Waterman is also sneaky and grandmaster class in the lady meeting department.

NEWS: MODERN CHESS OPENINGS - VOLUME II is hot off the press at $ 12.50 from Chess Digest, Box 21225 Dallas, Texas 75211... Better move pronto if you want your copy, as Kenneth R. Smith has obtained the whole first edition and they won't last long... The Lone Pine International Tournament Book is now available - notes by Waterman, Grefe, Fritzinger with 117 games, more than 30 with notes. Price $2.60 (add $1 for airmail if you like) from John Grefe, US Master, 2206 Haste St., Apt. 19, Berkeley, CA 94704. Bargain of the year. Move fast on this one, too. The cover alone is worth the price!... The largest tournament of the state's largest chess club is now completed. The 1972 Berkeley Chess Club Champion is R. Carl Shiflett with 6.5 out of 7 points. (A win is 1 point, tie is .5 point, loss is a goose egg.) USCF expert Donald F. Dean zoomed to second place. Class winners were Dr. Richard Hansen (B), Peter Stokes (C), and a Class D tie between William Forward and Bruce Hildreth. A biggie with 115 players clawing for the goodies. Ringmaster was Martin E. Morrison, who states flatly that the first requirement to organize and direct a nationally rated chess tournament is to be AT LEAST a little crazy. If you aren't, your qualifications will improve as the tournament progresses... Jeff A. Kent won the 1972 California Class Championships held in Fresno. Top expert was Los Angeles veteran Ronald Gross in the 80-player tournament. Los Angeles grandmaster Isaac Kashdan put in a rare appearance at the tournament banquet. Kashdan was favored to succeed Alekhine as world champion in the early thirties. Kashdan was on two world championship teams as well and runs the Sunday chess column in the Los Angeles Times. He is totally different in attitude, manner than all the other grandmasters. He prefers to be neither seen nor heard most of the time. "I play the board always, never the opponent," Kashdan once told me. Perhaps this explains his great record against Alekhine, twice world champion. Kashdan played him 7 times and lost only once! You had to stay cool when playing Alekhine because strange things happened... US master John Grefe (2367) will conduct a simultaneous exhibition at the Berkeley Central YMCA, 2001 Allston Way, on Friday, July 7, at 7:30pm. Winners may choose to have their game annotated by the master, or to receive a copy of the Louis D. Statham Masters & Experts Tournament Book. Non-winners may have their game annotated for a fee of $1 or purchase the Tournament Book for $2.25. Please bring board and men. Games unfinished by 11 pm. May be submitted to adjudication and prizes mailed. Call Martin E. Morrison, 582-1973, for more information.


Berkeley YMCA, Fri. 7:30 pm...
Hardcastle Coffee Shop, 2516 Telegraph, all hours...
"The Loft," 5422 College (in Oakland), all hours...
East Asia Book and Game Center, 5897 College (Oakland), 6 pm. To midnight...
S.F. Mechanics' Institute Chess Room, 57 Post, 4th floor, all hours.


Switch on to Channel 9. KQED, this Sunday morning from 10 am to 1 o'clock in the afternoon and you may be treated to unprecedented T.V. coverage of a world title match.

New York chess master Shelby Lyman (USCF 2220) will relay all the moves, complete with analysis, played in Reykjavik, Iceland, between world champion Boris Spassky and star challenger Robert Fischer.

Lyman will be in telephone contact with Frank Brady (Fischer's biographer in the book, "Profile of a Chess Prodigy") for on-the-scene background information on the participants and tape-recorded interviews from Reykjavik.

The show which may run as long as 5 hours, comes direct from New York facilities of the National Public Broadcast System.

In a separate series on Channel 9 international master and world blindfold chess champion George Koltanowski will present the second and third match games on Friday, July 7, at 7:30 pm and continued each Friday to the end of the match.

Another full-length KQED telecast of the fourth battle between the Soviet and American chess giants is scheduled for 10 am, Sunday, July 9. Further chess programming of the special Sunday morning broadcasts will depend on how much the chess playing public is willing to pay for the privilege.

Will you pay $1 an hour to watch blow-by-blow descriptions of the greatest chess event of all time?

Send money, any amount, NOW to KQED-CHESS, 1011 Bryant St., San Francisco, CA 94103 or phone in a membership pledge, mentioning KQED's chess coverage as your reason for supporting public television, to 864-2000.

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