The California Chess Reporter


— A Review, by Frank Brady

Vol. XXI, No. 5 March-April, 1972

Here is the first song, per se, to my knowledge, ever written about chess. (It's certainly the first recorded song, though I'm sure medieval scholars might unearth a tune or two. And there is always the F.I.D.E. anthem ...) This ballad treats the royal game only in terms of Caissa's Golden Boy: the irrepressible Bobby Fischer. No, it won't improve your game. But you'll have some fun with it. Actually, it's delightful.

"The Ballad of Bobby Fischer" is a 33 1/3 rpm disc that has just been issued by Collector Records, and it's performed by Joe Glazer, backed up with what might be the first true musical chess group in history: "The Fianchettoed Bishops". (I can see it coming: "The Gambit Five", "The Doubled Pawns", and "Ruy Lopez and his mad Sicilians".) The advertising states that the song is a "good-humored account" (of Bobby Fischer's life). Mr. Glazer wrote it with the technical assistance of his son, Dan, an active tournament player, and he sings warmly of Bobby and the great game in excellent balladeering style. It begins:

"He was born in nineteen forty-three
And right away I knew he'd make chess history,
"Cause he opened his mouth on the day he was born,
And instead of crying, he said, "Move that pawn ... King 4..."

And Mr. Glazer goes through a fairly complete chess chronology stretching from Bobby's first U.S. Championship victory to his attack on the Russian monopoly of the World's Championship cycle in his J'accuse of 1962, right up to the current imbroglio of the topsy-turvy, on-again-off-again match with the present titleholder:

"Spassky's got the whole Russian government on his side
Cause he's their boy, their joy and their pride.
They'll train him for months to a fever pitch,
But it won't help much cause there's one big hitch..."

This is a good record, and if you're a chess player, music lover, record collector, musical or chess historian, we suggest you send $1.00 (plus 25 cent mailing charge) to COLLECTOR RECORDS, Suite 209, 8422 Georgia Ave., Silver Springs, Maryland 20910. You won't be disappointed; nor will Mr. Glazer.

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