No One Like Bobby Fischer

Ashley Tapp 1 Jan 17, 2016 11682 reads


The City of Vancouver, BC Canada is proud to remember Bobby Fischer, and for good reason, as unknown to a lot of people Bobby played the Candidates Semi quarter finals, against his opponent Mark Taimanov, right here in my city Vancouver at the University of British Columbia in 1971!

The Candidates match was hosted in the Student Union Building in the The Norm (theater).  

For younger players:  Robert James ("Bobby") Fischer (1943-2008) is remembered as the greatest chess player who ever lived. After the Candidates, Bobby was victorious winning with an unprecedented score 6-0 and went on to challenge and beat Boris Spassky for the world championship title in 1972.

After finding out about the Candidates, a few months ago, I wanted to do something special like make a memorial to Bobby Fischer and have it placed in the student union building where the match was played so all can see.

As it happens this year is UBC's centennial, 100 years celebration, so what better time!

Here is how this project unfolded: I found there was a photo used in the Vancouver Sun newspaper back in 1971 taken of the match.  After some searching by the staff, it was located in the papers archives - The photo taken by the late Ken Oakes (photographer). Courtesy of the Vancouver Sun and sponsored by myself I was able to have the photo file.

 Game 6. June 1 1971

Later I had the photo enlarged and framed. UBC's president welcomed the idea, and Lauren Chaurette (UBC Chess president) and I organized the rest together.

UBC Chess Club is actually an awesome place where I play chess. It has been around since the 1920's. It was actually due to John Prentice (1907-87) who is in the Canadian Chess Hall of Fame 2000, that the Candidates match happened. He also arranged for Boris Spassky to play in the Canadian Open at UBC in August of 1971.

Nathan Divinsky and Elod Macskasy were also probably involved who were from the Mathematics Department of UBC. This was the center for Canadian chess in the 1960's and 1970's. These events clearly did much for the popularity of chess!

Fun fact: Did you know that Bobby Fischer's older sister Joan Fischer Targ (1938-June 2, 1998)  was the one who first bought Bobby Fischer a chess set she found in a candy store for his sixth birthday!

Bobby then went on to be a national master by age 14. His first US Chess Championship was 1957/1958 (played over the holidays) and he won eight in total! At 15 he became an International Grand Master

Bobby was fierce like no other and continued to let the world know he was the best - his most remembered quote is: "Chess is war on the board' - the aim is to crush the other man's mind." He set out to WIN and he DID!


Here is my Memorial to Bobby Fischer:

The photo framed:


Bottom panel reads:

Bobby Fischer -v- Mark Taimanov - Final game at the Candidates Quarterfinal UBC Vancouver June 1 (1971). Sponsored by Ashley Tapp, Chess Player and Laurent Chaurette, President UBC Chess Club. (Dec 2015).

Photo Courtesy of the Vancouver Sun (Ken Oakes, Photographer)



 Laurent Chaurette, (President UBC Chess Club) and Ashley Tapp, chess player



 The Norm theater (Dec 2015)

 A game in honor of Robert James "Bobby" Fischer


What a brilliant mind Bobby Fischer must have had at such a young age - he played strong against his adult opponents, and with a determination and maturity that impressed thousands. 

Bobby set a goal when very young to be no less than the greatest chess player ever


Annotated by: Myself

Bobby Fischer age 13, plays the "Game of the Century"




 This game had the greatest tactical battles that I've ever seen!



 The New UBC Student Union building today




The original scoresheet from 1956 with Bobby's handwriting

(From an article by Dr Frank Brady)


 There is someone out there with the same determination to WIN