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Old July 8th 03, 02:44 AM
Glenn Giffen
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Default Fischer at USSR vs. the World, Belgrade 1970

On Sat, 05 Jul 2003 14:38:38 GMT, "Robert Musicant"
I am wondering on what basis you say that Fischer "was reluctantly talked
into taking 2nd board against Petrosian USSR vs the World, Belgrade 1970."
Brady's biography certainly makes it sound like Fischer relinquished Board 1
with virtually no discussion; Larsen said he wouldn't play unless he got
it, Fischer said Larsen was welcome to take it.

Woops! I wrote this whole section a few years ago, and just rereading
it now, I realized that you are probably right. My apologies, and
thanks for the heads up.

As I recall, in Brady's book, he talks about how the organizers
carefully avoided guaranteeing Fischer a private room to play in, but
otherwise did their best to accomodate his 23 conditions, none of
which had anything to do with what board he played on. I believe Brady
says that Fischer "surprised everyone" by agreeing to play second
board, and that Bobby later regretted it: "I must have been mad."

In Dragoslav Andric's article on this tournament in the June 2001
issue of En Passant, he talks about the trouble the organizers had in
trying to get Fischer to come to Belgrade in the first place, but he
more or less agrees with Brady: "Fischer knocked everyone off their
feet. He made it known that he would leave the top board to Larsen
with no conditions attached."

I haven't seen the David Levy book that Arfur Million mentions, but
his account basically jibes with Brady's and Andric's in that everyone
including Larsen thought that Fischer would not play, and Fischer did
offer his long list of conditions concerning an appearance fee,
lighting in the hall, isolation from spectators, etc. It is possible
to see these conditions as displaying reluctance to play at all (Brady
disagrees), but as Robert notes in his post, this had nothing to do
with the question of which board Bobby played on.

I've revised both the Fischer bio piece and the USSR vs. the World
page on my site. Thanks again. Any other areas that need correcting?

Glenn Giffen

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