03 February 2008

A Small Error in Wade & O'Connell

In Fischer's Soviet Opponents, I made a note to 'Compare the opponent counts to Wade & O'Connell's stats.' This is a reference to 'Bobby Fischer's Chess Games' by Robert G. Wade & Kevin J. O'Connell (Doubleday 1972). Along with 'Profile of a Prodigy', it is one of my two most useful references on Fischer.

The data from 'Russians Versus Fischer' (RvsF) matches the data from 'BF's Chess Games' (BFCG) in all but two places. First, RvsF uses the spelling 'Kholmov' instead of BFCG's 'Holmov'. Second, RvsF lists 10 Fischer - Geller games; BFCG lists 11 with an overall score of +4-5=2 in Geller's favor.

It turns out that the first Geller game referenced in BFCG is RJF vs. Sidney Geller from the 1956 U.S. Junior Championship in Philadelphia, which Fischer won. This means that the correct score between Fischer and one of his toughest opponents was +3-5=2, as given in an appendix to RvsF.

What a scoop! You heard it here first.


Later: Re 'You heard it here first', there's nothing new under the sun! A Chessgames.com member named Sneaky discovered the same in 2002; see Paul Keres vs Mikhail Botvinnik, Leningrad - Moscow 1941 (page 2). That's the game where Botvinnik destroyed Keres in 22 moves with the Black pieces.

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