19 November 2009

Chess X-files

While working on a recent post related to the origin of chess960 in 1996 -- Fischer Announces Fischerandom -- I was reminded of a long standing accusation by the 11th World Champion against the 12th and 13th World Champions.

Fischer also ridiculed the U.S. government for indicting him and issuing a federal arrest warrant in his name for his alleged violation of an executive order by then President Bush barring U.S. citizens from doing business with Yugoslavia. Fischer claimed one of the reasons the U.S. government has indicted him and issued the arrest warrant, which is valid all over the USA, was to prevent him from returning to the USA to get access to his enormous file on the first so-called world championship match between Karpov and Kasparov so that he could write a book proving that that match was prearranged move by move. [From the 1996 press release]

If the file was so important, why didn't Fischer have it sent to him? It appears that his paranoia let him trust no one. Or perhaps the file never existed.


xplor said...

Who holds the record for the most draws in world championship matches?

Mark Weeks said...

The most draws would be Karpov - Kasparov, simply because they played 144 games in their matches. As for highest percentage of draws, without doing the math I would guess one of the players in the matches of unlimited length: 1927 Alekhine - Capablanca, 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi (the 1981 match was shorter than most fixed length matches of that time), and 1984 Karpov - Kasparov.

One theory about Fischer's accusation was that the 48-game 1984 match highlighted the weakness of the unlimited length match, which was the idea he had pushed in 1974. He couldn't accept that his idea was flawed, so he concluded that the match must have been rigged.

My opinion is that he wanted to spotlight the amount of opening preparation that world class chess required. It was the start of his thinking about his version of random chess. - Mark

Offramp said...

I remember Fischer saying that he expected the 1975 match to last about 60 games. I think that is a very accurate estimate.