07 November 2009

Fischerandom's Inauspicious Start

The press release issued for Fischer's press conference in June 1996 -- see Fischer Announces Fischerandom for the full text of the announcement -- contained two mentions of a forthcoming match.
The object of the conference was to publicize the launch of Fischer's new game, Fischerandom Chess, and to announce the match of Fischerandom Chess between Philippine Grandmaster Eugene Torre and two-time Argentine champion International Master Pablo Ricardi which begins July 12.


Now the world awaits the first Fischerandom Chess match which will commence at Pasaje Dardo Rocha in the Argentine city of La Plata on July 12. The match between Torre and Ricardi will be played until one player accumulates four victories, draws not counting.

What was the result of that match? The only mention I could find was in TWIC 91 (14 July 1996).

8) Fischerrandom Match between Torre and Ricardi. Eric van der Schilden is there for the match and will cover it on the TASC www page. It has been postponed for a few days due to the continuing illness of Ricardi see: http://www.tasc.nl/frandom

The tasc.nl link is long defunct, but the page lives on in Archive.org: web.archive.org/web/*/www.tasc.nl/frandom/. Here's a screen shot of that page, titled 'FischeRandom Match : Torre-Ricardi'.

After informing us that

On July 11 the final press conference saw the presentation of the clock and shuffler, two electronic devices essential for the new chess: [Fischer's clock and shuffler]. From July 12 onward, Eugenio Torre and Pablo Ricardi should have played the first ever FischeRandom-event: [Rules for the Torre-Ricardi match].

the page ends abruptly with (sic)

Torre-Ricardi match cancelled. Finally the true reason of the delays in starting with the Torre-Ricardi match has surfaced. It appears that the Argentinean organisers couln't show their part of the prize fund upon arrival of the players as was stipulated in their contracts. Thereupon Fischer, who was to donate the other part of the prize money, refused to let the match start. Last-minute attempts to solve this impasse remained invain. The money could not be provided. Fischer set an ultimatum to the morning of July 17. Nothing happened and he and Torre packed their bags and left La Plata that same day.

Over three weeks passed between Fischer's press conference and the cancellation of the kickoff match.

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