21 May 2022

Bobby Fischer in 1996

Yesterday in a post on my main blog, Bobby Fischer Day by Day (May 2022), I introduced 'a site that offers [Bobby Fischer] newspaper clippings in chronological order'. What can we learn from that site about the development of chess960?

Last year in a post on this blog, The Early Evolution of Fischerandom (February 2021), I listed other posts that had tracked developments in the first half of the 1990s. I wrote,

We see that Fischer's early [chess960] activities were bunched into two time periods. The first period took place in 1992-1993, when Fischer developed the rules of his emerging invention. The second period took place in 1995-1996, when Fischer revealed his invention to the world.

A key event in that period was the announcement of 'Fischerandom' in June 1996. The site that records Fischer newspaper clippings is in fact a family of blogs, where each blog covers a full calendar year. The blog covering 1996, Bobby Fischer 1996, currently consists of only two posts:-

The February 1996 post answered the 'Where Is' question with 'Budapest, Hungary'. It confirms another of my own posts from last year, tracking Fischer's movements from 1992 and afterwards: From Sveti Stefan to Budapest (March 2021).

All of the posts in the family of Fischer blogs include a link to the original clipping. The June 1996 post links to Bobby Fischer Presents New Chess Game (newspapers.com), and adds a transcript of the clipping:-

Buenos Aires, Argentina (AP) -- Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer wants to bring the fun back into chess. To do it, he has created "Fischerandom," a computerized shuffler that randomly distributes chess pieces on the back row of the chess board at the start of each game. That creates 960 possible variations of starting positions -- the first modification to the game in 500 years, the Argentine Chess Club said.

While that appears to be a great start to clippings about the history of chess960, it's the only mention that I could find on the Fischer blogs. I checked all years from 1992, the year of the second Fischer - Spassky match, through 2001, the year of Fischer's most infamous radio broadcasts, and came up empty handed.

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