March 01, 2010

Karpov v. Fischer

   April 1975: the greatest chess match that never was

in march 1943, a boy named Bobby was born in Chicago to a Jewish mother who had fled the Nazi takeover of Europe. Eight years later, in May 1951, a boy named Tolya was born into a working class family in the industrial city of Zlatoust, in the Urals region of Russia. One would have thought that the distance between these two boys, in terms of geography, language, and class, would have been so great that there was almost no chance they would ever learn of each other’s existence, to say nothing of come into contact. But there was one common force in both of their lives that drew them into one another’s orbit.

When Bobby was six years old and his family had been living in Brooklyn, New York for almost four years, his sister taught him to play chess. At the age of 13 he became United States Junior Chess Champion and one year later he became the overall U.S. Champion.

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