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Garry Kasparov on Fischer: Garry Kasparov On My Great Predecessors, Part 4 Hardcover – January 1, 2005
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From the Back Cover
In the period between 1955 and 1972 Fischer, more or less single-handedly, took on the might of the Soviet Chess Empire and won. During this time Fischer scored astonishing successes, the likes of which had not been seen before. These included 11/11 in the 1963/64 U.S. Championship and match victories (en route to the World Championship) by the score of 6-0 against two of the strongest players in the world, Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen. The climax of Fischer's campaign was his unforgettable match win in Reykjavik in 1972 against Boris Spassky.
Fischer is almost equally well-known for his temperamental behavior away from the board. He made extreme demands of all those around him including tournament organizers. When these demands were not met he often refused to play. The 1972 match against Spassky required the intervention of no less than Henry Kissinger to smooth things over. In 1975, when he was due to defend his title against Anatoly Karpov, Fischer was completely unable to agree terms with FIDE (the World Chess Federation) and was defaulted. After this he more or less gave up chess, playing only once, a "return" match against Spassky in 1992.
In this book, a must for all serious chess players, Kasparov deeply analyzes deeply Fischer's greatest games and assesses the legacy of this great American genius. Also under the microscope are the games of the other great Western players of Fischer's era - Samuel Reshevsky, Miguel Najdorf and Bent Larsen.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't particularly interested in this volume, since so much has been written about Fischer through the years -- what more is there to say? Surprisingly, I found a lot of Kasparov's (or Kasparov and company) comments interesting and penetrating. For whatever reasons, Fischer has always inspired an insane amount of hero worship and mythology around himself, and so any book taking an objective look at his career is bound to upset or disappoint some people. To those who have written that Kasparov is unfair to Fischer in this book, I have to disagree -- if anything, he is generous. I thought Kasparov was much harder on another great player, Capablanca.
There is a lot of lengthy analysis in this book, as in the previous volumes, and most of it seems to be original, as opposed to many of the annotations in the first two volumes. As for possible analytical mistakes, these are to be expected in any chess book. I don't particularly care if someone's desktop computer program finds some mistake in a branch of a variation several moves down -- to those who wish to pick nits like that, I'd advise them to run their anlysis engines to their heart's content. I'm more interested in Kasparov's commentary (or, again,Kasparov and company...it's not always clear if it's solely Kasparov), and I thought Kasparov did a superb job on most of these games, as he did in the Petrosian/Spassky volume.
In the recent volumes, Kasparov will often conclude the section on a player with an essay on his style, or personal remembrances. These,to me,are the true strength of these books, and also a reason why the first volume is not as good as the later volumes. I would love to have Kasparov's thoughts on Lasker's style, for example, but he never really gets into it. His essay on Fischer is perceptive and accurate, in my opinion.
I also very much enjoyed this book's section on Reshevsky, and I learned some things I didn't know about this great player. A complaint about all of these books is that there are occasional inexcusable historical mistakes. I didn't see any glaring mistakes in this volume, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few, going by the series' past history.
The major criticism that can be leveled against these books is that they straddle the hardcore/casual chess fan fence, and so they are likely to disappoint many in both camps. I think these are great reads,especially the latter two books. I would advise waiting for the revised versions of the first two books.
Look at his games after 1990, does not his play was the same as
Fischer before!! In responding to 1e4, he meets with Najdorf Sicilian, with 1d4, with King's Indian or Grunfeld, Benoni etc.
Of course, he is right, Fischer after becoming Champion, he himself did not want to play chess anymore, as he himself could not face any defeat. So he just passed his Champion to Karpov.
I totally agreed with G.Kasparov that it was not a Champion's behaviour. But I would totally disagree that Fischer would lose to Karpov if he was actively playing chess in the period from 1972 to 1974. I also disagree with G.K. that Fischer was not good in dealing with complicated situation. Just one example would be enough. The first game with Larsen in the semi-final
would show that Fischer was excelled in complicated position.
With detailed calculation, one could not accept Larsen's exchange of one B and N for a rook. And just when Larsen threaten to mate and Fischer's Queen was caught by Larsen's Rook, the 28 move BC5 must be calculated long before hand. I also disagree with G. K. that the move 21 Bf3 was bad. As many
analysis showed that this was the best moves. All the subsequent analysis showed that this was the best move!! Just looked at Timman's analysis!! All in all, all the 5 books on the Predecessors are good, as G.K. gave a good history of the Chess.
One just enjoyed the history, but neglected Kasparov's own comments which sometimes not impartial.
I would recommend the book to everyone. I would hope Amazon did a better job shipping yours.
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