Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Fischer Boom

FWCGM Robert Fischer
I didn't really think much of the Fischer Boom.  I guess it brought some good people into chess.  But in those days strong players (anyone over 1900 was considered strong) imitated Fischer's arrogance and contempt, but did not have his strength.

I remember reading interviews with Larsen and Tal before he played his candidates match with Fischer.  I played Larsen at two simuls, at the McAlpin and in Westfield.

I was a wall board boy at Chess House for the first game in the Fischer Spaasky match.  I had to stand on a high ladder while Shelby Lyman gave the moves on tv.  That was the game where Fischer took the poisoned pawn and lost.

I remember huge turnouts at the Flushing tournaments.  Surprisingly, the Fischer Boom was not kind to Bill Goichberg.   He planned bigger tournaments with more prizes, but competition rose as fast as the number of players increased.

Flushing YMCA
It was at the Flushing YMCA that I beat my first class A Player, Doug Breckenridge.  I played Eddie Vildoso a number of times.  Don't remember whether I ever beat him.  He loved the double-fianchetto opening.  I first say Larry D. Evan's, Cory Evan's father.  I have to admit when I first say him, I thought he was Larry M. Evans, who had written my MCO.  Larry D. is a nice man, one of the few strong players in his age group who was nicer to weaker players.

As I will soon account, there was a shift in power in the USCF away from Executive Director Col. Ed Edmondson, who first moved the USCF to Newburgh.

The New Jersey tournament organizers decided to chase Goichberg out of New Jersey.  They would all run quads at different locations on the same Sunday every month.  Players would go to the location nearest them.  As many of players only play once a month, they had their fix with the local tournaments and didn't play in Goichberg's tournaments.  So Goichberg's attendance dropped and he left New Jersey.

Many of the leaders of New Jersey chess went on to become USCF Policy Board members, such as Denis Barry, Tony Cottell, Steve Doyle, and Leroy Dubeck. 

The New Jersey people also popularized the US Amateur Team Championship.

Lewis Eisen, MD
The New Jersey people could be nasty too.  One time NM Lew Eisen won a major tournament.  I think it was the NJ High School Championship.   One of them wrote a multi-page article about the event without mentioning Lew once!

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