Friday, May 26, 2017

Bobby Fischer – Genius and Mental Illness Explained

Regina and Hans-Gerhardt Fischer in Russia
By the way, another great night of casual chess at LCCC on 052217. We welcome another new member to LCCC. Great to have you here, Tony.

Bobby Fischer's mental instability was due to both genetic traits and family dynamics.

Bobby Fischer’s Jewish mother, Regina Fischer spoke at least six languages (English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese) fluently and was brilliant……but a paranoid schizophrenic. She had studied medicine in Moscow during the Stalin era, and was very outspoken on political/social issues in the United States. She was always under the watch of the FBI, so some of her paranoia was warranted. The FBI was concerned that she could be a Russian spy.

Her German and Jewish husband, Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, was a devout communist and was denied entry into the US, eventually settled in  Santiago, Chile. That is when her relationship with a Jewish Hungarian scientist, mathematician and suspected communist, Paul F. Nemenyi, began, and that probably did not help her situation either. Nemenyi was Bobby Fischer's real father, and who was not listed on the birth certificate. Hans-Gerhardt Fischer was.

1942 found Regina Fischer in Denver, Colorado which was only just a stopping place for a restless woman who couldn't settle on a permanent home. She was taking classes at the University of Denver and working at a company that made chicken incubators. At 29, Regina had already lived in eight other cities and four other countries. This was her ninth job and her sixth university.  She was the mother of 5-year-old girl Joan and she was alone.

Bobby Fischer (left) and Paul Nemenyi
This is when Paul Nemenyi appeared.  Nemenyi was 47, a Hungarian refugee and a theoretical engineer teaching at a nearby college. He made $165 a month, was an animal-rights supporter and refused to wear wool.  He walked around in winter with his pajamas sticking out from underneath his clothes.

Still, he had a compelling mind. "He was smart, very, very smart," recalls Charlotte Truesdell, who worked at a research laboratory with Nemenyi in the '40s. "He had a strange kind of memory. He remembered things by their shapes."

Regina was the daughter of a Polish dress cutter who had moved to the United States with his family while she was a baby and she returned to Europe as a young adult and studied medicine.  She lived in Berlin in the early '30s when Hitler was coming to power. It was there that she met Fischer, with whom she moved to Moscow, where they lived for several years under Stalin.

In Colorado in 1942, Regina and Nemenyi were drawn together by their political beliefs. Nemenyi had told colleagues he preferred communism to capitalism and the FBI suspected Regina of communist sympathies.  Regina never revealed what happened between them but it seems clear that in the summer of '42 a romance took place because the next year, Bobby was born.

There is an account of the affair in the FBI file.   Their investigation began in 1942 when a baby-sitter found what she believed to be pro-communist letters belonging to Regina and turned them over to the FBI.  Nemenyi told one FBI informant, a social worker, that he met Regina at the University of Denver. But whatever follows his account in the FBI file is censored by the FBI.  In the narrative after that point Bobby is in the picture. The file says, "He (Nemenyi) advised he helped support the boy."

By the time of Bobby's birth Regina had moved to Chicago and Nemenyi was teaching in Rhode Island. She gave birth to Bobby in a clinic for poor single mothers. And on the birth certificate she listed Fischer as the father. She briefly considered putting Bobby up for adoption but after talking to a social worker (who later described the conversation to the FBI) she broke down and cried and was unable to go through with it.

She then moved into a Chicago home for fatherless families where she ended up leading a rebellion among the other mothers, encouraging them to question the institution's rules. The home called the police who arrested Regina and charged her with disturbing the peace. She was acquitted. 
Regina divorced Fischer in 1948 and moved to Brooklyn, New York where she worked as an elementary school teacher and nurse at Prospect Heights Hospital in Brooklyn.

Paul Nemenyi took a special interest in Bobby. Many times he visited, paid their rent and sent money to Regina when he could. He even paid for the tuition for Bobby to attend Brooklyn Community College. Paul visited often enough for Bobby to become attached to him.

When Nemenyi died, another son of Nemenyi - Peter, was contacted by Regina to see if any money had been left to Bobby. When the answer was no, she would contact Peter from time to time claiming to have no money to take the sick Bobby to the doctor, or that she had no money for shoes for the boy. She also mentioned that she had not told Bobby about Paul’s death and that the boy was wondering why he was not visiting any longer.

Bobby’s only public statement about his father appeared in Start, a Zagreb newspaper where he said, “My father left my mother when I was two.  I have never seen him.  My mother has only told me that his name is Gerhardt and that he was of German descent.”  However, later Bobby told a friend that he and his sister, Joan, did not have the same father.  Joan Fischer Targ always insisted that her father’s name was Hans-Gerhardt Fischer.  He died on February 25, 1993 in Berlin.

Regina (Wender) was born on march 31, 1913 in Zurich, Switzerland and died of cancer on July 27, 1997 at the age of 84 in the Stanford University Hospital.

Source: Tartajubow blog and Chess Life, March 2004

Sunday, May 21, 2017

LCCC 051517 Casual Chess - and a GM Pavel Blatney Game

GM Pavel Blatny (left) in tournament action.
Here is a nice win with Black by Czech GM Pavel Blatny.
B00: Queen's Fianchetto Defense or Nimzowitsch Defense

1. e4             b6
2. d4             Bb7
3. Bd3          g6
4. f4?!          f5
White is a litte too aggressive here. White's positional advantage dropped from (+1) to (+.3).

5. Qe2          fxe4
6. Bxe4        Bxe4
7. Qxe4        Nc6
8. Nf3          Nf6
9. Qd3         Bg7
10. Ne5       O-O
11. Nxc6     dxc6
White is starting lose the thread of the game. The old chess mantra "to take is a mistake" is in play here. 11. Nc3 kept the game even. (-.3)

12. O-O       Qd7
13. c3           c5
14. Qc4+      Nd5
15. dxc5       e5
16. fxe5?      Rxf1+
These trades are hurting White. Playing a higher rated player, as White is, sometimes makes you think that 'simplifying by trading' is a good strategy. It rarely is as opening lines or plunging into an endgame without a good plan against a better player is the road to a quick loss (-.7).
17. Qxf1       Rf8
18. Qe2         Qe7
19. Nd2        .........
Tempting is 19. cxb6, Bxe5 20. bxa7?? but this contains a lethal dose of poison with, 20. .....Bd4+ 21. cxd4, Qxe2 and White is toast.
19. .........      Bxe5?
Even grandmasters mess up as this turns the game back to EVEN!. To hold the (-.7) advantage what was required was 19. .....Qxc5 20. Kh1, Rf2.

20. Qc4??     Bd4+!!
White makes a fatal error just when he was given a draw chance. King safety was needed with the hard to see, but subtle 20. Kh1, bxc5 21. Nf3, Bf6 22. Qxc7, Nxe7 =

21. cxd4        Qe3
22. Kh1        Qe1+
23. Qf1         Rxf1+
24. Nxf1       Qxf1#

Thursday, May 11, 2017

1st LCCC Kids Night was a Success!

We would like to thank the players and parents that showed up this Monday Night!

Welcome Chiloe, Ethan, Brendan, Gregory and Therin to the LCCC!
And current club kids; Luca, Marcello, Drake, and Ethan - thanks for being here.

But we also need to thank all the organizations and parents that 'spread the message' about the event. Without the gorilla marketing of volunteers, we never would of got the word out about this fun event.

Hopefully the attendance will double for the next event. But remember the Club is open for chess every Monday - so stop on in.

We had sixteen players total for the event. Casual games were played and some private tutoring was given.

We had a lecture planned, but the teacher (me) was sick with the flu and was not able to give it on this night. Next Kid's Night on June 12th, we will have that lecture then.

In the meantime, here is a game played by Jason, our resident Expert. It is a victory by Jason over a Master, played over the internet.

1. e4              e6
2. d4              d5
3. Nc3            Bb4
4. Nge2          dxe4
5. a3               Bxc3+
6. Nxc3          f5
7. Be3            Nf6
8. f3               exf3
9. gxf3           b6
10. Qd2          Bb7
White to move after 10. ...... Bb7

The game is even at this point according to Igor3000.

11. Be2           O-O
12. O-O-O      Nd5
13. Nxd5        Bxd5
14. c4             Bb7
15. Rhg1        Nc6
16. Qc3          Qe7?
Black makes the first error as 16. ....Rf7 was needed to stay even. (+1.4)

17. d5             exd5?
Errors usually come in bunches as lesser moves are made to fix the earlier mistake. The ugly 17. ..... Ng8 keeps the game where it was instead of increasing White's lead to (+2.3).

18. cxd5         Ne5
19. Bd4          Rae8??
This error loses by force. 19. ......Ng6 was the only move to hold. (+4.3)

20. f4?            Ng6
White misses 20. Bb5! winning material by 20. .....Ng6 21. Rde1, Qd8 22. Bxe8, Rxe8 winning the exchange.

21. Bc4          Kh8??
The final error.

22. d6!           cxd6
23. Rxg6!      hxg6
24. Qh3+       Qh4
25. Qxh4 mate

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 8th is the First......Kid's Night at LCCC!

We hope to look something like this on May 8th!

Kids playing kids! Free lessons if requested. A lecture will also be available if enough request one.

Comfortable lounge available for parents who do not want to play some of the adult LCCC'ers.

It will be a fun evening of chess. See you there! See details below!