Another Bobby Fischer Story
“The Women Who Played Bobby Fischer”
“Fischer, one of the greatest chess players of all time, agreed to matches before the Philippine team flew to Israel for the 1976 Chess Olympiad.”
So begins the interesting article in today’s Philippine based social news network ‘The Rappler‘. Apparently Fischer was hiding away in Manila at the time, a guest of Marcos and Campomanes. Fischer had been in the Philippines numerous times.
Everybody was really surprised (and pleased!) that Fischer accepted the training job. Not that the Philippine Women’s Team had any chance of winning a medal, or that Fischer’s training match would make one iota of difference.
But anything connected with Fischer would be considered an honor and immediately become legendary.
“A few weeks before the 1976 Haifa Chess Olympiad, former national women’s champion Lita Alvarez received a call from then World Chess Federation vice president Florencio Campomanes. Did she want to play Bobby Fischer, and if yes, he would fetch her at noon at Solidbank and go to Manila Hotel.
“Campo fetched me by car and we drove to the Manila Hotel where I met Fischer. We played near the swimming pool. He was business-like. He took a white pawn in one hand and a black pawn in the other and then crossed his wrist. He said, ‘Choose.’ I picked the right hand and it was a black pawn,” recounted Alvarez in an interview Sunday, March 31.
“He beat me easily,” added Alvarez, now 78.”