Bobby Fischer’s ”CHECKMATE” in Boy’s Life
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
One of my favourite sites is Edward Winter’s http://www.chesshistory.com/ ! A source of reliable information on all aspects of chess, past and present, carefully researched and then double-checked before being published. Certainly a must read for every serious student of the history of the game.
In Winter’s most recent column (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer2.html) the contents of Fischer’s ”checkmate” column in the Boy Scouts of America’s magazine—Boy’s Life—from the 1960’s is discussed, issue by issue. I reproduce somewhere below the first part of this wonderful article.
History of Boy’s Life Magazine
In 1911, George S. Barton, of Somerville, Massachusetts, founded, edited, and published the first edition of Boys’ Life magazine, calling it Boys’ and Boy Scouts’ Magazine. He was not referring to the Scouts we envision today but to the three major competing Scouting organizations of the time: the American Boy Scouts, New England Boy Scouts, and Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Barton’s first issue of Boys’ Life was published on January 1, 1911. “Volume 1, Number 1” was printed on the magazine’s flag. However, very few of the 5,000 printed copies actually reached the public. The more commonly accepted first edition was published on March 1, 1911, following its expansion from eight to 48 pages, a reduction in page size, and the addition of a two-color cover.
To promote its “Learning to Read” program, the BSA purchased Boys’ Life from the George S. Barton Company on June 10, 1912, for $6,000. The first Boys’ Life magazine edited at the BSA national office was the July 1912 issue. Dr. James E. West, then Chief Scout Executive, served as the BSA’s first editor of the publication.
Boys’ Life magazines printed 1,101,860,550
Total publications issued 1,068
Total pages of Boys’ Life 72,864
Fischer’s Chess Column in Boys’ Life
We reproduce two C.N. items from 1989 concerning the publication Boys’ Life, which, in the second half of the 1960s, carried a chess column by Bobby Fischer. Firstly, C.N. 1816, on pages 10-17 of the January-February 1989 issue of Chess Notes:
Newz & More
Chess Champ Fischer Dies
American-born chess master Bobby Fischer has died of undisclosed causes at the age of 64.
After years of Russian domination, Fischer became the first American chess champion in 1972 when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a legendary match. After the victory, Fischer became reclusive. He emerged to defeat Spassky again in 1992, but he never regained his championship.
Fischer finished out his life as a citizen of Iceland. He died in a hospital in the capital city of Reykjavik.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS