Golf the Galleries 2022

1972 Fischer/Spassky: The Match, Its Origin, and Influence celebrates the 50th anniversary of Robert “Bobby” Fischer’s historical win over Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Chess Championship. Fischer’s thrilling rise to the top of the world of chess and his landmark victory in the “Match of the Century” greatly increased the popularity of chess in the United States. The first non-Soviet player to earn the title in 24 years, Fischer won the championship after 21 games at the age of 29. In 1972, the year that he clinched the world chess championship title, membership in US Chess was 30,844. In just one year, that total nearly doubled, rising to 59,250 members. Photography and images of artifacts related to Fischer’s accomplishments surround this hole. It features a position from Game 1 of the 1972 World Chess Championship where Spassky defeated Fischer. Fischer forfeited the following game by not appearing for it. Game 3 was the turning point of the match. Fischer defeated Spassky for the first time in both the match and his career, and he would go on to win the entire championship 12 1/2-8 ½ on September 1, 1972.

A full exhibition documenting the influence of Bobby Fischer will open at the World Chess Hall of Fame in the Central West End on August 18, 2022, and will feature highlights from the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame as well as the Fischer Library of Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and Rex Sinquefield and loans from the Amon Carter Museum of Art among others. Visitors can follow Bobby Fischer on the road to the 1972 World Chess Championship, from the Candidates Matches to Fischer’s training for the championship at Grossinger’s Resort, the historic match, and the following explosion of popularity of chess in the United States, also known as the “Fischer Boom.” Though Fischer left a complex legacy, his performance in the 1972 World Chess Championship encouraged many players in the United States and around the world to play chess.