Bobby Fischer was talented. No doubt about it. But talent is common and does not always lead to greatness in the rules of chess. Bobby Fischer was a rare combination of talent and hard work. Bobby Fischer was dedicated to the game of chess and spent every minute he could studying the game by reading chess books. In fact, Bobby undoubtedly spent 10 times as much time reading chess books then he did playing chess.

A former US champion GM Nick deFirmian once told me, that he believes that Fischer would have beat Kasparov in a match, because no one has ever approached the dedication Fischer has for Chess. Fischer would have studied until he could beat any challenger.

Bobby Fischer did not have private chess coaches. While the Russians he was challenging would have entire teams of coaches instructing them from the time they were young, Fischer achieved his greatness alone reading books.

From the time he was 10 he read of every chess book he could get his hands on.

It is said by the time he was 14 (and us Champion) Bobby had read every significant chess book ever written in English. He was the United States champion, but knew he had a long way to go to beat the Russians who were the best at chess. So to continue his studying, Bobby Fischer taught himself Russian and began reading all the Russian chess books and magazines. At age 27 he won the world championship.


Bobby was obsessed with chess and was dedicated to studying it. He once said all he needs is a small room in an apartment with a window and his small hand held chess set with his books. Bobby would stay inside studying all day and would only leave to go to his favorite chess clubs to play and show off his new stuff.

One time, a friend of Bobby's asked him if he would give him a chess lesson. Bobby said sure and told him to go home and read MCO (Modern Chess Opening's Encyclopedia) from cover to cover. Usually this is just a reference manual where chess players can research specific opening line. Fischer specified he read the entire book including variations and the lines he did not play. The guy came back to Bobby exhausted a month later and said he was ready for his second lesson. Bobby told him "go home and read it a second time."


Bobby Fischer Wrote two of the top 100 chess books ever written:


  • Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess
  • My 60 memorable games.

For a complete list of recommended chess books click here.


To see some Fischer facts and play through some of his games click here.

"I am ready...where is this guy...I did my chesswork last night"
"Check out what I read in a Russian Chess magizine yesterday!"

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