I wonder if it is true
that doubt is
the first step towards knowledge?
It is logically assumed
that there is one strongest possible move in every position in a
chess game, except when you can check mate your opponent in two or
In their quest for truth,
chess players employ their knowledge and their specific view of
chess. They are firm in their belief that their own style is the
right one, the one that will bring them closest to the truth. Knowing
what the aim of the game is, one may ask whose style is the right
one: Tal's, Karpov's, Fischer's...?
The creative genius is no
respecter of monuments: he does not build on; he starts from scratch.
Fischer questioned everything established truths as well as discarded
He delved into the
heritage of past generations. Fischer was not looking only for the
odd pearl that had rolled under the carpet. Every old chestnut came
under his minute scrutiny.
With the exception of the
German Bisguier, who was the first to write a book on the theory of
chess openings, all the other authors on the subject copied much of
their material from one another, including mistakes which like a
hereditary disease were handed down from one generation to the next.
Partly as a result of the
awe in which a book is held as a source of truth, and partly because
it is easier to learn than both learn and verify, a Fischer had to
appear before the many dormant variants should come back to life.
What was needed was a sharp and discerning eye, and the kind of
patience and energy that move mountains.
He thus resurrected such
variants as are described in the heaps of theoretical manuals as "...
Black brings his game back on an even keel with any of the variations
A, B, or C".
At the 1966 Chess Olympics
in Havana, when Fischer first used such a variant, Portisch applied
variation A, Gligoric variation B, and the Cuban Jimenez variation C.
All three of them lost.
Years have gone by, and
the Havana Olympics are gradually falling into oblivion. But this
particular series of wins I am not very likely to forget. Several
years later, Unzicker tried variation D in the same position.
Fischer's win in that game was hailed to be the best in the eleventh
volume of Chess Informant.
Fischer cleverly plays all
kinds of positions: from the highly complex to the highly risky ones.
No one has ever accused him of playing less well in certain
positions, a charge that can be laid at virtually any chess player's
door. This is why so many people believe that it is his conception
and his style that are the closest to the absolute truth in chess.