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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Fischer becomes world's youngest grandmaster
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Sept. 1, 1972

Bobby Fischer shows that his game is as grand as his ego as he becomes the first American to win the world chess championship. Fischer gains the title when defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union, in a losing position in the adjourned 21st game, telephones in his resignation.

In a competition that started July 11 in Reykjavik, Iceland, the 29-year-old, Brooklyn native combines seven victories with 11 draws to register the 12 points needed for victory.

Fischer won the U.S. championship at 14 and he became the world's youngest grandmaster at 15.

During his match with Spassky, Fischer squabbled over television cameras, the chessboard, noise in the audience and late arrivals. The New York Times describes Fischer as "nervous, arrogant, inconsiderate, petulant, demanding."

Fischer earns $156,250 of the $250,00 purse, while Spassky is richer by $93,750.

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