Bobby Fischer becomes the first American to win the World Chess Championship

On September 1, 1972, in what is known as the “Match of the Century”, American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer defeated Russian Boris Spassky at the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland.

In the world’s most publicized title match ever played, Fischer, a 29-year-old Brooklynite, became the first American to win the competition since its inception in 1866. The victory also marked the first time that a non- Russian won the event in 24 years.

Fischer, who started playing professionally chess at the age of 8, won the US Open championship at age 14 (he would win it seven more times) and became the youngest international grandmaster in the world at 15.

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