Daily Almanac for Thursday, September 1, 2022

On this date in 1972, Bobby Fischer became the first American to hold the world chess title by defeating Soviet player, Boris Spassky. Bobby Fischer in 1972. By Verhoeff, Bert Anefo – Dutch National Archives, The Hague, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Robert James Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. A chess prodigy, he won his first of a record eight U.S. Championships at the age of 14. In 1964, he won with an 11–0 score, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament. Qualifying for the 1972 World Championship, Fischer swept matches with Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen by 6–0 scores. After another qualifying match against Tigran Petrosian, Fischer won the title match against Boris Spassky of the USSR, in Reykjavík, Iceland. Publicized as a Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR, the match attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.

In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE, chess’s international governing body, over the match conditions. As a result, the Soviet challenger Anatoly Karpov was named World Champion by default. Fischer subsequently disappeared from the public eye, though occasional reports of erratic behavior emerged. In 1992, he reemerged to win an unofficial rematch against Spassky. It was held in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo at the time. His participation led to a conflict with the US government, which warned Fischer that his participation in the match would violate an executive order imposing US sanctions on Yugoslavia. The US government ultimately issued a warrant for his arrest. After that, Fischer lived as an émigré. In 2004, he was arrested in Japan and held for several months for using a passport that the US government had revoked. Eventually, he was granted an Icelandic passport and citizenship by a special act of the Icelandic Althing, allowing him to live there until his death in 2008.

Fischer made numerous lasting contributions to chess. His book My 60 Memorable Games, published in 1969, is regarded as essential reading in chess literature. In the 1990s, he patented a modified chess timing system that added a time increment after each move, now a standard practice in top tournament and match play. He also invented Fischer random chess, also known as Chess960, a chess variant in which the initial position of the pieces is randomized to one of 960 possible positions.

Fischer made numerous antisemitic statements and denied the Holocaust; his antisemitism, professed since at least the 1960s, was a major theme in his public and private remarks. There has been widespread comment and speculation concerning his psychological condition based on his extreme views and eccentric behavior.

Boris Spassky, Chess Olympiad 1984 in Saloniki, Photographer Gerhard Hund. Own work, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Month of September

September comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven,” because it was the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.

Question of the Day

What should I do after harvesting all my squash for the season?

Pull up those vines and compost them after you’ve picked everything or after a frost has killed them. Then till the soil to stir up the insects a bit.

Advice of the Day

September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.

Home Hint of the Day

To remove grease from washable fabrics, scrub with distilled water and soap. Distilled water is “soft,” so it helps cut the grease.

Word of the Day

Altocumulus cloud

Gray or white layer of patches of solid cloud with rounded shapes.

Puzzle of the Day

The Land of Enchantment.(Name the U.S. state!)

New Mexico

Died

  • Jacques Cartier (explorer) – 1557
  • Louis XIV, King of France – 1715
  • Nellie McClung (Canadian activist) – 1951
  • Ethel Waters (singer) – 1977
  • Martin Kamen (co-discovered the radioactive isotope carbo-14) – 2002

Born

  • Chester Harding (painter) – 1792
  • James Gordon Bennet (founder of New York Herald) – 1795
  • Engelbert Humperdinck (composer) – 1854
  • James J. Corbett (boxer) – 1866
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs (writer; Tarzan author) – 1875
  • Francis William Aston (chemist, discovered isotopes) – 1877
  • Don Wilson (entertainer) – 1900
  • Rocky Marciano (boxer) – 1923
  • Conway Twitty (country music singer) – 1933
  • Seiji Ozawa (orchestra conductor) – 1935
  • Lily Tomlin (actress) – 1936
  • Leonard Slatkin (conductor) – 1944
  • Barry Gibb (singer, member of the Bee Gees) – 1946
  • Gloria Estefan (musician) – 1957
  • J. D. Fortune (singer) – 1973
  • Scott Speedman (actor) – 1975
  • Zendaya (actress and singer) – 1996

Events

  • Deborah Read Rogers became the common-law wife of Ben Franklin– 1730
  • Narcissa Whitman, one of the first white women to settle west of the Rocky Mountains, arrived at Walla Walla, Washington– 1836
  • At a convention of nondrinkers in Chicago the Prohibition Party is born– 1869
  • The first woman, Miss Emma Nutt, was hired by the Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, Massachusetts. Before Miss Nutt’s employment, young men served as operators, but their rudeness to telephone subscribers caused the company owners to replace them with women– 1878
  • Saskatchewan became a province of Canada– 1905
  • Alberta became a province of Canada– 1905
  • The last passenger pigeon, Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoological Garden in Ohio– 1914
  • Sundance Fire intensified, Idaho– 1967
  • Bobby Fischer became the first American to hold the world chess title by defeating Soviet player, Boris Spassky– 1972
  • Remains of the R.M.S. Titanic luxury liner discovered 12,400’ deep, 230 miles south of Nova Scotia– 1985
  • A 23-inch Arctic grayling was caught in Wolf Lake, Manitoba– 1991

Weather

  • A trace of snow fell at Long Falls Dam in Maine– 1914
  • Mount Washington in New Hampshire received about one-half inch of snow– 1914

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