Monday, November 10, 2008

jrobichess Finds First Edition "My 60 Memorable Games" by the late Bobby Fischer in a Thrift Store!

Personally I am amazed. In awe might even be a better description of how I am feeling. There will be a video today posted on YouTube about this, but before I do that I am posting this on the blog while everything is still fresh in my mind.

We went down to the local thrift store to check things out. Generally I end up just browsing in the book corner while the rest of the family browses the other sections. I walked up to the book section and began checking out the shelves. I remember talking to the big guy in the sky saying something along the lines, "Wouldn't it be awesome to come across Bobby Fischer's book?". That book being of course "My 60 Memorable Games" which was printed in 1969. It's considered a rare book now, and catches a fair price on Ebay - not like I would sell it of course.

Regardless, the chances of finding this book were practically non-existent. The town that I live in has less than 15,000 people in it, and there isn't anything for chess here other than what I do. But one can dream right? Yes one can!

So I am looking at the first couple shelves. Most of the books are of a historical nature, a lot to do with war, and of course your standard assortment of fiction books and self-help manuals. I had checked out a couple of the long rows, spine by spine, and was about to pack it in and head off when I thought I would glance to the right of me on the top shelf. The word "Memorable" caught my eyes, and I glanced at it and was completely stunned. Sure enough, at the bottom of the book's spine was the name "Bobby Fischer". Even thought I was stunned and in awe, that didn't stop me from IMMEDIATELY grabbing it!

In my hands I was holding a first printing of Fischer's chess masterpiece! I opened it up right away and noticed some check marks alongside move orders in the first 4 pages, left behind by some unknown chess enthusiast who marked them while exploring his or her passion with the game with Fischer as the guide. The book looked like it was cared for quite well, all things considered. Who knows the journey this particular book has been through on it's road from a passionate chess fan to the shelf of a thrift store, so seeing the relatively good condition was a blessing.

The book itself has undergone many revisions. It must be stated, however, that Fischer himself objected to the revised versions - believing the first edition to be the only real version. The timeless classic is slated to be re-released in algebraic notation - supposedly this time with no changes to Fischer's personal analysis and commentary. I will be picking up the new version, but now I will be able to check to make sure no changes were made to the thoughts and chess ideas of arguably the best chess player in recorded history with this first printing in hand.

For those wondering, I paid $1.00 for the book. Now on to make the YouTube video about this.

EDIT: Here's the video.


Renkai said...

What a find! thats awesome

Patou said...

so it's in descriptive chess notation? whenever I see that I just forget about the book.. is it hard to get?

klara92090 said...

that is truely amazing. Incredible find!! Can't wait for the new version to come out

Kevin Lara.

Christian said...

That's so sweet. Love the golden knights on the cover. Almost karmic that you'd stumble upon this, congrats ;)

Rich said...

Nice find...the stuff that keeps me checking out the thrift stores...Rich