As I contemplate my first competitive chess event in over a year I find myself thinking about how to remove the rust. Although a lot of my time is spent on chess analysis and teaching it’s very different when you have to sit down and play. There’s a primal element to competitive chess which no amount of theorizing can prepare you for.
In the search for suitable comeback role models the one to immediately spring to mind is a certain Bobby Fischer, who stopped playing after winning the World Championship from Boris Spassky in 1972 and then had a rematch with the same opponent twenty years later.
From what I can divine Fischer’s comeback preparation involved playing some matches against some other old timers and reviewing various chess literature, though his former physical fitness was not particularly in evidence. How did he play? Well various experts said that the general standard of the match was low, there again there were some moments of pure magic: