On one of Bob Hope's television specials in 1972, Bobby Fischer appeared with him in a skit about himself (Fischer). The two also sat down at a board and sort-of played a game. (The moves were not all legal.) You can see the game on YouTube, but (at least I) can't see it well enough to know what the moves were. Can anyone tell what the moves were, or is there a record?

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    It appears from the video that there were numerous illegal moves made May 20, 2021 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately I don't think this is possible. I think I can make out Fischer's first few moves (a rather reasonable e5, d5, Nf6, Bc5, O-O, Nc6) but it's much harder to make out what moves Hope is playing when he's not bound by logic nor the rules of chess. The blurriness and the illegal moves are bad enough, but they also change the position a few times when they cut to a different camera, meaning even when we get a better angle we can't even use the better view to determine what was played.

At 4:03 you can see Hope's king and queen in the correct position. When the camera cuts to Fischer, you can see the king and queen have spontaneously swapped places (which Fischer corrects two moves into the game.)

At 5:51 you can see clear down the 4th rank, so no pieces are there. But at 5:52-5:58 Hope clearly has a bishop on a4. At 5:59 he clearly does not, and there are other rather major changes to the position, despite neither player moving any pieces during that time.

So there were multiple takes (meaning there was no singular "game" shown in the first place) or portions were cut. Either way it is more or less impossible to fully recreate the game. I also highly doubt anyone saved a record of the game beyond the video itself. Any non-gag moves were likely not in the script.

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