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Bob Seltzer Stuffs the Boston Celtics

from Chess Horizons, April-May 1987

by Robert Huntington

Back on Oct. 1, 1986, 11-year old Bobby Seltzer, Boston-area chess phenomenon, was invited to play chess against the NBA World Champion Boston Celtics.  This was an exhibition match at the Woodland Golf Club in Newton, MA, as part of a benefit for multiple sclerosis.  He played simultaneously against Bill Walton, Kevin McHale, and Danny Ainge, and won all three games.  Ainge put up the hardest fight.

Here are the complete scores of all three games.

Bobby Seltzer-Bill Walton
1. d4            d5
2. Nf3          e6
3. Bg5         Nf6
4. e3            Be7
5. Nbd2       Nc6
6. c3            O-O
7. Bd3         h6
8. Bh4         Bd7
9. Ne5        Nxe5
10. dxe5     Ne8
11. Bxe7    Bxe7
12. O-O    f5
13. f4        c6
14. Rf3      Qf7
15. Rg3     g6
16. Qh5    Kh7
17. Qh4    Ng7
18. Rh3    Nh5
19. g4      fxg4
20. Qxg4  Rg8
21. Qxh5  Qg7
22. Rg3     Be8
23. Qh3    Qf7
24. Nf3    Qf8
25. Ng5+ Kh8
26. Nxe6  resigns

Bobby Seltzer-Kevin McHale

1. e4        e5
2. Nf3      Nc6
3. Bc4    Nd4
4. Nxe5    Ne6
5. d4        Bb4+
6. Nc3     d6
7. Nf3      Nf6
8. Bg5     O-O
9. O-O    Nxg5
10. Nxg5    c6
11. f4         d5
12. Bd3    Bg4
13. Qe1    Re8
14. e5       Qb6
15. Qh4    Qxd4+
16. Kh1    h6
17. exf6    Qxf6
18. Qxg4    hxg5
19. fxg5     Qe5
20. Qh5    d4
21. Qxf7+  resigns

Bobby Seltzer-Danny Ainge

1. e4         Nc6
2. d4        Nf6
3. e5        Ne4
4. Nf3     d5
5. Nbd2   Bf5
6. Nh4     e6
7. Nxf5    exf5
8. Nxe4    fxe4
9. Be2      f6
10. exf6    Qxf6
11. Be3    O-O-O
12. O-O    Bd6
13. a4       Qh4
14. Bg4+    Kb8
15. Bh3      Bf4
16. a5        Bxe3
17. fxe3     b6
18. axb6    cxb6
19. Rf4      Qe7
20. Qf1    Rdf8
21. Qb5    Qd6
22. Rg4    Kb7
23. Rxg7+   Kb8
24. Rd7    Qh6
25. Qxd5    Qxe3+
26. Kh1    Rc8
27. Rd6    Rc7
28. Rxc6   Rxc6
29. Qxc6   Qd2
30. Qa4    a5
31. Qb5    Kb7
32. Rf1    e3
33. Rf7+   Ka8
34. Qa6+  Kb8
35. Qb7++

Bobby Seltzer of West Roxbury, MA started playing competitive chess a little over two years ao, at the age of nine.  His first official wating (3/85) was 1364.  Today, at 1883, he is the country's top-rated player int he 11-12 age group.  And his recent performances, espeically at the Pillsbury and Newton Opens, should put him well over 2000.

How does a kid compete with experienced adults.  Well, Bobby has gained a lot of experience in a short time. He has already played 278 rated games in addition to unrated scholastic tournaments and league games, games at the Newton YMCA youth chess club, speed chess, postal chess and, more recently, games against computers.

At his own insistence, he learned the moves at the age of four from his father, who had long enjoyed the game but never played competitively.  Over the next four years, they played an average of no more than  game a month together.  Then in the spring of 1984, he first beat his father in a no-handicap game.  About that time, too, his father brought him to see Boris Spassky give a simultaneous exhibition.  These events sparked further interest.  He wanted to play again and again, and soon was wining more often.  That summer, Harry Lyman of the Boylston Chess Club in Boston instructed Bobby in basic principles and tactical ideas, showing him new ways to look at the chess board.

Bobby's first tournament was that year's Fall Foliage Scholastic, where he won his first three games.  Since he was anxious for more competition and there were no more scholastic tournaments for months to come, his father started taking him to adult tournaments.  Since then, Bobby has played in most major tournaments i New England.  In addition, he has been to the National Elementary Championship twice, the US Junior Open, the Eastern Amateur Team Championship and the World Open twice.  privacy statement