Fischer, Tal and Petrosian - 1959
World Chess Champions
From September 6 to October 31 of 1959, eight of the world's strongest Grandmasters competed in a powerful quadruple Round-Robin Tournament, played in Bled, Zagreb and Belgrade, Yugoslavia, to determine the challenger for the crown of World Chess Champion currently held by Soviet Grandmaster Mikhail Botvinnik. The participants of the tournament were Mikhail Tal, Paul Keres, Tigran Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Svetozar Gligoria, Frederik Olafsson, Pal Benko and a 16-year old American named Robert James "Bobby" Fischer. This prestigious list includes 4 World Chess Champions.
Tal showed superior form by winning with 20/28 points, ahead of Paul Keres with 18.5, followed by Tigran Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Bobby Fischer, Svetozar Gligoria, Frederik Olafsson, and Pal Benko. Tal's victory was much attributed to his dominance over the lower half of the field; whilst scoring only +1 -3 vs Keres, he won all four individual games against Fischer, and took 3 3/4 from Gligoria, Olafsson, and Benko.
Although Bobby Fischer failed to win the Candidates Tournament, he finished a respectable fifth place and established himself as a legitimate contender for the World Chess Championship.