Missoulian Nowak tried to tie Fischer's record

Greg "The Octopus" Nowak will try to break a Bobby Fischer record during a chess tournament in Kalispell on Saturday, April 22.

A former world champion, Fischer once played 75 opponents at the same time. Nowak is shooting for 76 in what he calls "the biggest chess event in Montana."

Nowak, who once played Fischer to a draw, will play in the Kalispell Center Mall at 10 a.m.

Chess sets will be awarded to players who hold Nowak to a draw. Chess sets plus Olympic-style medallions will be given to anyone who can beat the Montana state chess champion.

Nowak, 52, is known for his strangling style of play and has been the state champion since 1992. He ranks in the top 10 percent of chess players.

He taught himself to play chess when he was 9 years old. At 17, he participated in a chess exhibition where he held Fischer to a draw.

The event in Kalispell will be set up with challengers sitting on the outside of tables arranged in a rectangular formation. Nowak will move from board to board, taking from five to seven seconds to make a move.

In 1997, when Nowak played 54 chess players at the Kalispell Gateway West Mall, two people held him to a draw.

The event is sponsored by the Flathead High School Chess Club and Kalispell Center Mall.

The $5 entry fee can be sent to Flathead High School, Jo Shay Daniels, 644 Fourth St. W., Kalispell, MT 59901. The entry fee at the door will be $10.

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