Bobby Fischer - the World's ONLY American World Chess Champion. Bobby won the World Chess Championship after defeating the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky at the ripe age of 29 back in 1972. The match barely went through. It took a long time for Bobby's team to convince him to play. The 1972 match was to be played in Iceland. Bobby cancelled several flights to Iceland before the match. He was only going to play if he "got his way". He was also unhappy about the earnings he would make if he won the match - the winner was to receive $78,125 USD. Certainly a lot of money, especially since this was in the 1970's. Mr. Fischer went on to win the match (even though he had a poor start since he made an elementary blunder in the endgame of the very first game and didn't even show up for the second game). He came back an American hero.
Bobby turned down all agreements to defend his title against the then 23-year-old Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union in 1975. Again, we wanted "his way". Bobby wouldn't accept the terms - he wanted a different way of the amount of games to be played to determine who the champion will be - how one would win the match. Bobby insisted that his way would put on a bigger show for the spectators. The World Chess Federation declined his proposal. Karpov became the new World Champion in 1975. Did Bobby even care all that much anymore? Many asked Bobby over the following decades why he didn't defend his title - a pointless question. No one could truly understand what was going through his mind. I would say that Bobby was afraid of losing. However, I'm not sure if even that is accurate. No one will ever know. Bobby probably wasn't even sure (maybe).
Bobby still continued to study chess throughout the 1970's. He also spent a lot of his time reading literature and working out. He later started reading anti-semitic titles - including "The Protocols of Zion". Bobby took this specific book seriously even though it is a hoax. He later became very Anti-American and Anti-Semitic. This has bothered me for a very long time. I hold the Jews in high esteem. Friedrich Nietzsche also held the Jews in high esteem as well.
Bobby Fischer was arrested in 2004 for violating a US embargo by playing a Fischer-Spassky rematch in 1992 in Yugoslavia - a country that no longer even existed! On a side note, Fischer received well over a million USD because of that match. Fischer may have got away with it if it wasn't for the disturbing comments he made during a radio broadcast on 9/11. He praised the attacks. This is probably what really made the US government go after him. His passport was revoked. He tried to board a plane in Japan and was arrested by Japanese authorites. He was a man without a country. He spent over a half of a year in a Japanese prison. Finally Iceland granted him citizenship and he was released from prison.
Many say Bobby Fischer was clinically insane during the later part of his life. I don't know that he was insane. I think he just got really mean! His roots for his anti-semitic views were very uncertain. Some say that Bobby was against the Jews because he didn't like his mother's friends. Bobby's mother was Jewish and so were the people she surrounded herself with. Others say it was simply because he lost his grip on reality. I once had a friend of my own who was very anti-semitic (or at least was years and years ago). I once asked him what made him this way. He told me, "Psychosis". Hmmmm... Not a good hint to my idea (and many others') that Bobby simply turned really mean and didn't end up losing his grip on reality. On the other hand, how was Bobby successfully able to hop around Eastern Europe (specifically Hungary) and East Asia if he was crazy? He was too high-functioning to be "crazy". He was too high-functioning to be able to outwit the government for so many years and at the same time suffer from insanity. And, yes Bobby was well aware that by publicly announcing his hatred for the US he was risking getting into serious trouble.
There were not a lot of women in Bobby's life. He claimed that he didn't have time for them. However, there was a girl he spent time with for a while - a young Hungarian chessplayer, Zita Raycsanyi. She is the chessplayer who ulitimately got him to play the 1992 Fischer - Spassky rematch. There have not been a lot of women in my life either. When one is interested in me, I don't get in to it all that much. Then, when they stop being interested in me and move on with their life, I fall for them. This has happened to me three times! I wrote a little about this in one of my posts on my blog. One thing I've noticed is that when a girl is done with a guy.. they're done! They move on. Guys are different. They'll keep the same girl in their mind for a very long time afterwards. Well, maybe that's just how I feel. Maybe that's just my own opinion.
Bobby Fischer lived his last couple of years in Iceland. He passed away at the young age of 64 on January 17, 2008.
Click here for an analysis of his disastrous 9/11 interview. He said he was tricked by the interviewer.
Click here for a (accurate) review of the Bobby Fischer documentary.
Watch the Bobby Fischer documentary on YouTube
I recently purchased the new Bobby Fischer book by International Master John Donaldson. I have read his other biographies. My favorite one is "Endgame" by Frank Brady.
Click Here for the Live Bobby Fischer Radio Interviews et. al.
Bobby Fischer Quotes:
Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself. And this confidence should be based on fact.
I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves. (On being asked if he tries to psych out his opponents by showing up late)
All that matters on the chessboard is good moves
You don't learn anything in school. It's just a waste of time. You lug around books and all and do homework. They give too much homework. You shouldn't be doing homework. Nobody's interested in it. The teachers are stupid. They shouldn't have any women in there. They don't know how to teach. And they shouldn't make anyone go to school. You don't want to go, you don't go, that's all. It's ridiculous. I don't remember one thing I learned in school. I don't listen to weakies. My two and a half years in Erasmus High I wasted. I didn't like the whole thing. You have to mix with all those stupid kids. The teachers are even stupider than the kids. They talk down to the kids. Half of them are crazy. If they'd have let me, I would have quit before I was sixteen.
I don't like American girls. They're very conceited, you know. In Europe they're more pleasant.
I'm not as soft or as generous a person as I would be if the World hadn't changed me.
I don't keep any close friends. I don't keep any secrets. I don't need friends. I just tell everybody everything, that's all.
When I turned 11, I just got good.
Most people are sheep, and they need the support of others.
I would rather be free in my mind, and be locked up in a prison cell, than to be a coward and not be able to say what I want.
There isn't a women player I couldn't give knight-odds to and still beat.
I like the moment when I break a man's ego.
I object to being called a chess genius because I consider myself to be an all-around genius who just happens to play chess, which is rather different.
A strong memory, concentration, imagination and a strong will is required to become a great chess player.
Nothing is so healing as the human touch. (Fischer's reported last words)