Bobby Fischer - The Legend, Psychology And The Man
Fischer considers his next move.
Eccentric, crazy, genius and anti-Semite. Fischer was known as many things, and conjured a variety of emotions in people. To some, he was the eccentric genius who played chess with strokes of divinity. To others, simply a raving lunatic whose thoughts and presence hailed anger and consternation.
You could say just about anything about the man. Only one thing stands uncontested.
He could play one helluva game of chess.
Bobby was born in the United states on the ninth of march 1943. When Bobby was six his sister bought a chess-set from the candy store on the street below their apartment. Fischer became fascinated (perhaps out of boredom) with the instructions that came with the chess-set. For a year he taught himself how to play, aided by a chess book which was given to him by his parents.
At seven he joined the Brooklyn Chess Club, where he was tutored by its president Carmine Nigro. His game progressed at a thunderous rate and soon he joined the Manhattan Chess club where he was tutored by Grandmaster Arnold Denker. Denker also served a friend to Bobby, becoming an early influence in his life. The two would become life-long friends.
In July 1956, at the age of 12, Fischer won the United States Junior Chess Championship. An unprecedented achievement (the record still holds).
At 16 Bobby was already taking shots at world title.
Bobby Fisher's route to the top of the world lasted nine- tortuous years. A time which was fundamental in forming the controversial psyche he is renowned for having.
- Bobby began to spar with the Chess stars of his age. At 16 he tied first with Boris Spassky at the important Mar del Plata tournament in Argentina.
- He subsequently struggled at the Buenos Aires tournament. It would mark the only blemish on his competitive career .
- At the age of 19, Fischer became the strongest non-Soviet player in the world.
- 1963-1969 became an important and shaping period in Fischer's life. He sank into semi-retirement, claiming personal problems. He listened to radio ministers in search of answers. However, after this brief respite Fischer began his road to become the World Chess Champion.
- In 1972 Fischer was set to play the world Championship match against his life-long rival Spassky. Fischer and Spassky had problems agreeing on the terms of the match. Location and prize money. After donations set the prize fund at $250,000 (an unprecedented amount) Fischer finally agreed to play.
- The match was played from July to September in Iceland. Fischer began to demonstrate some paranoiac tendencies. He insisted that the match be played away from the cameras.
- Fischer won the match, a victory dwarfed by Cold-War propaganda.
- "the iconoclastic American almost single-handedly defeating the mighty Soviet chess establishment that had dominated world chess for the past quarter-century" Source.
- The match was known as the "Match of the century", and given a tremendous amount of media coverage in the United States.
Bobby was often critisized for his seemingly Anti-Jewish slurs and rampant sexism. His egotism and colossal self-worth. He was meticulous in appearance, to the point of it becoming an obsession. The duality of his name caused for much resentment and admiration.
- Bobby Fischer's current state of mind is indeed a tragedy. One of the world's greatest chess players - the pride and sorrow of American chess. -- Frank Brady
- Regardless of Bobby's recent hate-filled rantings, which I abhor, he is nonetheless one of the greatest chessplayers of all time. -- Frank Brady
- "America is totally under control of the Jews, you know. I mean, look what they're doing in Yugoslavia."
On his "Ego":
- "I am the best player in the world and I am here to prove it."
- "That statement is accurate, but Lisa Lane really wouldn't be in a position to know. They're all weak, all women. They're stupid compared to men. They shouldn't play chess, you know. They're like beginners. They lose every single game against a man. There isn't a woman player in the world I can't give knight-odds to and still beat."
Bobby was also known to complain bitterly over the conditions in which a game would be played. he would argue over the location, prize, cameras, and rules. He was also know to be very aggressive with regards to his adversaries and competition. An attitude which reflected his strategy and approach to chess.
- "I like the moment when I break a man's ego."
Exile - End Game.
Bobby Fischer continues to inspire and torment even today as he lives in exile in Iceland. Even steadfast Fischer apologists were forced to roll their eyes with a dramatic sigh when Fischer commented on the happenings of September 11th 2001.
'This is all wonderful news,' he announced. 'I applaud the act. The US and Israel have been slaughtering the Palestinians, just slaughtering them for years. Robbing them and slaughtering them. Nobody gave a shit. Now it's coming back to the US. Fuck the US. I want to see the US wiped out.'
Chess Is Life
Some say the facts that paint his life speak for themselves. I do not hold this to be true. In order to understand Bobby, we must understand the concept that drives him. The underlying philosophy.
Kasparov once remarked that Fischer is the true hybrid of Chess and man. Stuck between two worlds but belonging to niether. I agree with this sentiment. I believe it is the key in understanding the man, as well as the legend.
"Chess is life" Bobby Fischer.