Here’s Dick Cavett’s touching comments on Bobby Fisher. You may have to register with the New York Times, but I believe it’s worth it.
Now my lame comments: Yes, I know it’s been a while, but….
I remember back in 1972, how the newspapers had news about the match in them every day and the television had reports on it. It was a big thing: An American Beating A Russian In A Game The Russians Had Come To Own. And when I say “own,” I mean OWN: they would tie each other, knock everyone else out of the running, then go into the game trying to Tie with Black, Win with White and tie to the championship once you had the advantage. The one who did that best ended up as the Champion.
Bobby Fisher destroyed that. He played to win with Black, he knocked out everyone (even Americans) and he even did it with such “Archaic” moves as “1 P-K4” (1 e4 in modern notation). And while he may have been a whiner he also won the world chess championship from an 0-2 start, an almost insurmountable advantage in this game.
Chess suddenly became a cause celebre. Books came out about the game, Fisher’s two books became massive best sellers. Chess clubs started in schools all over the nation.
Move ahead into the nineties. The guy had long dropped out of the limelight, having given up the championship when his time came in 1975. Bad enough, but had he stayed like that he would have been a legend who knocked out The Invincible Russians years ago.
But he started talking again. About teeth filled with wires, implanted by US Government agents and their Jewish Masters. About people out to steal his money.
He goes to Serbia at a time when they’re the Pariah of the World (for having perfected the art of Raping Women and killing men, an art they learned from Russia in the latter days of WWII) and plays a replay match with Spassky. Don’t think that Spassky had much of a chance (nor do I think he minded the payday).
Next we knew, Bobby Fisher was in Japan, fighting extradition. Then he went to Iceland, only to turn against them when it turned out their Government Agents were owned by (you guessed it) Jewish Masters.
He eventually died in Iceland, known as a nut everywhere but in the Chess world (where evidently he kept up enough links to other players to invent a form of chess that mixes up the back ranks so that memorization of the opening moves is impossible).
I remember hearing of Mr. Fischer’s comments in the wake of 9/11/2001 and being saddened. Never mind that the guy held such bizarre beliefs, but that he felt emboldened to announce them over the air.
I then remembered hearing about the kid who was the subject of the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher deciding to take a break from the game to experience more of the world. While I applauded his move, the fact that he based that move on a wish not to turn into another Bobby Fisher (that’s how I interpreted what I heard, by the way) saddened me.
And in a way, as much as the guy hated Shrub Jun– er, I mean President Bush, I can’t help but think how much his actions, however subtle, affected the voting in various places…like West Virginia and much of the South. After all, Bush was “a C Student” while Gore was supposed to be the smartest of the smart.
So yeah, Bobby Fisher was dead. He made so much about being smart, then tore it all down and then some with his actions and words later on. Chess players have good reasons to ignore his personality in relation to chess, the rest of us must pay attention.
So goodbye Bobby Fisher. Wish I could say I’m saddened, but I definitely noted it.