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Bobby Fischer The Chess Genius Behind The Mask Of a Neurotic

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A prodigy is born

Robert James Fischer was undoubtedly the best American chess player of all times. He managed to break the Soviet domination in chess by beating the Russian grandmaster and world champion Boris Spassky and wining his title during a legendary series of  games at 1972.

He was also famous for his eccentric and eruptive manner that smirched his career. Bobby was born on March 9, 1943 in Chicago and few years later his family moved in New York. His mother Rebecca was a Jew and the identity of his biological father remains a mystery. He grew up with his mother and his elder sister that urged him to start playing chess when he was 6 years old.  His performance was improved rapidly as he participated in tournaments and at the age of 12 was already a national master!

NY Daily News

Game of the Century was just the Beginning

In 1956 Bobby Fischer made a remarkable win against the international master Donald Byrne who was one of the best players in the USA at that time. In this game that was named as the game of the century young Fischer crushed his opponent by making a terrific move of sacrificing his queen that led to a magnificent attack and a spectacular win!

At the age of 15 he won the title of U.S chess champion and few months later he became the youngest Grand Master of his time.

It was clear that his next target was to stop Soviets prevalence and to be the next world champion. He was already the best non Soviet player in the world but this wasn’t enough for him. He disliked Russian players because he believed that they made collaborations in order to block someone who had the chances to beat them. He was also sure that the World Chess Federation supported this cabal. The reigning world champion at that moment was Boris Spassky and Fischer was looking forward to play and beat him.  After many tournaments during the 60’s and 70’s the final hour where they had to face each other for the world champion title finally came. The place that would host the event was Reykjavik the capital of Iceland.

Champion with his rules

The year was 1972 a period that Cold War was at its peak and the battle between these chess titans had acquired national dimensions.  Fischer declared that it was a fight against the lying and hypocritical Russians. President Nixon himself had a great interest for the games.  

The chess world was awaiting for this moment with great anticipation. First victory won by Spassky who gained advantage because of a crucial blunder from Bobby near the end of the game.

Fischer never appeared at the second one accusing the organizers that the room had been too noisy for someone to concentrate and that the cameras were set there deliberately in order to distract his attention! 

He was just about to forfeit the match blaming everybody including Russians, Communists and Chess Federation. The situation had been absolutely out of control when Spassky finally agreed to play in an empty room without audience, microphones and TV cameras. So the games started again and that was the time that Bobby played magnificent chess with new combinations and innovative moves that Boris hadn’t expected.  So after 19 games the final result was 12.5 points to 8.5 that made Bobby Fischer the next big thing of chess.

His victory had a great effect on USA’S public opinion and it was presented as a prevalence of liberalism against communism.

A preacher of Antisemitism

Fischer stopped playing competitively for the next three years, and in 1975, he refused to defend his title against Anatoli Karpov, because the World Chess Federation did not satisfy one or two of his many requests. Despite this fact he continued proclaiming himself as the world champion.

He completely stopped playing chess professionally until 1992 when he agreed with Boris Spassky for a rematch.  The game was held in Belgrade despite America’s government embargo that comprised sanctions to Serbia due to the events that were happening in Yugoslavia.

Bobby beat Boris again and won a prize of about 3 million dollars.  However he had infringed the American law and he had to stay 10 years in prison by returning to States.

So he preferred exile than coming back to his homeland. He lived consecutively in Hungary, Philippines and Japan. He also started to declare an expressive anti-American and anti-Jewish speech that came at its peak after the 11th of September 2001 where he openly supported the terrorist attacks! He unleashed a delirium of Anti-Semitism through radio broadcasts.  He stated that the USA government was completely under the control of Jews and this race was responsible for all the global devastations. He came to the extreme point of denying his own origin by renaming himself Robert James instead of Bobby. He couldn’t accept the fact that her mother was a Jew.

An Icelander Fugitive

Bobby Fischer spent his last few years in obscurity, living in Hungary and Iceland. credits ScoopWhoop

During his stay in Japan Fischer was arrested for using a false American passport. This meant that he could never leave Japan because he was a person without a state and also wanted for his country.  He then succeeded to gain the citizenship of Iceland and moved to the country that glorified him once and forever. He died on January 2008, in Reykjavik the city who crowned him as the world champion in 1972, leaving behind him the fame of a genius mind but also one of the most controversial personalities of all time.

 

Feature Image – thierry ehrmann

Frixos Tzamtzis

Frixos Tzamtzis

Like a man is a mountainside, greatness waits for those who try none can teach you, it's all inside just climb.
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