Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bobby Fisher RIP

Bobby Fisher, the chess prodigy who defeated Soviet Grandmaster Boris Spassky in a televised Cold War confrontation, died Friday (January 18th, 2008) in an Icelandic Hospital, apparently from Kidney failure (he'd left the hospital in the Fall, refusing further treatment for his diagnosed kidney disease). Bobby Fisher was 64.

Like a lot of Baby Boomers, it seems like the question you’d expect Fisher to ask is, “When did I become so old?”

For many of us, he remains frozen in time as that twenty-eight year old Chess Master who did the seemingly impossible, coming back from a two game deficit, to defeat then reigning world chess champion, Boris Spassky.

Unfortunately, since that day in 1972, Fisher became more well known for his conspiratorial and often anti-Jewish tirades, then for his chess play. Those rants were made stranger still for his own mother being Jewish.

Fisher had always been a troubled individual. Early on, Manhattan’s Marshall Chess Club debated getting Fisher psychiatric help, but decided against it after one of the board members mused, “What if Fisher gets well and turns away from chess?”

He appeared on the chess scene once more in 1992 for a re-match with Spassky, in war torn Yugoslavi, which he won handily, garnering a $5 million purse in the process.

After years of railing against the U.S. from various spots in Asia, he emigrated to Iceland in 2005, where he lived his remaining thirty months.


Barry said...


JMK said...

Yeah it really is.

For such an incredibly gifted guy, he lived an incredibly troubled life. He was a real tragic figure.

A guy who rose to world prominence from the streets of Brooklyn becomes a bitter, angry ex-patriot who cheered 9/11.

It's hard to figure.

He probably needed help when he was younger, help that some apparently feared might interfer with or lessen his drive to excel at chess.

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