What a story. A must read for all chess fans. Consume it at http://bobbyfischer.net/articles.html -- the best bit is at http://bobbyfischer.net/bobby07.html ... read all about Bobby's increasingly worrying (apparent) delusions and his brilliant play which broke the back of Russian chess dominance.

A particularly worthy quote from that webpage:

A position was reached which many experts judged drawn. At this stage Bobby decided to go into a huddle. He stewed about 10 minutes over Move 62, another 10 over 63, and then an hour over his 64th turn! Time spent in finding the best try in a drawn position. And suddenly Bobby had won.

... ...

While Fischer dashed for his car, Spassky remained glued to his seat. A sympathetic Lothar Schmid came over, and the two shifted the pieces about with Boris demonstrating his careless mistakes. The two were left wondering how Bobby could have squeezed a win from a position which a night of competent analysis by a renowned Soviet team had showed to be a guaranteed draw.

For those new to chess:
To understand this passage, you have to know that international chess tournament games are played on a 2 hour time setting for each 40 moves. Each player has a chess clock which has two clockfaces, one for each player, counting down each player's time separately. When one player makes his move, he moves his piece and then presses the button on his side of the clock, stopping his clock and starting his opponent's. If your clock shows that your two hours are up before you have made 40 moves, you lose on time. Games can be adjourned at the end of the day - the player whose turn it is to move secretly writes down his move and seals it in an envelope which is handed to the judges. It is then unsealed when play resumes and the game continues from there.

Play for that game had been adjourned the previous day and all the grandmasters from both U.S. and Russian camps had pored over the position for hours on end, with almost everyone agreeing that the most likely outcome was a draw. Bobby went to play a few moves, then thought for a whole hour on one move and managed to spring a win that nobody expected. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Bobby Fischer (Robert James Fischer) was the highest ranked grandmaster in history. ... the surprise U.S. grandmaster who won every US chess championship he entered and went on to take the Russians by storm, showing them that they were no longer in sole control of the chess playing world.

Bobby Fischer retired with a FIDE rating of 2785. Gary Kasparov remains, to date, the only chess player to have ever beaten this rating but has never played Bobby in tournament.

An American chess player, who in 1972 became the first American chess player to win the world championship (dominated after 1917 by the Russian Chess System). He was born Robert James Fischer in Chicago, Illinois. Fischer learned to play chess when he was 6 years old, and at the age of 13 he became the youngest national junior chess champion in the United States; at 14 he was the youngest senior champion. In 1958, after becoming the youngest international grandmaster in the history of chess, Fischer left high school and established himself as the only player in the Western countries to earn a living solely by playing chess. He became known as a brilliant competitor whose success derived mainly from surpise attacks and counterattacks.

Fischer set a modern tournament record by capturing the 1964-1965 US championship with 11 wins in 11 matches. By 1968 he had won the US championship eight times. In the 1970-1971 world Championship Candidate matches, Fishcer won 20 consecutive games. In 1972 Fischer, the first officially recognized American world champion, defeated titleholder, Boris Spassky of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 1975 the International Chess Federation refused to meet Fischer's conditions for a match with the Soviet challenger, Anatoly Karpov, and the title was awarded to Karpov.

Fischer did not compete publicly again unitl a 1992 rematch with Spassky. Defying orders from the US government not to violate United Nations sanctions against the warring republics of former Yugoslavia, Fischer traveled to the Adriatic island resort of Sveti Stefan and to Belgrade, Serbia, for the rematch. He won the match with ten wins to Spassky's five.

Editor's note: Bobby Fischer died in Reykjavik, Iceland on January 18, 2008

E2 nodes of interest
Bobby Fischer on September 11, 2001
Bizarre anti-Semitic interview with Bobby Fischer
Charles Mingus Meets Bobby Fischer in the Locked Ward at Bellevue
Searching for Bobby Fischer
A Bust to the King's Gambit
Bobby Fischer Goes to War

There are currently rumors that Bobby Fischer is secretly playing chess on the internet.

Nigel Short, the British grandmaster who in 1993 was the official challenger to Garry Kasparov, disclosed that Fischer has emerged from self-imposed exile.

Nigel reports that he has played nearly 50 speed chess games against Fischer in the last year.

"I am 99 percent sure that I have been playing against the chess legend. It's tremendously exciting,"
Short who is one of the best players in the world lost his first game against Fischer 8-0.

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