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.