Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bobby Fischer

This post by Van Helsing at Moonbattery comments on Bobby Fischer's pending return from Japan to face the music in the USA.
"It looks like Bobby Fischer, a genius at chess but apparently a demented fool in every other respect, is on his way home. Renouncing his American citizenship is getting him nowhere with the Japanese, who detained him after he tried to leave their country for the Philippines on a revoked US passport, according to ABC News. The Japanese intend to ship him back to the USA, where he will face charges for violating sanctions against the genocidal Yugoslav regime by playing a match there in 1992. He would prefer to go to Iceland, where he is relatively popular for putting that island on the map when he took the world title by beating Boris Spassky there in 1972."
We have a special place in our heart for the Bobby Fischer of old. We were playing tournament chess when Bobby stunned the chess world by smashing his way through a series of Soviet Bloc grandmasters and winning the world championship against Spassky. A good friend even traveled to Iceland to see several games of the match, and is probably the cause of the infamous "noisy candywrapper" incident, which nearly ended the match prematurely.

In those days the Soviets completely dominated the upper echelons of grandmaster chess (think US and basketball today). This was one of their "proofs" of the "superiority" of communism and the Socialist Man over capitalism and freedom. Fischer personally shredded that myth in front of the world, and he did it in unprecedented fashion.

To reach the championship match Fischer won several matches against other East Bloc grandmasters. Normally such matches consisted mainly of draws with one or two game wins often being sufficient to win the match. Fischer won all these matches decisively, often shutting out his opponents. He continued to play aggressively for the win even with commanding leads in the matches, and he won.

Although he played brilliantly, Fischer was always eccentric. He believed the Russians were conspiring against him, ganging up, and cheating. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you. There was substance to many of his charges.

Always enigmatic, Fischer abruptly quit playing tournament chess and vanished from view. A few years ago he reappeared in the bizarre incident in the former Yugoslavia that landed him in his current predicament.

It is sad to see what he has become. Once brilliant, he is now just batty. A Jew, he's now an anti-Semite. A once heroic figure in the battle between freedom and totalitarianism, he can no longer tell the difference between them.

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