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Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 10:27
Ok, I know he's a nut (also makes him fabulously interesting) but I don't understand why it's necessary to arrest him. Once he agreed to play Spassky, to pull out in the last minute would have looked cowardly would it not? Particularly after 20 years in the wilderness.

And since when was a chess championship going to change the fate of a war or the accompanying suffering? I'd of thought Nato sitting on its hands for four years while a genocide unfolded on Europe's doorstep was a far more heinous crime than two chess masters having a rematch 20 years on? I still think Bobby Fischer is the greatest player ever.

For those who don;t know WTF (see Innosraents, I'm learning) I'm rambling about, here's the story from the New York Times.

Chess's Lost Soul, Bobby Fischer, Is Held in Tokyo
By BRUCE WEBER and TODD ZAUN

After two decades of living in secrecy, semi-isolation and increasingly distressed obscurity, Bobby Fischer, the former world chess champion, was arrested Friday by Japanese immigration authorities in Tokyo and accused of trying to leave the country without a valid passport.

An American Embassy official in Tokyo confirmed that Mr. Fischer was detained at Narita Airport. Japanese news reports said Mr. Fischer, 61, probably would be deported to the United States, where he faces charges for violating economic sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing an exhibition match there in 1992. But Mr. Fischer's immediate future remains unclear.

Richard A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said it was not yet determined whether the United States would ask that Mr. Fischer be turned over to the American authorities. He said only that Mr. Fischer, who has expressed virulently anti-American views since the warrant was issued for his arrest on Dec. 15, 1992, had been visited by an American consular officer.

"Questions about extradition or charges would have to be answered by the Department of Justice and the appropriate courts," Mr. Boucher said. The Justice Department had no comment, but an official said it was looking at the case to determine its legal options, including possible extradition. The official added that it was too soon to predict how the case might turn out. The detention of Mr. Fischer came the day before another longtime American fugitive - Charles Jenkins, 64, who is accused of deserting the Army in 1965, when he entered North Korea - was scheduled to arrive in Japan, and who is also expected to be the subject of an American extradition request.

It was unclear why Mr. Fischer was in Japan, though it is possible he was living there. In a radio interview broadcast from Manila in June 2003, he told the host that he was in Japan at the time. And chess publications that have long been obsessed with tracking the movements of the mysterious former champion have reported that Mr. Fischer travels frequently between Tokyo and Manila.

The episode is just the latest wrinkle in the strange international saga of Mr. Fischer - indisputably the greatest American chess player in history and some say the greatest ever in the world - whose life has spiraled weirdly and precipitously downward since his greatest glory.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 10:28
cont...

Born in Chicago but reared in Brooklyn, he first drew attention as an adolescent prodigy, able to hold his own with the strongest American players at the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs in Manhattan. A national champion at 14 and a grandmaster at 15, he became an international celebrity in 1972 when, at the height of the cold war, he unseated the Russian world champion, Boris Spassky, in a match in Reykjavik, Iceland. That, however, was to be the last of Mr. Fischer's triumphs. A petulant, demanding man with a cruel unpredictable streak, by the time he became world champion he was already known for his outlandishly self-aggrandizing behavior. It was part of what made him a legend.

In "Searching for Bobby Fischer," the 1988 book about the chess world that is partly about Mr. Fischer's status as an icon, the author, Fred Waitzkin, summed up Mr. Fischer's behavior in Reykjavik this way: "He drove the organizers of the tournament to despair. He argued about the choice of chess table, about his hotel room, about the noise in the auditorium, about the proximity of the audience to the players and about the lighting. He demanded that the organizers lend him a Mercedes with an automatic transmission and arrange for the private use of a swimming pool. He came late to each game and kept threatening to pull out of the match if his demands weren't met."

It was a harsh eccentricity that soon grew self-destructive. Mr. Fischer's sanity seemed to frazzle in the limelight, and he sank into a contrary isolation that seems to characterize him to this day.

After the Spassky match, he refused offers to play chess for titanic sums of money, and he lost his title after three years because he refused to defend it against Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union. His time was evidently consumed by lawsuits, one brought against him by Chester Fox, who had held the film rights to the Spassky match, but which became worthless because Mr. Fischer had refused to play before the cameras, which he said he could hear whirring. Mr. Fischer unsuccessfully sued a biographer, Brad Darrach, and the Time-Life Corporation, for invasion of privacy. Another suit, against a student group that he claimed published, without permission, remarks he made about his affiliation with a fringe church, also failed and reportedly left him bankrupt.

A virulent anti-Semite in spite of his own Jewish ancestry (his mother was a Jew), he has claimed that his belongings were stolen by a Jewish conspiracy from a warehouse in Southern California, where he lived during the 1980's. The federal indictment against him after the match in Yugoslavia seemed to ignite an equally virulent anti-American fire in him. Over the past five years, his occasional rants to radio stations in Iceland and Hungary, as well as the Philippines, have been full of hate against Jews and the United States.

On Sept. 11, 2001, he told a radio talk-show host in Baguio, the Philippines, that the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were "wonderful news," adding he was wishing for a scenario "where the country will be taken over by the military, they'll close down all the synagogues, arrest all the Jews and secure hundreds of thousands of Jewish ringleaders."

Mr. Fischer lived for a time in Pasadena, Calif., and it has been reported that from 1975 to 1992, he lived in cheap rooms around Los Angeles. Over the past decade, however, he is known to have lived in Budapest, and reportedly has also lived in the Philippines and Switzerland.

For two decades, Mr. Fischer was a specter that haunted the chess world; its greatest genius had vanished with almost no trace. The few people he kept in touch with were under threat that he would never speak to them again if they discussed him - which was why it was colossal news in 1992 when he was lured out of hiding for a rematch against Mr. Spassky in Yugoslavia.

Just before the match, however, the United Nations imposed sanctions against Yugoslavia for supporting Serbian aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United States banned its citizens from doing business there. Mr. Fischer ignored a formal warning from the government against playing the match, and at a news conference spat on the letter. He won the match, collecting $3.3 million, and has been in exile from the United States ever since.

Zephyr
17-07-2004, 10:55
I've always liked him.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 11:24
Why does that not surprise me?

He at least is a twisted genius of some sort. You are just a plain bore.

I posted it for interest, not to provide grist to your mill of world paranoia.

kniga
17-07-2004, 12:29
Ned,

The guy is a loser, proving once again that genius without balance is simply a waste.

Blaked
17-07-2004, 12:36
No, genius without balance is purity. Why share what you have with other people if you like nobody but yourself?

kniga
17-07-2004, 12:45
Blaked,

Purity? Well, yes -- pure troglodyte narcissism.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 13:36
Yes Kniga, tend to agree . I was just reading that he piked the Karpov match in 1975 so there was no likelihood of honour being involved in 1992.

kniga
17-07-2004, 13:46
Ned,

That's worth a beer, mate! Want to discuss him and someone else far more interesting over a flagon of ale?

camus
17-07-2004, 14:09
Ned,

How can you judge who the "greatest player ever" is ? I can tell you that a 1972 Fischer with 1972 chess knowledge would get absolutely slaughtered by any of the top 10 chess players in the world right now. Moreover, the aborted 1975 match against Karpov was far from a sure victory for Fischer.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 14:26
Camus....you caught Ned out so badly he's beyond shame - I can still get beaten in the five-move trick (or is it three...?)!:p

I can't judge. I'm just a sucker for interesting characters. I didn't realise it'd be a flies to turd post for some of the whackos on this site (yourself and Kniga being obvious exceptions).

Then again, maybe Fischer was so talented he could still win? It's a pity they can't say to him: "Ok Bobby, you agree to a match against Kasparov and maybe we'll forget about the sentence".

camus
17-07-2004, 14:35
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
Camus....you caught Ned out so badly he's beyond shame - I can still get beaten in the five-move trick (or is it three...?)!:p

I can't judge. I'm just a sucker for interesting characters. I didn't realise it'd be a flies to turd post for some of the whackos on this site (yourself and Kniga being obvious exceptions).

Then again, maybe Fischer was so talented he could still win? It's a pity they can't say to him: "Ok Bobby, you agree to a match against Kasparov and maybe we'll forget about the sentence".

Kasparov has offered to play Fischer many times. Fischer has turned down each offer mumbling something about conspiracy (he claims that all of Kasparov's matches are prefabricated) and says he doesn't want have anything to do with such a corrupt man.

If such a match between Fischer and Kasparov were to take place, Bobby would be lucky to win a single game.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 14:38
Come to think of it, although I stand by my complete incompetence on judging chess, your argument is slightly specious. You could make the same case about anyone involved in some form of sport from a different era.

Don Bradman retired from cricket in 1948 (Ned moves to much firmer ground here) but he's likely to remain unchallenged as the greatest batsman ever. Yet it's impossible to tell how he'd have performed in modern conditions...

The same sort of thing with football and other sports where modern levels of fitness have changed the game, in some cases beyond recognition.

I shouldn't have said "the greatest ever"...just spinning my usual crap, trying to inject drama into something that's probably quite banal.:p

camus
17-07-2004, 14:46
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
Come to think of it, although I stand by my complete incompetence on judging chess, your argument is slightly specious. You could make the same case about anyone involved in some form of sport from a different era.

Don Bradman retired from cricket in 1948 (Ned moves to much firmer ground here) but he's likely to remain unchallenged as the greatest batsman ever. Yet it's impossible to tell how he'd have performed in modern conditions...

The same sort of thing with football and other sports where modern levels of fitness have changed the game, in some cases beyond recognition.

I shouldn't have said "the greatest ever"...just spinning my usual crap, trying to inject drama into something that's probably quite banal.:p

I was referring to Fischer's current level of play, which is around 2600 ELO based on his performance against Spassky in 1992. For reference, Kasparov is currently rated around 2850. At this is level this is huge gap; Kasparov is a whole two rating CLASSES better than Fischer. As another reference, Fischer's rating in 1972 was around 2750, Spassky was around 2650.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 14:56
I really should know better than to get into an argument with you - especially on a subject I know zero about. But the alternative is cleaning my flat, and having swept the lounge-room I really can't bring myself to do the mopping yet...

Does the 12 years in between not make a comparison between Fischer then and Kasparov now slightly irrelevant?

camus
17-07-2004, 14:58
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
I really should know better than to get into an argument with you - especially on a subject I know zero about. But the alternative is cleaning my flat, and having swept the lounge-room I really can't bring myself to do the mopping yet...

Does the 12 years in between not make a comparison between Fischer then and Kasparov now slightly irrelevant?

Yes, Fischer has likely become even weaker.

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 15:03
I re-read your post after I responded and realised what you were saying. Ok, you've got Ned's unconditional surrender.

What about a debate then on US policy between the fanatically pro-American Kasparov and the insanely anti-American Fischer?

What sort of ELO would you give them ahead of time - remembering Fischer wants the US military to take over the government and Kasparov can keep a straight face arguing the south was fighting solely for Jeffersonian principles in the civil war?

camus
17-07-2004, 15:13
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
I re-read your post after I responded and realised what you were saying. Ok, you've got Ned's unconditional surrender.

What about a debate then on US policy between the fanatically pro-American Kasparov and the insanely anti-American Fischer?

What sort of ELO would you give them ahead of time - remembering Fischer wants the US military to take over the government and Kasparov can keep a straight face arguing the south was fighting solely for Jeffersonian principles in the civil war?

I'm not sure whether this is a windup of not (Kasparov is indeed a history buff who tends to espouse strange points of view).

The crux of the matter is this: top-level chess players tend be a bit deranged. The combination of personality traits necessary to play chess at that level makes for some weird characters. I've heard some interviews with Kasparov before:

"I always knew I was a genius. When I was 2 years old I was dreaming chess. I knew by 3 years that I would be World Champion. It was just a matter of time. I am the greatest ever."

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 15:25
"The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess..."

I'll leave it with Edgar Allan Poe. I've got to do the mopping!

kniga
17-07-2004, 17:47
Ned,

Driven to the mop by a rook! :-)

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 20:16
indeed, my thanks to camus...i wouldn't have gotten going on the mopping if he hadn't put me to the sword so clinically!

you know of course kniga that camus is a former chess grandmaster...:p

camus
17-07-2004, 20:32
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
indeed, my thanks to camus...i wouldn't have gotten going on the mopping if he hadn't put me to the sword so clinically!

you know of course kniga that camus is a former chess grandmaster...:p

Not quite, although I've beaten players about as strong as Bobby Fischer likely is nowadays...

kniga
17-07-2004, 20:47
Ned,

This site is full of very interesting surprises!

Ned Kelly
17-07-2004, 21:24
Originally posted by camus
Not quite, although I've beaten players about as strong as Bobby Fischer likely is nowadays...

I don't doubt it....knew there was a logical source for the online persona!;)

C'mon Camus, even your hard heart must have a soft spot with a bit of curiosity about Bobby Fischer...?

koba65
17-07-2004, 21:51
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ned Kelly
[B]Ok, I know he's a nut (also makes him fabulously interesting) but I don't understand why it's necessary to arrest him. Once he agreed to play Spassky, to pull out in the last minute would have looked cowardly would it not? Particularly after 20 years in the wilderness.

Agree - I don't see what the big deal is. We let Jimmy the Peanut Carter fly all over the place violating US laws about private citizens (yes, he is a former pres, so what?!) entering into unsanctioned negotiations with foreign countries - what's the big deal about a lousy chess match. Fischer is probably loving the publicity though.

Zephyr
17-07-2004, 22:53
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch58.html

camus
18-07-2004, 00:58
Originally posted by Zephyr
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch58.html

What a load of bunk. The article is patently wrong about certain things (Fischer is, for instance not the first American to become "best in the world" -- he's the first sanctioned American FIDE champion, however there was an Amerian player called Paul Morphy who was widely considered the best in the world during his time -- he was so good that some of the best European players were afraid of playing with him) conveniently doesn't mention a few things about Fischer:

1. His strange involvements with the Worldwide Church of God.

At one point he was spreading their gospel. Later, he started accusing them of taking all his money and spying on him.

2. His rants about Jews.

He contends that Jews are all greedy subhumans who cheated him out of all his money (being cheated out of money is a common theme for him). Once, when confronted about the fact that he himself is Jewish, Fischer responded "we'll decide this this matter at the urinals!"

3. His "rematch" with Spassky in 1992

By 1992, Spassky's rank in the world was somewhere around 500. He was nowhere close to being a topflight chess player. One of the demands that Fischer had for the rematch was that it be referred to as the "World Chess Championships" with the same phrase plastered all over the playing hall. His logic for all of this: "I was World Champion in 1972 and have not played since, therefore, whoever is playing me is playing for the World Championship"

4. His "quirks" regarding matches

Once, he demanded that toilet seats be raised an inch, another time claimed that an opponent was using hypnosis techniques on him.

5. His constant baiting of the current top-level chess players and his refusals to actually *play* with any of them.

Fischer believes that all the current top-level players are fabricated as part of some conspiracy (specifically Kasparov who he says plays all his games with the aid of a giant secret supercomputer somewhere). He has been offered matches by several of them but he refuses to play saying that he will not engage in dealings with such "swine".

Zephyr
18-07-2004, 14:55
I see that you are a tad jealous, maybe you should challenge him and make yourself a few kopeks.

camus
18-07-2004, 18:14
Originally posted by Zephyr
I see that you are a tad jealous, maybe you should challenge him and make yourself a few kopeks.

Jealous of what ?