Bobby Fischer died at the age of 64 early this morning due to kidney failure. He was the first Chess World Champion from the United States.
He was brilliant and he was also a sunuvabitch that probably caused more pain in the world than enjoyment over his Chess skills.
“Chess is war on a board,” he once said. “The object is to crush the other man’s mind.”
Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion from Russia, said Fischer’s ascent in the chess world in the 1960s and his promotion of chess worldwide was “a revolutionary breakthrough” for the game.
His play spawned a chess movement in the United States that is still relatively strong today. And of course one can’t talk about Fischer without mentioning his rivalry with the USSR’s Boris Spassky. You might even say that the Fischer-Spassky matches in the 1970′s helped in the long run with the West eventually winning the Cold War.
However, his brilliance at Chess was overshadowed by his ability to created controversy when away from the game with his very passionate anti-Semitic views after his fall from the heights of the game and of course there was his reaction to the Sept 11 2001 acts of terrorism:
“This is all wonderful news,” he declared. “I applaud the act. The US and Israel have been slaughtering the Palestinians, just slaughtering them, for years. Robbing them and slaughtering them. No one gave a shit. Now it’s coming back to the US. F*** the US. I want to see the US wiped out. Death to the US.”
It’s with mixed emotions we bid you ‘Goodnight’ and hope that if there’s an afterlife you do better the next go around Mr. Fischer.