April 12, 2005

What ever became of Bobby Fischer?

Please, go to the world's greatest resource of knowledge and read about the chess champion Bobby Fischer:
You may know the highlights of his life-- Chess grand master at the age of 15, beat the Russian world champion Boris Spassky in Rejkyavik Iceland in 1972, and then he has mostly been a hermit, emerging from myth every once in a while to rant about Jews and whatnot (he himself is of Jewish descent).

There were rumors at Caltech that he could be seen sometimes roaming the streets of Pasadena mumbling to himself. I never saw him there though. I do know that he had his things in a storage locker in Pasadena, and his landlord had them sold after he didn't pay his rent.

Fischer played a rematch against Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992, breaking a US/UN embargo and earning a US arrest warrant in the process. He has been an expatriate since then. Recently Japan was going to turn him over to the US but Fischer wrote to Iceland for help. On March 21 2005 the Icelandic parliament, without debate, decided unanimously to grant Fischer citizenship, and on March 24 of this year he moved to Iceland. Apparently Iceland has an extradition treaty with the US, but according to Icelandic law, Icelandic citizens may not be extradited from Iceland. What are they thinking!? Any thoughts, Ragnar?


At April 13, 2005 4:46 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

What ever became of that huge painting we had hanging in our room of Bobby Fischer and someone else. Remember we teased you by saying it looked like you? That deserves a second life as a digital image.

At April 13, 2005 8:32 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

My brother-in-law Brian painted that, it is of Karpov and Kasparov. I think its at he and my sister's house in Owatonna-- have to look into a digital image! In the meantime, check out Bobby Fischer's personal website:

At April 14, 2005 10:37 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I have a friend in Iceland, we used to work at Maxlab together. He says that Fischer did a lot for his country, bringing an out of the way island to the attention of the world. He said Iceland has asked Fischer to tone down his comments about women and Jews, and maybe he will and maybe he won't. But the most important point Ragnar makes is, is a prison really the best place for the world's greatest chess player? He is a genuine hero of the cold war.

At April 14, 2005 6:16 PM , Anonymous tim said...

holy crap, that site is disturbing.

At April 16, 2005 6:57 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Yeah, isn't it? The impression it gives of his psychological state...


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