January 20, 2008

All I want to do, ever, is play chess.

The New York Times published an obituary for chessplayer Bobby Fischer who died on January 17. At age 13 Fischer sacrificed his queen in 'The Game of the Century' to beat Donald Byrne, one of the top players in the U.S. at the time. He went on to win 8 (of 8 entered) of the 10 US championships held starting in 1958, and in 1972, in Rejkjavik Iceland, he beat Boris Spassky and the Soviet lock on the international championship. Fischer said, 'I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.'

I blogged about Bobby's exile from the U.S. and his new refuge in Iceland a while back. Here is Bobby's own website, worth a visit. Off the board Bobby as mad at everyone, like the international Jewish conspiracy, the Union Bank of Switzerland, the Seiko watch company and the Pasadena Police.


At January 22, 2008 9:07 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

Tim and I talked about Mr. Fischer today at lunch. We ate at "Taste of India" or something like that. I ate more than any person should be allowed. It was a buffet after all.

At January 23, 2008 7:38 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

As long as the food made your eyebrows sweat you should be alright.

This article about Bobby Fischer, Fischer's Roots in City Tangle with his Legacy, was much better:
I learned that he went to high school with Barbara Streisand.

At January 23, 2008 3:26 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I've heard of lots of those types of pairings -- where two famous people went to the same high school. What's going on to cause that?

Natalie Wood and Robert Redford went to high school together. I just learned that the other day. It's not very important, but an interesting coincidence.

At January 23, 2008 7:41 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

I'm not sure what I think of this guy. He's kinda an insane savant like the Unibomber or Hitler. Did he really have something to contribute, or was he a insane genetic mess that happen to have a remarkable ability.

At January 23, 2008 10:02 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Celebrity pairings, I think it is a kind of selection-- you know, if somebody famous went to school with somebody who wasn't famous, they wouldn't be likely to remember it.

Papa, I am a fan of Bobby's. I respect his take-on-the-world thumb-in-your-eye attitude, the will of the individual humbling the Soviet chess machine, and of course you can't beat relocating to Scandinavia. He grew up without a father (and not so much mother) and chess became his home. Isn't pretty much everyone an insane genetic mess? An old Caltech legend, true it turns out, was that somebody had seen Bobby wandering up and down Colorado Boulevard.


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