TheCaspianLion 40M
9 posts
7/14/2006 10:07 pm

Of course I am speaking of Robert J. Fischer of Chess world fame.

Some call him a genius, an anti-semetic, or just plain crazy. I don't think he is any of these. He is eccentric it is certain but anyone would be if they led the life he did. He was a cold war hero. He defeated the commies at their own game. He played Chess and that's what he was good at.

He made such a deep study of the game. Looking to him for his views on politics race or religion is as crazy as looking to George Clooney for the same. What makes them experts on those things anyway? I like Clooney for his acting and Fischer for his Chess and that's enough for me.

He is currently held up in Iceland, the place where he won the World Championship from Spassky in 72. He is probably never going to play Chess again. Every few years though he makes it into the news usually over things having nothing to do with Chess. I especially like the time when he wrote a pamphlet about being tortured in a Pasedena jailhouse. What was he doing there anyway?

When people talk about greatest Chess players that ever lived it usually comes down to him, Kasparov, Capablanca, Lasker and sometimes Morphy. Karpov and Alekhine could be distinguished that way but never are, maybe Stientz too but then he never got to play Morphy. Philidor didn't have anyone who could match his strength so he rarely even makes it to the top ten. It seems like greatness of self is also determined by the greatness of your contemporaries.

Fischer had a slew of them: Spassky, Kortchnoi, Petrosian, Keres, Tal, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Geller, some of whom were world champions themselves and there were also strong non-Russian players that Fischer had to wrestle with: Gligoric, Olaffson, and Larsen. Of all of these only Gligoric had beaten him more often than vice-versa.

Fischer is flawed but aren't we all? I think somehow he was too good at Chess. He should have held back somewhat and maybe we would still have him playing Chess for us or at least he would have played longer and retired properly.

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