A Legend Dies
Posted by hyperpat on January 18, 2008
As reported today, Bobby Fischer has died at the age of 64. Chess players around the world must mourn the demise of one of the greatest talents the game has ever known. Players since his day have eclipsed his FIDE rating, but many suspect that if he was at the peak of his powers today and with access to the great aid of powerful computer analysis, he would still be the man to beat. He did a great deal to popularize the game in America, and fought hard to improve playing conditions and prize funds, of great benefit to all. While I started playing the game long before he became a major influence, his prominence helped push me to learn more and to start playing tournament chess, which I continue to do to this day.
Unfortunately, as a man he left much to be desired. While his seemingly paranoid continuous statements about the Russian’s collusion to deny him the world championship have since been, in the main, verified as being true, his attacks on America and Jews were inexcusable, and badly tarnished his reputation. Like the only other American world champion, Paul Morphy, Fischer apparently had some serious mental issues, which became more and more evident as he aged.
His accomplishments were great. His life away from the chess board was not. But his death is still a great loss to the chess world.