Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bobby Fischer - a belated RIP 1943-2008

I have never been a good chess player - don't have the persistance - but the achievements of Bobby Fischer always interested me. His death earlier this year left me saddened though I didn’t post on it – instead I spent time working through some of Bobby’s great games that Nicholas Gruen linked to. The queen sacrifice he makes in his ‘Game of the Century’ suggests maniacally exquisite foresight.

Bobby got a lot of bad publicity after his great chess achievements - his anti-Semitism and so on. Not that he probably didn’t deserve it but there must be a positive side to the guy. Indeed, there is.

This empathetic account of Bobby Fisher by Dick Cavett is enjoyable. Bobby didn’t have talons but equally was no angel. He was obviously super- intelligent and self-aware. In his own words his talent in chess was partly that of a prodigy and partly due to an ability to sustain a focus with much hard work.

The remarkable Youtube of the Fisher-Cavett interview in 1971 is here. Worth watching.

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