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Iceland awaits Bobby Fischer
March 10, 2005 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Iceland awaits grandmaster Bobby Fischer...if he doesn't first get extradited to the United States for tax evasion. Fate hangs in the balance for a man who played a uniquely patriotic role during the Cold War, ending more than two decades of Soviet domination of the sport of chess.
posted by AlexReynolds (19 comments total)

 
I'm in the process of reading Bobby Fischer Goes To War and The Chess Artist, both of which are absolutely fantastic...

Thanks for the additional reading, AlexReynolds!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2005



posted by spock at 10:05 AM on March 10, 2005


Fischer remains a poster case of the thin line separating genius from insanity.
posted by spock at 10:10 AM on March 10, 2005


I thought the grandmaster was at the top of his game with The Furious Five: it really is like a jungle out there and who does not oft times wonder how, indeed, they keep from going under?
posted by freebird at 10:33 AM on March 10, 2005


"In recent years, Fischer, a one-time poster boy for the U.S. in the its clash with the Soviet Union, has verbally attacked the U.S., lauding the terrorist attacks of 2001 and decrying the country for its lack of culture and large number of Jews."

Anybody have any proof of these statements? If he said this stuff(not entirely unbelievable) i have lost most of my respect for the man...

I think that Bobby Fischer is a great chess player, and a grand ass. Kind of like HST for the chess crowd.
posted by schyler523 at 11:37 AM on March 10, 2005


Fischer has made many deplorable anti-semitic comments in public. Here's a summary (free registration required, bugmenot works). He's not quite right in the head.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:51 AM on March 10, 2005


Fischer remains a poster case of the thin line separating genius from insanity.

?? Fischer is both clearly insane and clearly a chess genius. I don't see him as representing any sort of thin line.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:14 PM on March 10, 2005


He really is a weeping syzygy of blebs.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2005


What a sad case. The young Fischer was one of the forces that got me interested chess as a child, for which I'm eternally grateful. But every time I want to give the middle-aged Fischer the benefit of the doubt, he just does or says something even more stupid than before. I realize he was already eccentric and arrogant when young, but it seems like somewhere the scales tipped and that became his main personality characteristic.
posted by soyjoy at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2005


Fischer is clearly insane and his racist and anti-American comments should be treated as such. But however deplorable these comments may be, that's no reason for keeping him isolated in a Japanese prison just because he played chess 13 years ago in a country that doesn't even exist any more. He needs help, not imprisonment.

I'm Icelandic and this has been on the news for the last months. Really to the point that I've had more than enough of the coverage.

The tax evasion charges just surfaced recently. The main reason why he's being kept in prison is that he repeated his duel with Boris Spasky in Yugoslavia in 1992. To haunt probably the greatest chess player of all time, for the crime of breaking an embargo by going to Yugoslavia, is in my mind quite ridiculous.
posted by einarorn at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2005


"In recent years, Fischer, a one-time poster boy for the U.S. in the its clash with the Soviet Union, has verbally attacked the U.S., lauding the terrorist attacks of 2001 and decrying the country for its lack of culture and large number of Jews."

Anybody have any proof of these statements? If he said this stuff(not entirely unbelievable) i have lost most of my respect for the man...


Yes schyler523, Fischer's tirades are definitely well documented. If you haven't already, you should read this great article about Bobby Fischer that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly a few years ago:

Bobby Fisher's Pathetic Endgame (a copy of The Atlantic Monthly article)
posted by moxyberry at 12:51 PM on March 10, 2005


It's very sad to see the ancient and distinguished game that used to be a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:23 PM on March 10, 2005


octobersurprise:

I suppose this makes "Is there no one in my life who does not claim the right to steal my work, my name, my success, my fame, and my freedom" kinda poignant...

/Chess the musical junkie
posted by graymouser at 1:36 PM on March 10, 2005


Wow -

Thanks moxyberry, now I know that he is completely and utterly mad.

Sure bobby, junk-food magnates are out to get you...and the jews make black-magic from little christian boys' blood...yup and all the Jews, secret Jews, or CIA rats who work for the Jews are totally out to get you my man...
posted by schyler523 at 2:21 PM on March 10, 2005


"He began worrying about the purity of his bodily fluids."

Delusions of General Ripper? Damn you Strangelove!
posted by schyler523 at 2:40 PM on March 10, 2005


Bobby Fischer is still my chess hero for the way he singlehandedly took on the entire Soviet chess machine. He's just a sick old man and for all the good he's done to the U.S. in the past they should just forgive and forget and let him live out his days in Iceland. Contrast the harsh treatment of Fischer with the treatment of a real traitor, Charles Jenkins.
posted by gyc at 3:05 PM on March 10, 2005


In other sad chess news, Garry Kasparov has just announced his retirement from professional chess after winning the Linares chess tournament.
posted by gyc at 3:30 PM on March 10, 2005


chess....sport

Ha !
posted by peacay at 10:05 PM on March 10, 2005


I seem to remember hearing a clip of him on the radio (in korea? china? or something) after 9/11 ranting crazily about how america deserved it, and the jews, and his mother, and all sorts of nonsense. Definitely very very insane indeed.
posted by cell at 4:10 AM on March 11, 2005


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