On the Internet, no-one knows you're a reclusive Grandmaster...
September 9, 2001 12:50 PM   Subscribe

On the Internet, no-one knows you're a reclusive Grandmaster... It's the sketchiest of reports, but it looks as if Bobby Fischer is playing matches with other Masters at the International Chess Club site. It's pretty heartwarming (if a little ironic) to think that the anonymity and distance of online play may be luring this notorious control freak out of retirement... but is the revelation likely to scare him off again?
posted by holgate (10 comments total)
he'll be fine until someone accuses him of being our very own WILL WHEATON!!!

oh wait. was september will wheaton month here or was that august?
posted by jcterminal at 2:58 PM on September 9, 2001

There were rumors on rec.games.chess.misc several monthes back about this with the exact same description of opening moves (e.g. 1. h3). I remember in 1992 when Fischer announced his match against Spassky. It was tremendously exciting for for someone like me who totally idolized his chess playing, and each day after school I'd eagerly rush over to my father's office to check the latest internet reports about his latest game. There is no doubt in my mind that if he became active on the tournament circuit, there is no reason why he cannot be in the top 5 or 10 in the world.
posted by gyc at 4:25 PM on September 9, 2001

I hope it's him.
posted by neuroshred at 6:23 PM on September 9, 2001

didn't know much about bobby fischer before clicking those links. very interesting stuff, holgate. i guess it would be pretty dope if it really was him...
posted by lotsofno at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2001

I hope it's him - would be a useful illustration of the intrinsic value of anonymity...

Will he be scared off? Not necesssarily, IMO. As long as he is able to control when and with whom he can "lower shields" as it were, I think he'd still feel enough in control to hang around. If there is ever any evidence that he is being stalked or tagged, I imagine he would re-hermit. Really, this is very surreal. An online reincarnation. Stay connected, Mr. Fischer.
posted by Opus Dark at 12:39 AM on September 10, 2001

The evidence is pretty sketchy, but there are probably only a handful of men in the world who could whitewash Nigel Short at speed chess. What a lovely story if it's true.
posted by salmacis at 12:56 AM on September 10, 2001

This definitely proves that the Web is better than Paxil for social-phobics, specially now that a recent lawsuit in the US has claimed that Paxil is addictive, whereas the Internet...smirk, guffaw, smug grin.
It is heartwarming indeed, in more ways than one. It sort of vindicates old John Ruskin's theory that style is stronger than the man. It's amazing that Fischer's speed-play can be, if not identified, at least suspected.
It's a pity there isn't a Don Foster(the guy who identified Joe Klein as the author of "Primary Colors"and helped collar the Unabomber)for chess grandmasters. Or is there?
So I suppose it's one more cheer for that great and prolific author Anon.
Now if only the same could be done for bridge...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:02 AM on September 10, 2001

I wonder if he would ever agree to play Kramnik (current world champion). That would be a game I would pay serious money to watch, as also for a game between BF and Kasparov.
Thankfully I will be able to see this match, for free... And I hope humans win this time (I wonder how well Fisher would do against Big Fritz...)
posted by talos at 4:48 AM on September 10, 2001

Ever play Eggsalad on the ICC-a resident program rated about 2900(ICC)-I was playing a few games against it when a guest jumped in after I resigned one-so i obbed the game just to see when i could rematch eggsalad and saw a complete devastation of the silicon beast-i've seen eggsalad beat gms but this guest just crushed it-like mate on move 22-it was sick-now i know who came on
posted by quercus at 8:08 AM on September 10, 2001

It's truly a shame Short was unable/unwilling to reconstruct the games. While it's true that GM's have terrific chess memories and can probably pull a game played over a decade ago right out of their brains, the unusual opening by his opponent probably did not result in normal "chess-like" positions. An interesting Russian study done showed that while strong players (GM's( were able to easily retain chess positions which have occured in real life, they had a lot more trouble remembering chess positions in which the pieces were placed totally at random. The key is the pattern-recognition of the strong players.
posted by gyc at 1:14 AM on September 11, 2001

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