[BlogEntry] Stop Searching For Bobby Fischer — He Died.

Bobby Fischer has died. I don't think that people today can imagine exactly what Fischer did for chess back during the Cold War. He kicked Russia's ass in 1972 by beating their champion, Boris Spassky. And he was damned smug about it.

Perhaps the best part to that story is the second half, that not so many people know about. 20 years later he came out of his seclusion to play a rematch in Yugoslavia, and again kicked Spassky's ass. That's when the problems really began, because the US had told him not to do that for one reason or another (there was some sort of embargo at the time). But if I remember this part correctly, after he won the match, the US Dept of Treasury was happy to say, "Great, when you come back into the country we're gonna take your money, you realize. What you did was illegal." So, what's Fischer do?

He never comes back. He's even filmed spitting on the US order not to play.

He renounces his US citizenship and disappears off the face of the earth. Turns out he went to live in Japan. I remember the story of when he was discovered a few years ago, trying to use his revoked passport to get on a flight. There was a bit in the story about the Japanese woman he was with, and how he was using her for citizenship, and Fischer's claims that all the Japanese women loved him because he was hung like a horse. I'll have to dig up that reference. 🙂

Of course he had his detractors. He was a well known anti-Semite (despite the fact that his mother was Jewish), and after Sept 11 he made some comments to the effect of "Good, that makes me happy." Quite a colorful man indeed.