Bobby Fischer: The Mozart of chess or a mad outlaw?

November 14, 2013
Considered by many as the best chess player ever, Bobby Fischer retired after fulfilling his dream: become the World Chess Champion. In that moment his behaviour turned erratic and was out of public appearance for 20 years. How can being a genius make you go into madness? Let's see it by taking a walk through his life.
Jacob Jackson

The youngest Grandmaster

When he was only 13, he won a match against Donald Byrne, match known as The Game of the Century. At 15 he became the youngest Grandmaster in history, record just broken in 1991. He also won eight US championships in a row since he was 14. Here you can see his first TV appearance.

The most famous game in history

In 1972 Bobby Fischer became the World Chess Champion, in a worldwide famous match against the russian champion Boris Spassky. It created big controversy and expectation because Fischer traveled to Iceland at the last moment, because in those years noone could defeat sovietic chess player and because it was seen as an extension of cold war. Here you have an interesting article about this event.

His best game

The sixth game in the match against Spassky is considered one of the best games in history and a definite sign of his genius. After losing even Spassky stood up and joined the crowd to applaud Fischer. If you're a real fan of chess, in this video you can see the movements and the analysis.

Fischer's comeback

In 1992, after a retirement and self-isolation of 20 years, Fischer agreed to make a rematch of 1972's world championship against Boris Spassky. Here you can read a review of this historical comeback.

Bobby Fischer Against the World

This really recommended movie, produced by HBO, tells the story of Bobby Fischer, since his very beginning in chess world, going through his best moment, and ending with his very controversial final years. A must see movie.

A genius by another genius

Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest chess players, analises here the genius and life of Bobby Fischer, as well as his disappointment for not being able to face his childhood idol, because of the mental problems that put Fischer out of the chess board. A very interesting approach.

His mental troubles

Since his beginning many people warned that there could be something wrong with his mind. His retirement when he had just achieved his most wanted goal in life and his subsequent self-isolation confirmed that he had some mental troubles. In this article you'll read an analysis of this troubles and how his own life took him to them.

9/11: The Fischer's controversial statements

After disappearing again for many years, Bobby Fischer gave this interview to a philippine radio right after the 9/11 attacks, celebrating and applauding the event and claiming for the arrest and execution of all the jews. His paranoid and anti semitic statements through years, when all of his family was jewish and also he was born jewish, were a proof of his paranoid behaviour and his mental illness. This would take him to be arrested in Japan and to request political asylum in Iceland.

And the light of a genius was finally extinguished

In 2008, at the symbolic age of 64, the number of the chess board squares, Bobby Fischer died in Iceland, as a product of an illness to which he refused treatment. A life of big achievements, genius, controversy and madness came to an end, leaving us some of the best moments in chess history.
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Bobby Fischer: The Mozart of chess or a mad outlaw?
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