Friday, November 29, 2002

Still Searching for Bobby Fischer

A&L Daily (so glad it's back, one of the best sites on the web) linked a story the other day about Bobby Fischer's recent broadcasts on a Phillipine radio station. The story ("Bobby Fischer's Pathetic Endgame") was a concise and interesting overview of his career, spotlighting the incidents that make his total descent into hatemongering unsurprising.

 Bobby Fischer is one of those guys I bet you had on your college campus (I'm thinking of two from UConn back in the day: 'Lurch' and 'Physics Phil'), a genius -- maybe in the Engineering school -- with astonishing intellectual capacity in a particular field, but otherwise considered a lunatic for things like sleeping in a winter coat on a bare mattress, showering in his clothes, subsisting mainly on raw potatoes, and the like.

 I was never a chess buff, but I remember watching PBS back in the mid-70's, when they covered the World Championships with a big pegboard to show the moves, and being occasionally interested in Fischer's antics. I'm a big fan of the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer which, having nothing to do with Fischer himself, at least brings the name to mind each time I walk past my DVD rack. Anyways, Fischer is a character, if only in the 'just because you are one doesn't mean you have any' sense); a tie from my lifetime to the coldest days of the Cold War, a broken genius in an irrelevant field, basically a spectacle -- the car wreck from which it's difficult to look away.

 Turns out Fischer and his family have a thick FBI dossier and he may have been recruited to spy for the Soviets. One can only imagine what kind of information the KGB might have prized that they suspected Fischer would be able to supply? The guy was always one step away from wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes.

Related: The Radio Interviews (Reads as if it may be Bobby's own page, certainly written by an ardent admirer.) / "I Was Tortured in a Pasadena Jailhouse!" / The Worldwide Church of God / bobbyfischer.net


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