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 Robert J. Fischer, 1943 - 2008. 

Robert J. Fischer, 1943-2008

I got literally over 100 e-mails about this ... when a chess friend called me on my cell-phone to tell me about it, I thought it was some type of cruel joke. 
 (I had just gone to my wife's funeral the day before.)  

I have written extensively about Bobby Fischer ... I have probably analyzed more of his chess games, (example #1, example #2); than any other on-line source or writer. 

I have always thought he was a great chess player, I would probably not have continued in chess - throughout my life - without his influence. 

Without question, he was one of the greatest chess players of the star-studded 20th century, he had a greater impact on the game than perhaps any other player who ever lived. 

He changed the way that chess was played, he even changed the way that chess was viewed by others. 

He went completely off the deep end of the mental wading pool in the final chapters of his life, but that he was a real chess genius, this is a fact ... something that I do not question. 

Let us mourn the passing of a man, and the passing of one of the better chess players of all time. 


  ICC Weekly Newsletter ● Vol. III - issue III ● Friday, January 18, 2007 

It's the end of an era for the chess world, as the controversial former world champion, Robert J. “Bobby” Fischer died last Thursday in his adoptive homeland of Iceland at the natural chess age of 64 - a year for every square on the board.

Chess legend Fischer, who was born in Chicago in 1943 and raised in Brooklyn, became famous for beating Soviet rival Boris Spassky in a Cold War world championship match in 1972, died of an unspecified illness, his spokesman said, though it was common knowledge he was admitted to hospital several months back to be treated for kidney failure and severe mental health issues.

From child prodigy he went on to become the unlikely all-American hero who shattered the belief of the leaders of Soviet chess that a world champion had to be cultured, well-rounded personality, made in the USSR. But it all turned sour when he became persona non grata in the U.S. following the breaking of UN sanctions in playing a 1992 ‘return match’ with Spassky in civil war-torn Yugoslavia, a move that ultimately led to him being imprisoned for almost a year in Japan on extradition charges back to the U.S.

It was Fischer who put Iceland on the map for the first time since the Vikings with his 1972 showdown with Spassky. Fittingly, it was Iceland who returned the favor by making him an Icelandic citizen that avoided him being dragged back to America and what would have been an embarrassing court case.

Despite all his imperfections, paranoia, anti-Semitic diatribes and expressing support for the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York, Fischer should be best remembered for his glittering career en route to his historic 1972 victory in Reykjavik over Spassky, rather than the sad and prolonged end-game of his personal life.

Many obituaries have been written by major news outlets on Fischer's death, a selection of which you'll find below. ICC will be airing a special Chess Talk with IM John Watson, who will be reflecting on Fischer's controversial career and brilliant moments over the board with his special guest, GM Andy Soltis, author of the hit book Bobby Fischer Rediscovered.  



The Guardian, by Leonard Barden

Associated Press, by Gudjon Helgason

The New York Times, by Bruce Weber

Robert James Fischer 1943-2008, by Mark Crowther (alt. site

Dick Cavett remembers Bobby Fischer, in the NY Times. 

fisch_d01.bmp, 205 KB

fisch_d02.bmp, 208 KB


      A  BLOG  about Fischer ... apparently BOTH his mother and his (real) father were of Jewish descent.  

      See Bill Wall's online bio of this player.  

      It has now been one year since Bobby Fischer passed away, and the CB website takes a look back at Bobby Fischer's career

     A nice YT video on Bobby Fischer ... PART ONE.  

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  This page was begun on January 19th, 2007. Last update: Sunday, December 02, 2012 01:05 AM