The game of chess has undoubtedly produced a great level of thinkers and players throughout history. Some of the smartest people in the world have been playing chess – and chess grandmasters are known for their immense knowledge of the game. But if we had to single out a person out of all of the grandmasters in chess – then it would have to be the legend, Bobby Fischer.
Bobby Fischer – First Steps
Bobby Fischer started to show his inclinations for chess from a very young age. He had a practice of closing himself off from the world while sitting at home and paying deep attention to the chess board, solving chess problems and advancing his skill and knowledge of the game. The immense chess talent of his quickly rose to prominence when he was just 13 years old – he won a game against American chess master Donald Byrne, in a game that’s been touted as the game of the century.
Bobby Fischer routinely won chess national championships later on in his chess career, and he won by large margins. He won a total of 8 national chess championships.
But if there is one event that turned Bobby Fischer into a legend it’s the chess world championship held on September 1, 1972, in the city of Reykjavik, Iceland. This match was hyped at the time as the match of the century, and all of the eyes of the entire world were turned towards this big event. The hype was further fueled by the fact that the cold war was at its peak and the Americans and Russians competed in every field for dominance. The opponent of Bobby Fischer was Boris Spassky, a big name of Russian chess at the time. Fischer managed to win the match, cementing his place as a legend in chess history.
Last couple of years
However, the latter years in his life will not be remembered by good. He had problems with his mental health and he was living as a recluse for a long time. Then he started to develop his own ideas about the world and he had vicious political views. He was decidedly anti-American and anti-Semitic in his view – this comes despite the fact that his mother was Jewish. In fact, the American Chess Federation decided to permanently revoke the membership of Fischer because of the fact that he praised the 9/11 terrorist attacks as something that America deserved, because of the aggressive and abusive policies in the middle east. He received full citizenship in the state of Iceland, the country that he helped made famous at the time of his win over Spassky. He died in 2008 in the city of Reykjavik.
No matter what your point of view is on Bobby Fischer, there is no doubt that he was one of the greatest, most brilliant chess minds in the entire history of the game. As such, his legacy should be cherished by the millions of chess players that live nowadays all over the world. His contributions to the popularization of the game of chess and in the development of the knowledge of chess cannot be underestimated and taken for granted.