Friday, January 18, 2008

Fischer, Farewell .....

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND - Robert James Fischer, the reclusive American chess master who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, has died. He was 64. CLICK HERE for the complete story from

When one covers a story - or a storied individual - long enough, one must be prepared for changes, for disparities, and for conflict in how one views the subject. Such was the case, for me, of Bobby Fischer. Writing for my high school newspaper, I prepared an article about the surge of interest among American teens in the game of chess, sparked by Fischer's celebrated defeat of Russian champion Boris Spassky in 1972. To the right, in an AP file photo by John Lent, taken in 1962, is the Fischer that many of us remember ..... or prefer to remember.

It conflicts dramatically with the picture we would have of Fischer later in his life - the chess master who condemned the world he once ruled, an American icon of the Cold War who renounced his U.S. citizenship, and the recluse who occasionally emerged from the shadows for anti-American and anti-Semitic tirades heard by a dwindling number of those who still cared about what he said.

Yet they were all part-and-parcel of one person. Remember that person as you will.

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