Friday, January 18, 2008

A Chicago Legend

"My hair is cooler than your hair."

In what is ultimately depressing and slightly relieving news, Chicago-native Chess champ Bobby Fischer died today at the age of 64. He was also completely fucking crazy.

I don't know if I consider Chess a sport (I probably do), but this guy would be the sort of person that Luol's Dong would have written about regularly in the 70's (back then, called Pete Rose's Penis). When I complain that we don't have enough people doing stupid things in the media to keep us entertained, I'm usually wishing we had someone like Fischer. Here's a few highlights of Bobby's "Career:"

-- Won the US National Title at the age of 12, the youngest ever.

-- Agreed to the use of cameras for a title match against Boris Spassky. Discovers that he doesn't like cameras after losing the first game, and refuses to play in front of them. Forfeits second match until Spassky allows the game to be moved into a separate room. Fischer wins, 12.5-8.5.

-- Resigns title when his match conditions for defending it are not met. Refuses to play with FIDE tournament ruling, and forfeits his title.

-- Was arrested in 1981 after being confused with a bank robber. Writes a pamphlet called "I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse!" that details the arrest and the police brutality that he suffered. He then "broke" a mattress (how do you break a mattress?) and was penalized for damaging "prison property."

-- Changed his name a multitude of times, going as "Robert Fischer," "Robert D. James," and my favorite, "Bobby Fischer, The World Chess Champion." He used all three names to sign the Jailhouse pamphlet.

-- Due to the Cold War stance, Fischer was forbidden to play a rematch against Russian Brois Spassky in 1992. Fischer spit on the legal embargo document forbidding him to go, had a warrant for his arrest, and flew to Yugoslavia to win anyways. Was hunted by the US constantly.

-- Renounced his American citizenship (he doesn't like the USA), but was in danger of being deported from Japan (where he was living out at the time) to the USA by the Japanese Minister. So, he did the only logical thing: he asked for Icelandic citizenship (!?) and remained there until he died.

To his death, Fischer claimed that he was the undefeated world champion because every match he lost was rigged beforehand. Losing with dignity, I see.

Farewell, Bobby J Fischer AKA Robert James AKA Cornelius Vanderbilt: your paranoia and general lunacy shall be missed.

1 comment:

bloomerang said...

-- Took self loathing and his anti-Semitism to new hights when he tried (in vain) to uncircumcize himself, and un Bar Mitzvah himself.