Pestaño: More on Bobby Fischer’s death-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
BOBBY FISCHER, perhaps the greatest player of all time, was a deeply troubled and tormented soul. He should have undergone psychiatric treatment or counseling while still a teenager as he showed flashes of unusual complex mannerisms and instability while still young.
He died in Iceland in 2008 with kidney failure at the age of 64.
I say that Bobby may have committed some form of suicide because he refused to undergo dialysis. According to my doctor, there is no limit to how long you can live if you undergo this form of treatment.
Fischer was informed of this, but he choose not to live longer. One of his defects, which he showed throughout his life, was a self-destructive personality and apparently he carried it until the end.
Our generation is very familiar with his eccentricities and if you want a more detailed perspective of his life, a good one is by Frank Brady—”End Game: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness.”
Although he denied being anti-Jewish, Fischer was a raving anti-Semite. Brady suggests “that his anti-Semitism may have been rooted in his distaste for his mother’s Jewish friends, his antagonism toward officials of the American Chess Foundation, most of whom were Jewish, and his friendship with a neo-Nazi mentor.”
According to an article of Sheldon Krishner, “Brady knows his subject like few other writers, having met Fischer when he was a child prodigy and having followed his career from day one. He uses his expertise, along with Fischer family archives and Fischer’s own e-mails, to burrow deeply into this maddening personality.”
This year is the golden anniversary of the greatest and most publicized chess match in history —the Fischer-Spassky match, which was played in Iceland in 1972. It was regarded as an extension of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The match and Bobby’s antics electrified the world and shoved chess from a parlor game to mainstream sport. They say that the number of adherents to the game rose three to four times after the match.
Players of today should also be thankful to Fischer as prize money increased tremendously and a new form of income for the top players came to form--appearance money.
The Philippines was an important part of Bobby’s life. Although he had few friends, his best friend was our own Eugene Torre. He also had a pleasant relationship with Campo(Florencio Campomanes ) and lived for sometime in Baguio. While there he had a romantic relationship with Marilyn Young.
I wrote already about this aspect of Marilyn, Bobby and daughter Jinky several times and it is a long story. You can read my articles in my blog chessmoso.com.
You might be surprised to know that Bobby refused to defend his title in the Philippines against Anatoly Karpov with a prize money of $5 million—I repeat $5 million--and set 132 conditions. Fide refused and stripped him of his title.
Also, very few people know that Torre was Fischer’s second in his return match with Boris Spassky in 1992 in Yugoslavia, where Fischer won $3.6 million. A Cebuano, Eric Gloria, was also there as researcher of Fischer.
Anand in the Philippines. Vishy Anand, the world champion for the past five years, learned to play chess in the Philippines.
This information was relayed to me by Bogie Lim from a Time article where Anand was interviewed last month. He said he learned to play chess by regularly watching a TV program in Manila in the late 70s. This can only be the TV program of Campo.
I am aware of this program hosted by Campomanes as I was invited as a guest several times.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2012.