SOME can be simply different. Extraordinary. Weird. Eccentric even.
Sports is full of the uncommon.
The late Bobby Fischer exemplifies the face of sports’ Mr. Super Different. And that’s saying it mildly.
A wonder kid of chess, Fischer rose to become, arguably, the greatest chess player of all time.
Glad to have shaken his hand.
He was an enigma in both life and in death.
He loved to live alone before, during and after his reign as the undisputed world champion in the ‘70s.
He disowned America, accusing his birthplace of conspiring to kill him.
His passport got cancelled so that in one trip out of Japan (he married a Japanese chess player—for convenience?), authorities collared him and threw him in jail.
Stateless, Iceland took pity on him and adopted him.
The world goes in circles, indeed.
It was in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Fischer became world champion in 1972, beating Boris Spassky to end Russia’s domination of chess.
But he was stripped of his crown when his idea of a title defense was nixed by the World Chess Federation (Fide).
In Iceland, he lived like a hermit but had bank savings there that reportedly amounted to millions of dollars when he died instantly in the ’90s.
There were unconfirmed reports he was poisoned by two fellows that tried to befriend him but the case never prospered.
His money—or what’s left of it—had been the object of claims by heirs, including a reported Filipino daughter of his whose last known address was Davao.
“Sammy (Estimo) was handling that case but, unfortunately, Sammy had died,” said Eugene Torre, Fischer’s lone favored Filipino friend of all time.
To this day, no one can beat Fischer’s eccentricities. Nick Kyrgios is a poor copycat.
As tennis’ bad boy today, Kyrgios did not apologize after almost hitting Rafael Nadal with a “dangerous” shot to the chest in a Day 4 loss at Wimbledon.
“Why would I apologize? I didn’t hit him,” said Kyrgios. “How much money [does Nadal] have in the bank? I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro.”
The nerve. And he has yet to win a Slam.