Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Death of Bobby Fischer

As someone who enjoys the game of chess, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of American-born former world chess champion Bobby Fischer. Fischer, who died January 18 in Iceland (where he had assumed citizenship in an effort to avoid returning to America) at the age of 64, leaves behind a mixed legacy. He is generally considered the greatest chess player America has ever produced and one of the greatest of all-time. We'll never know how good he could've been since, after becoming the world chess champion in the early seventies, he eventually dropped out of the game and became a recluse.

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov told the Associated Press this about Fischer's death: "The tragedy is that [Fischer] left this world too early, and his extravagant life and scandalous statements did not contribute to the popularity of chess."

The New York Times also had this fascinating interview with Kasparov where he details some interesting things: he never met Fischer, but Fischer reportedly expressed interest in playing Kasparov.

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