Friday, January 18, 2008
Bobby Fischer Dies
"Chess," Bobby Fischer once said, "is life." It was the chess master's tragedy that the messy, tawdry details of his life often overshadowed the sublime genius of his game. Fischer, who has died at the age of 64, was a child prodigy, a teenage grandmaster and — before age 30 — a world champion who triumphed in a Cold War showdown with Soviet champion Boris Spassky.
But the last three decades of his life were spent in seclusion, broken periodically by erratic and often anti-Semitic comments and by an absurd legal battle with his homeland, the United States.
"He was the pride and sorrow of chess," said Raymond Keene, a British grandmaster and chess correspondent for The Times of London. "It's tragic that such a great man descended into madness and anti-Semitism."
He praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying, "I want to see the U.S. wiped out," and described Jews as "thieving, lying bastards." Fischer's mother was Jewish.
"They talk about the 'axis of evil,'" Fischer said when he arrived in Iceland. "What about the allies of evil ... the United States, England, Japan, Australia? These are the evildoers."
"Every time a Liberal dies an Angel gets its wings."
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