85 ( +1 | -1 ) What is it about Bobby Fischer?I enjoy talking about chess and reading forums and it is clearley obvious that RJF is most chess players idol, he is talked up with so much more praise than any other great, and I would like to know what it is about the man that people so admire. Is it that he beat the soviets at their sport in the middle of the cold war, is it the bizzare behavior and clear mental instability, is it his complete obsession with the game. Personally I think it is these reasons above the chess because of all the greats he is near the top but not necesseraly the greatest, and I have never really been inspired by his games, he seamed to win by playing flawless chess rather than being particularly creative. These are just my opinions and I am sure I will be told I dont know what I am talking about, which may well be true.
56 ( +1 | -1 ) he was to chess in america what wayne gretzky was to hockey... in america. :P kind of. many people were attracted to chess becase of fischer and his championship match with boris spassky
well, he was american, but unlike reshevsky or other american players he was very near to completely devoted to chess (had no girlfriends, no other study or work, few hobbies), and generally had a really... umm... odd... personality, and attitude.
he figured he was the best player on the planet, and let everybody know about it. i'll let other people say more.... cuz i'm probably forgetting or messing up details here.
29 ( +1 | -1 ) helenupsetFor a glimpse of RJF's creativity, please go to the annotated games section and check out a game of his that I annotated called "The Game of the Century". I think that this game clearly illustrates the master's creativity:)
89 ( +1 | -1 ) For meit is because when RJF's rating hit 2810 FIDE (unpublished as the ratings only came out once a year back then), after the match with Petrosian, he was nearly a class ahead of the rest of the world. Spassky was about 2660 if memory serves as were a few others. To put that distance between himself and everyone else was quite a feat, it required that he score 70% in tournaments made up of the best players in the world to not lose rating points or stated another way, in a tournament that contained the top 16 players in the world RJF need to score 11-4 to maintain his rating (and that might not have been quite good enough), something that he had to surpass to achieve his rating. While being a very creative player he had to play nearly flawless chess to achieve that rank. He wasn't the best of his peers he was without peer.
194 ( +1 | -1 ) DESPITE his rantings, not BECAUSE OF!Along with Kasparov, Fischer was one of the most CREATIVE world champions. I'm not sure what helenupset's definition of creativity might be, but Fischer fits mine. First of all, working in the era before computer-assisted novelties and mega-databases, Fischer produced a continuing stream of theoretical novelties. Some of those novelties completely re-visioned openings such as the King's Indian Attack and the Exchange Ruy Lopez; others established openings that really should bear Fischer's name like the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Najdorf Sicilian and the Sozin Attack in the Sicilian. For a creative game starting with an original opening, look at Saidy-Fischer, New York 1969, where Fischer starts with a Black approach to the English so interesting that it inspired the development of the Grand Prix Attack vs. the Sicilian and conducts the subsequent attack so brilliantly that the game--Fischer's ONLY serious tournament game that year--won the Informant Best Game of the Year prize. Note that Fischer produced FAR more TN's in his 70-72 games than his world class opponents, just like Kasparov in his best years. Secondly, Fischer was a creative endgame player who played a number of beautiful endings that merit study (for example, his endings in the Taimanov match). Finally, though the middlegame was probably Fischer's weakest area, he could produce original games not only as an attacker (the famous Robert Byrne-Fischer U.S. Championship game, for instance), a positional player (the decisive 6th match game vs. Petrosian where he skillfully exploits his opponent's isolani), and a defender (such as the KID's in the Taimanov and Larsen matches along with all those Poisoned Pawns he DID survive). While "greatest ever" is open to debate, Fischer was clearly a creative genius whom Kasparov calls the first "true chess professional."
155 ( +1 | -1 ) ketchuplover...has put his finger on it to some extent. I'm no Fischer fan, myself, but you gotta admire his moxy, and he does serve as an example of the kind of player I would have liked to have been. Not the strident bellyaching about cheating and bugs in the orange juice, but the the constant pressure of good moves - not necessarily the best - just good moves that always set problems for his opponent. Those 6-0 whitewashes of Taimanov and Larsen was due to their buckling under the pressure of always having to find moves. The Reykjavik match furnished, though, the dark side of Fischer's creativity: the Fischer Gambit - very much a novelty at the time! After Fischer defaulted the 2nd game, Spassky ought to have been awarded the match. I'm convinced that the reason for his poor showing until about game 11, was that Spassky had mentally packed his bags and gone home. Look at the mediocre quality of the games! When he eventually recovered his aplomb, Spassky proved very competitive. But what wrote Fischer off for mine, was his failure to live up to his promise to be an active world champion. He never played competitively again. I think he knew he hadn't really earned the title, and in any case was too afraid of losing. He can always console himself that he is the undefeated world champion, but for mine, he was yesterday's fish & chips wrapper the moment he failed to show for the showdown against Karpov in 1975. I guess in the end Bobby Fischer ran up against an opponent he couldn't hope to defeat. His name? Bobby Fischer... Cheers, Ion
56 ( +1 | -1 ) Largelybecause of not only overcoming the soviet chess machine, but drastically, with all the best of the Chess world at its disposal. Well personally I think the Yugoslavian Chess of the time was pretty great too ... but anyway. He typlified triumph by an individual I think. (Even tho that is not completely true and he had some great assistance ... the perception of it being largely thrown together and Fischers own stealing of the spotlight at every opportunity sort of downplay the contrubutions of others. :) All that he did, was before even diversifying openings. Everyone knew what he played. Still he won.
92 ( +1 | -1 ) Perhaps...Fischer did Soviet chess a lot of good by winning the WC so emphatically. I've long been an admirer of the "Soviet School" of chess - and I'm inclined to think Fischer was also an admirer in many respects. But maybe signs of ossification were setting in. I have a vague feeling that unusual talents - those of Bronstein, Tolush, Tal, Korchnoi - weren't much appreciated. I'm not sure about Petrosian - his kind of pragmatism wasn't exactly mainstream neither. Neither Petrosian nor Spassky had been particularly successful as world champions. Many are inclined to depreciate (not to say deprecate) Karpov's tenure of the title (on the specious grounds that he never faced Fischer), but he was a very active World Champion, and a very successful one. Maybe he needed to prove himself. Well he did, didn't he?
Kasparov, his successor, proved at least equally deserving for the same reasons. A pity there had to be a schism so that we end up with 2 WCs. :-(
12 ( +1 | -1 ) Fischer was…the Tiger Woods of chess. For a short time, he (an American) dominated a game that had been ruled by the Soviets.
70 ( +1 | -1 ) Fischer was/is ...arguably the best player ever, a "lone wolf" American that took on the Soviets at the one thing they did better than Americans (and won), and a terribly unbalanced human that still makes for good entertainment.
Time spent studying his games is well spent. His battle with the Soviets still turns up fresh material for scholars sorting out the Cold War. His peculiar mental illness fuels speculation not least because he seems unlikelt ever to submit himself to professional examination.
What more can we ask of a great chess player? Great chess! Political and cultural significance! Off center enough to confirm whatever prejudices we might hold!
43 ( +1 | -1 ) Interesting pointDoes Fischer actually suffer from mental illness? Looking at his behavior makes me think that he could well be autistic, (autistics often are very talented at one specific thing as well) but it is more of a condition than an illness. But he has all of the charicteristics of an autistic, the lack of physical contact with people, an inability to interact with people and understand humour, his genius at one specific thing. I an no doctor but...
85 ( +1 | -1 ) Robert J. Fischer,A giant among mortals, I rank his stature and skill alongside such legends as Tiger Woods,the incomparable Ray Charles, even the immortal Muhammad Ali. Fischer was the inspiration for the only Grandmaster ever to be born in my country, Murray Chandler. I remember reading something Murray wrote in a Newspaper collumn, saying that in his opinion, Fischer could have played Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov simultaneously and emerged victorious. Be that as it may, if only fate had been kind enough to allow Bobby to stick with the ambition he voiced as a very young man, when he said "all I want to do, ever, is just play chess". In my opinion, the saga of Bobby Fischer is best expressed in the words of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, it might have been"
20 ( +1 | -1 ) Mental illnessFischer is almost certainly suffering from advanced and untreated paranoid schizophrenia. At least, that's an opinion voiced often by health professionals. He is the Howard Hughes of the chess world.
19 ( +1 | -1 ) I do not doubt that Fischer was one of the greats, but i would rather play through games by Tal for sheer audacity, and entertainment value there was and is no one better, although Capablanca came close.
53 ( +1 | -1 ) Myrecommendation to a better understanding of RJF's level of playing chess is: Find a nice quiet place for the weekend, were no one will disturb you, make sure you have enough food, water, chessboard, pieces and the most important, a copy of My Sixty Memorable Games including RJF's comments to the games. Play thru the games by the book and I'm sure you will get a fantastic experience, no matter your own level of play.
Best wishes Cairo
20 ( +1 | -1 ) I have the book Cairo and totally agree, i also have the life & games of Tal great book again with some very good comments from the great man himself.