When Bobby Fischer Made Chess Cool

by Margaret
(New York, USA)

A Youthful Bobby Fischer

A Youthful Bobby Fischer

The first game started on July 11, 1972, which incidentally was my thirteenth birthday. This was considered the Battle of The Cold War, and to the American media at the time this was big news. That is how I became interested; not because of any personal exposure to chess. By the time Boris Spassky resigned on September 1, 1972; Bobby Fischer was an American hero who had helped to made chess cool for one brief moment in time.

Then it happened, and we all watched in disillusionment as the flame that burned so bright was slowly being extinguished over time. I’ll never understand why Bobby Fischer chose to make his life so difficult. He successfully made himself such an enigma that history may never know the whole truth about his life. One researcher so succinctly stated that there was a culture of Omerta around Bobby, and that anyone who broke it would be written out of his life for good.

He kept true to that promise, and did dismiss any people who were quoted in the press. Supposedly he had an address book full of people who over time had a line drawn through their names because they had done the unspeakable. Even after all this time we know scant more about Bobby than before he died. It would be so wonderful if someone who had been close to him would come forward and really share with us who Bobby Fischer was. Unfortunately for us there seems to be very few of these people around.

I could make inferences into who I think he was, but my back ground in research will not allow that. There has to be some document trail out there that would lead a biographer to some new leads and interesting conclusions, no? I would think so. Wouldn’t it be absolutely marvelous if we could really get some new biographical research done just in time for the fortieth anniversary?

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