R.I.P Bobby Fischer

I was sad to learn that Bobby Fischer passed away today <link>. I was equally sad to learn that none of the people I work with knew who he was!

I once went and watched a chess tournament in Wellington that featured Boris Spassky. The chess was way over my head. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Something about being in the presence of genius I think. And the next day I was walking down the street and there was Spassky having a bit of stroll in the sun. Here was the man who played Fischer in that classic cold war chess championship walking anonymously down the street. No one knew who he was then and today no one knew who either of them were. Don’t they teach chess history and the cold war in schools anymore? Or maybe chess players just need better agents/PR people.

Unfortunately, Spassky’s reaction to Fischer’s passing was less than magnanimous according to Reuters.

“Spassky, who now lives in Paris, was less eloquent on the subject of Fischer. Asked by Reuters for his reaction, he said: “It’s bad luck for you. Bobby Fischer is dead,” then hung up.”

You could certainly do with a better PR person Mr Spassky.

R.I.P Bobby Fischer.


  1. Charles East

    One of the people you used to work with knows who he was, and is sad to hear he’s passed. I saw Nigel Short (an Englishman who came not 1000000 miles from beating Kasparov once) at a chess event a few years back. I read once that the the time of Bobby Fisher’s great tournament, most American pubs had their TVs tuned to the chess. Quite an achievement 🙂

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