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I picked up a book a week ago at B&N called "End Game". Its a biography on Bobby Fisher:
It ridiculously good. Before I played chess I found a Netflix documentary about this guy. At the time, I didn't know who he was (my wife knew all about him surprisingly...she doesn't play much chess). She told me he was a chess genius that went crazy and ended up "going anti-American, ant-Semitic".I was more interested at that time in the psychology of the "genius". I thought the guy was pretty amazing, and after a while I was pretty sure his "going crazy" was a manifestation of paranoid schizophrenia that oftentimes does not show up until the mid to late 20's in adult men. Regina, his mother, always knew there were signs of mental illness and the book talks at some length, and rather sporadically, about her attempts to take him to psychologists, etc. The one thing I didn't like about the book was its coverage of this topic. It was superficial at best, and it may simply be because it was a deeply held family secret. I've read about his childhood meltdowns in OTB chess, and "The Game of the Century". I am struck by the fact that, even though Fisher was a genius, it still took him at least 7-11 years (and more!) to become "really good". A testament to the difficulty of the game I suppose.
Anyway, I'm not that far in (~80-100 pages or so) but it is one of the most well written biographies I have ever read next to Einstein by W. Isaacson and Lincoln by R.C. White.
A short while later, I was watching Youtube and found this guy Magnus Carlson. They were interviewing him and asking him if he was going to go crazy like Fisher did. Now, End Game discusses the media treatment of Chess players as social idiots, crazy, losers, etc. Bobby Fisher hated the media for this reason, once telling a reporter to "ask me a question that dosen't make me look bad." I wonder what happened to chess? Why dont we see more of it today. I suppose the America v. USSR cold war hyped up ANY competitive play against the two nations as a source of national pride and propaganda.
I recommend the book highly.
I read the same book and enjoyed it very much. There is another book by Brady about Bobby called Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy which is very good and seems to get more into his earlier chess career and goes up to the World Championship match with Spassky.
If Fischer would played Karpov for the World Champion, who would win?
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