Biography of Bobby Fischer
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Robert James (Bobby) Fischer was born at 2:39 pm on March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois (Michael Reese hospital) to Regina Wender Fischer Pustan (born in Switzerland of Jewish parents on March 31, 1913) and Hans-Gerhardt Fischer (born September 28, 1908). His father was a German biophysicist from Berlin (Hans and Regina married on November 4, 1933 in Moscow) and his mother was a riveter in a defense plant at the time. She later became a grade school teacher, a registered nurse, a physician (she first entered medical school in the Moscow in 1933 but did not complete her medical degree), and completed a PhD in hematology. She went on to doing pro bono medical work for the poor in Central America and South America. She could speak English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently.
In 1945 Hans-Gerhardt Fischer left the Fischer family and divorced Regina. He was born in Berlin in 1908. He moved to Santiago, Chile. Hans never lived with Regina in the United States. Bobby Fischer may have never met his father. There is a rumor that he did visit Chile to look for his father when he toured South America during a chess exhibition. Regina had custody of Bobby and his older sister, Joan Fischer Targ (born in Moscow in 1938 and died on June 2, 1998 in Portala Valley, California of a cerebral hemorrhage).
In 1948 the family moved to Mobile, Arizona where Regina taught in an elementary school.
In 1949 they moved to Brooklyn, New York where Regina worked as an elementary school teacher and nurse at Prospect Heights Hospital in Brooklyn. Regina moved to Brooklyn (Apt Q, 560 Lincoln Place) to get her master's degree in nursing.
In May 1949, Bobby 9 (age 6) and Joan (age 11) learned how to play chess from instructions found in a chess set that Joan bought at a candy store below their apartment. Bobby saw his first chess book a month later. For over a year Bobby played and studied chess by himself.
On November 14, 1950 his mother sent an ad to the Brooklyn Eagle, looking for chess opponents for her son. The ad was never published because the editorial staff could not decide under what category to place it. The paper then forwarded the ad to Hermann Helms (1870-1963), their chess columnist from 1893 to 1955. He replied in January, 1951, and suggested that Bobby go to a chess exhibition at the Grand Army Plaza Library and come by the Brooklyn Chess Club.
On January 17, 1951 Bobby, age 7, played a game against Senior Master Max Pavey (1918-1957) who was giving a simultaneous exhibition at the Grand Army Plaza Library in Brooklyn. Bobby lost in 15 minutes. Another player, Edmar Mednis (1937-2002), age 14, also participated in this simul and drew. Max Pavey's 1950 USCF rating was 2442 (#15 in the US). Watching in the crowd was Carmine Nigro (1910-2001), Secretary and President of the Brooklyn Chess Club. After the game, Carmine (rated 2028) went up to Bobby and invited him to join his club. Carmine Nigro had been an accomplished band leader in the 1940s and was a stockbroker before becoming a teaching golf pro.
A few weeks later Bobby joined the Brooklyn Chess Club, headed by Carmine Nigro. Bobby showed up and played chess at the Brooklyn Chess Club almost every Friday night. Bobby later started playing chess at Nigro's house on the weekends and often went with him to play chess at Washington Square Park in Manhattan. Carmine Nigro was Bobby Fischer's only chess instructor.
Regina was worried about her son's obsession with chess and took him to the Children's Psychiatric Division of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. Bobby was seen by Dr. Harold Kline who told Regina that there were worse preoccupations, and not to worry about it.
In 1952, Bobby played in his first chess tournament at the Nigro home, winning his match. Fischer's mother wrote to Paul Nemenyi that the family was too poor to even afford to patch Bobby's torn shoes. Paul Nemenyi may have been Bobby Fischer's real biological father. He died in 1952 of a heart attack in Washington, DC at the age of 56. He had been paying child support to Regina Fischer until his death.
In 1953 Bobby was playing at the Brooklyn Central YMCA. In February 1953, Bobby played in his first organized tournament, the Brooklyn Chess Club championship, and tied for 3rd-5th place.
In 1954 Bobby, age 11, was playing a lot of chess at the Brooklyn Chess Club and Brooklyn YMCA. He was exposed to international chess when Nigro took Fischer to watch the USA-USSR chess match every day at the Hotel Roosevelt in Manhattan. It was held June 16-24, 1954. In December, 1954 he again took 3rd-5th place at the Brooklyn Chess Club. It was during this period that Fischer later said "just got good" when describing when his chess improved.
In early 1955 Fischer was playing in a Chess Review correspondence tournament (section 54-P-38-100). He had a 1198 postal rating in 1955 and a 1082 postal rating in 1956. He lost his only known postal game in 12 moves (A. Wayne Conger-Fischer, corr. 1955). Donald Reithel recalls that he played Fischer in a correspondence game in 1955. Fischer wrote to Reithel that he was a Brooklyn Dodger fan. Fischer did not finish the correspondence game with Reithel because he was starting to play in over-the-board tournaments.
On May 21-23 (Memorial Day weekend), 1955, Fischer played in his first US Chess Federation tournament. He scored 3 points (out of 6) in the U.S.Amateur Championship in Lake Mohegan, New York (played at the Mohegan Country Club). His post-tournament provisional USCF rating was 1826. Carmine Nigro took him to the event. Fischer, age 12, only wanted to watch, but was persuaded to play by Nigro. The only known Fischer game from this event was Humphrey-Fischer in round 6. Fischer drew that game. Fischer won 2, drew 2, and lost 2. He tied for 33rd place. The event was won by Clinton L. Parmalee and organized by Kenneth Harkness (1896-1972). There were 57 entrants. The event was open to anyone except rated masters.
In June, 1955 Bobby scored 4.5-3.5 in a Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village) 8 round Swiss tournament with 32 players. He tied for 15th place.
He joined the Manhattan chess club in June, 1955 and soon won the class C championship and the class B championship.
On July 3, 1955, Regina Fischer sent a postcard to Alexander Liepnieks (1910-1973) and asked if he could make any arrangements for Bobby Fischer to play in the US Junior Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lipenicks was the Nebraska State Champion at the time and organizer for the US Junior Championship.
In July of 1955, Fischer (age 12) and Charles Kalme (1939-2002) took a train from Philadelphia to Lincoln, Nebraska to play in the 10th annual US Junior Championship, organized by Alexander Liepenieks. The event was held July 15-24, 1955. Fischer won 2 games, drew 6 games, and lost 2 games at the U.S. Junior Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska (held at the local YMCA). Fischer took 11th-21st place out of 25. Kalme (rated 2186) won the event at age 15. Fischer stayed with the Liepnieks family. Fischer's USCF rating was 1625 after this event.
In round 1 of the US Junior Championship, Fischer lost to Kenneth Warner (1550). In round 2 he drew with William Whisler (unrated). In round 3 he beat Jimmy Thomason (1600). In round 4 he drew with David Ames (unrated). In round 5 he drew with Kenneth Stone (1600). In round 6 he drew with John Briska (unrated). In round 7 he lost to Viktors Pupols (2027) on time.
On July 17, 1955, he took 3rd place in the U.S. Junior Speed Championship preliminaries, behind Cross and Gross.
On November 26, 1955, Fischer, age 12, gave his first simultaneous exhibition He played 12 members of the Yorktown, Chess Club (Yorktown Heights, New York) youth group at the Manhattan Chess Club. He won all 12 games in 2 hours and 20 minutes. He received a watch from the Manhattan Chess Club and a check from the Yorktown Chess Club. Fischer was mentioned in the December, 1955 issue of Chess Life for his simul exhibition.
At the end of the year, Fischer two USCF ratings, 1826 and 1625, were averaged. So at the end of 1955, Bobby Fischer's USCF rating was published at 1726.
The January 1956 issue of Chess Review had Fischer on the cover giving a simul at the Manhattan Chess Club against the Yorktown Chess Club youth group.
In January 1956, Bobby won the class B prize of the first Greater New York City Open (January 21-26, 1956). It was held at the Churchill Chess and Bridge Club in Manhattan. The event was won by Bill Lombardy. Fischer won 5 games and lost 2 games. There were 52 players in this event. Fischer tied for 5th-7th. His USCF rating for the event was 2157.
Fischer was a member of the West Orange, New Jersey Log Cabin Chess Club. The club was founded and run by Forry Laucks (1897-1965).
In February 1956, Bobby traveled with the Log Cabin Chess Club to Cuba and even gave a simultaneous exhibition at the Capablanca Chess Club (winning 10 and drawing 2). His mother accompanied him and served as photographer for Chess Review. The Log Cabin Chess Club and Fischer also visited Philadelphia; St. Petersburg, Florida; Hollywood, Florida; Miami, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and Clinton, NC for simultaneous exhibitions. Norman Whitaker played board 1 for the Log Cabin Chess Club and Fischer played board 2. Fischer won 5, lost 1, and drew 1 during this exhibition match as board 2.
In April he won the class A championship at the Manhattan Chess Club. He won 7, drew 1, lost 2. He also was the top scorer in the Metropolitan League A team with 4 wins and 1 draw. At the end of April, his USCF rating was 2168.
In May of 1956, he played in the U.S. Amateur Championship in Ashbury Park, New Jersey (held on May 25-27, 1956), winning 3 games, drawing 2, and losing 1 game. At 13, he was the youngest player in the 88-player event (won by Hudson, Cotter, and Lyman). He tied for 21st place. His USCF rating after this event was 2003.
In round 1 of the 1956 US Amateur Championship, Fischer drew with Michael Tilles. In round 2 he beat J. Bacardi. In round 3 he drew with Norman Hurttlen. In round 4 he beat S. Klaroff. In round 5 he lost to Edmund Nash. In round 6 he beat R. Riggler.
In June 1956, he joined the Hawthorne Chess Club, which met at the home of Jack Collins twice a week. Fischer's chess instructor, Carmin Nigro, moved to Miami to become a professional golf instructor. Fischer took advantage of Collins' extensive chess library and read almost every chess book and magazine he had.
In July 1956, he took first place at the U.S. Junior Championship (July 1-7) in Philadelphia with 8 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. The event was held at the Franklin Mercantile Chess Club. Fischer's USCF rating after this event was 2321, making him a master at age 13 years, 3 months, 29 days. The rating was not published until August of 1956.
Fischer took 2nd place in the blitz championship (won by Arthur Feuerstein). At 13 years and 4 months, he was the youngest player to win the U.S. Junior Championship. He won a typewriter for his efforts.
A few weeks later (July 17-28) he played in the 57th U.S. Open in Oklahoma City (102 players), winning 5 games, drawing 7 games and tied for 4th-8th place (won by Bisguier and Sherwin). His USCF rating was 2349 after this event.
Fischer's USCF rating was published in August 1957 as 2349. He was 13 years, 5 months old, the youngest US master ever. The record stood until July, 1977, when Joel Benjamin became a master at 13 years, 3 months.
In September he tied for 8th-12th place at the Canadian Open (August 25-September 2) in Montreal (88 players). The event was won by Evans and Lombardy.
In October he took 8th-9th place in the Rosenwald Memorial tournament in New York. His win against David Byrne won the brilliancy prize and has been called the game of the century. His USCF rating after the event was 2321.
In November he tied for 2nd-5th place in the Eastern States Open in Washington, D.C. His rating after the event was 2298.
In December Bobby won the rapid transit play at the Manhattan Chess Club and took 4th place in the Manhattan Chess Club Championship.
At the end of 1956, Fischer's USCF ratings were averaged for the year and was published at 2231.
In 1957 Regina wrote directly to Nikita Khrushchev, requesting an invitation for Bobby to participate in the World Youth and Student Festival. Khrushchev replied that he could play in the event, but the invitation came too late.
In February, 1957, he took 6th-14th in the Log Cabin Open. His USCF rating after the event was 2222.
In March 1957, Bobby played two games against former world champion Max Euwe in New York, drawing one and losing one.
In April he won the New York Metropolitan Chess League.
In the May 5, 1957, issue of Chess Life, he was rated 2231.
In July he tied for 6th place at the New Western Open in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His USCF rating at the end of the tournament was 2103.
A few days later he played in the U.S. Junior Championship in San Francisco and took first place and another typewriter. He also won the U.S. Junior Speed Championship. His USCF rating at the end of the US Junior Championship was 2298.
In August he tied for 1st-2nd at the 58th U.S. Open in Cleveland and won $750. His rating after the event was 2264.
In September he won the New Jersey Open championship with 8 wins and 1 draw, no losses. His USCF rating after the event was 2605.
In November-December he took 6th in the North Central Open in Milwaukee. His USCF rating after the event was 2552.
On January 10, 1958 Bobby Fischer at age 14 years and 9 months won the 1957/58 U.S. Championship and Zonal with 8 wins, 5 draws and no losses. His USCF rating after the event was 2722. His USCF rating average for 1957 was 2626. He now qualified for the 1958 Interzonal in Portoroz. Since this was a Zonal event, he qualified for the Interzonal and was given the International Master title. Except for Santa Monica 1966, Bobby Fischer would win every U.S. tournament he played in.
On March 26, 1958 he was interviewed by Garry Moore for a special television broadcast geared for teenagers. He talked about his winning the US championship and being awarded the IM title. In May he appeared on the television show I'VE GOT A SECRET and stumped the panel (his secret was that he was U.S. chess champion).
In August 1958, he took 5th-6th at the Portoroz Interzonal in Yugoslavia and gained the Grandmaster title after winning 6 games and losing 2 games. At the same time he became the world's youngest Candidate and Grandmaster for the world championship at age 15 years, 6 months.
In 1958, with the help of John W. Collins, Bobby wrote "Bobby Fischer's Games of Chess."
In 1958 he was invited to Moscow and he spent almost all his time at the Moscow Central Chess Club. He played a few speed games of chess with Tigran Petrosian
In January 1959, Bobby Fischer again won the U.S. Championship with 6 wins and 5 draws. His USCF rating was 2665.
He attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn (Flatbush and Church) with Barbara (later changed to Barbra) Streisand and they were good friends. Bobby later dropped out of school to become a professional chess player. Fischer's academic records indicated an I.Q. of 180 with an incredibly retentive memory. Erasmus High School is the second oldest secondary school in the United States, established in 1787. Walter Browne also attended Erasmus High.
In April 1959 he took 3rd-4th at Mar del Plata, Argentina. In May he took 3rd-4th at Zurich, Switzerland behind Tal and Gligoric, with 8 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses. In September he took 5th-6th at the Bled/Zagrev/Belgrade Candidates tournament, won by Mikhail Tal. Fischer's USCF rating was 2636, behind Reshevsky's 2693 rating.
In January 1960, Fischer again won the U.S. Championship with 7 wins, 4 draws, and no losses. His rating was 2636.
In April, 1960 he tied for 1st-2nd with Boris Spassky at Mar del Plata, Argentina. He did poorly in Buenos Aires in August, and then took first place at Reykjavik, Iceland in October. In November he played board 1 for the United States at the Chess Olympiad in Leipzig, winning 10 games, drawing 6, and losing 2. His rating was 2641.
In January 1961, Bobby again won the U.S. Championship with 7 wins, 4 draws, and no losses. His rating was 2660.
In July he started a match with Sam Reshevsky and tied it with 2 wins, 7 draws, and 2 losses before negotiations broke down to continue the match over the playing schedule and time of the start of each game. In August Bobby gave a controversial interview with Ralph Ginzburg for Harpers magazine. In October, he took 2nd at the Alekhine Memorial in Bled, Yugoslavia, behind Tal. Fischer's rating was 2675.
In 1962 Bobby became involved in the Worldwide Church of God. In March he won the Interzonal in Stockholm with 13 wins, 9 draws, and no losses. This was the first interzonal that a Soviet player did not take first place. Fischer's rating was 2713.
In May 1962, he took 4th place at the Curacao, Dutch West Indies, Candidates tournament, won by Petrosian. He later accused the Russians of cheating in this event and that interview was published in Sports Illustrated. During this tournament, Arthur Bisguier was there as a second to Pal Benko and Fischer. On May 9, Benko came looking for Bisguier in Fischer's room to get some help in analyzing his adjourned game with Petrosian. Fischer told Benko to leave and they both got in a fist fight. The next day Fischer wrote a letter to the organizing committee to fine and/or expel Benko from the tournament. The letter was ignored. After the event, Fischer's USCF rating was 2687.
In October 1962, he played Board 1 for the United States at the Chess Olympiad in Varna, Bulgaria and scored 8 wins, 6 draws, and 3 losses. His USCF rating was 2659 after the event.
In January 1963, Bobby won the U.S. Championship with 6 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (to Edmar Mednis). His rating was 2664.
He announced he was boycotting FIDE tournaments until the Russians stopped fixing chess.
In July, 1963 he won the Western Open in Bay City, Michigan. His USCF rating was 2674.
In September he won the New York State Open with a perfect score of 7 wins, no draws, and no losses. His USCF rating was 2685.
In November he was to play 400 opponents at once in an exhibition, but was postponed because of President Kennedy's assassination and a fire at the Astor hotel where the event was to have taken place.
On January 1, 1964, Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Championship with a perfect score of 11 wins. He than began a nationwide simultaneous exhibition for the rest of the year. The first international rating list was published by Arpad Elo in 1964. The top two players were Fischer and Petrosian at 2690. His USCF rating was 2734. He chose not to play in the 1964 Amsterdam Interzonal, missing the world championship cycle. He was still protesting the Soviets and their cheating in events like the Interzonals.
In 1965 Frank Brady published Profile of a Prodigy, a biography of Bobby Fischer. Fischer never talked to Brady again.
In August 1965, Bobby participated in the 4th Capablanca Memorial in Cuba by playing through a teletype machine at the Marshall Chess Club in New York. He tied for 2nd-4th with 12 wins, 6 draws, and 3 losses. The United States did not have diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the State Department would not authorize him to travel to Havana. Fischer thus had to play by teletype and the Cuban government paid for the services, over $10,000. Fischer's USCF rating was 2706.
In December 1965, he won the U.S. Chess Championship with 8 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses. Fischer's USCF rating after the event was 2708. He also qualified for the 1967 Interzonal in Sousse, Tunisia.
In July 1966, Bobby took 2nd place at the Piatigorsky Cup in Santa Monica, behind Spassky. Over 1,000 people watched his game with Boris Spassky, the largest audience for a chess game in U.S. history. His USCF rating was 2713.
In November he played Board 1 for the U.S. at the 17th Chess Olympiad in Havana, scoring 14 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss. His USCF rating was 2748.
In December 1966, he won the U.S. Championship with 8 wins, 3 draws, and no losses. This was his 8th U.S. Championship title. His USCF rating was 2758.
In 1966, Bobby's mother started her medical school degree in the Freidrich Schiller University in East Germany. She completed her medical degree two years later, at the age of 55.
In April 1967, Fischer took 1st place at Monaco. His USCF rating was 2762.
In August 1967, he won at Skopje, Yugoslavia. His USCF rating was 2741.
In October he participated in the Sousse Interzonal, but withdrew after leading the event with 7 wins and 3 draws. He forfeited his game with the Soviet international master Gipslis because of too many games he had to play in succession as a result of the tournament organizers re-scheduling his games around his religious holidays and Sabbath. Since the organizers would not let him replay the forfeited game, Fischer withdrew. His USCF rating was 2754 after this event.
In 1968 Bobby moved to Los Angeles and followed the Worldwide Church of God. In July he took 1st place at Nathanya, Israel. His USCF rating was 2739.
In September he took 1st place at Vinkovci, Yugoslavia. His USCF rating was 2745.
In 1969 Bobby finished his book, MY 60 MEMORABLE GAMES. He played Board 1 in a New York Metropolitan League and won.
In April 1970, he played Board 2 in the USSR vs REST OF THE WORLD match in Belgrade, beating Petrosian with 2 wins and 2 draws. His USCF rating was 2755,
He then went on to Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia and won the unofficial world 5-minute championship with 17 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (to Korchnoi). He score 4.5 points more than 2nd place finisher Mikhail Tal. Fischer spent no more than 2 minutes on any game. After the tournament he called off from memory all of the moves from his 22 games, involving over 1,000 moves. <[> In May he took 1st at Rovinj/Zagreb. His USCF rating was 2748.
In August 1970, he took 1st place at Buenos Aires. His USCF rating was 2762.
In September he played Board 1 for the U.S. at the 19th Olympiad in Siegen, Switzerland. His USCF rating was 2755.
In November, Pal Benko gave up his spot at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal for $2,000 so that Fischer could play. Bobby won the event with 15 wins, 7 draws, and 1 loss. His USCF rating was 2771. His December 1970 FIDE rating was 2740.
Fischer won the chess Oscar for 1970, 1971, and 1972.
In 1971, Fischer proposed that the world championship match be decided on the first player winning 10 games.
In June 1971, Bobby Fischer defeated Mark Taimanov with 6 wins, no draws, no losses in the Candidates quarterfinals in Vancouver, Canada. Fischer wanted Larry Evans to be his second, but Evans refused when Fischer demanded that Evans abstain from any journalism and for him to leave his wife, Ingred, back home in Nevada. Fischer's USCF rating was 2801. His FIDE rating was 2760.
In July 1971, he defeated Bent Larsen also with a perfect 6-0 score in the Candidates semi-final in Denver, Colorado. His performance rating was 3060. His USCF rating peaked at 2825.
In August Bobby won the Manhattan Chess Club 5-minute blitz with 21 wins and 1 draw.
In September, Bobby defeated Tigran Petrosian with 5 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss in Buenos Aires for the Candidates finals. He now became challenger for the world championship. His USCF rating was 2824. His FIDE rating was 2785.During the match with Petrosian, someone threw a stink bomb in the playing hall.
In January 1972 Bobby appeared on the Dick Cavett show and talked about chess.
On July 11, 1972 he began his match with Boris Spassky in Reykjavik (Smoky Bay), Iceland for the world championship. On September 1, 1972 Bobby became world champion after winning 7 games, drawing 11 games, and losing 3 games (one on forfeit). Fischer received $160,000 for his efforts and another $40,000 in royalties. President Nixon sent him a telegram congratulating him for his fine efforts. Fischer donated $61,200 of his winnings to the Worldwide Church of God. His USCF rating after the event was 2810. This would be his last USCF rating. His FIDE rating was 2780. This would be his last FIDE rating.
On September 22, 1972, the mayor of New York declared that day as Bobby Fischer day.
In 1972 Frank Brady wrote a new edition of Profile of a Prodigy.
In 1972, Fischer showed up for 15 minutes at the Church's Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio.
Bobby Fischer's last published USCF rating was 2810. His FIDE rating was 2785.
In 1973, Las Vegas offered Fischer $1 million to play a chess match in Las Vegas.
In 1973 Bobby moved to Los Angeles. His mother Regina sent him her Social Security checks to survive on.
In 1973, Fischer travelled to Tokyo to meet with the Japan Chess Association and met Miss Miyoko Watai, who gave him a tour of Tokyo. They later became very good friends and lived together in 2000.
In September, 1973, Fred Cramer, Vice President (Zone 5) of FIDE, proposed that the world championship match be decided on 10 wins, draws not counting. He also proposed that the champion retains his title if it were a 9-9 tie. This became known as the Cramer proposal, or Annex 43 by FIDE. In September, Bobby Fischer telegrammed the FIDE Congress being held in Helsinki that FIDE adopt the Cramer proposal. The FIDE Congress voted that the match should be based on 6 games, not 10 games.
In November, 1973, Bobby Fischer was the guest of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. He made an appearance at the Philippines International Tournament, won by Bent Larsen. Fischer played an exhibition game with President Marcos, which was broadcast on television. It lasted 5 minutes after 8 moves and a draw agreed. Fischer then played Florencio Campomanes, President of the Philippines Chess Federation, in a blitz game on television. Fischer won on time. Fischer was paid $20,000 for appearance fee.
In 1974, Fischer asked for $150,000 in appearance fee to play in the Nice Olympiad.
In early 1974, FIDE's rules committee issued a 14-page document with 179 numbered paragraphs of regulations for the world championship match. Fischer agreed to all the regulations except one. He did not agree to a 36-game limit.
Fischer insisted that the championship be decided by 10 wins, draws not counting, and that the number of games be unlimited. Also, Fischer insisted that if the score reached 9 wins apiece, the champion should retain the title.
On June 21, 1974, Fischer telegrammed a message to the FIDE delegates at Nice on the match conditions he wanted for the world championship match.
In June, 1974, the FIDE Congress in Nice approved the 10-win regulation and the elimination of draws from the scoring, but imposed a 36-game limit and rejected the 9-9 proposal. Fred Cramer telephoned FIDE's decison to Fischer.
On June 27, 1974, Fischer sent a telegram from Pasadena, California to the FIDE Congress: "As I made clear in my telegram to the FIDE delegates, the match conditions I proposed were non-negotiable...FIDE has decided against my participation in the 1975 World Chess Championship. I therefore resign my FIDE World Championship title."
In 1974, Fischer wrote to Larry Evans about not counting draws in a match. Larry Evans wrote: "The whole idea of not counting draws is to eliminate a draw match." Fischer responded: "Nonsense! The whole idea is to make sure the players draw blood by winning games, and the spectators get their money's worth. And most importantly as an accurate test of who is the world's best player."
In January, 1975, the Philippines were offering $5 million for Fischer to play Karpov in the Philippines.
In March, 1975, an extraordinary FIDE Congress was held in Osterbek, Nethelrands, and it was agreed to have an unlimited number of world championship games, but refused Fischer's 9-9 rule (32 votes for it, and 35 votes against it).
On April 3, 1975 Bobby Fischer forfeited his title as world chess champion to Anatoly Karpov without playing a single chess game since winning the world championship. Fischer had been living in an apartment in South Pasadena owned by the Worldwide Church of God since the world championship.
In 1976, Karpov met secretly with Fischer three times, in Japan, in Washington, DC, and in Manila, to discuss an unofficial match.
In 1977 Bobby played three games against the MIT Greenblatt computer program. He turned down $250,000 to play one chess game at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and $3 million to play in a tournament in the Philippines. At the end of 1977 he cut all ties with the Worldwide Church of God. He claimed that the church was taking orders from a satanical secret world government.
In 1978 Bobby Fischer filed a $3.2 million lawsuit against the publishers of a magazine critical of the Worldwide Church of God. He claimed the writers taped his conversations without his consent. He then accused the church of reneging on their promise to finance the lawsuit.
On May 26, 1981, Fischer was arrested in Pasadena under suspicion of a bank robber. He was stopped by a police officer who said he fit the description of a bank robber. Fischer refused to answer some questions as he was arrested. In 1981 Fischer stayed with grandmaster Peter Biyiasis. They played at least 17 blitz games and Fischer won every game.
In 1982 Fischer published, "I WAS TORTURED IN THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE." He used the pseudonym Robert D. James. The pamphlet was 14 pages on how he was treated in jail for 48 hours.
In 1984 Bobby Fischer wrote to the editors of the Encyclopedia Judaica requesting his name be removed from their encyclopedia. He claimed he was not a Jew and had never been circumcised.
In 1987 the House of Representatives passed House Resolution Bill 545 recognizing Bobby Fischer as the world chess champion.
In 1988 Bobby patented the Fischer digital chess clock which adds 2 minutes per move (the patent expired in November, 2001).
In 1991 Bill Wall delivered to Bobby Fischer, via Joan Targ, a large number of chess magazines and chess books provided to him by International Master John Donaldson and some members of the Palo Alto Chess Club. Every issue of Inside Chess by Yasser Seirawan was included.
In early 1992 Fischer started a relationship with 18-year old Zita Rajcsansyi of Hungary. She may have persuaded him to play a chess match with Boris Spassky. Plans were being made to have Spassky play a re-match with Fischer in Yugoslavia.
On August 21, 1992 the Department of the Treasury ordered Bobby Fischer to stop his activities in the planning of a chess match in Yugoslavia. He was subject to the prohibitions under Executive Order 12810, signed by George Bush on June 5, 1992 (rescinded in 2003), imposing sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.
On September 1, 1992, Bobby Fischer came out of his 20 year retirement and gave a press conference in Yugoslavia. He pulled out an order from the U.S. Treasury Department warning him that he would be violating U.N. sanctions if he played chess in Yugoslavia. He spit on the order and now faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he returns to the U.S. In addition, he must forfeit his $3.65 million to the U.S. Treasury and forfeit 10% of any match royalties earned. On September 30, Bobby Fischer began his re-match with Boris Spassky (ranked 99 in the world) in Sveti Stefan (Montenagro), Yugoslavia. The match was organized by banker Jedzimir Vasiljevic. On November 11, Fischer won the match with 10 wins, 5 losses, and 15 draws. He received $3.65 million for his winnings and Spassky received $1.5 million. The match used the new Bobby Fischer chess clock. Fischer's 2nd during the match was Eugene Torre of the Philippines.
On December 15, 1992 the State Department indicted Bobby Fischer for violating Title 50, US Code 1701, 1702, and 1705 and Executive Order 12810 (Prohibiting Transaction with Yugoslavia), signed by President George Bush on June 2, 1992. The crime was performing a contract in support of a commercial project in a banned country (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). He was ordered to be arrested by any U.S. Marshall or any authorized agent for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
In 1993 the movie, "Searching for Bobby Fischer," was released.
In 1996 Bobby traveled to Argentina to promote his random chess (Fischerandomchess), where you set up the pieces in a random manner. This would take away the book knowledge of regular chess.
The President of FIDE offered Fischer $100,000 and a piece of land in the Kalmyk Republic in redress for copyright violations by former Soviet publishers.
On January 24, 1997 Fischer was issued a U.S. Passport (#27792702) at the American Embassy at Bern, Switzerland. The passport should have been valid until 2007.
On July 27, 1997 Bobby Fischer's mother died in Palo Alto, California. She was 84.
On June 2, 1998, Bobby Fischer's only sister, Joan Fischer Targ, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 60. She lived in Portola Valley, California and was married to Stanford physicist Russell Targ.
In 1998 all of Bobby Fischer's valuables and belongings kept at the Bekins Moving and Storage Company in Pasadena, California were sold when the storage bill was not paid by Bob Ellsworth of Pasadena, who was supposed to pay his bills.
On January 13, 1999 Fischer granted a live radio interview to a radio station in Budapest, Hungary. It was the first of over 20 radio interviews he would make in the next 3 years.
On January 14, 1999 Fischer granted an interview to Baguio Radio in the Philippines. He accused the Jewish community of conspiring against him and denied the holocaust of the Nazis. He has since made 9 interviews over the radio.
On May 24, 1999, in Baguio, Fischer said: "America is totally under control of the Jews... The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense are dirty Jews."
Fischer was living in Budapest in the 1990s. He has been frequented by the Polgar family and Grandmaster Peter Leko.
In 2000 Fischer traveled to the Philippines and stayed with Philippine Grandmaster Eugene Torre. Fischer lived with his girlfriend, Justine Ong (Young). She was 22 years-old and a Chinese-Filipino. She had one daughter, Jinky Ong Fischer, born in 2000 in Manila. DNA tests later proved that the Bobby Fischer was not the child of Jinky. Later that year, Fischer travelled to Japan and was living with Miyoko Watai, President of the Japanese Chess Association and former Japanese women's chess champion.
In 2001, Fischer worked for awhile as a disc jockey for DZSR, an AM station in Manila. In exchange for exclusive interviews, Fischer was allowed to spin his favorite Rhythm & Blues records and discuss politics.
On September 11, 2001, Bobby Fischer spoke on Philippine radio (Radio Bomba in Baguio) while in Japan, applauding the New York terrorist and Pentagon attacks.
On October 28, 2001 the US Chess Federation put out a newsletter disassociating itself from the remarks of Fischer about the terrorist actions and threatening to revoke his USCF membership.
In 2001 Grandmaster Nigel Short was convinced that Bobby Fischer was playing chess on the Internet. An unknown player easily defeated Short, one of the world's strongest chess grandmasters, in an 8-game match. The unknown player answered all of Short's questions about chess in the 1960s and knew all the answers to several Bobby Fischer trivia questions (who did Fischer play in round 3 of the 1967 Sousse interzonal, how many moves, and what was the opening). Others speculate that the player was using a computer, but others have analyzed the moves and the time between moves to show that it was a human playing.
On January 27, 2002 Fischer did a radio interview from Reykjavik, Iceland. He encouraged the Icelandic government to close the local U.S. naval base. He then said, "If they refuse to go, send them some letters with anthrax. They'll get the message."
In 2002, it was reported that Bobby Fischer was living in Tokyo, Japan working on a new chess clock for Seiko that could also be used in other games like go and shoki. He had previously lived in Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the Philippines.
In May, 2002 Frank Berry posted an Internet article in ChessCafe entitled, "Was Fischer's mother a Communist Spy?" He implied that Bobby Fisher's mother was a communist spy and that his father may have been a leading German spy.
In November, 2002, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story that identifies the real father of Bobby Fischer. The article identifies the real father to be Paul Nemenyi, a Hungarian physicist. He died in 1952. He was at the University of Chicago in 1942 working on the Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear bomb. Paul Nemenyi worked on the mechanism which triggered the atomic bomb. Bobby was born in Chicago on March 9, 1943. Russell Targ, Bobby's brother-in-law, disputes this suggestion that Nemenyi was Fischer's real father. Hans-Gerhardt Fischer is listed on Bobby's birth certificate.
On December 11, 2003 the U.S. Embassy in Manila sent a letter by the U.S. Consul General (Thomas Allegra) to the Japanese authorities that Fischer's U.S. passport (#27792702) had been revoked pursuant to Section 51.70(a) (Denial of Passports) of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Fischer was still being charged with violating Title 50, US Code 1701, 1702, and 1705 and Executive Order 12810. The crime was performing a contract in support of a commercial project in a banned country (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).
On March 9, 2004 Fischer turned 61.
On April 15, 2004 Bobby Fischer flew to Japan. He cleared Japanese immigration at the time.
On July 13, 2004 at about 5:30 pm, Bobby Fischer was arrested by the Japanese immigration authorities at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan during a rough struggle. Fischer was headed to Manila, Philippines at the time on a Japan Airlines flight (JL 745). He was then going to fly to Hong Kong. Fischer was told that he would be deported to the United States to face charges. Japan and the United States have an extradition treaty. Fischer could go to prison for 10 years and pay a $250,000 fine for violating the Trading with the Enemy Act and income tax evasion. Fischer was going to Baguio, Philippines to give another radio interview for Radio Bomba.
After two weeks of incarceration, he agreed to hire a lawyer (Masako Suzuki and Takeshi O'Hashi) to appeal the Japanese government's decision to deport him. He has been telling Japanese authorities that he is a German citizen, invoking his lineage to a German-born father (Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, born in Berlin in 1908).
On August 10, 2003, Fischer was transferred from Narita airport (east of Tokyo) to Ushiku, an hour north of Tokyo.
On August 16, 2004, Bobby Fischer appealed to US Secretary of State Colin Powell to help him renounce US citizenship. He also announced plans to marry Miyoko Watai, the Japan Chess Association President.
In September, 2004, a Japanese court granted an injunction preventing Fischer from being deported until it had ruled on his lawsuit seeking to have the deportation order thrown out.
In January, 2005, Fischer wrote a letter to the government of Iceland, asking for Icelandic citizenship. The Icelandic authorities granted him an alien's passport, but that was insufficient for the Japanese government to release him. So the Icelandic government unanimously granted Fischer full citizenship in March, 2005. The U.S. government filed charges of tax evasion against Fischer in an effort to prevent him from traveling to Iceland.
The Japanese released Fischer on March 23, 2005. Fischer then flew to Iceland.
Fischer was issued an Icelandic passport on April 27, 2005. It will expire on April 27, 2015.
In May, 2005, Boris Spassky visited Iceland with the intent of getting Fischer to return to chess.
In December, 2005, eBay opened a bid on Bobby Fischer's belongings that had been stored in a Pasadena storage lot. The starting bid was $15,000, but, so far, there have been no offers.