Nov 3, 2015, 8:31 AM |
Bobby Fisher" redirects here. For the English footballer, see Bobby Fisher (footballer).
For those of a similar name, see Bob Fisher (disambiguation).
Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer 1960 in Leipzig in color.jpg
Fischer in 1960
Full name Robert James Fischer
Country United States
Iceland (2005–08)
Born March 9, 1943
ChicagoIllinois, U.S.
Died January 17, 2008 (aged 64)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Title Grandmaster (1958)
World Champion 1972–75
Peak rating 2785 (July 1972 FIDE rating list)[1]

Robert James "BobbyFischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was anAmerican chess Grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many consider him the greatest chess player of all time.[2][3][4]

At age 13 Fischer won a "brilliancy" that became known as The Game of the Century.[5] Starting at age 14, Fischer played in eight United States Championships, winning each by at least a one-point margin. At age 15, Fischer became both the youngest grandmaster up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship. At age 20, Fischer won the 1963–64 U.S. Championship with 11/11, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament. Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games (1969) remains a revered work in chess literature.[6]

In 1970 and 1971, Fischer "dominated his contemporaries to an extent never seen before or since".[7] During that period he won the 1970 InterzonalTournament by a record 3½-point margin and won 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps in the Candidates Matches.[8] In July 1971, he became the first official World Chess Federation (FIDE) number-one-ranked player, spending 54 total months at number one. In 1972, he captured the World Chess Championship from Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in ReykjavíkIceland, publicized as a Cold Warconfrontation which attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.[9]

In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE over one of the conditions for the match. Afterward, Fischer became a recluse, disappearing from the public eye until 1992, when he won an unofficialrematch against Spassky. It was held in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo at the time.[10][11][12] His participation led to a conflict with the U.S. government, which sought income tax on Fischer's match winnings, and ultimately issued a warrant for his arrest.[13]

In the 1990s, Fischer patented a modified chess timing system which added a time increment after each move, now a standard practice in top tournament and match play, and created a new variant of chess called Fischer Random Chess orChess960.[14]

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Fischer lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and Iceland, and made increasingly anti-American and anti-semitic remarks on various radio stations. Possibly as a result, his U.S. passport was revoked.[15][16][17] Fischer, unaware of his passport's revocation, traveled to Japan, where he was arrested by Japanese authorities[18] and detained for over eight months (in 2004 and 2005)[19] under threat of deportation. In March 2005, Iceland granted Fischer full citizenship,[20] leading Japanese authorities to release him from prison.[21] Fischer flew to Iceland, where he lived until his death on January 17, 2008.[22

Early yearsEdit

Bobby Fischer was born at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois on March 9, 1943.[23] His birth certificate listed his father as Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, also known as Gerardo Liebscher,[24] a German biophysicist. His mother, Regina Wender Fischer, was a U.S. citizen;[25][26] Regina was born in Switzerland, to Jewish parents from Poland and Russia.[27] Raised in St. Louis, Missouri,[23] Regina became a teacher, registered nurse, and later a physician.[28]

After graduating from college in her teens, Regina traveled to Germany to visit her brother. It was there she met geneticist, and future Nobel Prize winner, Hermann Joseph Muller, who persuaded Regina to move to Moscow to study medicine. She enrolled at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, where she met Hans-Gerhardt, whom she married in November 1933.[29] In 1938, Hans and Regina had a daughter, Joan Fischer. The reemergence of anti-Semitism under Joseph Stalin prompted Regina to go with Joan to ParisFrance, where Regina became an English teacher. The threat of a German invasion led her and Joan to go to the United States in 1939. Hans-Gerhardt attempted to follow the pair but his German citizenship barred him from entering the United States.[29] Regina and Hans-Gerhardt had separated in Moscow although they did not officially divorce until 1945.[29]

Regina became pregnant in June 1942 and gave birth to a son on March 9, 1943, at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.[30]At the time, Regina was "homeless"[30<span style="margin:0px;padding:0px;border:0px;font-style:inherit;font-variant:inherit;font-weight:inherit;font-siz