Something about Bobby

Nov 29, 2009, 4:46 PM |

Bobby Fischer, best known for his chess exploits, made the January 1973 issue of Black Belt, a martial arts magazine because of his venture into judo back in 1963 -

Black Belt Magazine, Jan. 1973
from inside the column
By Philip B. Moshcovitz

"In the summer of 1963, World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer left his pawns and rooks long enough to enter a judo dojo.  "He paid cash and insisted on private lessons," revealed instructor Jerome Mackey in a syndicated newspaper story. "He took about twenty or thirty, learning how to take falls and a few other forms of basic technique, and then quit.  He left still a beginner, wearing a white belt."  During his Iceland stay Bobby had a bodyguard.


from the Boy's Life 1961-1971 retrospective issue of August, 2001


from Life magazine, July 28, 1972 


Bobby Fischer lolled on the sofa of his Reykjavik hotel room and took a sweet, joyous breath of a rose - and success.  He had just beaten Russian world champion Boris Spassky for the first time in their title match.  It was an achievement to be savored, and Fischer was savoring it in his chosen way.  Leaving the $60,000 house the Icelandic authorities had provided for him, he had moved back into a hotel, sleeing by preference on a too-short sofa and keeping the curtains drawn day and night. Now, grining savagely,  he played and replayed the game, leading again and again to that lovely moment when the Russian was trapped and had to resign. 
In his strange, closed universe, Bobby Fischer was happy.

above two Life photos by Harry0Benson


from LIFE Oct. 7, 1957