The great chess player Robert Fischer was born 76 years ago

Robert Fischer was born in Chicago on 9 March, 1943. His father, Hans-Gerhard Fischer, a German biologist and ideological communist, lived in the USSR. His mother, Regina Wender, was a Swiss Jew. Bobby's parents met at the Moscow Medical University where Regina studied. In 1939, they left the USSR, but their paths diverged: Gerhard moved to Chile, and Regina settled in Brooklyn, USA...

It all began in 1958, when the world learned about how the fourteen-year-old genius and wunderkind Bobby Fischer became the USA Chess Champion. Sports commentators then talked about a “national sensation”. Thus began the story of a new star that shook the foundations of the entire chess world.

Incidentally, Fischer was called a "cold-blooded killer." He never had mercy on a rival and, if there was an opportunity, smashed him with surprising ruthlessness. One of the most significant cases occurred in 1971, when Robert in the challenger games with Larsen and Taimanov set the 12: 0 record. No professional chess player experienced such a defeat before.

Perhaps Robert Fischer would not have been so famous if it were not for the constant scandals that accompanied him... At some point, Robert’s oddities reached their apogee. In 1975, he abandoned the match for the world championship, and FIDE announced Karpov as a new champion. After that, Fischer stopped playing in official tournaments. Until the 90s, he lived in solitude in the California town of Pasadena, where for some time he even joined the religious sect 'The World Church of the Creator'. Later, he met the eighteen-year-old chess player Zita Rajcsanyi and moved to Hungary.

The story of the genius grandmaster doesn’t end there. In 1992, he unexpectedly agreed to the proposal of a Yugoslav banker to play a rematch with Spassky. Fischer confidently won, but he never returned to the USA. In America, he was threatened with a huge fine and 10 years in prison for violating the law, since the United States boycotted Yugoslavia at the time.

Fischer went to the East. He first lived in the Philippines with Marilyn Young and then in Japan with his old friend Mieko Watai. In 2000, he secretly moved to America, but after three years his passport was cancelled, and soon he was arrested at one of the Japanese airports. A serious international scandal broke out. The US demanded that the criminal be handed over to it, but all well-known grandmasters stood up for him. Bobby called his arrest abduction and accused George Bush and the Japanese Prime Minister of a conspiracy...

Iceland granted citizenship to Fischer, and he was deported there in 2005. His last years he lived in Reykjavik. On 17 January 2008, Robert Fischer passed away. He was buried in the cemetery of Selfoss, near Reykjavik.

Read the story by Kirsan Nikolayevich about a meeting with the chess genius in “Ilyumzhinov’s Column” (Ed.).