Today we welcome American chess legend Bobby Fischer to the burgeoning boneyard that is the “Famous Last Words” project.
Fischer is widely considered to be amongst of the most talented chess Grandmasters of all time. Rival pawn star Mikhail Tal considered him “the greatest genius to have descended from the chess heavens”. A prodigious talent, with victories in major tournaments stretching back to his mid-teens, Fischer won young and kept on winning.
His average did take the occasional knock, Bobby was human after all. In 1962 he blamed a string of poor tournament placings on Soviet collusion in the controversial Sports Illustrated article The Russians Have Fixed World Chess.
Controversy was never more than a few moves from Bobby Fischer. A 1992 match with Boris Spassky in Belgrade, at the time under US embargo, was deemed illegal. The US Treasury also caught a whiff of something Fischy about the tax status of his competition winnings. Anti-American and anti-semitic comments had also started to appear in the press with alarming regularity, drawing the scorn of the public in addition to the attention of the authorities. Bobby was stuck between a rook and hard place.
Fischer never returned to the USA. A fugitive from the American legal system, he lived under the threat of deportation in Eastern Europe and Japan before being granted asylum in Iceland in 2005. Bobby Fischer died of renal failure in Reykjavík in January 2008, checking out with the phrase:
“Nothing soothes pain like human touch”
The pieces below are inspired by the colourful, controversial genius that was Bobby Fischer. The font in use is the wonderful Pluto Sans in it’s blackest, heaviest guise.
Alternating Checks are used here to evoke the chessboard in a rather laboured visual metaphor. A colourful, flawed character deserves a colourful, flawed treatment.
We’ve reserved a big (red) hand for an interesting personality from a sporting community that isn’t really known for them.
Fischer claimed the Soviets fixed world chess. In other words, the shady activities of the reds gave Bobby a nasty case of the blues.
Thank you for reading about Bobby Fischer’s “Famous Last Words”. If you have any comments please share them below. The comments section is also a great place to offer up any suggestions for future entrants into my little garden of shadows. Trust me, people are dying to get in!
Stay safe kids, I’ll leave you with a little sage advice that works for chess as well as life. Learn the moves and never rush. And always open with porn. Sorry, that should be “a pawn”.