Friday, August 27, 2004

Bobby Fischer Update

It is hard to believe that it has been thirty two years since that far-off and fabulous summer of 1972 when Robert J. Fischer single-handedly crushed Boris Spassky and the entire Soviet state-sponsored chess machine thereby showing once again the superiority of American individualism to Soviet, or any, collectivism. There is no denying that Fischer played a significant geopolitical role in undermining the prestige and credibility of the Evil Empire. Nor should we ever forget Fischer's contributions to chess, both to the game itself, and indirectly to the thousands of Americans who learned chess and enriched their lives during the Fischer Era. But Fischer's genius and his service to his country are not excuses for his subsequent bad behavior, anti-Semitism, or disrespect for American law.

Thus I cannot agree with the folks over at FreeBobby.org. (Link courtesy of chess player Mike Gilleland, whom I'll bet became an acolyte of Caissa during the Fischer era.) Fischer should return to the States, take responsibility for his actions, and face the music. To read about the pickle Bobby is in, go here. (Thanks to chess player John Gallagher for this link.)

Ayn Rand's Open Letter to Boris Spassky sheds light on the geopolitics of the 1972 Reykjavik match. It's a good read, but lest anyone think I am a Randian, see here where I take her severely to task.