Friday 18 January 2008

R.I.P. Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer (9 March 1943 - 17 January 2008)

Just two hours ago, BCM heard the desperately sad news that former world chess champion Bobby Fischer died yesterday, with initial reports indicating that it was as a result of kidney failure. BCM carried the news of his chronic kidney condition in the January issue so this was not entirely unexpected news.

It's unprecedented for us to show you a front cover before it has been formally finalised but here is a mock-up of the February British Chess Magazine front cover which is likely to go to the printers later today. It shows the 19-year-old Fischer playing Rivera at the Varna Olympiad in 1962. We prefer to show Fischer as he was in his prime (actually a little before his prime) rather than the way he appeared in the later stages of his life after he had long since abandoned chess. And that is also how we prefer to remember him. R.I.P.


  1. I'm genuinely upset and in complete shock at the news. I didn't realise that he was ill. Bobby was simply unique. His chess achievements were remarkable and his talent outstanding.

    I'm also struck by an inconsolable sadness. Despite his achievements at the board, he didn't seem to find much happiness in his life and now we will never see him play again.

    Poor Bobby. We will remember you through your magnificent chess games. RIP.

  2. Poor Bobby for sure, but his games were models of clarity and he played to win, always. And despite his unstable personality, to the end he bowed to no-one, and I guess that meant a lot to him. That he was reviled (understandably) for some of his views was a price he was willing to pay to be himself. And his chess speaks volumes. I am so sad he has gone. If I was granted a wish to have the playing ability and style of any one person it would be Fischer that I'd pick.

    Ollie K

  3. How tragic to hear of Bobby's passing, one thinks of what might have been.

    Paul Morphy was the "Pride and Sorrow" of Chess, surely Booby was more so. If only he had not retired like Achilles into his tent, what wonderful games would have come from him.

    Let us forget the persona and remember the artistry.

    As Dave Allan would have said; "May his God be with him".

  4. Yes, a very sad day indeed for all chessplayers, especially those like myself who came to the game as schoolkids, inspired by Fischer's phenomenal ability. A part of our lives has died too.

    Fischer was, I think, the first - and until Kasparov, the only - chess player known by name worldwide even by those with little interest in the game. Alas, great player though he was, the greater sadness is that he couldn't also manage to be a great ambassador for the game.


  5. I don't think some of the shocking, hateful and completely uncalled for things that Fischer said in his later life can be all too easily forgiven and forgotten. Would it be acceptable to say that Gary Glitter made great music and nothing that he did matters? I dont think so. Rest in Peace Bobby ? That's not for me to decide.

  6. I don't think it is necessary to forgive and forget Bobby's comments made during the latter part of his life in order to appreciate his wonderful legacy of chess games.
    By the way, it can never be acceptable to say that Gary Glitter made great records...

  7. It's completely unfair to put Bobby Fischer (extreme political opinions) in the same boat as Glitter (child abuser). Fischer damaged himself (not others) through his eccentricity.

  8. Is Indian Chess Federation downgrading Coaches by offering meagre coaching fee of Rs.1000/- for Grand Master?
    Appeal to Our Senior Players / IMS' / WIM's / GM's / WGM's / FM's and coaches

    AICF proposes to short list the names of coaches who are interested to coach our players and prepare them for National and International tournaments. Those interested are requested to send a mail to AICF with their Bio-data and achievements in coaching if any. The AICF shall pay Rs.10,000/- for GM's and RS.7,000/- or Rs 5000/- for others for a ten day coaching programme. For outstation coaches AICF will reimburse, on production of tickets, third A/c train fare and shall take care of the local hospitality. Those interested may kindly send your mail immediately.
    Dronacharya awardee coach R. Gokhale said in an interview that GM is entitled for appearance money, the minimum being Rs 30,000 besides first class lodging, boarding and transportation.”