Friday, January 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer Dead at Age 64
Was probably on the autism spectrum

Icelandreview Online

Fischer in Iceland

Fischer did not give many interviews after he come to Iceland. He claimed that regular chess was no longer interesting but recommended the game called Fischer random in which the back row of the chess pieces was arranged in a random fashion. He claimed this was the only way to keep the game interesting after computers had analyzed the regular game so that no excitement remained.

Fischer was often seen in book stores. He was usually on his own and seemed to look for books about outlaws and rebels. He was in contact with a few people; some of whom had been instrumental in insuring his release from jail. Grandmaster Helgi Ólafsson talked to Fischer regularly and said that he clearly followed chess news up to a point a least. Sometimes chess matches are televised in Iceland and on one such occasion Fischer, in a phone call with Helgi Ólafsson, pointed out a brilliant move that had escaped the attention of all Icelandic experts.

Fridrik Ólafsson, Iceland's first grandmaster and one of the players who knew Fischer from the very early days in 1958, kept some contact with Fischer. Ólafsson said that he had suggested that Fischer join him on a trip to Tallinn in Estonia for a chess conference but Fischer would not go, amybe out of fear that the US government would try to have him jailed again.

Boris Spassky came to Iceland in 2005 to play Fridrik Ólafsson in the occasion of the latter becoming 70 years old. At the time a meeting with Fischer was arranged and finally took place after Fischer had shown almost paranoid behavior, insisting that the meeting place be kept secret and all windows sealed and covered. The meeting itself was reportedly friendly.

Fischer was sometimes seen in bars in Reykjavík and was usually not disturbed by the other customers. He was often seen walking alone in Reykjavík, unshaven and looking like a hobo. His Japanese girlfriend visited him often and was with him over the new year's celebrations. After that she left for Japan.

Bobby Fischer died on January 17 at the Icelandic National Hospital of kidney failure. He had not been well for the last year. According to he had not been a believer in Western medicine and was not an easy patient to help.

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