Bobby Fischer

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Not to be confused with Becky Fischer, or Bryan Fischer. What is it with B. Fischers?
Fischer's the name. Chess is the game.
Some dare call it
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers
I don't consider myself to be a genius at chess. I consider myself more to be a genius who just happens to play chess. You understand? So I could be doing any number of other things.
—Bobby Fischer[1]:1:27:52-

Grandmaster Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (1943–2008) was an American who was one of the most brilliant chess players to ever live.[2] Fischer had an IQ of 181, nearly double the mean IQ.[3]

In the 1980s Fischer disappeared from public view; he re-emerged in 1992 to play a rematch against Boris SpasskyWikipedia in defiance of a US executive order sanctioning trade with Yugoslavia. The US government threatened to imprison him for playing the match via a letter, after which Fischer spat on said letter. He disappeared from public view after the Spassky matches until 2004, when he was arrested in Japan. His paranoia about the US government was at least partially warranted as he needed to apply for asylum in Iceland to avoid 10 years in jail in the USA.[4] Iceland accepted his asylum and citizenship petition on humanitarian grounds to the chagrin of US officials. Fishcer lived the last part of his life in Iceland.

Fischer was never diagnosed with any mental illness and both his parents were likely Jewish. Despite this, he had a number of crank views, including anti-semitism. For example, Fischer had a history of public Holocaust denial and belief in false Jewish conspiracy theories.[5][6] He also had a paranoid and an unreasonably narcissistic personality.

Chess career[edit]

Bobby Fischer in 1972

A child prodigy, Fischer played a game known as the "Game of the Century" in 1956, at the age of 13.[7] Fischer was the World Chess Champion in 1972 against Boris Spassky and was the only American to win the World Championship.[8][note 1] He was also a controversial player, notably refusing to defend his title in 1975 after a dispute with FIDE. In 1992, he was set for a rematch with Spassky in Yugoslavia. He participated in the match and won +10 -5 =15.[9]

Hostility to the USA[edit]

Fischer went into political exile for much of the 1990s and 2000s due to contempt for an executive order trade ban with Yugoslavia signed by George HW Bush.[10] During a public press conference, Fischer spat on a US federal government letter warning Fischer of arrest for trying to evade the trade ban to play a paid Yugoslavia match.[11] His (rational) paranoia of arrest due to the trade evasion caused Fischer to go into political exile for decades, and likely contributed to further anti-Americanism.[10]

Fischer's chess rival Spassky wrote a letter to George W. Bush years later asking for mercy for Fischer.[12] Over a decade after his crime, during the GW Bush term, and not long after expressing pro-terrorist sympathies against the USA, Fischer was arrested in Japan pending deportation to the US to face up to 10 years in jail.[13][14] Fischer criticized GW Bush, portraying him as a comic book character wielding unreasonable authority to declare anyone he wants as an enemy combatant.[15] The Icelandic parliament ultimately granted Fischer asylum on humanitarian grounds.[16] Fischer resided as a free Icelandic citizen until his death.

In a 2001 radio interview, Fischer stated he believed the USA to be an illegitimate country, partly due to American colonialism and genocide against Native Americans, and advocated giving power of the country back to Native Americans.[15][17][18] He also claimed nuclear bombs were not necessary to end WWII, and that America terrorized Japan. He further stated America is based on lies.[18] He felt that the USA used him as a pawn in Cold War theater[18] (an opinion not easily refuted by the fact that Kissinger personally rallied Fischer to finish competing against the Soviets[19]). He further stated he felt the US devalued him after the Cold War was over, and suggested he had personal conflict over being made to feel a war actor of the United States, and later an enemy for violating a simple trade sanction.[18]



In the same aforementioned interview, Fischer thanked Osama bin Laden for 9/11.[20] On 9/11, he remarked, "This is all wonderful news, it's time for the fuckin' U.S. to get their heads kicked in!"[21] He then went on to say 'I hope the country will be taken over by the military — they'll close down all the synagogues, arrest all the Jews, execute hundreds of thousands of Jewish ringleaders.'[6][17][18]

As early as the 1960s, Fischer had anti-Semitic opinions.[22] He was a Holocaust denier[23] and would go on anti-Semitic rants. He believed all Jews were filthy liars and wanted to take over the world. He even contended that the U.S. was controlled by the Jews, and that the U.S. government was a 'puppet', a "plaything for the Jews."[24] He continued to refer to himself as the World Chess Champion, despite the fact that he lost the title by refusing to defend his title in 1975 (This became a recurring theme of subsequent chess world champions). Dick Schaap, who Fischer considered something of a father figure, later said that Fischer "Doesn't have a sane bone in his body."[25] Fischer later said that Schaap "acted like a typical Jewish Snake."[26]

His mother and likely his biological father were both Jewish, although Fischer didn't consider himself Jewish, and even wrote to Encyclopedia Judaica requesting his name be removed.[27] Some have speculated that Fischer's strong anti-Semitism was rooted in his bad relationship with his mother.[28] Although Fischer grew up as a practicing Jew, he became a Christian during his boyhood.[29]:299

Fischer had a fascination with Hitler and Nazi Germany from an early age. He said he was attracted to the authoritarianism of the regime and how it forced its will on its people.[30] A former chess colleague of Fischer claims Fischer had an early admiration for Hitler, but claims that this initial admiration was mostly for egoistic reasons.[31]


Fischer was known for an overall paranoid personality. For a short time he joined the Worldwide Church of God,[32] a particularly paranoid Christian domination which regularly predicted apocalypse.

Other crankery[edit]

Growing up during the Cold War and being the center of a battle seen by many as a proxy for Cold War tension, Fischer developed a paranoia of the Soviet Union which lasted beyond his initial chess matches with Soviet Union players. Upon his Yugoslavia chess match, Fischer showed increasing signs of unreasonable narcissism, such as allegedly requesting his toilet be raised higher than others in the bathroom.[33]

A not-so-beautiful mind[edit]

In Pawn Sacrifice (2014), Fischer is played by Toby Maguire as he prepares to square off against Spassky. Liev Schreiber plays the Green Goblin Maguire’s opponent.

Late views on chess[edit]

Bobby Fischer at 61 years old

Near the end of his life, Fischer stated he "hated chess" because he claimed chess mastery was more about memorization and study than creativity.[34] He invented a variation of chess called "Fischer random" or Chess960, which features 960 different initial piece arrangements. The point of Chess960 is to remove much of the advantage of human memorization and theory, and is played competitively today.


  1. Though Wilhelm Steinitz (1836–1900) was a US resident and played under American flag when he won the World Championship in 1886 and became a US citizen shortly thereafter. The American Paul Morphy (1837–1884) was widely considered the World's best chess player around 1860, but this was before a formal World Championship title existed.


  1. Bobby Fischer against the world HBO via YouTube.
  6. 6.0 6.1
  10. 10.0 10.1 Brady, F. (2011). Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness. United States: Crown.
  15. 15.0 15.1
  17. 17.0 17.1
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4
  26. Bobby Fischer against the world, at about 1:24:00
  28. Bobby Fischer against the world
  29. No Regrets: Fischer-Spassky 1992 by Yasser Seirawa & George Stafnovic (1992) International Chess Enterprises. ISBN 1879479087.