News of Fischer’s death doesn’t change the landscape of mainstream chess much, since he rarely played anymore, but the Nazi chess title for ranked Imperial Grand Wizards is up for grabs until David Duke and Hutton Gibson settle it.
REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Bobby Fischer, the reclusive American chess master who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, has died. He was 64. hospital, his spokesman, Gardar Sverrisson, said. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
Born in Chicago and raised in Brooklyn, Fischer was a U.S. chess champion at 14 and a grand master at 15. He beat Spassky in a series of games in Reykjavik to claim America’s first world chess championship in more than a century.
But his reputation as a genius of chess soon was eclipsed by his idiosyncrasies.
A few years after the Spassky match, he forfeited the title to another Soviet, Anatoly Karpov, when he refused to defend it.
He dropped out of competitive chess and largely out of view, emerging occasionally to make erratic and often anti-Semitic comments.
Fischer, whose mother was Jewish, once accused “the Jew-controlled U.S. government” of ruining his life.
He fell into obscurity before resurfacing to win a 1992 exhibition rematch against Spassky on the Yugoslav resort island of Sveti Stefan in violation of sanctions imposed to punish then-President Slobodan Milosevic.
A fierce critic of his homeland, Fischer became wanted in the United States for violating the sanctions.
He renounced his American citizenship and moved to Iceland in 2005.
Fischer told reporters that year that he was finished with a chess world he regarded as corrupt, and sparred with U.S. journalists who asked about his anti-American tirades.
“The United States is evil. There’s this axis of evil. What about the allies of evil ” the United States, England, Japan, Australia? These are the evildoers,” Fischer said.