Bobby Fischer: Wandering King


Bobby Fischer: Wandering King by Hans Bohm and Kees Jongkind published by Batsford.

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Is Bobby Fischer the all-time greatest chess genius? There is no one who is able to answer that question. But his career inspires us: the struggle of one man against the entire Eastern European chess elite. After a laborious but spectacular triumphal march towards the World title in 1972 he never played again in public, except for a dubious match in 1992 against his old rival Boris Spassky. Since then Fischer has been wandering embittered and paranoid around the globe.

His voice could be occasionally heard on a radio station where he made shocking remarks, with cheers about the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York being the lowest point. Bobby Fischer has become an intriguing living legend. Inducement for this book was the documentary The Wandering King on the NOS (Dutch BBC) in which the life of Bobby Fischer, who turned sixty in 2003, was reconstructed.

Kees Jongkind led the research team that tried to trace Bobby Fischer and painted a picture of Fischer through interviews with many chess greats and former friends.

Hans Bohm has dug through the archives in order to place the grotesque aspects of Fischer into its correct context – his tough youth, his exceptional talent, the antisocial ideologies, his fight against the chess authorities and the World Chess Federation and his growing mental illness. Recently-opened FBI files about Fischer have been used extensively. Professor Jaap van den Herik tries, in combination with his computer, to answer the question how brilliant Fischer was as a chess player. A must for anyone interested in fascinating personalities.

Softback 160 pages . 158.75 x 234.95 x 19.05mm