Colleen
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Since Fischer dided today, I thought I'd share this old piece I wrote capturing the match between Fischer and Spassky. I tried to present it as an argument in the form of a monologue because it seemed that people sided with with Fischer or Bush on the political end. Most of the Fischer monologue is a compilation of direct quotes. I have tried to maintain as much historical accuracy as possible.

THE TWO SIDES OF BOBBY FISCHER’S EXILE
PRESENTED IN TWO MONOLOGUES
by Colleen Simmons
A work of historical non-fiction

Bobby Fischer:

December 15, 1992, I was indicted by a grand jury in Washington, DC. If I am convicted of these charges, there’s a 10-year prison sentence, and they’ve got an arrest warrant, a federal arrest warrant. It’s valid in every state of the union, Guam; it’s valid in Alaska, New York.¹ All this because I played a chess match in Yugoslavia. I played great chess, and I was blacklisted for 20 years. Nobody could do what I did after 20 years, coming back and playing top chess.¹ Nobody could do what I did, not even playing for three years.¹ And it kills them, that I played for the highest prize fund in the entire history of chess.¹

In 1972, I played Boris Spassky for the world championship chess title, and I won. I was the first American to ever come close to winning this title. I was an American chess hero. In 1975, I was supposed to play Antoly Karpov to defend my title. But the whole tournament was rigged. FIDE refused to meet my demands to change the conditions of the tournament, so I refused to play. In retaliation, FIDE stripped me of my title, and they declared that potzer , Karpov, the new world champion.

In 1992, Jezdimir Vasiljevic, a rich Serbian chess fanatic, contacted me and told me that he would pay 5 million dollars if I would play my old rival Spassky in Yugoslavia. Chess is extremely popular over there. In Yugoslavia, no matter how much you hustle you're not going to get rich, so you might as well play chess. So it made sense, that a Serb in Yugoslavia would host the game of the century. The prize was divided, so that the winner would take 3.6 million and the loser 1.4. So naturally, I agreed to play.

On August 12, 1992, I got a letter from the US Treasury Department telling me that if I played Spassky I was imposing sanctions against Yugoslavia. Apparently, any commercial transactions with Yugoslavia were forbidden unless I got direct permission with the government—which I didn’t. They threatened to sentence me to 10 years in prison, and fine me up to $250,000.

That night, I called a news conference. I reached into my briefcase, pulled out that letter, and in front of all those reporters, I spit on it. That was my reply to the order not to defend my title. What was I supposed to do, sit back and let some politician, who knows nothing about chess, tell me that I cannot defend my title? Not to mention, I was supposed to turn down the largest prize fund in the history of chess!

I am the strongest chess player the world has ever known. The precision with which I’ve played frightens people. Since I won the title in 1972, more chess magazines have been born, more newspapers have published chess columns, and many more chess books have appeared on the market than ever before over the same time span. People have compared my chess genius to Brahms, Rembrandt, and Shakespeare. If I study a chess position for five seconds, I can see five or six moves ahead, sometimes more. There are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible variations for an average chess game of forty-five moves. I have dreamt up combinations that have revolutionized chess. My life lies in chess. I had to defend my title in Yugoslavia.

I struggled, for years, to make a living off playing chess. Most tournament prizes are lousy. Maybe a couple hundred bucks. Millionaires back this game, but they're all cheap. They give a thousand or two and they think it's a big deal. The tournament has to be named after them, everybody has to bow down to them, play when they want, everything for a couple thousand dollars which is nothing to them anyhow. They take it off their income tax. These people are cheap. It's ridiculous. My average yearly prize winnings were $5,000. That just about covers chess-playing expenses. For years, I lived alone in a Brooklyn flat, while my rent, food, and clothing bills were paid by my mother because I was too poor to afford them myself. Finally after living in poverty for years, I was able to play chess for real money, and I was ordered to turn it down.

I played that chess match. Then, I moved to Budapest. I couldn’t go back to the US because they were going to charge me and send me off to federal prison for playing chess. Spassky, who was a French citizen, didn’t get into any trouble with his government. The whole ordeal was a personal attack on me, and this was just the beginning of it.

My exile wasn’t enough for the damn Jews, so they stole everything I had.¹ They broke into a storage house I had in Pasadena and stole everything.¹ I had all my stuff regarding this Karpov - Kasparov prearranged match. A big file I'd been working on.¹ They stole my patent that I got for my new chess timing system,¹ which has revolutionized tournament chess in the last decade. If you walk into any tournament, everyone owns a Fischer clock. Before every simultaneous exhibition, it was announced that all the players had to give me their copy of the score. They didn't give me the carbon copy, the original copy.¹ I had between six hundred and a thousand scores that were never published anywhere. And I, only I, had the original scores. What the hell are they worth, thousands, millions of dollars?¹ People are hungry for any goddamn game I ever played. And these dirty Jews are falsifying my games like mad.¹ They will take out the best games. They will do anything.

They have stolen my book My 60 Memorable Games.¹ They came out with an illegal movie called Searching for Bobby Fischer, which is exploiting my name for money.¹ They've made tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars on this movie.¹ I never got a penny of it. The Jews have come out with the illegal CD-ROM called Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.¹ Zero for me. I get nothing, even from the legitimate edition of My 60 Memorable Games. Now they are trying to say that I never got paid for my game in Yugoslavia. Well, I have 3.5 million dollars in a Swiss bank account.¹

This is just the latest in a long line of crimes against me by World Jewry and the Jew controlled United States of America.¹ Don’t get me wrong, I am not an anti-Semite. I am pro-Arab, and Arabs are Semites too, you know. If you think about it, why were sanctions against Yugoslavia, but not Israel? The United States is a farce controlled by dirty, hook-nosed, circumcised Jew bastards.¹

* * *

Former President George H. W. Bush:

Bobby Fischer is a disgrace to America. In September of 1992, he violated a direct order I sent to cease and desist all activities pertaining to the chess match held in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. His chess game with Boris Spassky violated economic sanctions placed against Serbia and Montenegro to prevent the murderous ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian people. Those sanctions were put in place for Serbian involvement in and support for groups attempting to seize territory in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina by force and violence, utilizing in part the forces of the so-called Yugoslav National Army. The aggressors and extremists, working under Slobodan Milosevic, deliberately murdered Bosnian men, women, and children, drove them from their homes, pursuing the vile policy of ethnic cleansing. This was, without a doubt, a true humanitarian nightmare.

Executive Order 12810 forbade any transaction in the United States or by a United States citizen related to participation in commercial activities by persons or groups representing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Jezdimir Vasiljevic, owner of one of Yugoslavia’s wealthiest private banks and proud sponsor of the Fischer-Spassky chess match, had been dealing with the Serbian secret service raising funds for paramilitary agents. According to government sources, he provided enough equipment for 2000 personnel. Vasiljevic was known to be working for Milosevic, providing mercenaries and arms to the Yugoslav National Army. The U.S. government blacklisted Vasiljevic, along with other known supporters of the Serbian army. Fischer infringed EO12810 by conducting commercial business with Vasiljevic in the city of Stefi Stefan.

Vasiljevic arranged the Fischer-Spassky match as an attack on the United Nations embargo against Yugoslavia. He was even quoted saying, “By bringing Fischer to Yugoslavia we have broken the blockade in the most spectacular manner.” U.S. attorney Jay Stephens accurately described Fischer as a pawn of Yugoslavia's bloody regime. Fischer didn’t just play chess in Stefi Stefan. This political attack against the United States allowed for a victorious moment for the Communist regime. And Fischer, who could’ve stopped it, let the Serbian war machine roll on to yet another success.

Is it seemly for Fischer to play in a multimillion-dollar chess exhibition 50 to 70 miles from where civilians are being bombed and shot down in the streets? The news on Belgrade Television was a nightly compendium of conspiracy theories, turgid speeches, and lurid rumors--all conveying the view that Serbia and its leader, Milosevic, stood alone against a vast, genocidal German-American-Croat-Muslim plan. Scenes of shells blasting houses in Sarajevo were accompanied by a narrative telling viewers that Serb troops once again were forced to respond to Muslim aggression. Milosevic would stop at nothing to restore Communist dictatorship to the people and regain complete control over Bosnia.

Fischer has grown virulently anti-Semitic, even though his own mother, from whom he has been estranged in the past, is Jewish. He claims the Jews have stolen all of his property. It is true that his possessions were confiscated following his indictment; however, it was because he failed to pay the storage fees where his items were kept. He hasn't even paid income taxes since 1976. Fischer is known for his deranged behavior. He believes that anyone who disrupts his life is somehow involved in a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. His claims are ridiculous, and my heartfelt hope is that he will one day understand the seriousness of his actions.

I have asked myself, why did he do it? Think of Bosnia overrun by Serbian-backed militias. Think of the decency itself—to play a chess match for profit when the money is coming from savage murderers. The contrast reeks of callousness. Fischer captivated chess enthusiasts and ordinary citizens everywhere when he defeated Spassky for the world title in 1972. Today he embarrasses the world. He deserves prosecution under the law. And now, he uses his popularity to sway the masses into believing his delusions that discredit the US government for acting ethically and morally during times of political distress. Fischer’s mistakes will catch up with him. And when they do, he will have 10 years in prison to contemplate if betraying the United States was worth the money he received.

© 2001 by Colleen Simmons
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Russ Williams
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
colleens wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
B) Fischer lived a miserable life, estranged from his country because he chose to. He chose to after many warnings. He decided to break the law anyway.

How was he miserable?

Based on the paranoid angry hateful ravings, I always had the impression he was miserable. People who talk that way usually seem unhappy in deep strange ways.

A technical question:
Quote:
If you walk into any tournament, everyone owns a Fischer clock.

Is that actually true? I thought that Fischer clocks were still not widely used because they must be implemented electronically, and there are still a lot of mechanical clocks around and being used, and many/most electronic clocks also don't offer Fischer timing. I like Fischer timing, and wish it would catch on more in the world of Go. I know that most internet Go servers don't offer it (though http://dragongoserver.net does), and the more commonly used clocks in Go tournaments don't offer it.
 
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
I think everyone who plays serious chess owns a Fischer clock. If they don't use it, they still own it.
 
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William Boykin
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
Great piece.

Even though I think that Fischer was a psychotic LOON- he was brillant in Chess. And the world is worse without him.

But then, the gods hate all those who try to achieve greatness, and Hubris is the greatest of sins. In the wake of all who try to be like the gods on Mt. Olympus, lies Nemesis. Fischer's nemesis was his paranoia, and it daunted him until the end.

Darilian
 
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
You know, this article was darn good and pretty much summarized what was going on. Deserves more thumbs.
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Colleen
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
wargamer66 wrote:
You know, this article was darn good and pretty much summarized what was going on. Deserves more thumbs.


I agree! I think people aren't reading it because it's long. It's a clear thumbs up if people read.
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William Boykin
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
Reading? Thats UN-AMERICAN!

Darilian
Ignorant and proud. AMERICA! ***k YAH!

 
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
colleens wrote:
...¹...


Where are your end notes?
 
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Re: Ode to Fischer - A work of Historical Non-Fiction
I left them out because they were a pain to copy and paste.

1 Direct quotes or paraphrases taken from interview with Bobby Fischer. Sam Sloan. Bobby Fischer’s Homepage. 20 February 2001.
2 Antoly Karpov is the former world chess champion. The Russian was given the title with Fischer refused to play him.
3 Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the World Chess Federation, and the controlling organization of the world chess championship.
4 “Fischer, Bobby.” Microsoft Encarta 1998 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Washington: Microsoft, 1997.
5 Potzer is an ugly and insulting word in its original Yiddish, means an inferior player in chess parlance.
6 Bush’s order for Fischer to cease and desist activities can be viewed at: Sam Sloan. Bobby Fischer’s Homepage. 20 February 2001.
7 Ralph, Ginzburg. “Portrait of a Genius As a Young Chess Master.” Harper's Magazine Jan. 1962.
8 Ralph, Ginzburg. “Portrait of a Genius As a Young Chess Master.” Harper's Magazine Jan. 1962.
9 Karpov and Kasparov were both Russian world chess champion titleholders.
10 Fischer clocks allow for 2 or 3 second increments for every move that is made. Its purpose is to eliminate the chances a player has to lose on time, and it allows for a full game to be played.
11 Score refers to a handwritten notation of a chess game.
12 Sobran, Joseph. National Review 44.20 (1992): 72.
13 Executive Order 12810 can be viewed at: US Department of Commerce--Market Access and Compliance. February 20 2001.
14 New England School of Law. New England Center for International Law and Policy: The Balkan Institute, War Crimes & Individual Responsibility, part 4. 20 February 2001. 28 February 2001.
15 Jezdimir Vasiljevic’s name appears on a government ban list, which may be viewed at: U.S. Treasury Department. Office of Foreign Assets Control. 26 January 2001. 28 February 2001.
16 Nack, William. “The Fischer King.” Sports Illustrated Sep. 1992
17 O’Brien, Richard. Sports Illustrated 77.27 (1992): 12-21.
18 Lane, Charles. New Republic 207.27 (1992): 22-24.
19 Sobran, Joseph. National Review 44.20 (1992): 72.
 
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