Fischer, Bobby (1943—)

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Fischer, Bobby (1943—)

In 1972, American Robert "Bobby" James Fischer became the world's chess champion after defeating Soviet Boris Spassky. This match, set against the backdrop of Cold War rivalries, marked the pinnacle of Fischer's often turbulent career. In 1975, Fischer was stripped of his title after refusing to defend it. Despite his eccentricities, Fischer's demands initiated improvements in playing conditions and the financial rewards of professional chess. In the western world, Fischer's dramatic rise to international prominence revitalized popular interest in chess.

In 1992, Fischer, still claiming to be the legitimate world champion, ended his self-imposed exile to play a return match against Spassky. Played in war-torn Yugoslavia in violation of United States and United Nations sanctions, this match again made Fischer the center of popular controversy. Fischer defeated Spassky with 10 wins, 5 losses, and 15 draws, and received $3.65 million as the winner's share of the prize fund. Following the match Fischer returned to seclusion.

—Christopher D. O'Shea

Further Reading:

Brady, Frank. Profile of a Prodigy: The Life and Games of Bobby Fischer. New York, David McKay Co., 1965.

Evans, Larry. "Bobby's Back!" Chess Life. Vol. 47, No. 11, 1992, 56-59.

Forbes, Cathy. "Bobby Fischer, the Holy Grail -A Balkan Odyssey." Chess Life. Vol. 48, No. 3, 1993, 26-28.

Huntington, Robert. "Observations from THE MATCH." Chess Life. Vol. 48, No. 2, 1993, 37-40.

Roberts, Richard. Fischer/Spassky: The New York Times Report on the Chess Match of the Century. New York, Bantam Books, 1972.

Steiner, George. Fields of Force: Fischer and Spassky at Reykjavik. New York, Viking Press, 1972.

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Fischer, Bobby (1943—)

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