Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 30 Aug '12 19:50 / 4 edits
    Bobby Fischer Comes Home: The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship
    and Lost Illusions by Helgi Olafsson (published in 2012 by New in Chess)

    This book's a moderately interesting account (full of anecdotes) about Iceland's
    chess culture and what it was like for the author to be Bobby Fischer's friend.
    While he had admired Fischer from afar, GM Helgi Olafsson never had spoken with
    Bobby Fischer until he arrived in Iceland in March 2005. During the course of their
    friendship, they spoke to each other (by phone) nearly every day, but by May
    2007, their friendship (like nearly all of Fischer's friendships) had run its course.
    Helgi Olafsson had no further contact with Bobby Fischer until the latter's death on
    17 January 2008. Still, Helgi Olafsson remembered Bobby Fischer as his friend.

    Here are some Bobby Fischer quotations (as recalled by Helgi Olafsson):
    "I am a difficult person."--Bobby Fischer
    "I am a very forgiving person."--Fischer
    "You never get what you deserve. You only get what you negotiate."--Fischer
    "I am only interested in money, women, and the Jewish conspiracy."--Fischer

    According to Helgi Olafsson, Bobby Fischer aimed to play 'FischerRandom' chess
    matches (for tens of millions of USD) with Anand (who once had met Fischer in
    Iceland) or Kasparov (who had retired from chess in order to enter politics).
    Fischer insisted on not playing classical chess presumably in order to negate
    Anand's or Kasparov's greater knowledge of modern opening theory. The only
    person with whom Fischer still would play classical chess was Miyoko Watai,
    whom an Icelandic court recognised as his wife and the sole heir to his estate.

    Bobby Fischer also assumed that it should have been easy to raise ample money
    for a chess match between himself and Britney Spears! Given his professed range
    of interests in 'money, women, and the Jewish conspiracy', Fischer seems to have
    been covering two of his three bases. Presumably Bobby Fischer's interest in
    Britney Spears aimed at something other than her abilities to play chess or to sing.
    It does reveal, however, that while Bobby Fischer loathed the US government,
    he remained influenced by American popular culture. When their friendship came
    to an end, in his parting shot, Helgi Olafsson referred to Bobby Fischer as an
    American, not as the recent citizen (by decree) of Iceland that he had become.
    Bobby Fischer seems to have regarded Iceland both as a sanctuary and a place
    of exile (he hardly learned to speak Icelandic). Helgi Olafsson seems to have
    suspected that if Bobby Fischer had not been afraid of being arrested and then
    extradited to the United States, he would have preferred to live in East Asia
    (Hong Kong, Japan, or the Philippines), though Fischer seems to have admired
    the Germans more than he admired any other people (including the Icelanders).
  2. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    30 Aug '12 20:12
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Bobby Fischer Comes Home: The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship
    and Lost Illusions by GM Helgi Olafsson (published in 2012 by New in Chess)

    This book's a moderately interesting account (full of anecdotes) about Iceland's
    chess culture and what it was like for the author to be Bobby Fischer's friend.
    While he had admired Fischer from afar, ...[text shortened]... American, not as the recent citizen (by decree) of Iceland that he had become.
    That sounds more like Borat than Fischer.
  3. 01 Sep '12 01:43
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Bobby Fischer Comes Home: The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship
    and Lost Illusions by Helgi Olafsson (published in 2012 by New in Chess)

    This book's a moderately interesting account (full of anecdotes) about Iceland's
    chess culture and what it was like for the author to be Bobby Fischer's friend.
    While he had admired Fischer from afar, GM ...[text shortened]... he Germans more than he admired any other people (including the Icelanders).
    YouTube
  4. 08 Sep '12 17:38
    Originally posted by ChessPraxis
    That sounds more like Borat than Fischer.
    I heard it only on Radio Armenia.

    (If you have to ask, "What's Radio Armenia?", you don't recall Soviet humour.)
  5. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    08 Sep '12 19:18
    You have a good sense of humor, thanks for the laugh.