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Bobby Fischer is Checkmated.
First, let me say that I am an admirer of Bobby Fischer the Chess Player.
There was a story on ESPN this morning recounting Fischer's life and current status and it was produced by Jeremy Schapp, the son of Dick Schapp who tried to be a father figure to Bobby when he was 12 years old as well as documenting his rise to chess lore. Much later, Dick Scapp apparently wrote that Fischer " did not have a sane bone in his body".
Well, in this news conference, after rambling on about his disgusting views about Jews and the Holocoust and 9/11 he singled out Jeremy Schapp and said his father was a Jewish snake for writing about his not having any sane bones.
Jeremy Schapp took a moment and reflected and the said to Fischer, "there is nothing you said here today that would prove my Father wrong."
Fischer's jaw dropped and there was dead silence for a long time and the interview ended.
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Nothing like seeing the wind taken out of a blowhard, eh!?
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that's what Susan Polgar thinks of the subject:
"I first met Jeremy a few years ago during the Man versus Machine World Championship Match (Kasparov versus Deep Junior) at the NY Athletic Club. I have heard many good things about him from other people and I agree with their opinions when I saw him at work, covering the last game of the Man versus Machine match live. It was not an easy task for a non-serious chess player to do but he pulled it off beautifully. My respect for Jeremy as a sports anchorman and journalist went up even further.
However, I must sadly take exception to the story about Bobby Fischer. In my opinion, Jeremy went to Iceland to provoke and confront Bobby. That was also the opinion of many people I spoke to. The entire show was about Fischer's attitude toward Jews, the big bad USA, Israel and about the fallout between his dad Dick Schaap and Bobby. It is very easy to provoke Bobby, and Jeremy knew how to do it."
exerpt from -> www.chessbase.com
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and what is wrong…
with trying to confront Bobby Fischer? Someone who has gone on record with as many
provocative statements as RJF should be made to answer for them. Schaap was simply doing his
job as a journalist.
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Polgar was trying to make, is that it's kinda sad, that the only time chess gets press is when something like this happens. She was trying to point out that there are a lot more stories (and more interesting as well) out there that relate to chess and that might even create some positive feedback. Which in case of this Fischer-stuff is to be doubted...
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with Polgar. If the stories about her (or around her) would be so interesting, they would be on the TV. TV makes money with interesting stories, so why don't they use Polgars stories? I could think of three explanations: TV people are stupid, TV people don't know about the events, TV people think that stories are not interesting.
As far as I know, TV people are not stupid, so let's move to the other explanations.
If TV people don't know about these great stories, then it's Polgars (and her PR specialists) own fault - she didn't invite TV to the Super Nationals, she didn't tell the press that Team USA won silver at Olympiad and that Polgar won gold. She didn't tell TV about her match against Karpov. Or did she? Therefore we have 2 possible answers - either Polgar has to blame herself or the hypothesis that TV people don't know about hte events is not valid.
So we turn to the third possible explanation. The stories are not interesting. Fischer is interesting because he is a legend, he is american and his behavior is shocking. That attracts people. Polgar is none of the above (maybe a legend in chess circles, but not to a wider audience) therefore she is not interesting. So I guess that settles it. No reason worry about the fact that grass is green or the sky is blue. It's just the way it is. Fisher is interesting, Polgar is not.
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You hit the nail on the head
I agree completely, and this was my very reaction while reading Polgar's article. I love the Royal Game, but is it really in the same category as a mass-audience spectator sport? I personally think that televising a top-flight chess match has more in common with televising, say, televising "Monet vs Van Gogh" at the art museum. The underlying material is still awe-inspiring, but somehow it's not the same as a "traditional" sporting event (unless you resurrect the guys and get them boxing). Chess *can* be packaged for TV (ESPN2 had good ratings for the Kasparov - Fritz X3D match), but it's gotta present a real challenge.
I also thought Polgar's pro-Fischer bias showed through. As I understand, he lived in Hungary for a while and spent a lot of time with the Polgar family. If she's close to him, I see where she might feel that he was being "provoked" by the Schaap interview; but having seen the tape, it's clear to me that Schaap (who also has a family connection to Bobby) went to Iceland to see whether the things he'd heard about the man were really true. And, oh yeah, they were. I'm surprised Schaap maintained his composure for as long as he did.
The one part of Polgar's piece that rang true, however, was its sense that the American media's interest in female athletes is limited to those participating in mass-market sports. Again, this makes a good story; but is Annika Sorenstam's participation at the PGA level--and performing badly--really a better story than Judit Polgar being ranked #9 in the world and refusing to play in "womens" events? When my five-year-old daughter goes shopping for sporting role models, I'm going to make darn sure Judit's is the story she hears most.
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I'm in the group of people out there who were opening the game box for the first time around the time Bobby was putting chess on the map. I'm 38, and started playing around 6yrs old. By the time I was 10 I not only knew WHO Bobby Fischer was, but had started replaying game after game out of his FISCHER ON CHESS book. This was about 1976. His "young" likeness on the cover was inspiring to me,,,,like you didn't have to be an old stuffy guy with a pipe to play and enjoy a game. My father taught me, and he was GOOD! I beat him first when I was 13 and I thanked Bobby then and now for those books. Not to mention giving me a life-long friend in the form of a chess board.
I have listened to the Live Broadcasts of Bobby on the Phillipino radio station and I'm saddened, because I hear in him something terribly familiar. My father was diagnosed with Skitzophrenea when I was about 8 yrs old. It is a progressive disease. It is also associated with high IQ's. I hear similar paranoid statements from Bobby now as I did my father then. He was able to hide symptoms for years, as to not attract attention to himself. But, in the long run camouflageing the inevidible became impossible. When I heard of Bobby's raging on of Jews and America it saddened me. I felt like I had lost another role model. I was also disturbed somewhat during the movie "Beautiful Mind". I cannot describe the feeling other than being saddened to watch someone with so much to offer lose everything including the respect of his most loyal admirers??????
Selfishly, I feel cheated by his illness.
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tnaptquy ... I know what you mean
I miss Bobby Fischer the Chess player, wished for the games that never were, and find it a sad situation. And it doesnt help matters that people really ARE doing things to him. If his reactions to the events of his life are indicative of paranoia, it must certainly serve to reinforce the state that he actually has suffered pursuit by the government and perhaps some traumas at the hands of others. Whatever the Right, Wrong, or details it does seem that, as always, things Do Happen around Bobby Fischer. And he still holds the worlds interest. Unfortunately for him.
And yet for all the bluster and opinionation, has he actually committed any act that has directly harmed another person? It seems to me that the media is using him whenever they need a short of a famous person giving a kneejerk reaction to stir things up a bit. For years no one could even find the man. Having been found, it seems he cant be left alone.
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Bobby Fishcher, the chess player......
A person has the capacity to make choices in life, but then he has to be ready to face the consequences of that decision. Bobby Fischer has decided to rile against the Jews (just as he has riled against the communists during its heyday) but then we have the choice of ignoring those outbursts and concentrating on Bobby Fischer, the chess player (just as some of us did when he riled against those communists) or taking those outbursts to heart but then diminishing him as a chess player. I'd rather have the 1st choice rather than the 2nd choice.
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Both ring true...
I have to concur with tnaptguy in that it is very disappointing to see role models succumb to illness or other failing. I also learned Chess from my father (he & I years ago parted ways), & can sympathize with such a loss. At the same time, however, hamis is very correct in pointing out one "...has to be ready to face the consequences of that decision." We own every word we say, so we must be mindful of what we say & the circumstances therein.