Bobby Fischer is still considered as the most gifted chess player of the 20th century. The Americans have seen his life balancing somewhere between genius and madness. In a time of cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, politics used the eccentric chess star as an instrument of political games. His escapades during chess matches and off the board are unforgettable. During the match of the century, Bobby Fischer was 29-year-old and became the world chess champion for the first time. He competed against Boris Spassky from Russia and won the title.
The Match Of The Century
The young American broke the decades-old dominance of Russian chess players and left Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, as a hero while his steps were followed by million eyes around the world. It was a steep road to get there. Fischer prepared for the duel against Spassky for 18 months. In an unprecedented winning streak, he defeated the best Russian chess players in 20 consecutive matches before sitting across from Spassky. The world rocked the game up to a struggle of ideologies. The two players were stylized as enemies who waged a proxy war on the chessboard.
Fischer, who brought the duel to the brink of abandonment several times due to his sensational behavior, thus dissolved a chess boom in the USA. During the match, he drove fans and journalists almost to despair. The arbitrators decided a game in favor of Spassky because Fischer did not show up. In the meantime, the eccentric player also had to be persuaded by Henry Kissinger by telephone. As a result, the prize money for the title was too low for him, and it was only when the British millionaire Jim Slater raised it that Fischer comforted himself again at the table. The preliminary decision took place in the 13th match. There he managed to win an endplay with tower and five pawns against the tower, runner, and pawn from Spassky. In the end, he celebrated a 12½: 8½ victory and rose to the celebrated star. Fischer had reached the goal of his dreams. At the age of only 13, he shocked the world, at 15 he had become chess master of the USA, at 16 he had the right to compete against the world champion at that time in a candidate tournament. Fischer had a goal to become a world champion and to stay in this throne for a long time.
Retreat After Triumph
But Fischer began to play with madness step by step. His paranoia drew him into an imaginary world. After the triumph over Spassky, he declined all offers. He did not take part in tournaments or matches any longer. People started to talk that Fischer would not defend his title. His catalog of demands for the duel against the future world champion Anatoli Karpow included 179 points. In the end, the competition failed due to the staging mode demanded by Bobby Fischer. They stripped off the title and declared Karpov world champion. Fischer, who had not played a tournament game for twenty years since his world championship title, continued to see himself as world champion, after all, nobody had defeated him on the board.