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January 31, 2011 9:28 pm

Profile: Bobby Fischer, Genius and Hater

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Salon – The life of Bobby Fischer was a compendium of secrets and puzzles from the very beginning. Who was the biological father of the 11th World Chess Champion, possibly the greatest player of all time, and certainly among the top five? Why did he retire from the game after winning his historic match with Boris Spassky in 1972 and refrain from playing publicly for 20 years? What was he doing during those two decades? Why did he espouse a venomous anti-Semitism despite being Jewish himself as well as close to and reliant upon many Jewish friends? Why did those friends put up with him and why, over and over again, did they run to his aid, when his behavior toward them was often contemptuous? And, above all, was he insane and, if so, did his genius have some connection to his madness?

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