Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Bobby Fischer Redux

Posted by Dan Draney on March 25, 2005

Bobby has left Japan for Iceland:

“Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer flew out of Japan, where he had been detained since July, en route to Iceland after Tokyo decided not to deport him to the United States where he faces prison, an airport official said.

[…]

Former chess champion Bobby Fischer leaves New Tokyo International Airport in Narita. Fischer flew out of Japan, where he had been detained since July, en route to Iceland after Tokyo decided not to deport him to the United States where he faces prison. [AFP]

Fischer, 62, played his most famous match in 1972 in Iceland, defeating the Soviet world champion Boris Spassky in a Cold War drama.

But he soon ran afoul of US authorities with his angry anti-American and anti-Jewish views. He faces 10 years in prison for playing a rematch against Spassky in 1992 in Yugoslavia in defiance of US sanctions imposed over the Balkan wars”

In our previous post about Fischer, we mentioned our friend who was at the 1972 match in Reykjavik. After reading that our friend, “Mel Stool,” sent us this message about those days:

I was at games 11-12-13. Also I just verified my indirect claim to fame in “Fischer-Spassky” The Chess Match of the Century” by Richard Roberts, Bantam Books, 1972. on p. 110 Fischer’s post- 12th game angry letter to match referee Lothar Schmid is excerpted:

“The exhibition hall was not designed for a chess match and it has little accoustical treatment of the type required for such an event. Hence special precautions are most necessary, one of which is the removal of at least seven rows of seats closest to the stage. The spectators are so close and so noisy and the accoustics are so poor that I can hear them opening candy wrappers and I hear bits of conversation as well as coughing, laughing and so on.”

(Note: I was in the first row for game 12. I may have coughed at some point. I don’t recall laughing. I do remember several times Bobby going over to the referee, waving his arms and Schmid would punch a button that would turn on a big flashing “Silence” sign in the front of the hall. I had no idea I might be responsible in part for his fury until I returned home).

We can attest that Mr. Stool made these claims to contemporaneously, including mentioning that he had unwrapped a candybar as quietly as he could while in the auditorium. We think it’s important to get key facts like this into the historical record for future generations.

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