Chess champ Bobby Fischer dies at 64...

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  1. Not sure if this a celeb or up to the minute subforum post...please move if needed!

    CNN) -- Chess master Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players in history, has died, a spokesman for the World Chess Federation confirmed to CNN Friday. He was 64.
    [​IMG] Prodigy Bobby Fischer, 15, plays Russian grand master Tigran Petrosian in a practice game in 1958.

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    No cause of death was given.
    Fischer became the first American world chess champion when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a legendary encounter during the Cold War in 1972.
    Former Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov said Fischer would be remembered as "the pioneer, some would say the founder, of professional chess" and called his death "very sad news."
    According to media reports in Iceland, Fischer died at a hospital in the capital, Reykjavik. He moved to Iceland after being granted citizenship in 2005.

    Fischer became almost as famous for his personality quirks and his renegade behavior as for his brilliance at chess.
    He learned to play as a child in Brooklyn, New York, and quickly became a prodigy. He was only 15 when he reached the level of grand master in August, 1958.
    His memorable and tumultuous defeat of Spassky in 21 games highlighted his eccentricity.

    He forfeited the second game of the contest after he refused to play on, complaining that the presence of cameras was distracting him. The match was then moved to a back room. [​IMG]See photos of Fischer's life »
    Some suspected that Fischer's sometimes bizarre behavior throughout the match was intended to unnerve the highly disciplined Spassky.
    Fischer never defended his crown, refusing a 1975 match against Anatoly Karpov, another Soviet. The WCF awarded the title to Karpov and Fischer dropped from sight for nearly two decades.
    In 1992, he resurfaced to play Spassky in a rematch in Belgrade, a move that defied U.S. sanctions against the former Yugoslavia.
    He won the chess match and the prize money of $3.5 million, but spent the next decade as a reclusive and somewhat mysterious figure who was regarded as a fugitive by American authorities.
    "He was truly a great player, one of the best there has ever been. It is a sad loss to the world of chess," said Gerry Walsh, the head of the English branch of the WCF. He had been ill for some time, Walsh said.
    "Fischer was a source of inspiration for all young players," said Kasparov, who said he would be remembered for his efforts to improve conditions for fellow professionals in the game and as a "warrior" on the chessboard.
    He added that Fischer's early retirement was a great loss to chess as he retreated into what Kasparov termed "his mental self-exile."

    In recent years, Fischer became better known for his outspoken criticism of the United States. Interviewed by a Philippines radio station hours after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he allegedly called reports of a plane hitting the Pentagon "wonderful news" and said American foreign policy had provoked the attacks.
    He also become known for virulent anti-Semitism, even though his mother was Jewish. In 2002, Atlantic magazine reported that during a Manila radio broadcast he described his enemies as "Jews, secret Jews, or CIA rats who work for the Jews."
    "The tragedy is that he left this world too early, and his extravagant life and scandalous statements did not contribute to the popularity of chess," former champion Kasparov told The Associated Press.

    Fischer was arrested in 2004 at Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan, for traveling on a U.S. passport that was revoked after the 1992 Belgrade match. Japan detained him for nine months while he fought deportation to the United States.
    In March 2005 Iceland invited Fischer to live there. Japan released him, and he promptly renounced his U.S. citizenship and became a citizen and resident of Iceland.
  2. Oh no my apologies...I didn't see meowgal's thread on this already!! Oopsie.
  3. No problem, my friend!
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