Bobby Fischer : biography
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. He is considered by many to be the greatest chess player who ever lived.
A chess prodigy, at age 13 Fischer won a "brilliancy" that became known as The Game of the Century. Starting at age 14, he played in eight United States Championships, winning each by at least a point. At age 15½, he became both the youngest grandmaster and the youngest candidate for the World Championship up to that time. He won the 1963–64 U.S. Championship with 11/11, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament. His book My 60 Memorable Games, published in 1969, remains a revered part of chess literature for advanced players.
In the early 1970s he became one of the most dominant players in history—winning the 1970 Interzonal by a record 3½-point margin and winning 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps in the Candidates Matches. He became the first official World Chess Federation (FIDE) number-one rated chess player in July 1971, and spent 54 total months at number one. In 1972, he captured the World Championship from Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match widely publicized as a Cold War confrontation. The match, held in Reykjavík, Iceland, attracted more worldwide interest than any chess match before or since.
In 1975, Fischer declined to defend his title when he could not reach agreement with FIDE over the conditions for the match. He became more reclusive and did not play competitive chess again until 1992, when he won an unofficial rematch against Spassky. The competition was held in Yugoslavia, which was then under a United Nations embargo. This led to a conflict with the U.S. government, which was also seeking income tax from Fischer on his match winnings. Fischer never returned to his native country. After ending his competitive career, he proposed a new variant of chess and a modified chess timing system. His idea of adding a time increment after each move is now standard, and his variant Chess960 is gaining in popularity."At the beginning of the 21st century, grandmasters have been slowly but surely expressing interest in Fischerandom Chess." Gligorić 2002, p. 132
In his later years, Fischer lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and Iceland. During this time he made increasingly anti-American and anti-semitic statements. After his U.S. passport was revoked over the Yugoslavia sanctions issue, he was detained by Japanese authorities for nine months in 2004 and 2005 under threat of deportation. In March 2005, Iceland granted him full citizenship. The Japanese authorities then released Fischer to Iceland, where he lived until his death in 2008.
Fischer refused to play in the 1958 Munich Olympiad when his demand was turned down that he, as the reigning U.S. Champion, play first board ahead of Samuel Reshevsky.Larry Evans in Müller 2009, p. 7. According to some sources, Fischer, then 15, was unable to arrange leave from attending high school in order to play in Munich.The Games of Robert J. Fischer, Batsford, 1973, section on chess Olympiads by Robert Wade However, he represented the United States on top board with great distinction at four Olympiads:
Olympiad Individual result U.S. team result Leipzig 1960 13/18 (Bronze) Silver Varna 1962 11/17 (Eighth) Fourth Havana 1966 15/17 (Silver) Silver Siegen 1970 10/13 (Silver) Fourth
Fischer's overall total was +40 −7 =18, for 49/65 or 75.4%.Kažić 1974, pp. 75, 81, 94, 108. In 1966, he narrowly missed the individual gold medal, scoring 88.23% to World Champion Tigran Petrosian's 88.46%. Fischer played four more games than Petrosian, faced stiffer opposition, and would have won the gold if he had accepted Florin Gheorghiu's draw offer in the penultimate round rather than declining it and suffering his only loss.Müller 2009, pp. 276–77.
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