Bobby Fischer arrested in Japan


   The US government revoked Bobby’s passport, while he was in Japan. Japanese authorities arrested him and are working on extraditing Bobby to the US. Bobby has been a fugitive from US justice for 12 years now.  Bobby’s crime was violating a Presidential decree baring US citizens from dealing in commerce with Yugoslavia.  Bobby was not allowed to play the championship match against Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992.  Yugoslavia was embattled in ethnic warfare.  All business between Yugoslavia and the US was to cease. Bobby ignored this order. 

    Lets put this crime in perspective with recent events of illegal commerce.  The current commerce scandal involves the UN and Saddam Hussein's oil for aid program.  Saddam was allowed to cut his own deals, and sold oil well below market price to France and Russian. They in turn sold it for huge profits and kicked money back to Saddam.  Commentary magazine, May issue, cites a Saddam-Alqaeda link thru this program. Saddam got the lion share of the aid that was meant for Iraqis. Many western countries sold Saddam high technology, which Saddam used for weapons of mass destruction.

     Bobby is facing up to 10 years in prison and up to 250,000-dollar fine for playing a chess match. I think it would be a major injustice if Bobby were hit with those penalties. All the man did was play 30 chess games. Punishment must fit the crime. Bobby’s greatest crime isn't playing chess in Yugoslavia in defiance of a presidential decree. His crime is his hateful remarks about Jews and the people of the United States. However hateful and hurtful these remarks are, they are not against the law. Another one of Bobby’s crimes was leaving the chess world.  Bobby has had moments of great confusion:

1)      His admiration of Hitler.

2)     His denial of the Holocaust.

3)      His hateful views of Jewish people.

4)      His hateful views of the United States and 9/11.

5)      His withdrawal from chess, a game that gave him purpose.

6)      Pulling out of the Sousse Interzonal in 1967 while leading and missing a chance to challenge for the title.

7)      Aborting the chess match against Reshevsky in 1961.

8)      Refusing to defend his title in 1975, even though he got all but one of his demands.

9)      His failure to play  game 2 of the world championship match in 1972.

10) His failure to play in the 1970 US Championship.

      If Bobby is extradited back to the US, this could be a turning point for the better. Bobby has had his forced moments of clarity during his life and career:

    1)      1972 going to Iceland to play in the world championship.

2)      Playing game 3 of the 1972 world championship and accepting his forfeit of game 2.

3)      Coming out of retirement and playing Boris Spassky in 1992.

     I say to Bobby, “come home you are an American.” If Bobby comes home, this could be another forced clarity situation. Bobby has a great chance to renounce his hateful views. He can beat these  charges. I feel Bobby can fix all his problems by apologizing for his hateful views.  Bobby is an American, a cold war warrior.  He beat the soviets at their own game.  Bobby did it by himself, with his single mined pursuit of  chess truth. 

   Bobby needs to stop taking on the world. At 61 years of age, it's time to stop bucking the system. Bobby needs to live peacefully with in it. Bobby you were an expert at exchanging down to a winning endgame. You were great at managing your clock. Bobby your time is growing short, you need to simply your life. Bobby you need to point your strong intellect now to the real world. You need to use your subtle skills of knowing when to punch and when to duck. Bobby, renounce your hatred, stop fighting the world, and come back to chess. Bobby, come back to your roots, and write about your matches of 1972 and 1992.  Bobby you were a King once, your poor judgment has made you a fugitive pawn on the run. Your path is now blocked; you need to unblock your path so you can finish your life’s journey. Lev Alburt said it best, on Fred Wilson's Chess Fm show, Bobby needs chess to keep his sanity. 

        Bobby this is your last shot to get your act together, comes back to your roots, and come back to chess. It’s ok that you’re not the best player in the world today. You should enjoy your life’s endgame.  You can have a winning life endgame.  I am sure there will be plenty of lawyers willing to defend you.

  Here's what I feel is appropriate punishment for his crimes, provided he renounces his hateful views.

1)      Well, Martha Stewart will serve half of her 10-month sentence under house arrest.  I think Bobby should serve his time under tournament arrest. He should have to play in 10 more US Championships.

2)       He should finish his 1961 match against Sammy Reshevsky. This may be difficult since Sammy died in 1992.  However Victor Kortchnoi was able to play a game against Geza Marcozy through a psychic.

3)      He should play game 2 of his 1972 world championship match in full view of the TV cameras.

4)      He should play the 1975 world championship match against Karpov.


      I think the greatest and worst move ever played on a chess board was made during game one of the  1972 world championship match against Boris Spassky.  Bobby had never beaten Spassky and had lost three games with two draws. In the first game of the world championship, Fischer, after 28 moves had achieved a drawn position with the black pieces against the world champion Boris Spassky. This was a very good start for a challenger of the world championship. However, it wasn’t good enough for Bobby who cut through the candidate match process like a hot knife through butter. He shut out and no hit Taimanov and Larsen by scores of 6-0 and 6-0. Fischer then ran through ex world champion Tigran Petrosian by a score of 6.5-2.5. During this time Bobby set a record by defeating 18 top GMs in a row. Bobby was always  looking for every resource in a position. He  stunned the chess world by playing 29 … Bxh2. Spassky jolted upright by this surprising move. This was a horrible move. Every one knows not to take the rook pawn with the bishop, because the bishop can be trapped. Bobby had made a mistake, it's not a losing move. He still had drawing chances. However Bobby could not find the drawing moves. He blamed his troubles on the noise level and TV cameras in the playing hall. 

   However, I think this move is one of the greatest moves played as well. I am speaking not from a technical chess sense.  From a technical chess stand point and match strategy stand point, the move was a disaster. But with so much on the line, a world championship game, Fischer was not satisfied with a draw in the first game with black. Bobby was searching for an advantage, trying to exploit every possible hidden resource. It was a great move because it showed Bobby's great will to win. This is why great players played below their strength against Bobby.  Bobby was always on the hunt for a full point and always on the hunt for exploiting  hidden resources. Bobby wanted to crush Spassky early. This uncontrolled desire caused Bobby's defeat in game 1, the forfeit in game 2, and almost the forfeited of the match. Bobby quickly regrouped and won game three with the black pieces. Bobby took control of the match and defeated Spassky by a score of 12.5 –8 .5.  Bobby  Fischer became the 11th World Champion.

    Today chess is plagued with the friendly-no-fight draw. More players need some of Bobby Fischer’s desire at the chessboard. During the 1992 Fischer vs. Spassky match, Bobby was asked about 29 … Bxh2. He was asked if  it was about trying to create winning chances from a drawn position. Bobby agreed with that statement. Chess fans worldwide admire Bobby for his great chess talent and desire.  Bobby brought many new fans into the sport during his 1972 world championship fight.

   Since Bobby hasn't taken a pawn in over 12 years, I think these charges have exceeded the 50 move rule and should be dropped with a draw being declared. 


 Spassky vs. Fischer game 1 of the 1972 world championship match 

  More on Bobby's life - his pathetic endgame. 

  Kasparov's take on Fischer

  Still More on Bobby 

   Free Bobby web site