On September 11, 2001, his obscene rant celebrating the attacks was aired on Philippine radio and then around the world on the internet.In July 2004 he was arrested in Japan for having a revoked passport and detained for eight months until he was granted Icelandic citizenship as a way out of captivity.He was only 20 at that point but it had been obvious for years that he was destined to become a legendary figure.His book My 60 Memorable Games was one of my earliest and most treasured chess possessions.Fischer’s play was rusty, and he sounded disturbed, but in chess he always saw clearly and was honest with himself.
I was born the year he achieved a perfect score at the US Championship in 1963, 11 wins with no losses or draws.But the ghost had renewed his license to haunt us all for a while longer.Fischer made the headlines a few times more after that.Fischer had been a fugitive since playing in Yugoslavia in 1992 because the country was under United Nations sanctions at the time.
At the first press conference before the match Fischer spat on a cable from the government of George H W Bush warning him against playing.
An obsessive-competitive streak is enough to create a good squash player or a good (or bad) investment banker. But the aptitude for playing chess is nothing more than that.