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Fishing for Fischer

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Alert reader Sean Evans tells us that Bobby Fischer's scrofulous website has just added the news that he has been detained at the Narita airport in Japan. (Be warned that the item, like most of the page, contains profane and disturbing content, especially if you would still like to remain a Fischer fan.)

"The World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer has been viciously attacked brutalized seriously injured and very nearly killed when he was illegally detained and arrested by the Japanese immigration authorities at Narita international airport in Tokyo Japan."

Some ranting follows, then a request for political asylum. If it were a request for an asylum he'd be on the right track. Hard to tell what's really going on, but it seems he may have worn out his welcome in Japan. If you'd care to compare Fischer's last tragi-comic jailhouse rant to this one you can read it here. If you're wondering how Fischer ended up where he is, much of what is known is capably recapped in this Atlantic Monthly article.

Update: The Washington Post is the first to get the story. An excerpt:

"The hunt for Bobby Fischer, the unpredictable chess legend, ended this week when he was detained in Japan, where he awaits possible deportation on charges that he attended a 1992 match in Yugoslavia in violation of a U.S. ban.

The Japanese Immigration Bureau detained the 61-year-old Fischer on Tuesday at Narita International Airport in Tokyo at the urging of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which had recently stepped up efforts to track the fugitive, U.S. authorities said yesterday.

"He's in custody in Japan, and we are awaiting a determination whether he'll be deported back to the United States to face charges," said Allan Doody, special agent in charge of the immigration agency's Washington field office."

It's surprising that they have decided to hold Fischer on US charges based on his playing Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992. Someone bumped this up on the priority chart because he hasn't really been all that hard to find. No one really wanted to prosecute a former American hero as long as he stayed away. Why not go after Roman Polanski?


OMG. This could get surreally weird. I no longer have any particular fondness for Fischer, but hope that he can avoid deportation. If he returns to the US to face charges, I fear he could wind up in bankruptcy and a mental hospital. One can also speculate regarding possible donors to a "Fischer Defense Fund"; besides obvious chess suspects, a wide range of bizarro extremist groups could chip in...

My wife just informed me that the Today show on NBC just ran the Fischer story. The FIDE WC just finishes and nobody cares yet a has-been star gets all this publicity. What's wrong?

Then again, why not just take the publicity for chess where you can get it?

The story is showing up everywhere!

Personally, I'd love to see RJF end up in a mental institution. He desperately needs care.

Obviously the U.S. stepped up pursuit of him after his Sept. 11th comments. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in Guantanimo Bay in an orange jump suit! (partial ;-)

Fischer gets more American press than the WC for several reasons. 1) he's Fischer and he will always make headlines because he is such an fascinating yet tragic figure. 2) He might becoming back to America after over 2 decades. 3) the WC wasn't really the WC in my mind since Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Svidler, Pono, Leko, Polgar and others including various Israeli GMs didn't compete.

Nothing is wrong. Fischer will always grab headlines over such incidental tournaments.

Don't forget the #1 reason for all the publicity: he's American. Boris Spassky wouldn't get this sort of coverage were Osama bin Laden to be discovered in his underwear drawer. #2 is that he is a human train wreck and disasters always get coverage. Scandals and tragedies sell. #3 was his James Dean exit at his peak, leaving a million "what if?" stories that capture the imagination more than reality ever will. Fischer can be #1 forever in the minds of his devoted fans.

This is probably not unrelated to the Jenkins saga unfurling in Japan right now. I think one of the news stories also made that connection. There will likely be two prominent Japan-USA deportation debates almost simultaneously.

I wonder if Fischer's arrest is somehow related to the strange story of the 31 empty cardboard boxes. I think Bobby was on the point of tracing them, and the satanic Mr. Rigo conspired with Japanese customs to stop him.


hehe, I find it funny they put the hole bobby fisher info in the "/moon/" directory in http://home.att.ne.jp/moon/fischer/. Maybe unconsciously even the guys that support him think he is a little bit lunatic. As long as he doesn´t start saying that 1.f3 is "best by test", I am ok.

The Bobby Fischer tragedy continues...

I don't think Bobby deserves this kind of treatment, but it's as if he's fated to act out some kind of modern Greek tragedy. Probably deep down, Bobby missed America, and it will certainly be nice to have him back in his home country as long as he's a free man.

Fischer's the greatest chess nut since Alekhine, and it appears that he's heading towards the title of greatest chess tragedy since Rubinstein, who was also a certified nutcase.

It's sad. He will always remain a hero of mine. It might be difficult for those who weren't around during Fischer's prime to understand the huge impact he had on chess.

Here is the letter I send him after reading most of his crazy stuff, on this lunatic site!!

Dear Bobby!

I never read a so much paranoid and sick stuff...U are totally sick and idiot...
Probably it's already time for u you to know that most of this ‘Jews’ u mention, all they 'have wrong' (in your opinion!), is to have Jewish blood (origins) like you yourself have!!!
First of all: people are people and than come there origins…and in than somewhere in the end comes religion…
So, it's clear that u hate yourself too... ( u have Jewish blood too!!! Admit it!!! Is proved!!! )
Let's hope that u will grow up in this life (or next one) and open your (crazy) mind to see that nobody is really against u, especially if u where just giving the minimum respect to the others (without care of or origins,or religions of poeple and respect the laws of your country!)
It's easy o complain and be paranoiac , but this is not the way for happiness for sure!
So, finished sick or in jail, and hated person by so many ex-admires seems just a logical end for u!!!!!
Wake up and comeback to reality, you are the biggest idiot and most ‘crazy Jew’ I ever heard about!!!!!

Best regards and a quick recovery from your madness!!!

From a proud Jewish GM!!! An ex-admire!!!

i think its great .... Bobby gets back to USA and starts growing chess the way he did .... i mean all the 'others' have had 30 to do something and have done BLOB .... even K cant get rid of his autographed books ...... LOL

It is crazy that the US government wants the guy because he went to play chess in a communist country at the time, and the time was 1992, not 1952!!!! There are better ways to spend money than to go after an obvious mental patient that at some point brought glory to this country. Explain that one to me.

I'm so glad we have finally caught Osama bin Laden, what a shame they had to kill him, we could have had some embarrasing photos of him in his undies like with Sadam

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 15, 2004 9:50 PM.

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