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Fischer on SportsCenter

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Thanks to a heads-up from Mark Luna, I set the trusty DVR to record the 1:00am repeat of ESPN's SportsCenter. There was a long Fischer piece with much archival video and new stuff from his first Iceland press conference. But the Knicks-Sonics game went into overtime, pushing the start of the show back 20 minutes, confusing the recorder! By good luck or bad, it cuts off toward what I assume is the end of the 5-minute Fischer segment.

So I got to see the archival material, a few clips of Fischer on the plane to Iceland, and the preview clip at the start of the show which shows a Jeremy Schaap exchange with Fischer in Iceland. Jeremy, who is a regular on ESPN and who covered the Kasparov-Fritz match, is son of the legendary sportswriter Dick Schaap (d.2002) who had known Fischer for many years and did the first interview with him after Bobby won the title in 1972. In Iceland, Fischer complains to Jeremy that his father had later said something about "not having a sane bone in my body." It's hard to tell the exact sequence in the quick clip, but it appears Schaap replies that "you haven't done anything here today to disprove what my father said." Touché!

But I missed any more there was of the conference and interview. There are mentions of the Fischer-Schaap exchange in the blogosphere here, here, and here. Apparently Schaap walked out after defending his father, who Fischer called a "Jewish snake" to his son's face. (According to several reports this clip was on heavy rotation on ESPN throughout the day. (So that's what it takes to get chessplayers on TV. Maybe if we could get some top players to show some porn to kids we'd really strike it rich in the PR department.) It would be nice (probably not the correct word) to have a transcript of the entire press conference. Where are the Icelandic bloggers?


Vintage Fischer trash!
Maybe we will make a noun out of it yet or perhaps even a verb:
As in "to drop a load of Fischer trash", or "to Fischer-trash someone" or maybe something like "I saw Fischer trash on the news today".

Mig, using porn goes over board there! Please keep it cleaner!


Clink on the link. Mig was just trying to make a point on what grabs the medias intrests these days.

Fischer is kind of a one-trick pony, isn't he.
Funny thing is that according to current "conventional wisdom" he can do no wrong: if he beats the rap that means he is a genius, if he promotes racism and hatred he is a crazy nut that dares apeak "the truth". Larry Evans suggested putting him on an insane asylum, now that's a thought!

Maybe since Fischer says he is done with chess, this webpage (and other chess pages) should be done with him.

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody cares, it's Fischer.

Yuriy, don't be silly! Bobby can jet over to Russia and duke it out politically with Garry! Two former world chess champions, fighting for control of the largest country on Earth! Until Putin squishes them both, of course.

So a journalist can write that Fischer doesn't have "a sane bone in his body" but Bobby is somehow out-of-order for calling him a snake in reply? Seems fairly mild as to what I'd be calling a journalist who insulted me in print.

Amazing how some people can read that Fischer called Dick Schaap a "typical Jewish snake" to his son's face at a press conference and then wonder what is so wrong with calling someone a snake. Fischer's problem is that he's surrounded by other people who willingly can't see the difference either.

You typical Jewish snakes just love biting the insane bones of an old man.

Hehe, sorry, tried to reach a position between you Fischerites and the normal people. Guess it can't be done. Can't understand why someone would place a mic in front of someone who converts anyone he hates into a Jew. Or worse, into an animal, like a snake! Of course, in my country there are newspapers that dedicate every page to show gore pictures of accidents, reporting just garbage news, and there are people who buy them. Hey, Fischerites, I can get you a suscription, if you want it. Guess if you like Fischer stuff u're gonna like this as well.

Matt: If you were that sort of racist, you'd be lucky if you were just called a snake. Jeremy Schapp's pimp-slap should spell the end of Bozo the Fischer ever being taken seriously again. That is, if he's been taken seriously by anyone in the past 20 years.

"Vintage Fischer trash!
Maybe we will make a noun out of it yet or perhaps even a verb"

Good idea, but the multipurpose term that will be taken into the English lexicon is "Fischer". It could be noun, verb, adjective, adverb, whatever you want. Examples: "Don't be such a Fischer", "You're Fischering me out", "Ugh, how Fischer", "Don't go Fischer on me", "Don't talk so Fischer or I'll wash your mouth out with soap, young fellow", ...

no matter how dick shcaap felt about fischer or how fischer felt about schaap, how dare fischer say that the U.S. deserved what it got on 9/11! Most people have already forgotten what it felt like that day and for him to call out all 3,000+ of those innocent victims is completely uncalled for. It just goes to show that he may have been a teenage chess master but he will never ever be an American which is fine by me.

i just saw the espn piece and am absolutely disgusted by the garbage that that lunatic was spouting. he is an embarrasment and its really sad that one so gifted and intelligent has degerated into a hateful madman. sad, really.

I hope he's extradited so he can be prosecuted and buried in prison.

JHR3, why would you want to see Fischer prosecuted? That would just create an ugly-ongoing drama and would be so embarrassing for chess. The things he is saying are things that nobody wants to hear. He isn't dangerous so just ignore him, that's the best way - I haven't read the Schapp interview and don't intend to.

I saw the ESPN piece last night, about a quarter to midnight. I actually thought it was pretty well done. For the record, I think it was more like 15 minutes than 5 minutes. Jeremy Schaap refused to pass judgement on Fischer, saying he was just a scared teenager (which I think is a popular view held by many).

I saw excerpts from the ESPN piece and my initial thought at Jeremy Schaap's parting shot was "touché!" But a moment of reflection left me with a feeling of pity for Bobby Fischer and slight anger at Jeremy Schaap. Jeremy Schaap's duty is to be a reporter, not to trade insults with someone who is mentally ill.

Bobby Fischer's story is a tragic one. Arguably the most talented chess player the world has ever seen, he has spent decades as a delusional, paranoid schizophrenic tormented by imagined conspiracies. We can only wonder what his life would have been like had he gotten the mental health care he so desperately needed.

So don't be angry at Bobby Fischer for his anti-semetic remarks or his hatred of the U.S. Reserve your anger for those around him who stood idly by as his mental health failed, doing nothing to get him the help that he so clearly needed -- and needs.

Fischer is not crazy and he's right about very many things. Instead of doing nothing but trash him for hating jews why don't you look into what his problems are? Like the very illegal selling of all his property from Bekin's moving and storage in 1999 which violated the U.S. constitution. His property (worth millions) was sold by the storage company because his agent didn't pay 480 dollars of the storage fee for his property which had been there for years. Fischer's even got copies of the checks. One thing in there could have easily sold for that amount. There are currently illegal editions of his book: My 60 memorable games which in which literally thousands of changes have been made to his chess analysis and his words. Comparisons of the original edition and the new editions show that the changes very obviously deliberate. His book Bobby Fischer teaches chess has been made into a CD ROM without Fischer's permission. Learning International has even been given the name Bobby Fischer as a trademark; how would let's say Michael Jordan feel if that was done to him? He also gets zero royalties for everything he's ever done. Searching for Bobby Fischer was a very big movie only because Bobby Fischer was in the title. Had the movie been called "The story of a young chess prodigy who never even became a grandmaster" would it have made one tenth of the money it did? This using of Fischer's name was done without his permission and he also got zero dollars for that. Another rediculous thing is that why is it that when he played Spassky in 1992 he was the only person in the world to be indicted when lots of people made lots of money there because of that match? Why doesn't anyone talk about him spending 8 months in prison in Japan on a totally false charge? If you actually listened to what he says about it maybe you'd see something. He's suffered more injustices than this and a little bit about his history: His mother was a communist in the 50's, he was the best chess player in the world and spoke openly about the Soviets cheating, his mother was a huge activist against corruption in American chess, being anti-jewish in the chess world is also a great way to get yourself in seriously deep. They like to call him paranoid yet not so long ago it was printed in the news papers that U.S. intelligence has actually really been watching him for 30 years. I've never known of anyone who has had the deck stacked against them so badly, this guy cannot get a break no matter what and when he goes on the radio to expose the injustices against him all people want to focus on is that he really hates jews. Has he ever killed a jew? Has he ever killed anyone or done anything even close to that? What a just country the U.S. is where OJ Simpson gets off and Martha Stewart gets 5 months but Bobby Fischer not only faces 10 years for playing chess where he "wasn't supposed to", he has all his intellectual property rights violated and just about every other right too. On the matter of the jews, don't go branding me as an anti-semite now just because I'm defending Fischer not for saying hatefull things about the jews but on the many specific unjustices being done to him.

I made a very long comment how Fischer's being treated most unfairly and as my name I put "If you think I'm giving my name you're crazy" and the people in charge here just put "Crazy" as my name. Who ever is in charge of monitoring these things... Change that!

Sorry, it's FISCHER who won't stop talking about the Jews, remember? When he goes on the radio that's what he talks about, and in the vilest terms.

Too many factual errors to go through in the rest. He does get royalties on some of his works. Several publishers were unable to contact him or did not receive any contact from him about other items. Being a recluse has its disadvantages. Bad things have happened to him, certainly, but by not participating in society he has made it difficult to prevent and deal with these things.

I didn't see any shortage of people talking about him being locked up in Japan. Talked about it almost every day, in fact. In this very blog. I was against his detention and against the original US indictment. But why were the charges false? His passport had been invalidated.

You don't need permission to use someone's name. He contributed no intellectual property to the book or the film. Of course they exploited his fame, welcome to the world of being a celebrity. If he had been around I'm sure they would have been delighted to have him participate in some way, just like the rest of the chess world.

Watching him for 30 years? Source? They watched his mother more than they did him.


hey! change that thing up there on my last comment. it says posted by Crazy. That's not what i put. i put if you think i'm giving my real name you're crazy!

It was too long, which is why it didn't post in the first place.

The source was a new york paper among many others. There was an about 900 page report by the FBI. Things very easy to find on the internet. About the other things you say: yes it is Fischer who won't stop talking about the jews but it's everyone else who won'stop talking about Fischer doing that. My point is that no one gives any attention to his accusations of specific individuals. You say I have a lot of factual errors. What do you say about 60 mem games being butchered the way it was? You probably never checked. What about Bekins? I'm going to find out about that Searching for Bobby Fischer. You have factual errors because his passport was not invalid that was something that was invented afterwards. to see how the charges are false just see what fischer had to say about it in the interviews. he explained things very well. the fact that publishers can't contact him if that's even true or just their story isn't it just too bad for them?

Yes, Fischer is certainly a reliable source about his woes and other things. We'll just take everything he says as 100% factual, then it will all be fine? The hate speech and the ranting tend to undermine the statements on other things, by the way. I'd tend to believe the Japanese airport officials who detained Fischer about the passport. How else did they know to detain him and why would they? For fun? If he had been detained for something more serious he would have been extradited. But he was never charged with anything else.

Yes, the book was butchered by Batsford and categorically proven so by Edward Winter. This is universally agreed on and far from unknown.

Who exactly do you want to pay attention to Fischer's accusations? You keep saying "nobody is listening" and yet all of the things you say are very well known arguments. We all know. We listened. Do you want chess fans to hunt down everyone Fischer mentions and beat them? What do you want? There is no new information in your posts.

He has the same right to sue someone in court for lost property as the other million people who didn't pay the fee on their storage center. He can also sue publishers for royalties just like any other author could. But instead he goes on the radio and shouts about how the Jews ripped him off. Most people do not do this.

I do believe that there is a collective agreement between the US and many parties to destroy Fischer's life as he obvoiusly does too. That's the reason why he's not facing the US's charges and the reason why he's not bothering to sue anyone yet. I read something about him suing about the thing in Japan. Did you hear what he said about Time magazine ripping him off and his lawsuit with them? When you say we all know I don't think that's true. I think that most people don't listen to hardly any of Fischer's interviews because once Fischer says the word jew two or three times they don't bother with the rest. Fischer's got plenty of evidence on how illegal what happened to him in Japan was. He basically shows that his passport was current and that canceling it was illegal and i hope you know about the fake letter. The following is from Fischer's website: "If Bobby’s passport was truly revoked on either November 21, 2003 and/or on December 11, 2003 (take your pick, be our guest) as the U.S. State Department claims then how is it possible that Swiss Immigration, Japanese Immigration, Hong Kong Immigration and Macau Immigration all knew absolutely nothing about it until after about 5:30 p.m. July 13, 2004? How is it possible that Bobby knew absolutely nothing about it until then? How is it possible that the press knew absolutely nothing about it until then?" The supposed date of the revokation as december 11 2003 so how did he continue to travel. The letter was obviously predated. the whole thing is just more evidence that there is a conspiracy against him. to what extent nobody knows. according to fischer "world jewery". that's a helluva something to prove.

He doesn't show anything. Paperwork takes time, computer systems take time. His passport was likely revoked with dozens, if not hundreds, of others and it's not as if this stuff is usually released to the press. Why on earth would they go around forging documents, a criminal offense, to then let him go to Iceland?

It finally caught up with him in Japan. As with most conspiracy theories, this one credits a bloated, inefficient bureaucracy with super-efficiency and coordinated malice. Having more than one problem does not mean they are related. Who is sitting around in the US government saying, yeah, let's get this Fischer guy. But not actually arrest him, just mess with him for fun. If anyone of import in the US government really wanted Fischer on trial in the US he'd be there. They could have filed for extradition and they passed and let him go to Iceland.

And this conspiracy extends to Japanese immigration officials, English book editors, New York sports writers, and Florida storage facility owners? No no no.

Of course people stop listening after hearing such things. Crazy conspiracy theories and hate speech don't give much credibility to the rest. And other than the Japan detention, it's absolutely banal material that should be settled in court and would have been avoided entirely had he been involved in his own affairs or had hired a lawyer long ago. Why would anyone want to subject their ears it, and what would they do with that information?

why would fischer's passport be revoked at all? the one the japanese destroyed was current.

Because he had been indicted for violation of UN sanctions in 1992. Even if you think that was idiotic, as I do, this is grounds for revoking travel documents especially if the holder is abroad or considered a flight risk. They cracked down on a lot of these things after 9/11-related reforms were passed in 2002 and 2003 and the paperwork eventually caught up with him.

From the US State Dept. website: "While the principal regulatory reason to deny/revoke a passport is a federal warrant of arrest [Fischer], other reasons include a federal or state criminal court order of parole or probation prohibiting departure from the United States (or the jurisdiction of the court), a court order establishing incompetence, or a request for extradition. A passport is automatically denied for certified child support arrears and non-U.S. citizenship."

It's done regularly. What would the US administration have to gain by singling him out and then not touching him? It was a train wreck that made the US look like a bully and just gave Fischer a high platform to spout his views.

So if Fischer's passport was revoked for the reason of his indictment it wouldn't be something buried in paperwork or done in a batch of hundreds of others.

As I said, they cracked down on many of these things in 2002-2003. And that's exactly how it would be done. Unless you're on a most-wanted list it's a matter of paperwork and processing. There were thousands of passports revoked en masse after 9/11 as they tightened up old laws and passed new ones. Tens of thousands of visas were revoked, etc.

It's more a conspiracy to leave Fischer alone. We know the indictment exists, so why didn't they go after him immediately after the Spassky match? Because they didn't care; it wasn't a high-priority case.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 26, 2005 9:38 PM.

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