Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness
Acclaimed biographer Frank Brady traces the meteoric ascent—and confounding descent—of enigmatic chess genius Bobby Fischer.
Drawing from Fischer family archives, recently released FBI files, and Bobby’s own emails, this account is unique in that it limns Fischer’s entire life—an odyssey that took the Brooklyn-raised chess champion from an impoverished childhood to the covers of Time, Life and Newsweek to recognition as “the most famous man in the world” to notorious recluse.
At first all one noticed was how gifted Fischer was. Possessing a 181 I.Q. and remarkable powers of concentration, Bobby memorized hundreds of chess books in several languages, and he was only 13 when he became the youngest chess master in U.S. history.
Arriving back in the United States to a hero’s welcome, Bobby was mobbed wherever he went—a figure as exotic and improbable as any American pop culture had yet produced. No player of a mere “board game” had ever ascended to such heights. Commercial sponsorship offers poured in, ultimately topping $10 million—but Bobby demurred. Instead, he began tithing his limited money to an apocalyptic religion and devouring anti-Semitic literature.
After years of poverty, Bobby remerged in 1992 to play Spassky in a multi-million dollar rematch—but the experience only deepened a paranoia that had formed years earlier when he came to believe that the Soviets wanted him dead for taking away “their” title. When the dust settled, Bobby was a wanted man—transformed into an international fugitive because of his decision to play in Montenegro despite U.S. sanctions. Fearing for his life, traveling with bodyguards, and wearing a long leather coat to ward off knife attacks, Bobby lived the life of a celebrity fugitive—one drawn increasingly to the bizarre.
And yet, as Brady shows, the most notable irony of Bobby Fischer’s strange descent—which had reached full plummet by 2005 when he turned down yet another multi-million dollar payday—is that despite his incomprehensible behavior, there were many who remained fiercely loyal to him. Why that was so is at least partly the subject of this book—one that at last answers the question: “Who was Bobby Fischer?”
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - csayban - LibraryThing
With Endgame, Frank Brady has penned one of the most evenhanded accounts of Bobby Fischer – the chess genius who became the only American world champion by staring down the Soviet chess machine at the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - BooksForDinner - LibraryThing
Most of the information in this book should be familiar to those who followed Fischer's life and career, but the final couple of chapters on his imprisonment and life in Iceland are very interesting ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall -- from America's ...
Limited preview - 2012
Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest ...
No preview available - 2011