Main
Date: 31 Jan 2008 04:42:15
From: raylopez99
Subject: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
Wonder how that hero from the book that coincidentally mirrors
Fischer's life died? You know the one, where the protagonist lives in
a house like a rook?

RL

Bobby Fischer

Jan 24th 2008
From The Economist print edition
Bobby Fischer, an unsettling chess-player, died on January 17th, aged
64

PEOPLE were always coming to get Bobby Fischer. And he was ready for
them. In a locked suitcase he kept bottles and bottles of vitamin
pills and herbal potions and a large orange-juicer, in case they tried
to put toxins in his food. His most precious memorabilia--match
notebooks, photo albums, letters from President Nixon--were kept in a
filing cabinet in a safe behind two combination locks in a ten-by-ten
storage room in Pasadena, California. In the end, as he railed to
radio talk-show hosts in Hungary and the Philippines, even all this
couldn't keep him safe from Russians, or Jews, or "CIA rats who work
for the Jews". But he had tried.

They tried to disrupt his chess games, too. As he wrestled for the
world championship against Boris Spassky at Reykjavik in 1972 they
poked whirring TV cameras over his shoulder. They made the board too
shiny, reflecting the lights, and fidgeted and coughed until he
cleared out the first seven rows of the audience. By the third game he
insisted on retreating to a tiny back room, where he could think. He
was always better in dingy, womb-like spaces: the cabinet room of the
shall Chess Club in New York City, where as a boy he skipped school
to spend his mornings reading through old file-cards of 19th-century
games; a particular table in the New York Public Library, where he sat
for hours immersed in chess history, openings and strategy; or the
walk-up family flat in Brooklyn where, once his mother and sister had
moved out, he set up continuous chess games beside each bed, ignoring
the outside sunshine to compete against himself. If you could see
inside his brain, as his enemies no doubt hoped to, you would find it
primed to attack and defend in every way possible, with a straight-
moving rook or a sidling bishop, or with both in his favourite Ruy
Lopez opening, or with the queen swallowing an early pawn in the
"poisoned" version of the Sicilian, or a thousand others. At
Reykjavik, when Mr Spassky was advised between games by 35 Russian
grand masters, Mr Fischer had a notebook and his own long, lugubrious,
clever head. And he won.

That made him a cold-war hero. The quirky individual had outplayed the
state machine, and America had thrashed the Soviet Union at its own
favourite game. But Mr Fischer, for all his elegant suits and
childhood genius, his grandmastership at 15 and his 20-game winning
streak at championship level in 1968-71, was always an unsettling
poster-boy. His objective, he told everyone, was not just to win. It
was to crush the other man's mind until he squirmed. And, in proper
capitalist style, to get rich. At his insistence, the championship
money was raised from $1,400 to $250,000; from the rematch with Mr
Spassky in 1992, which he also won, he took away $3.5m. Since few
venues, even Qatar or Caesar's Palace, offered him enough to make
public playing worth his while, he spent the years after 1975 (when he
forfeited his world title by refusing to defend it) largely wandering
the world like a tramp, castigating his enemies. Only cold, eccentric
Iceland welcomed him.

A house like a rook

What exactly was wrong with Bobby Fischer was a subject of much
debate. The combination of high intelligence and social dysfunction
suggested autism; but he had been a normal boy in many respects,
enjoying Superman comics and going to hockey games. He had got mixed
up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God, a crazed millenarian
outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate and revile the Jews;
though he was Jewish himself, with a Jewish mother who had tried
psychologists and the columns of the local paper to cure him of too
much chess, but who still couldn't stop the pocket set coming out at
the dinner table.

Possibly--some said--he had been unhinged by the American government's
stern pursuit of him after the 1992 rematch, which was played
illegally in the former Yugoslavia. He cursed "stinking" America to
his death, and welcomed the 2001 terrorist attacks as "wonderful news"--
at which much of the good he had done for chess in his country, from
inspiring clubs to instructing players to simply making the game, for
the first time, cool, drained away like water into sand.

Perhaps, in the end, the trouble was this: that chess, as he once
said, was life, and there was nothing more. Mr Fischer was not good at
anything else, had not persevered in school, had never done another
job, had never ried, but had pinned every urgent minute of his
existence to 32 pieces and 64 black and white squares. He dreamed of a
house in Beverly Hills that would be built in the shape of a rook.

Within this landscape, to be sure, he was one of the world's most
creative players; no one was more scathing about the dullness of chess
games that were simply feats of memorising tactics. Most world-
championship games, he claimed, were pre-arranged, proof that the "old
chess" was dead, and rotten to the core. He invented a new version,
Fischer Random, in which the back pieces were lined up any old how,
throwing all that careful book-learning to the winds. Yet the grid
remained and the rules remained: attack, defend, capture, sacrifice.
Win at all costs. From this grid, and from this war, Mr Fischer could
never escape.




 
Date: 10 Feb 2008 06:29:34
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 10, 4:19=A0am, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 9, 6:52=A0pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > However, this group _is_ composed of chess
> > devotees, some quite knowledgeable about the game's history, so there
> > are those here qualified to comment on a major chess figure such as
> > Fischer.
>
> You and your irk know nothing--NOTHING I SAY.

Well, at least I know how to spell "ilk."


 
Date: 10 Feb 2008 01:19:20
From: raylopez99
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 9, 6:52=A0pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
> However, this group _is_ composed of chess
> devotees, some quite knowledgeable about the game's history, so there
> are those here qualified to comment on a major chess figure such as
> Fischer.
>

You and your irk know nothing--NOTHING I SAY.

RL


 
Date: 09 Feb 2008 15:52:10
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 8, 3:45=A0pm, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> Here is another fine obit by the Economist--but I suppose there's
> errors in it as well?

Ray, to find out, you would have to ask people familiar with the
lady in question, her language, culture, and community. I doubt any
such are to be found here. However, this group _is_ composed of chess
devotees, some quite knowledgeable about the game's history, so there
are those here qualified to comment on a major chess figure such as
Fischer.

> RL
>
> ie Smith
>
> Feb 7th 2008
> From The Economist print edition
> ie Smith, the last speaker of the Eyak language, died on January
> 21st, aged 89
>
> BEYOND the town of Cordova, on Prince William Sound in south-eastern
> Alaska, the Copper River delta branches out in silt and swamp into the
> gulf. ie Smith, growing up there, knew there was a particular word
> in Eyak, her language, for the silky, gummy mud that squished between
> her toes. It was c'a. The driftwood she found on the shore, 'u'l,
> acquired a different name if it had a proper shape and was not a
> broken, tangled mass. If she got lost among the flat, winding creeks
> her panicky thoughts were not of north, south, east or west, but of
> "upriver", "downstream", and the tribes, Eskimo and Tlingit, who lived
> on either side. And if they asked her name it was not ie but
> Udachkuqax*a'a'ch, "a sound that calls people from afar".
>
> Upriver out of town stretched the taiga, rising steadily to the
> Chugach mountains and covered with black spruce. The spruce was an
> Eyak dictionary in itself, from lis, the neat, conical tree, to Ge.c,
> its wiry root, useful for baskets; from Gahdg, its blue-green,
> flattened needles, which could be brewed up for beer or tea, to sihx,
> its resin, from which came pitch to make canoes watertight. The Eyak
> were fishermen who, thousands of years before, were thought to have
> crossed the Bering Strait in their boats. ie's father still fished
> for a living, as did most of the men in Cordova. Where the
> neighbouring Athapaskan tribes, who had crossed the strait on
> snowshoes, had dozens of terms for the condition of ice and snow, Eyak
> vocabulary was rich with particular words for black abalone, red
> abalone, ribbon weed and tubular kelp, drag nets and dipping nets and
> different sizes of rope. One word, demexch, meant a soft and
> treacherous spot in the ice over a body of water: a bad place to walk
> on, but possibly a good one to squat beside with a fishing line or a
> spear.
>
> This universe of words and observations was already fading when ie
> was young. In 1933 there were 38 Eyak-speakers left, and white people
> with their grim faces and intrusive microphones, as they always
> appeared to her, were already coming to sweep up the remnants of the
> language. At home her mother donned a kushsl, or apron, to make cakes
> in an 'isxah, or round mixing bowl; but at school "barbarous" Eyak was
> forbidden. It went unheard, too, in the salmon factory where ie
> worked after fourth grade, canning in industrial quantities the noble
> fish her people had hunted with respect, naming not only every part of
> it but the separate stems and shoots of the red salmonberries they ate
> with the dried roe.
>
> As the spoken language died, so did the stories of tricky Creator-
> Raven and the magical loon, of giant animals and tiny homunculi with
> fish-spears no bigger than a matchstick. People forgot why "hat" was
> the same word as "hammer", or why the word for a leaf, kultahl, was
> also the word for a feather, as though deciduous trees and birds
> shared one organic life. They lost the sense that lumped apples, beads
> and pills together as round, foreign, possibly deceiving things. They
> neglected the taboo that kept fish and animals separate, and would not
> let fish-skin and animal hide be sewn in the same coat; and they could
> not remember exactly why they built little wooden huts over
> gravestones, as if to give more comfortable shelter to the dead.
> The end of the world
>
> Mrs Smith herself seemed cavalier about the language for a time. She
> ried a white Oregonian, William Smith, and brought up nine
> children, telling them odd Eyak words but finding they were not
> interested. Eyak became a language for talking to herself, or to God.
> Only when her last surviving older sister died, in the 1990s, did she
> realise that she was the last of the line. From that moment she became
> an activist, a tiny figure with a determined jaw and a colourful
> beaded hat, campaigning to stop clear-cutting in the forest (where
> Eyak split-log lodges decayed among the blueberries) and to get Eyak
> bones decently buried. She was the chief of her nation, as well as its
> only full-blooded member.
>
> She drank too much, but gave it up; she smoked too much, coughing her
> way through interviews in a room full of statuettes of the Pillsbury
> Doughboy, in which she said her spirit would live when she was dead.
> Most outsiders were told to buzz off. But one scholar, Michael Krauss
> of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, showed such love for Eyak,
> painstakingly recording its every suffix and prefix and glottal stop
> and nasalisation, that she worked happily with him to compile a
> gram and a dictionary; and Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker was
> allowed to talk when she brought fresh halibut as a tribute. Without
> those two visitors, almost nothing would have been known of her.
>
> As a child she had longed to be a pilot, flying boat-planes between
> the islands of the Sound. An impossible dream, she was told, because
> she was a girl. As an old woman, she said she believed that Eyak might
> be resurrected in future. Just as impossible, scoffed the experts: in
> an age where perhaps half the planet's languages will disappear over
> the next century, killed by urban migration or the internet or the
> triumphal ch of English, Eyak has no chance. For Mrs Smith,
> however, the death of Eyak meant the not-to-be-imagined disappearance
> of the world.
>
> On Feb 3, 9:10 am, "Chess One" <OneCh...@comcast.net> wrote:



 
Date: 08 Feb 2008 12:45:12
From: raylopez99
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
Here is another fine obit by the Economist--but I suppose there's
errors in it as well?

RL

ie Smith

Feb 7th 2008
From The Economist print edition
ie Smith, the last speaker of the Eyak language, died on January
21st, aged 89

BEYOND the town of Cordova, on Prince William Sound in south-eastern
Alaska, the Copper River delta branches out in silt and swamp into the
gulf. ie Smith, growing up there, knew there was a particular word
in Eyak, her language, for the silky, gummy mud that squished between
her toes. It was c'a. The driftwood she found on the shore, 'u'l,
acquired a different name if it had a proper shape and was not a
broken, tangled mass. If she got lost among the flat, winding creeks
her panicky thoughts were not of north, south, east or west, but of
"upriver", "downstream", and the tribes, Eskimo and Tlingit, who lived
on either side. And if they asked her name it was not ie but
Udachkuqax*a'a'ch, "a sound that calls people from afar".

Upriver out of town stretched the taiga, rising steadily to the
Chugach mountains and covered with black spruce. The spruce was an
Eyak dictionary in itself, from lis, the neat, conical tree, to Ge.c,
its wiry root, useful for baskets; from Gahdg, its blue-green,
flattened needles, which could be brewed up for beer or tea, to sihx,
its resin, from which came pitch to make canoes watertight. The Eyak
were fishermen who, thousands of years before, were thought to have
crossed the Bering Strait in their boats. ie's father still fished
for a living, as did most of the men in Cordova. Where the
neighbouring Athapaskan tribes, who had crossed the strait on
snowshoes, had dozens of terms for the condition of ice and snow, Eyak
vocabulary was rich with particular words for black abalone, red
abalone, ribbon weed and tubular kelp, drag nets and dipping nets and
different sizes of rope. One word, demexch, meant a soft and
treacherous spot in the ice over a body of water: a bad place to walk
on, but possibly a good one to squat beside with a fishing line or a
spear.

This universe of words and observations was already fading when ie
was young. In 1933 there were 38 Eyak-speakers left, and white people
with their grim faces and intrusive microphones, as they always
appeared to her, were already coming to sweep up the remnants of the
language. At home her mother donned a kushsl, or apron, to make cakes
in an 'isxah, or round mixing bowl; but at school "barbarous" Eyak was
forbidden. It went unheard, too, in the salmon factory where ie
worked after fourth grade, canning in industrial quantities the noble
fish her people had hunted with respect, naming not only every part of
it but the separate stems and shoots of the red salmonberries they ate
with the dried roe.

As the spoken language died, so did the stories of tricky Creator-
Raven and the magical loon, of giant animals and tiny homunculi with
fish-spears no bigger than a matchstick. People forgot why "hat" was
the same word as "hammer", or why the word for a leaf, kultahl, was
also the word for a feather, as though deciduous trees and birds
shared one organic life. They lost the sense that lumped apples, beads
and pills together as round, foreign, possibly deceiving things. They
neglected the taboo that kept fish and animals separate, and would not
let fish-skin and animal hide be sewn in the same coat; and they could
not remember exactly why they built little wooden huts over
gravestones, as if to give more comfortable shelter to the dead.
The end of the world

Mrs Smith herself seemed cavalier about the language for a time. She
ried a white Oregonian, William Smith, and brought up nine
children, telling them odd Eyak words but finding they were not
interested. Eyak became a language for talking to herself, or to God.
Only when her last surviving older sister died, in the 1990s, did she
realise that she was the last of the line. From that moment she became
an activist, a tiny figure with a determined jaw and a colourful
beaded hat, campaigning to stop clear-cutting in the forest (where
Eyak split-log lodges decayed among the blueberries) and to get Eyak
bones decently buried. She was the chief of her nation, as well as its
only full-blooded member.

She drank too much, but gave it up; she smoked too much, coughing her
way through interviews in a room full of statuettes of the Pillsbury
Doughboy, in which she said her spirit would live when she was dead.
Most outsiders were told to buzz off. But one scholar, Michael Krauss
of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, showed such love for Eyak,
painstakingly recording its every suffix and prefix and glottal stop
and nasalisation, that she worked happily with him to compile a
gram and a dictionary; and Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker was
allowed to talk when she brought fresh halibut as a tribute. Without
those two visitors, almost nothing would have been known of her.

As a child she had longed to be a pilot, flying boat-planes between
the islands of the Sound. An impossible dream, she was told, because
she was a girl. As an old woman, she said she believed that Eyak might
be resurrected in future. Just as impossible, scoffed the experts: in
an age where perhaps half the planet's languages will disappear over
the next century, killed by urban migration or the internet or the
triumphal ch of English, Eyak has no chance. For Mrs Smith,
however, the death of Eyak meant the not-to-be-imagined disappearance
of the world.


On Feb 3, 9:10 am, "Chess One" <OneCh...@comcast.net > wrote:


 
Date: 04 Feb 2008 02:48:53
From: Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (Wlod)
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 2:33 pm, "Chess One" <OneCh...@comcast.net > wrote:

>
> There is already interest in a match to celebrate Fischer, [...]

Fischer would be violently unhappy about it,
and would do everything in his power to prevent
this kind of taking advantage of him (in his
opinion).

Regards,

Wlod


  
Date: 04 Feb 2008 08:17:02
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)

"Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (Wlod)" <sennajawa@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:84f6bfc9-8e00-4b44-b9e4-ab9860a9f9a9@l1g2000hsa.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 1, 2:33 pm, "Chess One" <OneCh...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>>
>> There is already interest in a match to celebrate Fischer, [...]
>
> Fischer would be violently unhappy about it,
> and would do everything in his power to prevent
> this kind of taking advantage of him (in his
> opinion).

His celebrity is his to like or dislike, but certainly not to own. It is
granted to him by others - in fact, it is theirs to give or withold and for
their values, not his - just as the entire chess community agreed, passim,
to have a victor ludorum, whom we call the world champion, which is also
theirs to award.

Fischer's resentment, as you propose it, would be to confuse his
titled-role, with public acclamation over his play, which in all true games,
also required partners to achieve.

How much better at the time if his great success in 1972 had been duly
honored for the playing of it! And some memorial made then to that
achievement. At least that provides some /in corporare sano/ means that both
Fischer and the chess public could close the issue - which, IMO, would have
clarified all that came after, in terms of chess, and also in terms of
Fischer the man.

Without that necessary parenthesis it seemed that we the chess public were
unwilling to release Fischer to the same degree that he could not release
himself back into the game, or to release the game at all, and a very
unhealthy stasis was reached.

Indeed, after wars we build monuments to those who took part in them. And
this was a war! Albeit, the Cold War, but as potentially lethal as any
other - and still people use titles like "...Bobby Fischer Goes To War.."
etc, because, actually we feel it was war.

Phil Innes

> Regards,
>
> Wlod




 
Date: 03 Feb 2008 12:46:06
From: The Historian
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 3, 10:05 am, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:

> > > > > "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> > > > > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> > > > > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> > > > > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > > > > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> > > > So you have no insight as to this claim. It's either believing you,
> > > > who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. Score one for the
> > > > latter.
>
> > > Really? The Economist clearly say that *_they_* don't know. Again I
> > > quote: "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of
> > > God ... and PERHAPS had learned from them to hate and revile the
> > > Jews;" (emphasis added). Ray, you are way too easily persuaded if all
> > > it takes is an unsupported "perhaps."
>
> > Again, the Economist speculates and correctly prefaces this
> > speculation with "perhaps". So they are not reporting fact but
> > speculation,

It's speculation that makes as much sense as saying 'perhaps Fischer
learned to hate the Jews from his local rabbi."

> Well, glad to see you finally admit that, Ray. In earlier posts you
> claimed they knew what they were talking about.
>
> > and that's fine as long as they signal to the reader that
> > it's speculation with "perhaps", which they did.
>
> By that standard, it would have been equally "fine" to say that
> Fischer's anti-Semitism may have derived from E. Forry Laucks and N.T.
> Whitaker, or from reading the works of Franz Gutmayer. Heck, from
> Mexican comic books, even.

A much more logical source, I think.


 
Date: 03 Feb 2008 07:05:56
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 2, 4:19=A0pm, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 2, 7:35=A0am, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>
>
> > > but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
> > > Fischer.
>
> > =A0 That is not the way The Economist expressed it. I quote : "Mr
> > Spassky was advised between games by 35 Russian grand masters." That
> > is simply false.
>
> Poetic license: =A0Fischer the underdog taking on the world. =A0That's the=

> point being made by the Economist. =A0Therefore, I take away your point
> and award it to the Economist after all.

I'm sure The Economist, which strives to be a serious, factual
journalistic effort, would be horrified to have anyone believe they
took "poetic license." Byron or Shelley may take poetic license, but a
reporter may not.

> > > No, their description is spot on, as you just pointed out. =A0Score on=
e
> > > for the Economist.
>
> > =A0 Excuse me? The Economist clearly gave the time frame as *_1968_* to
> > 1971. Fischer did not compete in any events that can properly be
> > called "championship level" in 1968 or 1969, nor did he have any 20-
> > game winning streak in those years. Their reporting is simply sloppy.
>
> No, it's spot on. =A0You yourself, with the facts stated in your post,
> support this. =A02-0 Economist.

Hmmm, then I suppose that they might have said Fischer had a 20-game
winning streak 1958-1991, and you would consider it just as accurate.
What's a few years, here and there, eh?

> > > > =A0 "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of G=
od,
> > > > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to ha=
te
> > > > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrin=
es
> > > > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > > > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> > > So you have no insight as to this claim. =A0It's either believing you,=

> > > who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. =A0Score one for th=
e
> > > latter.
>
> > =A0 Really? The Economist clearly say that *_they_* don't know. Again I
> > quote: "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of
> > God ... and PERHAPS had learned from them to hate and revile the
> > Jews;" (emphasis added). Ray, you are way too easily persuaded if all
> > it takes is an unsupported "perhaps."
>
> Again, the Economist speculates and correctly prefaces this
> speculation with "perhaps". =A0So they are not reporting fact but
> speculation,

Well, glad to see you finally admit that, Ray. In earlier posts you
claimed they knew what they were talking about.

> and that's fine as long as they signal to the reader that
> it's speculation with "perhaps", which they did.

By that standard, it would have been equally "fine" to say that
Fischer's anti-Semitism may have derived from E. Forry Laucks and N.T.
Whitaker, or from reading the works of Franz Gutmayer. Heck, from
Mexican comic books, even.


  
Date: 03 Feb 2008 12:10:02
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)

<ttk5079@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:14ac357d-a80d-49f6-8799-125d64d3ff27@s8g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
On Feb 2, 4:19 pm, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 2, 7:35 am, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>
>
> > > but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
> > > Fischer.
>
> > That is not the way The Economist expressed it. I quote : "Mr
> > Spassky was advised between games by 35 Russian grand masters." That
> > is simply false.
>
> Poetic license: Fischer the underdog taking on the world. That's the
> point being made by the Economist. Therefore, I take away your point
> and award it to the Economist after all.

I'm sure The Economist, which strives to be a serious, factual
journalistic effort, would be horrified to have anyone believe they
took "poetic license." Byron or Shelley may take poetic license, but a
reporter may not.

**No no no! In England, it just means to figure - as in; to propose a
conceit such as a simile, or apt metaphor. Neither Byron nor Shelley, you
see, require a 'licence', since we acknowledge that they are the people of
whom license is taken.

<. >

> Again, the Economist speculates and correctly prefaces this
> speculation with "perhaps". So they are not reporting fact but
> speculation,

Well, glad to see you finally admit that, Ray. In earlier posts you
claimed they knew what they were talking about.

**Again, that is not to understand your correspondent with any will - the
qualification 'perhaps' admits a speculatory comment. The Economist is
conscious of speculating and communicating the fact - and properly, this is
in itself not a k of indistinction, since does not a barometer speculate
on forthcoming atmospheric pressure? One can also use the word to mean
'implicated', and it is usually justified by the level of qualification
attending it - which is to say, that some circumstance is not known, but
justified, contextually by such-and-such a means.

> and that's fine as long as they signal to the reader that
> it's speculation with "perhaps", which they did.

By that standard, it would have been equally "fine" to say that
Fischer's anti-Semitism may have derived from E. Forry Laucks and N.T.
Whitaker, or from reading the works of Franz Gutmayer. Heck, from
Mexican comic books, even.

**But that would itself be comic book comparison. Speculation may or may not
be justified, and is not therefore any /necessary/ abstract mix-and-match
factor requiring censure. We speculate that Shakespeare wrote 'Shakespeare'
since for many people the overwhelming amount of contextual evidence would
admit it. But of facts? Nothing of any proof whatever.

**But these 'wordisms' are similar to the recent issue with Winter - who
rather pedantically, and without actually saying why, could not come up with
the //necessary// speculative phrase which would satisfy his own point, that
being; 'perhaps apocryphal.'

Phil Innes




 
Date: 02 Feb 2008 13:42:44
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 2, 7:07 am, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:

> > For once I must largely agree with help-bot. The obituary is sloppy,
> > shallow and inaccurate. A few examples:
>
> > "At Reykjavik, when Mr Spassky was advised between games by 35
> > Russian grand masters, Mr Fischer had a notebook and his own long,
> > lugubrious, clever head. And he won." -- In 1972 the USSR had only 32
> > GMs, not 35, and nowhere near all of them were conscripted to advise
> > Spassky. And Fischer was not without seconds -- in adjourned games and
> > other matters he was aided by GMs Lombardy and Kavalek.
>
> Small beer. In 1982 the USSR had 46 GMs, so perhaps your stats are
> correct, but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
> Fischer. However, to appease you I'll give you this point.

Look, kid: the article maintained that BF had nothing
but his "notebook", which is a fabrication. Spin it any
way you like, the fact remains they lied to make for a
"good story", as the old Cold War relics would say.


> > "20-game winning streak at championship level in 1968-71" -- What??
> > In the period 1968-71 Fischer played in 5 tournaments of highly
> > varying strength, one Olympiad, the USSR-ROW team match, and three
> > Candidates Matches, an assortment of events that cannot all be
> > properly called "championship level." He did have a 20-game winning
> > streak 1970-71: the last 7 games of the 1970 Interzonal, and the first
> > 13 of his 1971 Candidates games, 6-0 vs. Taimanvov, 6-0 vs. Larsen,
> > and the first game vs. Petrosian. This must be what they're thinking
> > of, but their description is sloppy.
>
> No, their description is spot on, as you just pointed out. Score one
> for the Economist.

According to the above, there is a clear discrepancy
in the dates; one has the 20-game winning streak
spread out from 1968 to 1971, while the other has it
as 1970-1971. I believe the 1970-1971 version, simply
because if you subtract the two 6-0 wins, you are left
with only eight games-- one of them known to be
versus TP in 1971. As he put it, they were "sloppy".


> > "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> So you have no insight as to this claim. It's either believing you,
> who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. Score one for the
> latter. Economist wins, 2 to 1.

Imbecile. It is obvious that such publications
have no expertise in matters regarding chess;
in fact, they even published an article not long
ago in which they admitted to such problems,
boasting that when it comes to financial and
economic issues, their past record is far
better than their rather dismal one in other
areas. I applaud this type of objective self-
assessment, though it goes without saying
that the results are predetermined to a large
degree; no one will buy a magazine that
admits it is just mediocre, will they?

By and large, that magazine is one of the
whipping boys of the real experts in the field
of investing, particularly in stocks. Those who
have competed, so to speak, in the investing
arena and come out on top, frequently quote
from such publications as The Economist and
The Wall Street Journal to point out how far
afield the prognosticators have been in the
past. These tried-and-true gurus have little
trouble in finding examples of "whiffs" by the
media, year after year after year.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the point: someone forwarded an
article to me right after it was reported that
BF had died; in an article that appeared on
one of the major wire services in a very
timely manner, only *one* stupid error was
made! The author stated that it had been
over a hundred years since an "American"
had held the world chess championship--
which whiffed on William Steinitz. Apart
from that single glaring gaffe, the author did
a very good job-- and quickly.

Now, compare that to the article that later
appeared in The Economist, which was filled
with fabrications and sloppiness, and which
fell deep into the mire of Cold War rhetoric.

There really is no comparison. Yet both
authors knew little of chess, for it is neigh
well impossible for a true expert to "forget"
about world champion Steinitz like that; for
gosh sakes, the man defeated everyone and
his brother, until he was as old as the hills.

What we have with The Economist is a
case of great expectations being met at the
airport by mediocrity; a lot of huffing and
puffing and bragging, but little more.


-- help bot


 
Date: 02 Feb 2008 13:19:13
From: raylopez99
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 2, 7:35=A0am, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
> > Fischer.
>
> =A0 That is not the way The Economist expressed it. I quote : "Mr
> Spassky was advised between games by 35 Russian grand masters." That
> is simply false.

Poetic license: Fischer the underdog taking on the world. That's the
point being made by the Economist. Therefore, I take away your point
and award it to the Economist after all.

> > No, their description is spot on, as you just pointed out. =A0Score one
> > for the Economist.
>
> =A0 Excuse me? The Economist clearly gave the time frame as *_1968_* to
> 1971. Fischer did not compete in any events that can properly be
> called "championship level" in 1968 or 1969, nor did he have any 20-
> game winning streak in those years. Their reporting is simply sloppy.

No, it's spot on. You yourself, with the facts stated in your post,
support this. 2-0 Economist.

>
> > > =A0 "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God=
,
> > > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate=

> > > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines=

> > > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> > So you have no insight as to this claim. =A0It's either believing you,
> > who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. =A0Score one for the
> > latter.
>
> =A0 Really? The Economist clearly say that *_they_* don't know. Again I
> quote: "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of
> God ... and PERHAPS had learned from them to hate and revile the
> Jews;" (emphasis added). Ray, you are way too easily persuaded if all
> it takes is an unsupported "perhaps."

Again, the Economist speculates and correctly prefaces this
speculation with "perhaps". So they are not reporting fact but
speculation, and that's fine as long as they signal to the reader that
it's speculation with "perhaps", which they did. Another point, upon
a closer examination, to the Economist. 3-0.

Three strikes and you're out. You lose.

My last post on this thread.

RL


 
Date: 02 Feb 2008 07:35:27
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 2, 7:07 am, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 5:48 pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:>
>
> > For once I must largely agree with help-bot. The obituary is sloppy,
> > shallow and inaccurate. A few examples:
>
> > "At Reykjavik, when Mr Spassky was advised between games by 35
> > Russian grand masters, Mr Fischer had a notebook and his own long,
> > lugubrious, clever head. And he won." -- In 1972 the USSR had only 32
> > GMs, not 35, and nowhere near all of them were conscripted to advise
> > Spassky. And Fischer was not without seconds -- in adjourned games and
> > other matters he was aided by GMs Lombardy and Kavalek.
>
> Small beer. In 1982 the USSR had 46 GMs,

And in 1782 they had none. Neither figure is the least bit relevant
to how many they had in 1972.

> so perhaps your stats are
> correct,

Perhaps? You want an itemized list? Here you are, in alphabetical
order, straight from "The Rating of Chessplayers Past and Present" by
Dr. Arpad E. Elo. On pages 175-190 he lists all IMs and GMs as of
January 1978. I list below all those whose country of of birth/
residence is given as Soviet Union, who received the title by 1972 or
earlier, and who were alive in 1972. The number after the name is the
year each got the title:

Antoshin, Vladimir -- 1963
Averbakh, Yuri -- 1952
Boleslavsky, Isaac -- 1950
Bondarevsky, Igor -- 1950
Botvinnik, Mikhail -- 1950
Bronstein, David -- 1950
Flohr, Salo -- 1950
Furman, Semyon -- 1966
Geller, Yefim -- 1952
Gipslis, Aivar -- 1967
Gufeld, Edward -- 1967
Gurgenidze, Bukhuti -- 1970
Karpov, Anatoly -- 1970
Keres, Paul -- 1950
Kholmov, Ratmir -- 1960
Korchnoi, Viktor -- 1956
Kotov, Alexander -- 1950
Krogius, Nikolai -- 1964
Lein, Anatoly -- 1968
Liberzon, Vladimir -- 1965
Lilienthal, Andor -- 1950
Petrosian, Tigran -- 1952
Polugaevsky, Lev -- 1962
Shamkovich, Leonid -- 1965
Simagin, Vladimir -- 1962
Smyslov, assily -- 1950
Spassky, Boris -- 1955
Stein, Leonid -- 1962
Suetin, Alexei -- 1965
Taimanov, k -- 1952
Tal, Mikhail --1957
Vaganian, Rafael -- 1971
Vasyukov, Evgeny -- 1961

That's a total of 33, so to aid Spassky the Soviets could have
mustered at most 32, not 35 as The Economist stated. In any event,
nowhere near all Soviet GMs were enlisted in the 1972 effort, so the
Economist's statement is not just slightly off, it's highly
inaccurate.

> but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
> Fischer.

That is not the way The Economist expressed it. I quote : "Mr
Spassky was advised between games by 35 Russian grand masters." That
is simply false.

> However, to appease you I'll give you this point.

Lee said much the same to Grant at Appomattox.

> > "20-game winning streak at championship level in 1968-71" -- What??
> > In the period 1968-71 Fischer played in 5 tournaments of highly
> > varying strength, one Olympiad, the USSR-ROW team match, and three
> > Candidates Matches, an assortment of events that cannot all be
> > properly called "championship level." He did have a 20-game winning
> > streak 1970-71: the last 7 games of the 1970 Interzonal, and the first
> > 13 of his 1971 Candidates games, 6-0 vs. Taimanvov, 6-0 vs. Larsen,
> > and the first game vs. Petrosian. This must be what they're thinking
> > of, but their description is sloppy.
>
> No, their description is spot on, as you just pointed out. Score one
> for the Economist.

Excuse me? The Economist clearly gave the time frame as *_1968_* to
1971. Fischer did not compete in any events that can properly be
called "championship level" in 1968 or 1969, nor did he have any 20-
game winning streak in those years. Their reporting is simply sloppy.

> > "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> So you have no insight as to this claim. It's either believing you,
> who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. Score one for the
> latter.

Really? The Economist clearly say that *_they_* don't know. Again I
quote: "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of
God ... and PERHAPS had learned from them to hate and revile the
Jews;" (emphasis added). Ray, you are way too easily persuaded if all
it takes is an unsupported "perhaps."
Here's a link to an article about the WWCoG:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwide_Church_Of_God

Though highly uncomplimentary to the church, practically portraying
it as a crackpot cult, it makes no mention of anti-Semitism. I will
remain dubious about The Economist's very tentative speculation unless
and until evidence surfaces supporting the idea that the WWCOG taught
anti-Semitic doctrines while Fischer was under their influence.

> Economist wins, 2 to 1.

Nope, so far they're down 2-0, with one at-bat (on the WWCoG) left.


 
Date: 02 Feb 2008 04:07:01
From: raylopez99
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 5:48 pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote: >
> For once I must largely agree with help-bot. The obituary is sloppy,
> shallow and inaccurate. A few examples:
>
> "At Reykjavik, when Mr Spassky was advised between games by 35
> Russian grand masters, Mr Fischer had a notebook and his own long,
> lugubrious, clever head. And he won." -- In 1972 the USSR had only 32
> GMs, not 35, and nowhere near all of them were conscripted to advise
> Spassky. And Fischer was not without seconds -- in adjourned games and
> other matters he was aided by GMs Lombardy and Kavalek.

Small beer. In 1982 the USSR had 46 GMs, so perhaps your stats are
correct, but the point being the Russians had more chess seconds than
Fischer. However, to appease you I'll give you this point.

>
> "20-game winning streak at championship level in 1968-71" -- What??
> In the period 1968-71 Fischer played in 5 tournaments of highly
> varying strength, one Olympiad, the USSR-ROW team match, and three
> Candidates Matches, an assortment of events that cannot all be
> properly called "championship level." He did have a 20-game winning
> streak 1970-71: the last 7 games of the 1970 Interzonal, and the first
> 13 of his 1971 Candidates games, 6-0 vs. Taimanvov, 6-0 vs. Larsen,
> and the first game vs. Petrosian. This must be what they're thinking
> of, but their description is sloppy.

No, their description is spot on, as you just pointed out. Score one
for the Economist.

>
> "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>

So you have no insight as to this claim. It's either believing you,
who admits to having no insight, or the Economist. Score one for the
latter. Economist wins, 2 to 1.

RL


 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 19:30:02
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 7:21 pm, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:

> > So, like help-bot, I don't think much of this Fischer obit.
>
> Well you're wrong. And so is Bot. First, you have to understand the
> Economist uses people who know stuff--they don't just search the
> internet. Just because they have no bylines doesn't mean some 17 year
> old wrote the article.

Look kid, even articles written by people who
"know stuff" are often filled to overflowing with
bias and/or errors of fact. Take Ray Keene's
books, for example; poor Edward Winter has
worked himself to death trying to keep up with
all the inaccuracies, lies and fabrications
published by this self-described "world's
foremost" everything to everyone. It's a fact
that even specialists, like chess grandmasters,
commit egregious errors, as a matter of routine.


> 1/ Fischer was the Cold Warrior--Kissinger even phoned him and said it
> was his patriotic duty; and Fischer (younger) did hate the Russians.

I see that you were careful to phrase that so
as to avoid mentioning BF's refusal to take the
call. LOL!


> 2/ Fischer never paid attention to his seconds

Another whiff!

The article did not discuss how much attention
BF may have paid to his seconds; it denied their
very existence.


As they say, denial ain't just a river in Egypt!


-- help bot






 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 19:22:07
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 5:48 pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:

> "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> So, like help-bot, I don't think much of this Fischer obit.

If I recall correctly, even the *very young* BF was
known for his reks criticizing Jews; for instance,
I believe I read somewhere that he opined that they
(the Jews) dressed poorly, which he believed hurt the
game of chess. Blaming the WWCG for this sort of
thing is precisely what I meant by shallowness and a
lack of any true understanding.

Besides, bear kets are often signaled by a
strongly bullish cover story in The Economist, just
as bull kets are by, say, an article in the Wall
Street Journal declaring that the end is near. LOL!


-- help bot




 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 19:13:34
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 5:33 pm, "Chess One" <OneCh...@comcast.net > wrote:

> There are ever 2 aspects of the man - his chess, and then, his humanity.

I wonder, just how much of this purported schizm is
based on reality, and much is entirely the creation of
those who cannot accept the reality of Bobby Fischer.

There appear to be many who need to idolize BF as
a sort of chess god, but who at the same time are
unable to handle his darker side; these splitters have a
dire need to split the man in two, one half to worship,
the other half to write off as an insane nutter, or
something akin to that; by splitting one man into two
separate parts, the splitters can have their cake, and
eat it, too.


> Perhaps you were not able to hear Dr. Frank [Brady]

Brady, Brady... it rings familiar. Ah yes-- was he not
the head of a rather large "bunch", on TV? But alas, he
was not a doctor, but rather an architect, as I recall; his
eldest son's name was Greg, then came Peter, and next
...wait a second now. You must have meant the author
of "Profile of a Prodigy"! Now there's an oldie for you.


> Several points you make above are good ones - with the exception of this
> being a 'bust player' if that was your meaning

Certainly not. Busted players are mainly female,
though not always to the degree one might like.
Now me, I'm more of a leg bot myself.


> - since very considerable
> Russian opinion does not concur with you.

I'm glad of that; the last thing I need is for every
Vladimir, Vic and Mikhail-ry to parrot my original
ideas on chess. Better by far if every man learns
to think for himself, no?


> They were very conscious of him, afraid of him.

Well, in spite of his intimidation tactics, BF never
actually hurt anybody; although he did encourage
others to put the hurts to that poor chap who let
his belongings get confiscated and sold at auction;
I daresay, *that* was against the law-- or at least
it ought to be.


> His play, you see, was never static - and what had been before was never any
> strong indicator of what would come next.

Some critics had it that his play *was* static,
predictable even. But BF responded by altering
his style, and when he played again in 1992, he
altered it yet again-- perhaps revealing just how
poorly he could handle even minor criticisms
regarding his play.

By comparison, when complete duffers point
out that I missed, say, a mate-in-two, I take it
in stride, correcting them by pointing out in-
between moves they themselves missed, which
proves that what I actually missed was an
obvious mate in three, or perhaps even four.
LOL!


> That itself represents a powerful level of self-criticism by Fischer, and a
> determant factor of his originality.

Once you factor out his superior strength,
there really isn't a whole lot of "creativity"
remaining. Take the chess openings, for
instance; BF mainly copied what others had
created, invented, but he improved on their
original ideas via his superior execution.

What became known as a Fischer variation
was actually already widely published under
the name of Sozin, for instance. This
re-branding, as it were, might fool a few of
the ignoranti, but those whose level of
understanding is deeper see right through
it rather easily. Even the mantra which
insisted on playing 1. e4 as the purportedly
best move was copied from others; we now
know, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, that
particular move walks right into ...c5!, with
equality. ; >D


-- help bot


 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 17:25:34
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 7:21=A0pm, raylopez99 <raylope...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 2:48=A0pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>
>
> > =A0 "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> > a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> > and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> > of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> > noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> > =A0 So, like help-bot, I don't think much of this Fischer obit.
>
> Well you're wrong. =A0And so is Bot. =A0First, you have to understand the
> Economist uses people who know stuff--they don't just search the
> internet. =A0Just because they have no bylines doesn't mean some 17 year
> old wrote the article.

General competency should not be confused with perfection. I have
read many issues of The Economist, and have high respect for it on the
whole. However, when it writes about a subject I have some knowledge
of, and I see it making definite errors, I feel these should be
pointed out.

> 1/ Fischer was the Cold Warrior--Kissinger even phoned him and said it
> was his patriotic duty; and Fischer (younger) did hate the Russians.

Not a point I raised, but on the whole this aspect of the match is
rather overblown, as the Cold War was at one of its cooler points in
1972.

> 2/ =A0Fischer never paid attention to his seconds,

Not pertinent to the point I raised, which is that the Economist
article gave the impression Fischer had no seconds, when in fact he
did.

> but if you read the
> book on the Reykjavik match,

"The" book? Which one is that? More books have been written on the
Fischer-Spassky match than probably on any other single contest in
chess history. I have 14 books that deal with the match to one degree
or another, still only a fraction of the total number. Which one did
you have in mind?

> Spassky hated his seconds but wanted even
> more people (p. 113 'Bobby Fischer Goes to War' by David Edmonds et al
> "Today Spassky remembers that he was not given the team he wanted..."
> only Geller was of use claimed Spassky, who complained later that
> Karpov in 1978 had a squad of forty!)

None of which has bearing on the Economist's impossible claim that
Spassky had 35 Russian GMs working for him in Reykjavik, at a time
when the USSR had only 32 total, including Spassky.

> 3/ the cult you recall now may have been anti-Semetic back then--as
> you say, you're not an authority on it.

It sounds like you are even less of an authority, Ray. If you have
evidence that they were/are anti-Semitic, please provide it --
otherwise you make an unjust innuendo.

> 4/ Fischer's paranoia, as I recall, indeed got worse when the US tried
> to block him from playing in 1992.

And the price of orange juice goes up when there's a frost in
Florida. Your point would be ... ? Again, this is not a point I
raised.

> Of course the Economist did not tell all about Fischer in one page

Did anyone say they should, or must? However, I would expect that
over the space of one page they could keep the factual errors to less
than three.

> (it failed to mention Fischer, according to rumor, lost his 1992 prize
> money when the Yugoslavs collapsed,

Well, at least I don't fault them for failing to report rumor.

> while Spassky had invested outside
> of Serbia and kept his money) but, all in all, it was a good obit IMO.

We must agree to differ.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 16:21:11
From: raylopez99
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 2:48=A0pm, ttk5...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> =A0 "He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
> a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
> and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
> of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
> noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.
>
> =A0 So, like help-bot, I don't think much of this Fischer obit.

Well you're wrong. And so is Bot. First, you have to understand the
Economist uses people who know stuff--they don't just search the
internet. Just because they have no bylines doesn't mean some 17 year
old wrote the article.

1/ Fischer was the Cold Warrior--Kissinger even phoned him and said it
was his patriotic duty; and Fischer (younger) did hate the Russians.

2/ Fischer never paid attention to his seconds, but if you read the
book on the Reykjavik match, Spassky hated his seconds but wanted even
more people (p. 113 'Bobby Fischer Goes to War' by David Edmonds et al
"Today Spassky remembers that he was not given the team he wanted..."
only Geller was of use claimed Spassky, who complained later that
Karpov in 1978 had a squad of forty!)

3/ the cult you recall now may have been anti-Semetic back then--as
you say, you're not an authority on it.

4/ Fischer's paranoia, as I recall, indeed got worse when the US tried
to block him from playing in 1992.

Of course the Economist did not tell all about Fischer in one page (it
failed to mention Fischer, according to rumor, lost his 1992 prize
money when the Yugoslavs collapsed, while Spassky had invested outside
of Serbia and kept his money) but, all in all, it was a good obit IMO.

RL



 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 14:48:32
From:
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Feb 1, 4:44=A0pm, help bot <nomorech...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 31, 11:09 pm, Sin...@webtv.net (SAT W-7) wrote:
>
> > That was a interesting read..
>
> =A0 It almost seemed to be composed from shallow excerpts
> of the main line chess press; lots of relevant "facts", but
> small, annoying errors which reveal a lack of any true
> understanding.

For once I must largely agree with help-bot. The obituary is sloppy,
shallow and inaccurate. A few examples:

"At Reykjavik, when Mr Spassky was advised between games by 35
Russian grand masters, Mr Fischer had a notebook and his own long,
lugubrious, clever head. And he won." -- In 1972 the USSR had only 32
GMs, not 35, and nowhere near all of them were conscripted to advise
Spassky. And Fischer was not without seconds -- in adjourned games and
other matters he was aided by GMs Lombardy and Kavalek.

"20-game winning streak at championship level in 1968-71" -- What??
In the period 1968-71 Fischer played in 5 tournaments of highly
varying strength, one Olympiad, the USSR-ROW team match, and three
Candidates Matches, an assortment of events that cannot all be
properly called "championship level." He did have a 20-game winning
streak 1970-71: the last 7 games of the 1970 Interzonal, and the first
13 of his 1971 Candidates games, 6-0 vs. Taimanvov, 6-0 vs. Larsen,
and the first game vs. Petrosian. This must be what they're thinking
of, but their description is sloppy.

"He had got mixed up in the 1960s with the Worldwide Church of God,
a crazed millenarian outfit, and perhaps had learned from them to hate
and revile the Jews." -- I don't claim much expertise on the doctrines
of the WWCOG, but I have some acquaintance with them. I have never
noticed or heard that anti-Semitism was a salient feature.

So, like help-bot, I don't think much of this Fischer obit.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2008 13:44:50
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
On Jan 31, 11:09 pm, Sin...@webtv.net (SAT W-7) wrote:

> That was a interesting read..

It almost seemed to be composed from shallow excerpts
of the main line chess press; lots of relevant "facts", but
small, annoying errors which reveal a lack of any true
understanding.

One such revealing slip was in calling the poisoned pawn
Sicilian "the poisoned variation", or whatever. I've read
elsewhere that BF lost much of his world championship
prize money to the WWCG, but the Economist places
his involvement with them in the 60s -- obviously too early
to allow for this sting. They also pretend as though BF's
break with reality, so to speak, occurred after 1992, yet
he was obviously quite whacked decades earlier, in that
respect.

Yet the single most revealing flub was in their following
the mindless prattle of Cold War propagandists, parroting
myths about a one-man assault on the Russian hegemony.
It is well known that without, say, Ed Edmondson or any
number of others' help, BF would have gotten nowhere in
that regard; even a British Financier had to intervene on
his behalf, in addition to the president of FIDE, and God
knows how many others.

I'm still waiting for an intelligent account of the real BF
story-- one which is not drenched in political lies, nor
idolatry and self-delusion; I expect it will be a very long
wait.


-- help bot





  
Date: 01 Feb 2008 17:33:11
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)

"help bot" <nomorechess@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:ac7e9b48-06f4-42f8-8b2d-7190ecd83b65@e10g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> On Jan 31, 11:09 pm, Sin...@webtv.net (SAT W-7) wrote:
>
>> That was a interesting read..
>
> It almost seemed to be composed from shallow excerpts
> of the main line chess press; lots of relevant "facts", but
> small, annoying errors which reveal a lack of any true
> understanding.
>
> One such revealing slip was in calling the poisoned pawn
> Sicilian "the poisoned variation", or whatever. I've read
> elsewhere that BF lost much of his world championship
> prize money to the WWCG, but the Economist places
> his involvement with them in the 60s -- obviously too early
> to allow for this sting. They also pretend as though BF's
> break with reality, so to speak, occurred after 1992, yet
> he was obviously quite whacked decades earlier, in that
> respect.
>
> Yet the single most revealing flub was in their following
> the mindless prattle of Cold War propagandists, parroting
> myths about a one-man assault on the Russian hegemony.
> It is well known that without, say, Ed Edmondson or any
> number of others' help, BF would have gotten nowhere in
> that regard; even a British Financier had to intervene on
> his behalf, in addition to the president of FIDE, and God
> knows how many others.
>
> I'm still waiting for an intelligent account of the real BF
> story-- one which is not drenched in political lies, nor
> idolatry and self-delusion; I expect it will be a very long
> wait.

There are ever 2 aspects of the man - his chess, and then, his humanity.
Perhaps you were not able to hear Dr. Frank [Brady] on NPR, though, as rough
paraphrase, he concurs with you. We talked today on the phone and I made him
a proposition he will take to the board of the shall, the intent of which
is to differentiate the two - by a means I suggested to him.

There is already interest in a match to celebrate Fischer, and with great
players in it, and with finance behind it - driving it. That does not quite
compass what I put to Dr. Frank - which was to do with closure of Fischer's
chessic achievement, not for him now [too late] but for those who admired
his spirit of play. He quite accepted the differentiation.

Several points you make above are good ones - with the exception of this
being a 'bust player' if that was your meaning - since very considerable
Russian opinion does not concur with you. They were very conscious of him,
afraid of him.

His play, you see, was never static - and what had been before was never any
strong indicator of what would come next.

That itself represents a powerful level of self-criticism by Fischer, and a
determant factor of his originality.

Cordially, Phil Innes

>
> -- help bot
>
>
>




 
Date: 31 Jan 2008 20:09:11
From: SAT W-7
Subject: Re: Fischer Obituary in Economist (excellent read)
That was a interesting read..