Biographies: Bobby Fischer (United States, 1943-2008)

Figure 1.--The October 12, 1958 wire service photo caption read, "Young Bobby Fishcher, hailed as a budding chess genius, is caught in a characteristic pose during a tournament match at the Manhattan Chess Club: nail-bitten fingers to lips, costless and tieless, a study in seep concentration. This 15-year old Brooklyn boy has already won international fame for his chess play, but remains virtually unknown, outside of chess circles, in his own country. ."

Robert James "Bobby" Fischer was born in Chicago (1943). His father Gerhardth Fischer was born in Berlin, Germany (1909) and emigrated to America. He was a biophysicist. Some speculate that his real father was a Hungarian Jew named Nemenyi. His mother was Regina Wender was an American citizen of Polish Jewish descent. She was born in Switzerland and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Bobby renounced Judaism and became upset if anyone called him Jewish. His parents separated when Bobby was only 2 years old. Regina had custody of Bobby and his older sister Joan who was 7 years old at the time. Their mother was a qualified registered Nurse and wanted to take a Master's Degree at New York University in Nursing Education. She decided to move to Brooklyn. It is there that Bobby began to play chess. There was no tradition of chess in the famikly. Bobby and Joan received a chess set as a gift (1949). All they had to go on was instructions that came with the set. Bobby as a 6-year-old was fascinated with the game and his abilitity to deal with his complexities. His mother became worried about his obsession with the game. She is quoted as saying, "Bobby isn't interested in anybody unless they play Chess and there just aren't many children who like it." He won the World Chess Championship (1972). He declined to defend it (1975). He widely considered to be one of the most talented chess players of all time. Desspite disappearing from competitive play, he continues to be one of the world's best known chess players.


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Created: 8:07 AM 1/24/2011
Last updated: 8:07 AM 1/24/2011