Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Sporting achievements spread its wings

Life does not treat greats greatly. One does not know what time holds in store for the future. High handedness of certain nations kills genuine intellectuals, sports persons in the international arena of sports. Sports personalities strive for recognition with excellence but the sporting world forget their enthralling show in the sporting world.

Bobby Fischer, a name that will be etched in golden letters in the history of the game of chess. He is the greatest chess player the world has ever seen. The game of chess had long been a fiefdom of players of Soviet Union. In 1972 Fischer who was an American and a chess genius was persuaded to challenge Boris Spassky of Russia the then reigning champion. That was in 1972 when we had fond memories. The duo could not agree to a venue for the historic game. If Spassky’s choice is Prague then Fischer’s choice was Brussels. After great deal of efforts by the organisers World Federation of Chess both the players agreed to play at Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The game continued for nearly 15 days as Fischer used to vanish from the site too often and reappear after several hours sometimes even after day as eccentric as he was. After 15 days Spassky, cornered in hopeless situation conceded defeat. That was the game of a Century.

What Michael Jordan was to Basketball or Muhammad Ali in Boxing or Usain Bolt in Sprint, Fischer was in Chess. Greatest player of all times, he refused to play further but somehow again in 1992 he was persuaded to play in Argentina against another giant chess player Tiger Petrosian and he defeated Tiger in an epic game. While leaving Buenos Aires after the game he received hero’s farewell. Unfortunately he refused to comply with certain rules and regulations of USA and he was jailed and reportedly tortured. He left USA for good and was flying to Tokyo. While in mid air former US President Bush cancelled his passport. He suffered rare psychological disorder known as C-PTSD (Complex- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which brought about complete physiological change in his brain. Extraordinary genius that he was he spent his life in utter sorrow and mental imbalance. The impetus to write this piece came when I read a post by US based group Scripevening on Bobby Fischer, I asked them in my reply about whether Fischer is still alive or not and if alive in what condition he is. I got a reply immediately from them that saddens me immeasurably Bobby Fischer died in 2008 in Iceland due to kidney renal failure. The world will not see a genius of his calibre for a long time to come.

Anandambal Subbu

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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