Saturday, September 24, 2011

Comment on "Bobby Fischer Against the World"

Monomania best describes any well entrenched chess player. Columnist Charles Krauthammer presented this compelling argument in an article shortly after Fischer's death in Iceland.

The life of Bobby Fischer demonstrates fully the terrors of a human being who lives almost exclusively within his mind.

The game of chess is not real life, yet real life has a funny way of impinging on every player, especially in the case of Bobby Fischer, whose genius became a tool of the United States battling Russia during the Cold War.

Yet even monomaniacal chess kings despise being used like pawns.

For some reason, no one ever bothers to explore why Bobby Fischer went into exclusion after defeating Boris Spassky, and amiable Russian in stark contrast to the boorish and brutish American.

It is also very interesting that one more intense uber-intellect turned into a raving-lunatic anti-Semite, especially troubling because he himself was a Jew.
If nothing else, it demonstrates the great moral and ethical hazards which will overcome a person who lives life as if its sixty-four squares of pieces playing against themselves. Self-hatred well describes the self-imposed anti-Semitism of Bobby Fischer.

A human being is far more than mind. One of the great and dangerous canards of Communism, the apparent faith of his single mother, is that with our minds we can understand, control, and change the world. Faith, tradition, and imagination all play a for greater, more vital role in the education of a human being, something which religious adherence, including Judaism, emphasizes. Being a good chess player does not come close. Being Chess champion of the world is ultimately a hollow pursuit when forced to play against oneself. What does one do when the game is over?

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