Bobby Fischer (March 9, 1943 January 17, 2008)
When I was younger, chess was "my thing". I played football, hockey, golf and, being brought up in the Scottish Borders, I was forced to play rugby
But, enjoy them as I did, it was at chess I did best. I was young when it happened, but I have vague memories of Fischer becoming the first - and still only - American World Chess Champion. I remember more clearly his refusal to defend his title and the furore surrounding his rematch with Spassky.
"Fischer's first real triumph was winning the United States Junior Chess Championship in July 1956. He scored 8.5/10 at Philadelphia to become the youngest-ever junior champion, a record that stands to this day.
At the age of 12, he was awarded the US title of National Master, then the youngest ever.
In January 1958, at age 14, he became the youngest US champion ever (this record still stands). He earned the title of International Master with this victory, becoming the youngest player ever to achieve this level (a record since broken).
He became the youngest Grandmaster in history.
He became the highest rated player who ever lived (a record since broken).
He got the Grandmaster title in the first tournament where he had the opportunity to do so, a feat which is believed to be unique since the title system was first formalized in 1950 by FIDE. He repeated in 1958-59 as American champion, his second of what would eventually be eight consecutive titles."
The fall of Bobby Fischer is well documented. All too often, in many fields, genius is tainted by a dark side. I prefer to concentrate on his chess - I studied his games as a child and was in absolute awe. He dominated and revolutionised the game like no other.
Shot in RAW, b/w conversion with sepia tint, slight crop, jpegged.
ISO 250, f2.8, 1/20 - handheld.