Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Personality of the week: Bobby Fischer

Kidnapped in Japan and hounded by Washington for political reasons. Welcome to George W. Bush's version of Freedom and Democracy

After eight long months in a Japanese prison cell, after being brutalized, beaten and kidnapped at Narita International airport, by a Japanese Ministry of Justice apparently controlled by Washington, Bobby Fischer is on his way to Iceland, where in 1972 he beat the Soviet Chess Champion Boris Spassky, to become the first American to win the world chess title. Thirty-three years later, in George Bush's USA, he is the first American to have to claim Icelandic citizenship to avoid prison.for traveling to Yugoslavia.

Why was Bobby Fischer in so much trouble? Because he had tried to leave Japan without the proper documentation in July 2004, to escape extradition to the USA on trumped-up political charges, just because he had violated an embargo placed by Washington on the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, when he went to Belgrade to play a game of chess.

Freedom of circulation? Not in the USA.

It is a telling statement on Washington's policy that a man who would be classified as a national hero in any other country, has to carry an Icelandic passport to avoid a ten-year prison sentence in the USA for violating the travel embargo.

Why is there so much animosity towards Bobby Fischer in George Bush's USA? Because he classified Bush as a war criminal who should be hanged, due to his murderous campaign in Iraq in which tens of thousands of innocent civilians were slaughtered in the name of freedom and democracy.

Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago in 1943, moving to Brooklyn with his mother two years later and taking up chess at the age of six. By the age of 13, he was the youngest player to win the national junior championship of the USA; one year later, he was already the US senior champion and the youngest Grandmaster of all time by the age of 15.

Bobby Fischer shot to fame in 1972 when he beat Boris Spassky, the Soviet and world champion, becoming the first and only American citizen to hold the title until 1975, when he lost it to the Soviet Union's Anatoly Karpov. Fischer then moved to Europe.

In 1996, he launched a new game, Fischerandom Chess, a game played on the same 64-square board but with the back line pieces shuffled randomly behind the eight pawns and not in their traditional rook, knight, bishop, queen/King positions. For Bobby Fischer, this game is more dynamic, calls for more skill and breaks away from the stodgy starts which obey stilted and studied opening move initiatives and their responses.

Fischer, intelligent enough to become world chess champion and intelligent enough to see through the shock and awe politics of George Bush, is living like a recluse as an Icelandic citizen, just because he told the truth.

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