Destiny pays tribute to Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008

Robert James Fischer, one of the greatest Chess Legends of all time has passed away. Just would like to post a blog in his honour. Besides, being a tactical genius in regular chess, he also formalized Random Chess.

I have written some comparisions about symmetry of skills in various different sports, in my book Dot Chess-The Cricket in Between. Cricket is asymmetric, since one side bowls and the other bats- and bowling and batting are radically different skills. Chess as such is symmetric (comparing pieces to players), and the way the pieces are maneuvered are same for White or Black, though White starts and gets a partial lead in tempo. Chess players, in fact have to introduce imbalance in the positions, so that favorable activity which can lead to advanatges or an initiative can be given a chance.

In Fischer Random Chess, chess pieces are shuffled in the back rank of White and then pieces are mirrored for Black- to maintain symmetry but to achieve a board which has a different strating line-up in each game. Bobby Fischer pioneered this format- to overcome the memorizing of openings and excessive theory that developed on account of the starting line up of pieces being fixed in conventional or ‘old’ chess (The King, Queen, rooks, knights and bishops have the same ‘home’ square in conventional chess in every game- not so in Fischer Random or Shuffle chess).

Unfortunately, the genius had an imbalanced and asymmetric journey in both phases of his life- in his glory days of chess and then later when he lead a strange life- always amidst controversies beyond chess. It is said that he only had one interest- to play chess and excel at it. For sure, within the realms of the 64-squares of the chess board – he was a fascinating genius and regarded as one the greatest ever by chess analysts and players. Was it then his fate that he did not reach the age of 65?

Perhaps Destiny has paid her tribute to the genius by devoting a chess square to each year of his life.

Peace be with him.
Saumil
Mumbai

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