American chess playerDied when: 64 years 314 days (778 months)
Star Sign: Pisces
Robert James Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion.A chess prodigy, at age 13 he won a game which was dubbed "The Game of the Century".
At age 14 he became the youngest ever U.S.Chess Champion, and at 15 he became both the youngest grandmaster (GM) up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship.
At age 20, Fischer won the 1963/64 US Championship with 11 wins in 11 games, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament.
He won the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a record 3½-point margin and won 20 consecutive games in the last seven rounds of the Interzonal and in the Candidates Matches, the latter including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps.
When the first official FIDE rating list was published in July 1971, Fischer was the highest-rated player by a wide margin.
Fischer won the World Chess Championship in 1972, defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR, in a match held in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Publicized as a Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR, it attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.
In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE, chess's international governing body, over one of the conditions for the match.
Under FIDE rules, this resulted in Soviet GM Anatoly Karpov, who had won the qualifying Candidates' cycle, being named the new world champion by default.
After forfeiting his title as World Champion, Fischer became reclusive and sometimes erratic, disappearing from both competitive chess and the public eye.
In 1992, he reemerged to win an unofficial rematch against Spassky.It was held in Yugoslavia, which was under a United Nations embargo at the time.
His participation led to a conflict with the US government, which warned Fischer that his participation in the match would violate an executive order imposing US sanctions on Yugoslavia.
The US government ultimately issued a warrant for his arrest.After that, Fischer lived as an émigré.In 2004, he was arrested in Japan and held for several months for using a passport that the US government had revoked.
Eventually, he was granted an Icelandic passport and citizenship by a special act of the Icelandic Althing, allowing him to live in Iceland until his death in 2008.
Fischer made numerous lasting contributions to chess.His book My 60 Memorable Games, published in 1969, is regarded as essential reading in chess literature.
In the 1990s, he patented a modified chess timing system that added a time increment after each move, now a standard practice in top tournament and match play.
He also invented Fischer random chess, also known as Chess960, a chess variant in which the initial position of the pieces is randomized to one of 960 possible positions.
Fischer made numerous antisemitic statements and denied the Holocaust; his general hatred for Jews, professed since at least the 1960s, was a major theme in his public and private remarks.
There has been widespread comment and speculation concerning his psychological condition based on his extreme views and unusual behavior.