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Thursday, January 24, 2008


Ed Peters

Very thoughtful. Thx.

Mark Brumley

Well said.

J.B. Mulder

Nice article.

Carl E. Olson

Thanks, gentlemen.

Phil Lawler

As an enthusiastic (if not particularly skilled) player, I too was fascinated by Fischer, whose brilliance on the board had its own distinctive beauty.

He's not the first grandmaster to flirt with insanity, of course. Your closing lines reminded me of Nabakov's novel, The Defense, the story of a chess fanatic marching down that road to obsession.


Here's a picture of the poor man's grave, from an Icelandic site.


Oh, and here's the church itself. Looks pretty stark. Sorry I can't figure out who the saint of the parish is.


I read the Wikipedia article a bit more, and I've puzzled out that it's apparently the church of God, Mary, and St. Agatha? Multiple dedications... very old-fashioned.

Carl Olson

Yesterday I came across a book in my library that I had forgotten: Bobby Fischer Goes To War: How a Lone American Star Defeated the Soviet Chess Machine (Harper, 2004), by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. It is a fascinating and well-researched account of the lives of Fischer and Spassky and their famous 1972 match. Well worth checking out to get a better sense of why Fischer continues to fascinate, and how differently he and Spassky approached the game of chess—and the game of life.

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