Robert James "Bobby" Fischer March 9, 1943 - January 17, 2008

It is a sad day for many, myself included, as fans and chess afficionados mourn the loss of one of chess' legends. To some, he is merely a cold war icon - evidenced by CNN's abrupt changing of its article from "Eccentric Cold War Icon Dies" to "Eccentric Chess Icon Fischer Dies".

To the international community, he might be just what they purport him to be but to us Filipinos, he is special. I watched "Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)" as a young kid with absolutely no talent for chess.

When I was in my university years, he was often seen in Baguio, possibly playing chess like any of our northern cousins in Burnham Park, well known in Baguio, Philippines for its chess playing atmosphere.

Add to that his allegations that he didn't get any royalty money for the film made on account of his life and we make for a truly sad story indeed.

Though I was never really good at the game no matter how I tried, it has been a family tradition to play amongst ourselves for fun and the chance to ridicule our elders. My father often beats my grandfather. After a game, my grandfather would recall the days when he watched Bobby Fischer play with wide eyed admiration for the legend that the man is. Those were good memories on my part.

It is therefore distressing to see the man portrayed as eccentric, however true it may be. I guess we all get the chance to choose our perspectives and memories.

I choose to remember the good ones.
To the legendary chess player that my grandfather admired, may the stars offer you a world with a more beautiful logic - better than the human mind can fathom.

UPDATE: What in tarnations... I just got this news from our country's leading and credible newspaper: Fischer has a daughter to a Filipina in Baguio back in early 2000s. Jimminy Cricket...

Philippine Daily Inquirer

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