Death of a Hero

Death of a Hero.

Bobby Fischer is dead at the age of 64. Once again I am reminded of my own mortality.

First I was forced to deal with the deaths of my adult life heroes, that being the deaths of my parents. Now I am forced to deal with the death of a childhood hero. Bobby Fischer has gone to meet his maker.

It was always a dream of mine to face Bobby Fischer over a Chess table. I always knew I would never stand a chance. In my dreams, it always ended up with with the victor, (Bobby) reaching over the game table, shaking my hand and stating "good game". I never dreamed it was possible to beat the genius at his own game. My dreams where only that I would force him to think about beating me. Forcing him to exercise his genius and actually have to think about it before he wiped me slick.

I was intrigued that Bobby had actually developed a method of playing the game of Chess that might actually have given me a chance (or at least a little hope) of beating him. He seemed to have developed a distaste (which I agree with) for how the potentials of a good Chess game had become more of a product of the contest was that the winner of the contest could be he/she who had more experience (and that experience could be gained through study) in the game then his opponent rather then a measure of raw intelligence.

Bobby Fischer proposed placing the pieces on the board at random (I would imagine both players were given the same random placement) and then starting the game. Have you ever heard of a level playing field? Sure, some experience of the strengths of each particular piece would be beneficial, but experience and book study of the game would be minimized to the maximum extent possible. Nearly endless possibilities. The playing field would be tilted away from experience towards raw intellect.

Now I am still a realist. I would imagine that even under Bobby Fischer rules for Chess, most times I would end up being defeated by Bobby Fischer. After all, the man was able to overcome more experienced and studied opponents at an extremely youthful age. However I would have relished the chance to measure myself against his genius by the rules he came up with. Who knows, perhaps I could have occasionally won a game or two and kept his interest. By his rules, I stood a chance.

I mourn the death of Bobby Fischer, one of my childhood heroes. I would hope that the President of our nation would, posthumously, grant him a Presidential Pardon. While I would imagine that he will be buried in Iceland, I want it to be made official that it is not Un-American to place flowers at his grave.

Bobby Fischer, rest in peace. After my own death I look forward to perhaps being able to take the man on by his own rules. God willing, I might even win occasionally.

Opportunity lost. Bobby Fischer is dead. In my limited lifetime, I no longer have the chance to sit down across a Chess table against Bobby Fischer.

I weep at the expiration of the life of Bobby Fischer. The expiration of boyhood dreams points to my own human mortality. Why did I never travel to Iceland and challenge him to a game?

I had the chance. I have no one to blame but myself.


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