Talk:Bobby Fischer

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Bobby Fischer page.


Citations of quotes[edit]

Though Fischer's anti-semitism is well attested to, and I do not greatly doubt he would make such a remark as this article began with, I think strongly derogatory comments attributed to anyone about anyone should be provided with a source, or ommitted--- at the very least they should be clearly labelled as "attributed". ~ Achilles 03:53, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

    • I agree, thus I have placed these very EXTREME comments in the talk page:
  1. "I want to kill everyone! The world must burn!"
  2. "Hitler is my hero. I love him."
once a source is found, they may be corrected and placed back PEACE ~ RoboAction 07:46, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ginzburg quotes[edit]

Fischer denied he said the things that Ginzburg claimed that he said. There's no independent confirmation for what Ginzburg wrote. Ginzburg portrayed Fischer as boastful and rude, which doesn't match up with other accounts of the young Fischer. The Washington Post discussed Ginzburg in this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/06/AR2006070601724_pf.html, characterized him as self-promoting, described how he was found guilty of libelling Barry Goldwater and described how Ginzburg was a convicted felon and pornographer. He made his career on sensationalism and self-promotion. I call into question his credentials as a journalist, his integrity and honesty, and the truth of the article that he published. Quotes from the article should not be presented at face value.74.196.205.92 22:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Reorganisation[edit]

This may be controversial, but I tried to organise things a bit more chronologically. I'm not trying to bury Fischer's views on Jews, the US, Russians, Kasparov but he first became famous as a chess player, so I thought his views on chess should come first. Also, and this is in no way a defence of his views, a more chronological listing might allow people to see how his views have developed. There is a case to be made that his bizarre and offensive personality traits were encouraged and allowed to develop unchecked after he was catapulted to international fame at the age of 13.

Ewen

Citizenship[edit]

The title says that Fischer is an "American chess player", despite the fact of receiving the full Icelandic citizenship a year ago. I know that he will always be associated to be an american, but shouldn't the term be corrected nonetheless?

Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Bobby Fischer. --Antiquary 19:14, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Chess is life.
  • My sister bought me a set at a candy store and taught me the moves.
  • When I was eleven, I just got good.
  • The turning point in my career came with the realization that Black should play to win instead of just steering for equality.
  • All that matters on the chessboard is good moves.
  • All I want to do, ever, is play chess.
  • I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.
  • I like to make 'em squirm.
  • I like the moment when I break a man's ego.
  • There are tough players and nice guys, and I'm a tough player.
  • You can only get good at chess if you love the game.
  • Chess demands total concentration and a love for the game.
  • I give 98 per cent of my mental energy to chess. Others give only two per cent.
  • Your body has to be in top condition. Your chess deteriorates as your body does. You can't separate body from mind.
  • I prepare myself well. I know what I can do before I go in. I'm always confident.
  • Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact.
  • People have been playing against me below their strength for fifteen years.
  • It's just you and your opponent at the board and you're trying to prove something.
  • Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind.
  • I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine.
  • You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances.
  • That's chess, you know. One day you give a lesson, the next day your opponent gives you a lesson.
    • (1992, after Spassky had beaten him in game 4 of their rematch).
  • I am the best player in the world and I am here to prove it.
  • You know, I can beat all those guys.
  • There's no one alive I can't beat.
  • Let's play. I'm willing to play anywhere.
  • I add status to any tournament I attend.
  • Genius. It's a word. What does it really mean? If I win I'm a genius. If I don't, I'm not.
  • If you don't win, it's not a great tragedy - the worst that happens is that you lose a game.
  • Don't even mention losing to me. I can't stand to think of it.
  • Chess is a matter of delicate judgment, knowing when to punch and how to duck.
  • I know people who have all the will in the world, but still can't play good chess.
  • I really love the dark of the night. It helps me to concentrate.
  • It's pretty tough because of all the tension and all the concentration, sitting there hour after hour. It's...exhausting.
  • Theoretically, I think the game is a definite draw.
  • I wanted to give them something to think about when they prepare for me in future tournaments. (on why he played 1.d4, 1.c4 & 1.Nf3 a few times)
  • It's just a matter of throwing in a few sacrifices, then checkmate! (on playing against the Sicilian Dragon)
  • For the first lesson, I want you to play over every column of Modern Chess Openings, including the footnotes. And for the next lesson, I want you to do it again.
    • Advice to his biographer, Frank Brady, who had asked for chess lessons
  • Concentrate on material gains. Whatever your opponent gives you take, unless you see a good reason not to.
  • My opponents make good moves too. Sometimes I don't take these things into consideration.
  • It's like taking a five hour final examination.
  • Different people feel differently about resigning.
  • It doesn't pay to be petty like they are.
  • I don't care! I don't have to show anybody my games just because they're a big shot!
  • The Russians have held my title for ten years and they're going to be in for it when I win the Championship. They're going to have to wait and play under my conditions.
  • Maybe I should publish the book. The world is coming to an end anyway! (on My 60 Memorable Games)
  • I don't need them to correct anything for me, even with the help of computers. Of course the book has mistakes, but I can correct them myself. They changed my things on purpose. (on changes made to the new edition of My 60 Memorable Games)
  • The old chess is too limited. Imagine playing cards, black jack for example, and every time the dealer has the same starting hand you have the same starting hand. What's the point?
  • I don't play the old chess. But obviously if I did, I would be the best.
  • I don't play the old chess any more. The old chess is dead, it's been played out.
  • I'm finished with the old chess, it's rotten to the core
  • I love chess, and I hate the Russians because they've almost ruined it.
  • ...People don't know how utterly corrupt it [chess] is, and has been for many years...Just like when you go to watch a wrestling match, right? Saturday night wrestling. They are very good wrestlers, but anybody with half a brain knows it's almost all prearranged.
  • You know, up until now they [the Jews] have more or less been satisfied to kind of attack my name, to exploit my name, to violate my rights, to violate my intellectual property rights, to violate my contracts; now, this is a new level, they're just stealing my belongings. Stuff worth millions, tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars, they just went and stole it.
  • The US government and American Jewry are virtually interchangeable.
  • There is no United States as people think of it. It's just a puppet in the Jew's hands. It's a plaything for the Jews.
  • The Jews don't want me to succeed in any of my projects. They want me to be a failure.
  • They want to utterly destroy my reputation for all time. Jews are vicious rats.
  • Because I beat the Jews in chess. I beat them badly too, I beat them very badly... Plus, on top of that I exposed them as cheating in chess! As outright crooks. Plus, I exposed the holocaust as never happened. Totally made up. The Jews are goddamn liars. There is not a shred of truth to this holocaust.
— On why he is being persecuted by the Jews
  • Morphy was really the world champion. That's also a Jewish conspiracy, because he was a Catholic and they tried to say he wasn't the world champion so they could promote Steinitz, who was a Jew, as the first world champion... There was a huge conspiracy against Paul Morphy... He has no stamp! Paul Morphy has no stamp. This Jewish bitch I Love Lucy. She got a stamp! And nobody compared to Paul Morphy. All kind of Jewish actors, comedians, doctors... but Paul Morphy has never gotten a stamp. Obviously the Jews have an insane hatred toward him.
— On the great 19th century American chess player Paul Morphy
  • Almost everyone who has been around me turned out to be a secret agent working for the Jews, working for the CIA... The Jews have planted so many of their Jew agents and CIA rats all around me. So many people... Girlfriends, lawyers, everybody almost, turned out to be working for the CIA and the Jews! Unbelievable but true.
  • My basic thesis is that the Jews are a criminal people, and the Jews completely control the United States, and the Jews are using the United States as a vehicle to take over the World.
— On being asked what he hoped to achieve by giving radio interviews
  • I'd like to see all Jews be lesbians and homos. That would solve the problem with the Jews, there'd be no more Jews, no?
  • They are jealous of me in every way! They're jealous of my talent, they're jealous of my looks, they're jealous of my potency, they're jealous of my chess! They're just jealous bastards. They are ugly, they are jealous...I was over in Israel, I went to a change room a few times. I saw their penises...they are pitiful, they are small, they are just...dry, you know, all of them circumsized. Just very sad. I understand they're jealous.
  • When leaving Japan for Iceland on March 23. 2005, Bobby Fischer was asked about his arrest in Japan. He responded: "This was not an arrest. This was a kidnapping. This was all cooked up by Bush and Koizumi. They are all war criminals. They should be hung."

"When you talk about Americans, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel of humanity. " Who the hell made this edit? Huh? Filthy liars. He never said such things. He said JEWS are subhuman, not Americans. Probably a Jew edit.

Relevance[edit]

Fischer was a great chess player who happened to be mentally ill and paranoid, against the Jews and America. Why does 99% of this page are worthless nonsense statements by a mad man about something that has nothing to do with his speciality and why do i have to scroll the whole page to maybe find a statement about chess? This is absolutely ridiculous. What can anybody learn from these quotes? Nothing. Fischer has said an enormous amount of very interesting stuff about chess, and a lot of paranoid garbage that can only prove that he was crazy. Great. We knew that already. Apparently a statement that is outrageously racist or shocking is interesting in itself even when it is pronounced by someone out of his mind. Who cares about chess! This article is an absolute disgrace.--212.183.128.131 15:13, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

  • I don't think there's any scholarly consensus that Fischer's anti-semitism arose from mental illness. Fischer, despite his genius, was an extremely prejudiced man, and while I agree that most of this article should be dedicated to chess, notorious quotes should also be included. --Tryst (talk) 15:21, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that some of the more notorious remarks and views Fischer developed should be included, but also will note that more quotations on Chess or other aspects of Fischer's thoughts than those provided by the editors who have thus far contributed to this page are very welcome. ~ Kalki·· 15:23, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, there is no "scholarly consensus", but it happened that Fischer was mad, and that he was a Jew himself. You don't need to be a scholar to get that his racist rants are completely irrational. But that's not even the point. The point is that Wikipedia page about Bobby Fischer starts with "Bobby Fischer was an american chess grandmaster" and not "Bobby Fischer was a notorious paranoid racist". One or two quotes about his political / racial opinions are fine, because let's say that it's part of who he was and what he became after he stopped playing, but 90% of a page dedicated to a chess player being about his outrageous and irrational claims from two radio interviews thirty years after he retired is just plain ridiculous. Now you have to think what you want wikiquote to be: an overview of a public figure by quote that bring something (because let's be clear you don't learn anything at all from those twelve zillion quotes except that he really was very crazy after his retirement) or a compilation of scandalous tabloid-like rants. If what makes a sentence "quotable" is that it is ridiculously racist or shocking rather than being informative, creative or enlightening, well, then wikiquote is really not an interesting project. Because see, I'm pretty sure there is more interesting in what Bobby Fischer said in his life than the "Jewnited States of America". Stuff about chess, competition, strategies, other players, FIDE, openings, mental strength, world champion condition, etc... I am not a regular contributor, I came here because I am into chess, but I have to say that I just found this page outrageous.--90.40.11.170 18:27, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
If you are offended at the amounts or proportion of lamentable invective in the quotes which others have added, it would be more conducive to correcting that imbalance by adding more material on Chess or less offensive remarks. Though they certainly do make some indelible but dubious contributions, the most zealous advocates of ethnic, religious, political or racial bigotries of various sorts, like deliberate vandals, usually do not long get much traction amidst the Wikimedia projects — they usually attempt to befoul things to the extent they can, often sincerely believing themselves correct in spreading seeds of various forms of intolerance and resentments and then leave — as they tend to find few converts or allies when various views of many sorts are available to confound and refute many of their simplistic assertions. Nervously timid paranoid fantasists and vicious bullies of more subtle and sly and well-camouflaged varieties often have a bit more success for a time — for they are often quite skilled at manipulating and abusing human customs and rules in ways detrimental to general liberty and respect for all humanity and the most subtle and sublime forms of philosophical thought, but I am confident that even their often pervasive and pernicious influence can and shall gradually or rapidly diminish once certain levels of awareness and appreciation of some simple facts become even slightly more common than they presently are. Until such a time, there are often many imbalances and injustices that must be borne by various people, as many of more shallow perceptions often believe the answer dwells in developing more rules or stronger and more stringently adhered to and restrictive rules than those already misused with skill by many — which rule mongers and rule manipulators generally delight in agreeing with — as they often provide even more subtle and powerful tools for corrupting the integrity of individuals and societies they resent or belittle with irrelevancies, and ignoring things of vital importance. No rules devisable by mortal minds can substitute for active and conscientious involvement in many things with an openness to many perspectives — and that is what many of the very worst of the lazy arrogant rule- mongers generally seek to suppress, drive away and find ways to confound and punish, whenever they can find allies and pretexts by which to operate in comfortable dulness or even with malice aforethought. I might attend to a long needed cleanup of this article sometime in the next month or so, if I have the time — but like most people here, I have not examined it closely in some time, have MANY other things to do, and would not be resentful if anyone got around to organizing this better before me. ~ Kalki·· 20:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC) + tweaks

Removed per WP:UNDUE[edit]

Removed much of the section on Bobby Fischer's feelings about the Jews. It is in violation of wp:UNDUE. He was a chess player NOT a famous Nazi. It is giving wp:UNDUE weight to his anti-semetic sentiments. 69.183.158.52 18:33, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Please check User talk:Jimbo Wales own words. He seems to agree it is wp:UNDUE. Mugginsx (talk) 18:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

If you are so certain of your opinions why just create User:Tarc for this purpose only? Mugginsx (talk) 18:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

That's a dumb comment to make, first of all. Just because I am primarily of enwiki doesn't mean I do not have standing here to make edits. Bobby Fischer made very numerous and very infamous antisemitic rants, on camera, in front of a very wide audience. These rants specifically have been the focus of in-depth and reliable source coverage in the media. I'm sure we're all sorry that a once-famous chess player's gameplay has been overshadowed by their late-in-life antics, but we're a) not gong to whitewash history and b) not going to self-censor ourselves just because there's mean and dirty words/rhetoric in the quotes themselves. If you find what Fischer said to be offensive, that's kinda too bad. Tarc (talk) 18:55, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
And FYI, Wales just hatted that convo with a summary of "I do think Wikiquote should of course include quotes from Bobby Fischer which demonstrate his racism against Jewish people. I also think that it is valid to consider, within the context of broader Wikiquote policies, questions about WP:UNDUE weight of including a lot of them, when we include, it is claimed, fewer from him on the subject of Chess. But that's a wikiquote issue". Tarc (talk) 18:58, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
You should read better. This is what he said AFTER he said that anti-semetic quotes are allowed on Wikipedia:
He states: I also think that it is valid to consider, within the context of broader Wikiquote policies, questions about WP:UNDUE weight of including a lot of them, when we include, it is claimed, fewer from him on the subject of Chess. But that's a wikiquote issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:43, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Now do you get it? What he is saying is that although the quotes are of course admissable on Wiki, the amount of quotes ARE MORE THAN HIS OPINIONS ON CHESS. THAT IS WHAT UNDUE SAYS. If the article was about a famous Nazi, his opinions would not be UNDUE weight, but as a CHESS PLAYER, you are giving his opinions on Jews MORE WEIGHT than his opinions on CHESS. Almost Twice as many as a matter of fact. This should be obvious and it is strange to me that it is not obvious to you. Mugginsx (talk) 19:27, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you use some more CAPS, I can't quite HEAR YOU. The issue is one to discuss on this project, not to pretend that one has some sort of rubber stamp form en.wikipedia that enables you to come here and strip sourced content from an article. I'm sorry, but Bobby Fischer's chess accomplishments in his youth are simply less notable than his eccentric and bizarre outbursts and antics in later life, many of which included antisemitism. Jeremy Schaap's won an Emmy for an expose on an attempted interview with Fischer in 2005, it was quite ugly. Tarc (talk) 19:46, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I've removed a few of the quotes to balance the article (as Jimbo obviously wishes), but I agree with Tarc that we should give significant weight to his anti-semitism, which, although it does not overshadow his chess, received a lot of media attention during his lifetime. --Tryst (talk) 19:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I see you have 16 in the JEWS section and 16 in the CHESS section AND you have an EXTRA anti-semitic remark in the U.S. section now. This is still wp:UNDUE in my view and still very strange that we, as experienced Wikipedia editors, should have to be in disagreement over this. To me, and many other people (who lived in the time) he was nothing more than a champion chess player. You seem to think his anti-semitic remarks are EQUAL to his chess career. What next? Errol Flynn - Wasn't he supposed to be pro-Nazi? Are we going to go through all of the idiot actors and celebrities who before or after the war thought to be pro-Nazi was fashionable. I think if you will read your history on this general subject you will find this is UNDUE. I have searched and do not find a great many Headline Newspapers that have a story on Fischer anti-semitic's views.
One more thing - What makes it any different if I revert content from this article or any other article if it is covered by a valid Wiki Guideline violation? See: Wikiquote:About. Mugginsx (talk) 20:36, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The best solution is for more chess quotes to be added. I'll work on it. --Tryst (talk) 06:42, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Muggins, there is no guideline violation here, first of all. It is not undue to give weight to a very well-known and infamous chapter of this man's life. I'm sorry you weren't able to find anything in "the headline newspapers", whatever that means, but 5 seconds of searching over here nets a feature story in The Atlantic, for starters. To Tryst...trimming is fine if warranted, I was just against wholesale, white-washy deletion. If there are notable chess-related quotes, I'm fine with those going in as well, but let's be careful about including just for the sake if inclusion or out of a "we must balance the negative" mindset. Uninteresting or tangential comments he made about chess won't make a better article. Tarc (talk) 12:25, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. The thing about Fischer's antisemitic rants is that, while they're notable, he's essentially repeating the same drivel time and time again, so there's no need to have more than a representative sample. It would be inappropriate to white-wash them, of course. The page should give a balanced picture of Fischer, and if that end product looks unbalanced to someone unfamiliar with Fischer's views on matters unrelated to chess, so be it. --Tryst (talk) 13:48, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The article is much more balanced now. I respectfully disagree that it was balanced before. If the title were: Bobby Fischer's Anti-Semitism comments, chess and other things I would agree. However, everyone has acted in good faith and as far as I am concerned the subject is closed and the UNDUE problem has been resolved. Oops, someone slipped two anti-semitic remarks in the "Other Players" section. Removed one, left one. Probably unintentional.Mugginsx (talk) 14:18, 6 June 2012 (UTC)