(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ask anyone to name a famous chess player, and chances are the response will be Bobby Fischer. The greatest player of his era and possibly of all time, Fischer (1943-2008) was the perfect example of people's perception of a chess genius: brilliant, monomaniacal, and more than a little crazy. At his zenith, he not merely defeated but destroyed all opponents until he captured the world championship in 1972 from the Soviet Union's chess dominance and became, for the moment, a great American hero. Then, when the World Chess Federation refused to accede to his demands on match conditions, he stopped playing and went underground. Although an American of Jewish ancestry, he emerged a few years later as a full-blown, raving anti-Semitic, anti-American psychotic. Nevertheless, he left a legacy of wonderful games and, for professional chess players, vastly increased prize money. VERDICT This outstanding documentary realistically and sympathetically recounts Fischer's life. While it would be too much to describe Fischer as a truly "tragic figure," his rise and ensuing catastrophic decline are the stuff of legend; highly recommended.-Harold D. Shane, Mathematics Emeritus, Baruch Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.