Public admiration bugged Fischer
Saturday, September 11, 2010 02:58 AM
The Columbus Dispatch

September 1972 was a time of chess miracles – orso it seemed.

Bobby Fischer had returned to his native New York to be honored after beating Boris Spassky to win the world championship. He received the symbolic key to the city.

He expressed skepticism. Why did he need it? He could go anywhere he wished without it.

Was he serious, or was this humor? One never knew with Robert James Fischer.

He arrived at Mayor John Lindsay’s reception exuding calm, smiling and looking resplendent in a superbly tailored suit.

By the end of the first hour, however, he was noticeably discomfited. He fidgeted nervously, with perspiration pouring down his face.

It was disturbing to watch the transformation.

He had always been uncomfortable in such situations. His mother had explained, during the early stages of his precocious celebrity, that he intensely disliked being the focus of attention.

During his return to New York, he seemed disturbed and distrustful of many of the approaches being made toward him.

“The creeps are begin- ning to gather,” he later told media types.

After a short stay in New York, he fled to California, where he remained for 20 years in retreat from the world of chess.

For Fischer, the key he had received from Mayor Lindsay became symbolic of doors that were to be closed with uncanny consistency.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

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