In his account of the 1992 rematch between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, Yasser Seirawan offered his opinion – after spending hours with Fischer – that 60 percent of what he had read about him was wrong.
Indeed, despite his often grievous negatives, there was another Fischer whom many of us experienced and admired.
He could be kind and appreciative of others in many contexts.
In a 1969 column that he wrote for Boys’ Life magazine, Fischer praised U.S. junior champion Ken Rogoff and added:
“It should encourage each of you who read this column to know that by applying yourself, as Ken did, you can become a fine player in a relatively short time.”
When the father of American grandmaster Larry Evans died in 1978, Fischer offered the following condolences:
“I was very sorry when I heard he died. His personality was a unique combination of brains, guts, dedication, perseverance, generosity, humor, steadfastness, heart, shrewdness, honesty and loyalty.
“And to offset all these fine traits, he was incredibly self-effacing.”
Such comments by Fischer suggest a much different person from the one painted by certain journalists, who have characterized him as an egomaniacal loner, an illiterate idiot savant and worse.