this news is a couple of days old, but i have been struggling with what to say about it. bobby fischer was undoubtedly one of the greatest chess players ever. he also turned into an unbelieveably paranoid recluse, appearing in public only to make horrific comments. he was extremely antisemitic, despite the fact that his mother was a jew, and maybe also his birth father. i wouldn't bother to comment at all, except that indirectly bobby fischer was an important person in my life.
when i was in junior school, i was mad about chess. our form teacher started a chess club, and taught us how to play. in those days, girls were not usually encouraged to play chess, but we were. i made it onto the school chess team, and was the only girl. we won the west london schools under-11 league - the only medal i have so far received! meanwhile, my father and i would play chess together. one of my fondest memories is from the time of the fischer-spassky world championship. the moves were published in the newspaper, and my father and i would play them out on the chess board in the front room, and try to understand what was happening.
sadly, in 1974 my new secondary school - all girls - had no chess players, and my sister refused to play me even if i gave up both rooks and the queen before we began. thus i fell out of practice ... and my father started taking me to see qpr!