An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall – Book Review

I got an electronic copy of the Endgame from the library, and have been reading it on my Android Tablet. The book is very detailed on a lot of fragments of Fischer’s biography that I had been unaware of. In particular I was surprised to see Tal as being one who teased Fischer, rather than being his friend.
The book is written to be a accessible to a non-chess player, but there are still a lot of insights into the chess playing environment. It was also interesting to see Petrosian described as a “boring” player. Either the author never saw any of Petrosian’s best games, or he just really wants to dumb things down for non-chessplayers. To me that appears to be a result of bias against Soviet players, but I also see how the book busts a few myths around Fischer that existed in Soviet chess literature – that Fischer was uneducated. Some sources would make things appear as if he was of below average intelligence, which is hard to understand given that he learned many foreign languages and was reading a lot of books on his own as a child.
Overall – if you are interested in what it takes for a genius to grow in a rather difficult environment – a very interesting read.

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