One of the things which had an iron grip in our house believe it or not, among eight brothers growing up in a Paisley housing estate was chess, we all played, some of my brothers were quite good and won school tournaments, I was rotten at it, no patience, that was the only thing I had in common with Bobby Fischer, no patience.
Fischer has now died and I am thinking back to his famous days when he turned the world of chess upside down, he was one of the few Americans that we liked because we reckoned he was so 'out of it' that he was really a citizen of the world and Mars.
Fischer turned the stern world of chess into show biz without knowing he was doing it, he beat Karpov and then went AWOL, he came back years later for money and played and beat Spassky, an incredible achievement.
A story surfaced yesterday in the Guardian which was consistent with Bobby's bizarre life, back in 1977 there was a famous strike in London now referred to simply as 'Grunwick' the teller of the story was a journalist covering the picket lines.
Thousands of police ensured that bus loads of 'scabs' got through every day except, one day a woman picket through herself in front of one of these buses, the driver stopped and they didn't get through.
This act of trade union heroism was carried out by a certain 'Regina Fischer' yup ! Bobby's mother, don't ask how this came about, I haven't a clue but I would love to know more.
The great 'might have been' IMO would have been Fischer V Karpov, another off the wall genius and great chess champion who won and lost against a multi million pound computer, no other player was game enough to try this. alas we were denied that contest. Just as we will never see great football teams from the past compete with the present, or tennis players do the same.
I will end this nostalgia on controversy (unlike me I know) I reckon the present incumbent Federer, could have beaten any former champ using a stick.
I'm glad that Bobby's torture is over and he is now resting.