I’ve had a slight interest in chess over the years and came across a documentary on Bobby Fischer through HBO. I was aware that Bobby Fischer was a big name in chess and never knew the story behind him. What I learned was that a brilliant mind sees ups and downs unlike you and me.
At 6 years of age, Bobby started learning chess. At age 14 he had already won 8 US championships. In 1972, age 29, he captured the World Chess Championship by defeating Boris Spassky in a 24 game match. In 1975 he refused to defend his title and then fell into obscurity the rest of his life. He became a recluse, an anti-American, and an anti-Semite. His chess playing days had ended and his mind started focusing on other topics.
[dropcap background=”yes” color=”#333333″]All I want to do, ever, is play chess.[/dropcap]
Bobby Fischer thought outside of the box. He wasn’t defined by anyone or thing other than himself. He became a master at chess because he spent day after day thinking about it an understanding it. It was his obsession. Regular people don’t have this ability to think about an idea year after year without getting tired of it. The reason Fischer was so successful was also the reason he went crazy. What you see in his later years is that instead of focusing his mental aptitude on chess, it started delving into paranoia and world corruption. This video below is Fischer in his later years. You see a man who you certainly wouldn’t be thought of as the greatest chess player of all time.
People who are the best at something are crazy. They have a unique attribute that makes them the best. Most likely, you and I don’t have this attribute. We live inside the box and are happier to do so. The best are driven by being the best and it makes them think differently. These types of people are too smart for their own good a lot of the times. They are the <.1% of the population who don’t tick like normal people but it’s these people who change the world we live in. They aren’t told how to think. It’s finding that mix of thinking outside the box but still having a balance of normalcy. Bobby Fischer couldn’t manage.