(19 February 1999)

Listening to Bobby Fischer's third Bombo Radyo interview, I suddenly got so sick of the whole thing that I removed the Fischer-files (a transcript of his first interview and his pamphlet 'I was tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse!') from my site.
    The strange thing is that it wasn't Fischer himself who caused this. About him, I can only feel sad. I don't even think of him as an anti-semite; with his constant chewing on the word 'Jews' ('Jew-controlled Internet-sites, written by dirty Jews with their hands on their pricks') he is more like a Tourette case. I still think of him as an essentially good person. As a Jew, I would still feel safe hiding with him during a holocaust. The only danger would be that he wouldn't believe the holocaust was going on.
    I don't think his friends have helped him by exposing him to the world for what he has become. A thousand Bombo Radyo interviews will not get Bobby Fischer his Mexican comics back. No sarcasm intended; in interview #2, Fischer told to what lengths he had to go, during years, to get a complete series of the first hundred of one of these comics. I'm close to a comics collector, and I know what it means - and what it's probably worth. Just to lose a complete set like that (and Fischer lost so much more), against a debt of 480 dollars is terrible, even if of course it wouldn't have happened had he been a normally contactable person. Didn't he brag, at some point, that for the last so many years, he hadn't paid taxes?
    What really happened we'll probably never know until this Bob Ellsworth ('a dirty secret Jew, worthy of death') speaks up. In the second interview, GM Eugene Torre, one of the interviewers, gave Ellsworth's address, loudly and clearly, Fischer adding: 'Thanks for reading the son of a bitch's address. Some Philippino who loves me should say hello to that motherfucker.'
    Never at a loss to exploit somebody else's crimes, I ran down Ellsworths telephone number, and called him. I was luckier than one r.g.c.m. poster who also did that, and who continually got the answering machine. I got that too, but on my fourth or fifth attempt, I got him. I was a chess writer from Holland, was he Bob Ellsworth? He was. Then I would very much like to hear his side of the Fischer auction story. It was inconvenient for him to talk about it right then, but he'd call me back. To my surprise, he even wrote down my telephone number; he read it back to me. But he didn't call.
    I understand that an attack from somebody like the '99 Fischer is not a reason to defend yourself. Still, the chess world would like to know the exact events leading to the auction and Fischer's misery and anger. Maybe someone else can get Ellsworth to talk.
    Perhaps Petra Dautov. I wonder if Bob Ellsworth could be the Bob in her book about her acquaintance with Fischer during the late eighties. ('Bobby Fischer - wie er wirklich ist - Ein Jahr mit dem Schachgenie.') This Bob, an old friend of Fischer's from his 'Church of God' days, acted as a sometime driver for him, and seemed immune to, and disapproving of, Fischer's political and racial views. Dautov says she kept in contact with him ever since.

Torre's reading of Ellsworth's address (and radio announcer Mercado, instead of immediately gagging him, adding the ZIP-code) was one thing, but when Torre, in interview #3, read some email that had come in, that did it for me. There were three or four, and they all turned out to be vehemently in favor of Fischer. This didn't surprise Fischer; he knew he has a lot of friends and fans out there. The reading of one mail particularly disgusted me. It was from somebody I had also once received a mail from, in which he said something about my site, and, just like that, added a few Jew-hating lines. Somewhere else on the Internet, this same person threatened to kill the whole Polgar family personally. I wonder what his mail to Fischer, which Torre was reading from, was like. It cannot have been too kosher.
    On the Filippino chess site, Torre wrote he believes in a conspiracy against Fischer. But Torre is a sane person. If he wants to defend his friend, I can respect that, the way I can respect a parent's rationalizations for the deeds of a loved but impossible child. But even a parent can go too far.

As to Fischer: since this thing started, 'My 60 Memorable Games' is my bedside book again. Oh, the happy days of his crystal-clear chess...

© Tim Krabbé, 1999

Postscript 2 April:
Later, the Philippine chess site also added a photograph of Ellsworth.
    And now, end of March, there is a fourth interview. National Philippine radio, two hours, live. Poor, poor Bobby. John Nunn must be a Jew because his brother's name is David. ('With a name like Nunn, he must be Catholic, right?' Burt Hochberg retorted immediately.) I'm getting angrier and angrier at Torre. What is he doing? Is he an anti-semite? Running a geek show?

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