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About Grazza

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  1. Here's a HD video clip featuring five polar bears. One is a young cub, while two are adolescents. Two are mothers, keeping a watchful eye. Don't worry - they don't fight, as there was a whale carcass nearby, so there was plenty of food for all of them. Taken in Svalbard on 18th June 2010.

    http://www.4shared.com/file/GQ4_oxIQ/5pbears.html (AVCHD format - about 102 MB; a little over a minute)

    You'll need something like VLC to watch the video - you can get it here.

    A couple of stills:

    While I'm at it, the following picture was taken at Bobby Fischer's grave, in Iceland, on 13th June 2010. A local cat decided it wanted to be in on the act. :p This was about a week before a partial exhumation was performed, as widely reported in the news.

    1. Show previous comments  10 more
    2. Grazza


      He was a very complex character with a most unusual life. I think you'd need to have had a similar childhood (or rather lack of one) to understand how the many influences could have warped him into the person he became. The intense media interest in a kid who could "beat the Commies at their own game" in the 1950s and 1960s was phenomenal. Few non-specialist journalists have any comprehension of chess or its players, and they tended to portray him as some sort of weirdo. Once Fischer had experienced this a few times, he pretty much regarded journalists as scum and treated them accordingly. Not too smart from a PR viewpoint, but it's the sort of reaction you might expect from a kid.

      Chess was all that mattered to Fischer. To get any respect from him at all, you needed to love chess.

      Those who knew him in his younger days found him pretty normal. His "odd" behaviour was reserved for non-players (such as journalists) who had little chess background and anyone he felt was trying to exploit his genius for their own gain. Unfortunately, that included anyone who was seeking to arrange assistance for him, or events for him to compete in. Many of those people were Jewish (a lot of the wealthy New Yorkers with an interest in chess in those days were Jewish), and this lay the foundation for his later anti-Semitism.

      I don't think he was insane or autistic (even some mild form). These might have been the views expressed by those who encountered him briefly, but not by those who knew him. He was inflexible and principled to the point of being harmful to his own interests. He applied his own view of things completely logically and consistently to everything. Negotiating with Fischer was simple: you gave him everything he wanted, or you abandoned the whole thing.

      Personally, I have to be pretty grateful to Fischer. The interest in chess that he generated made the game popular enough in the West that it was possible for far more chess players to make a living from the game, and a much greater range of chess books to be commercially viable. Before Fischer, the idea of launching a "chess publishing company" would have been non-sensical. So I'd have had to get a normal job of some sort. Ugh.

    3. Danarchy


      So basically, he was just a neckbeard of the chess variety. :P

      Mancubus II said:

      I just saw "Bobby Fischer Against the World", a documentary that premiered on HBO last night. I knew little of this person, quite an amazing story. I actually thought of you grazza and wanted to randomly get your thoughts on him.

      I once watched "Searching for Bobby Fischer". It was boring as fuck and had nothing to do with him (it was about some kid who played chess).

    4. Grazza


      Yes, just a cynical use of Fischer's name to sell some dad's otherwise unsaleable story about his moderately talented kid.

      Hey, my schoolmate was British Junior Champion once. Maybe I should write a film script about him. He's an actuary now, and doing very nicely for himself. Sounds exciting, huh? I just need to decide whether to use the name Morphy or Carlsen in the title.