More than anybody else Fischer seemed to know what he represented in relation to the spirit of the time. No one paid attention to chess before Fischer. When Spassky won the World Championship title in 1969, he received US$1400 as his prize money. Before his match with Spassky, Fischer let it be known that he would not play unless the purse was at least US$50,000. There was tolerant laughter. Everybody thought Fischer was out of his mind. US$50,000 for a chess match? Who on earth would be willing to put up that sum?