Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fischer's Last Note

Today's issue of the Good Weekend, a magazine insert that comes with the weekend edition of the Sydney Morning Herald, has a short article on Bobby Fischer. Author John Carlin mainly writes about the ex-World Champion's last days in Iceland and especially about the very few people with whom Fischer had regular contact. One of those people is psychiatrist Magnus Skulason.

Just before Fischer died, Skulason spent an entire night by his bedside. "Once, towards dawn, he woke up and said his feet ached and asked if I could massage them. I tried my best, and it was then he said his last words to me and, as far as I know, to anybody. Responding to my hands on his feet he said, 'Nothing is as healing as the human touch.'"

Skulason, who said he believe the human touch was something Fischer had craved all his life, told me he was surprised at how much he missed Fischer now he was gone. The psychiatrist was at pains to note that, for all his tyrannical tendencies, the hermitic genius could sometimes exude great warmth. All those I spoke to in Iceland who had known him said the same thing.

Of interest to Fischer aficionados is that their man had apparently written a final note which is to be found at Fischer's favourite bookshop, Bokin. It was a request for a comic book and read simply, "They'll Do it Every Time! by Jimmy Hatlo (cartoons) 40s or 50s" and signed, "Bobby F".

Unfortunately, the GW article doesn't seem to be available online. But for more on Skulason, Fischer and the Bokin - read this article again, in The Smart Set, which I'd posted last January.

See also Fischer - Andersson, Siegen Exhibition, 1970.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear closet

funny article as a tribute

something to do with white kings :-) and white queens