There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 14 Feb 2023 11:00
Mia Wong is joined by Robert Evans to talk about the most famous chess player the US has ever produced.
(Two Part Series)
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Paper Ghosts is a true crime podcast investigating the mysterious disappearance and brutal unsolved murder of Tammy's Wiki. They just kept telling us from the beginning, she'll be back, she'll be back. We had no clue where she was, they didn't know where to begin to look. Tammy's story shocked the nation. The deeper I searched, the more troubling things I found. The best lead, the best evidence, the best witness was blown off. Listen to Paper Ghosts on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favorite shows. In 2018, it was reported there was a dramatic rise in the number of cases of demonic possession. For many of the most disturbing cases, Father Carlos Martens was often summoned. I have seen things, very evil things. I order you to go in the name of Christ. I'm not leaving. We've been together too long. Listen to the exorcist files on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Alphabet Boys is a new podcast series that goes inside undercover investigations. In the first season, we're diving into an FBI investigation of the 2020 protest. It involves a cigar smoking mystery man who drives a silver hers. And inside his hers we like a lot of guns. But are federal agents catching bad guys or creating them? He was just waiting for me to set the date, the time, and then for sure he was trying to get it to happen. Listen to Alphabet Boys on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Well, it's behind the bastards. That's right. It certainly is. It certainly is. You can't argue about that. That is a fact that is as undeniable as it is undeniable that someone in the subreddit will decide to argue with us about that point because that is what they like to do. I'm Robert Evans, host of Behind the Bastards, where just a couple of weeks ago I made a comment that I will not be calling mummies mummified persons because I like mummies. And somebody took a fence at that on behalf of the mummies. And I'm just going to tell you right now, Abbot and Castello versus the mummified person? Terrible. Terrible name for a movie. So we're not going back. Never. Anyway, Mia, welcome to the program. Thanks. I'm here. I'm going to make a non-legally actionable statement, which is that if I remember correctly, the audience wants to stole their entire, everything that's there is stolen. So for sure. Legally actionable. This is just what I remember off top of my head. Yeah. Yeah. It's one of those things. People were like, well, you know, it's important to acknowledge the humanity of these mummies because a lot of them were stolen. And I was like, no, no, no. It's important to give them back because a lot of them were stolen. We can still call them mummies. The problem is not that people were calling the mummies. It's that they stole dead people. And then ate them. Yeah. Which is good. The issue is not that we use to the term mummy. Just let it be everybody. Anyway, I'm very mummy-pilled. I'm very glad you're mummy-pilled, but thank you, Sophie. We introduce our guest, Mia Wong. Mia? Mia Wong. How are you doing today on the podcast that it is right now? Normally on another podcast, but today you're on this one. Yeah, I have hijacked this podcast in order to chess. Which is... Oh, god. Oh, god. We're talking about chess again. Yes, which I really, I'm realizing. If it wasn't a hack in a fraud, I would have actually asked you before we did this. If you actually play chess at all. Well, again, there's no works in chess. So no, of course not. That's true. No, when I was a child, I played a few games of chess. And then I was introduced to the true game of skill, Warhammer 40,000 Third Edition. And so that's the only strategy game I ever needed. You know, considering the minds of every single person in this story who plays chess, I think this is actually a wise decision. It does something to your brain. That's what I've learned after many, many hours of reading about chess players. Something fundamentally breaks in your brain when you play chess for this long. That does not surprise me. It seems like the kind of thing that people get extremely into and then make it the entire core of their identity. Much like Warhammer 40,000, but again, without orcs. Yes, but similar numbers of fascists, as we're going to find. Yes, yes. That also does not surprise me to hear. Oh god. Okay, so speaking of Nazis and fascists, one of the elements of this story that is kind of important is getting some kind of understanding of how good these people are at chess. Because none of the story makes any sense unless you know, the people doing this are genuinely previously good. So I'm going to start this with a brief tangent about a man named Miguel Nadsdorf. So Miguel Nadsdorf is not a bastard. He is very cool and his life story is very sad. He was born to a Jewish family in Poland in 1910, which is... Oh, that's not going to go well. So yeah, you tell this to Miguel. That's... Oh boy. One of the bottom times to be born to a Jewish family in Poland in 1910. That's right because you're going to be old enough to be fully aware of how bad things are going. Yep. So no magical realism for you. Oh god. Yeah, no. This story is going to get very bleak very quickly. Yeah. So Nadsdorf, as a kid, it's very clearly he's very, very good at chess. He very rapidly becomes a grandmaster, which is the highest official rating in chess. So there's an organization called Fidey or the International Chess Federation. And they basically run chess after a certain period of time. Okay, you could do like 17 episodes just about Fidey politics. It's nonsense. I don't understand how this chess organization has so much political drama, but it does. But so in 1950, Fidey creates the rank of International Grandmaster. And they choose 27 people to be the first grandmasters. Nadsdorf is one of them. Um, these days he's famous. Yeah, he's a mighty player. I mean, you would have to have a pretty good strategic mind to make it out of Poland. So you got to be a thinker. So he gets out of Poland, but he's out of Poland when everything goes to shit because he's playing a tournament in Argentina. Oh, oh boy. Wow, that's, I don't, there's like, there's a comment to make there, given the history of Argentina and the people who say Poland to be a problem. But I don't know what it is right now. So we should probably just move on. Yeah, I mean, the other thing I will say about is that there are a lot of Jews who fled to Argentina before this was happening. So do you do not automatically assume that someone with the European less name in Argentina isn't messy because there's actually a good chance that they're like someone who is fleeing the Nazis. Well, that's awkward. But it makes sense. Yeah. So, Nat Nashdorf today, I think is probably most famous is like there's an opening in chess called the Nage Dwarf, or technically speaking, that's full name is the Sicilian defense, the Nage Dwarf variation. So I got, okay, we're going to do a little bit of, we're going to do like one thing of chess terminology, which is that chess is this thing called openings. Okay. And they're like standard sets of moves that people play at the beginning of the game. Yeah. And, and you know, if you have a, if you have an opening named after you, it is because you were an important player in the history of chess. Okay. And, and that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And as we're opening like, I, I, I, this might not be true, but I'm pretty sure it's like the most, it's like the most studied opening in the history of chess. Yeah, I mean, my name store back when I played Warhammer 40,000, there was a move that everybody called a Robert. And it was when somebody did something so stupid with their army that it led to a victory because the other person simply didn't conceive of somebody doing something that dumb. Look, I, I, I, I, I once beat an 1800 in tournament and like an 1800 is like a, like a pretty seriously good chess player. I was like a not very good chess player, but I once beat him because I did that. I played so badly that he stopped paying attention. He put his queen down and I took it. There's nothing more dangerous than an idiot with a trick up his sleeve. Yep. It's, it's, it's the most dangerous thing in the world. Or at least in war gaming. Anyway. Yeah. Okay. So I'm going to talk about Warhammer a lot during this. Yeah. Yes. Well, so okay. So you're ready. The conclusion that I had about Bobby Fisher's there, there's two ways to write up Bobby Fisher, right? Bobby Fisher is the eventually won't going to be the subject of this show. There's one way where you talk about chess a lot. And then there's another way where you talk about genocide a lot. And everyone, everyone has already done the one where you talk about chess a lot. So I'm going to do the one where you talk about genocide a lot instead of that. Sure. So speaking of genocide. Okay. So how, how good is Nesdorf at the game of chess? Here's the Guardian talking about how many games Nesdorf could play at one time while blindfolded for decades. Miguel Nesdorf's 45 games at Sao Paulo in 1947. So does the record. Nesdorf had right. Yeah. 45. Nesdorf had stayed in Buenos Aires when the war broke out during the 1939 Olympiad. And it, and took up blindfold displays in the hopes that the news if his achievements would reach his relatives in Poland to actually perish in concentration camps. Yeah. Oh boy. That's a lot. There's a lot there. Yeah. Playing 45, the desperation that is behind playing 45 games of chess at once. So your relative's in the holocaust will know that you achieved something. Yeah. It's both deeply impressive and like heartbreaking and a really specific way that I don't think I've encountered before. Yeah. But I get it. It's, I don't know. This is one of the things. The political backdrop of chess is just really bleak. Like one of the things going on in this period is Nesdorf keeps trying to play this guy named Alakien who was the world champion and Alakien is a Nazi. And he like just is not able to play Alakien because bullshit just keeps happening. But yeah, chess is a game that very, very quickly gets infolded in this kind of stuff. Yeah. Um, that said, we can, we can, we can look back at what sort of Nesdorf like did hear it or to like have a chance to see his family again. And, you know, okay, so what was he actually doing? The answer is he is playing 45 people at the same time in his mind. Yeah. Yeah, purely just kind of keeping track of the movements in his head. Like, yeah. You know, I can't find his actual win rate like for these. But you know, most of the time when people do time like this, they win almost all of these games. And yeah, I mean, this is, yeah. Yeah. And like this is the kind of person that is like at like Bobby Fisher is better than Nesdorf. And this is the kind of thing Nesdorf can do. So this is the level of chess that everyone in this story can do, right? Is they can do things like playing 45 games of chess in their mind at the same time. Yep. I mean, and yeah, okay. Yeah. And this is sort of the justification for everything that we're going to see in this story, right? Like chess is a really good at chess. Yeah. This is a justification for like, literally people, people like, like physically turning their backs on like actual genocides going on. Is that mean people don't need chess as an excuse to do that? Yeah, no, but I would absolutely agree with you if you used to say the normal right reaction to a genocide is to turn your back on it. Yeah. But you know, okay, they're going to excuse a just incredible mouse. So specifically because one man was really, really good at chess and he was also from the United States. And that, that man is Bobby Fisher. Oh, boy, now most of my knowledge of Bobby Fisher comes from a hilltop hood song called Cosby Sweater. So I know very little about him other than that he was good at chess. Yeah, that's okay. So there are two important things about Bobby Fisher. One of these that he's very good at chess. The second one is that he's a Nazi. Oh, god. We will be establishing both of these over the course of this episode. Okay. Okay. Okay. So that's Nazi. All right. Well, there's our title. So that's good. So if he marked that, marked that off the to-do list. Chess Nazi Bobby Fisher, solid title. That'll keep everybody happy. Yeah. The words Bobby Fisher, chess Nazis, this is the closest I've ever come to divine inspiration. They just appeared in my head one day and I was like, I need to do this episode now. No, that's good. So I mean, why do we, I feel like if a Nazi is good at chess, that's an easy case for just push that, push that fellow in a river, put some heavy rocks in their pockets, right in a river. We don't need, we don't, we don't need a Nazi to be good at strategy and just kind of hanging around society. That's not going to help anybody. You would think, but it's chess and the thing that happens when a Nazi's good at chess, as everyone like gives them a bunch of money. Well, I don't like that either, although, yep. Okay. I don't like that either, but I guess it does show that chess isn't really good for anything. Not really. No. So, okay. But Bobby Fisher was not born rich. He's born on March 9, 1943 at the micro-reese hospital in Chicago. And I need to put in a make an important note at the beginning here. We do not claim this man fuck this guy. This guy's not a Chicago one. He leaves very quickly. I mean, you can tell it's bad because his hospital was named after the current sheriff of Multnomah County in Portland, Mike Reese, who sucks. Anyway. Amazingly, that is not the only person in this story who is going to have the same name as a guy from Portland who sucks. Oh, wow. That's okay. I'm excited for this. Yeah. We have a lot of guys to that. So the odds are always pretty good. So, all right. Regina Fisher is, who's Bobby Fisher's mother is, she is a wild character. She is a long time, very committed communist. She does, I mean, she's doing activism for so long. The worst night's he's started as communist. That's yeah, OK. Yeah. Well, I mean, Fisher's never really a communist. But his mom is like, she's so dedicated to like this. She's a communist. Yeah. Well, the other complicated part of the story is at least his mom, and there's questions over who Bobby Fisher's dad is. I don't think of that interesting. But at least half of his family is Jewish. And Bobby Fisher still turns out like this. His mom, like, so the reason she's in the US is that she had been like making a living like in the Soviet Union. And then anti-Semitism got so bad at her style and that she had to flee. And so, you know, she's not in the US. And when she gets birthed to Bobby, she's like completely broke. She is a homeless single mother. And so after about a week, the kicker out of the hospital, and they're like, OK, well, where do we send this person? And she gets sent to this hospice for single mothers. Great country. I bet this was a nice place. Well, funded had a lot of respect for single mothers. OK, here's the thing. Here's the thing. If she had been allowed to stay there, it probably would have been kind of OK. The problem is that the way the hospice worked was that I, it's only supposed to take care of parents and newborns. So Regina has another daughter or has a daughter who's like very young. OK. And she tries to bring the daughter to this hospice thing. And they are immediately like you need to leave. And she's like, no, I have literally a weak old baby and another child and I have no home. So she tries to stay there and they call the cops. Cool. And not only this isn't just like a like they, you know, the CPD arrests her. And this isn't even just like an arrest. They're like, whatever. They prosecute her for this. Jesus Christ. Yeah. And I love the idea of like the, I've got a job working at a hospice for single mothers, because I want to take care of the next generation. What? She has a child that's slightly too old. Send her to prison. Yeah. Like, geez, my God. It's so bad. Like the judge looks at this and is like, what are you guys doing here? It's like, she's like, I'm going to be like, I'm going to be like, okay, give her a psyche, Val, and let her go. Which like, this is a Chicago judge in 1943. That is a terrifying individual. That guy probably sentenced eight guys to death, like that morning for being slightly too queer. And even he's like, what would you, you're trying to put a single mother in prison for trying to stay in a hospice for single mothers. But I mean, look, I hate this is this is this is this is definitely like, my, the two parts of me are a warring here because on one hand, this isn't almost unthinkable nightmare. But on the other hand, I'm very pro child prison. So this is really tough for me, you know. Well, here's the, the children are too young to do labor. So what's the point of child prison? Like you can't, you can't, you can't put a one-reguired child to a young to do labor. They can, I've seen one week olds, they can pick up blocks. We have a lot of blocks in this country that need to be picked up. Look, in aggregate, they can do a lot of work. That's all I'm saying. You've watched too many Andertate, hustler university videos. You got to, you got to get those kids working. Look, if they're not paying rent, they're just, you know, I don't suck it up. I keep trying to find a way to, I'm trying to continue this. But all of the different lines that come to me are literal pieces of Nazi propaganda. So it's probably best just to move on. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. So, all right, the first few years of Bobby's life, they are moving constantly. Regina holds like half a dozen jobs in like nine states. And she's, you know, she's like, this is the middle of a war two. So it's slightly easier to find a job than it would be. Like in, you know, in like, say, 1938 or something. Sure. But, you know, she's trying to like work enough to keep her family together and keep her kids fed. And, you know, this means that Bobby's childhood is kind of a mess. It doesn't sound good. No. Yeah. But one thing that emerges very early is that Bobby loves games. Um, his, his biographer, Frank Brady, who writes a really good book about, probably the best like biography of Bobby Fisher called endgame, Bobby Fisher's remarkable rise and fall. That I'm going to be using for this. Oh, good. So there is a fall. That's good. Oh, there's definitely a fall. Why, you know, okay, I'll give a minor spoiler here is Bobby Fisher is the first person to be canceled for making fun of 9-11. And maybe the only person who deserves to be canceled for it. So he does, it does eventually go badly for him. But that is, it is currently 1940, like what, 1949. So that's going to take a while. Yeah, but Frank Brady tells the story about how Bobby like, he starts playing percheezy. And he really likes the strategy of percheezy. But every time a random thing happens, he just loses his mind. And so, okay. So, so he seems to have a, he has a brain that's very good at solving puzzles. And at age six, he buys a chest cell for one reason. Oh, so he doesn't, he doesn't, what do you mean? He doesn't like the fact that like, percheezy is based in part on like rolling of dice. Like he can't, he hates that. Yeah, he hates that. There's an element of chance. Yeah. Again, he doesn't have the raw human courage necessary to play Warhammer. No, and that's like he could never have cut it. As a horse don't play her. No, which is why I, I, I, I maintain a better at that game than he ever would have been. Yeah. But okay, so unfortunately, he discovers chess. And he, he, he, okay, yeah, like six years old, he buys a chest set for one dollar. He starts playing it with his family and his family is like, I don't want to play chess with you. But Bobby just like wants to play chess constantly. Okay, so he starts doing something very strange, which is he just starts playing games against himself. I mean, okay. That makes sense. Yeah. Like, I, I, I, I have done this before when I was really, really bored back like before smartphones existed. Yeah. When the Louis body dementia was taking my grandmother, she would just play solitaire over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. So that seems, that makes sense to me. But the thing, the thing with playing chess against yourself is that you know what the other person is doing because you're both people. And so, even though it's a try. And exciting. I mean, I play a lot of like, I, so you can play Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on your phone and you can, you can do a hot seat mode. I've played both sides of that. That can be fun sometimes. I want him on this is what I'm saying. Like, I kind of get it, like he does this like literally all the time. Like, this is like what he spends his days doing. Yeah, it's more of a way to pass time on a flight. But yeah. So, Bobby likes this a lot. And you know, this does not make him a normal kid. I, he's really bad at making friends. And also, you know, the other part of his life is sort of genuinely sad is that he's alone at like after school and he's alone basically constantly because his school gets out before his sister's does. And then his mom is almost never home because she has to work like night shifts and day shifts to sort of like keep the whole family there. So she doesn't get home until super late. And okay, so Bobby has to find something to do. And the thing that he does, and he's doing this as like a pretty small child. Like, he's like seven or eight when he starts doing this, is he starts just reading chess books and like playing through the games on his board. Oh boy. Okay. You know, okay, so on the one hand, he doesn't, Bobby Fisher, he doesn't really have anyone to play against. But on the other hand, if you want to train, like, you know, if you want to train like a six year old, to be really good at chess, like eventually, this is what you do, right? If you want to get good at chess, you sit down with a bunch of books and you study them. And he's going to keep doing this literally his entire life. It gets to a point where like he, he just, this is the only thing he does with his time. Is just sit there and read chess books and articles. Again, I have, I've made similar choices with Warhammer 40,000 in my past. Yeah, although I mean, the, the, the exact Bobby's doing this, he, he is reading so many chess books that even like the Soviet chess grandmasters who are literally paid by the state, specifically to study chess are like, how are you reading this much stuff? And he's just like, I, I just, I, I, I, it's the only thing in my life. Yeah. My entire world is empty if anything, but chess. And our entire world, me and mine, our entire world is empty of everything except for the products and services that support this podcast. We live in a dank void surrounded by the results of unchecked capital exploitation. It's a lot and lots of gold. Yeah, buy some gold. Levitations, vomiting, strange voices. Have you ever wondered if the story's about exorcism or true? He definitely has something going on. It's primal. And if they are true, how could one protect themselves from these dark forces? That's still in there. It's really, that thing is back. These are the questions we pose to renowned exorcist father Carlos Martins, who agreed to open his case files to the public for the first time. Tell me who you are, the one you won't get out, the one you can't. My name is father Carlos Martins. I am an exorcist. I have seen things. 473 miles with me. Very evil things. No, I'm not sick. Things that I wish weren't true. Oh, God, that's right to me. Forget what you think you know about exorcism. Listen to the exorcist files on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. Paper Ghost is a true crime podcast investigating the mysterious disappearance and brutal unsolved murder of Tammy's Wiki. They just kept telling us from the beginning, she'll be back. She'll be back. We had no clue where she was. We didn't know where to begin to look. Tammy. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I just had not really thought about anything, except finding her. Tammy's story shocked the nation. There was no resolution. Nothing was ever zeroed in on. The deeper I searched, the more troubling things I found. There was a lot of physical evidence that had never been analyzed. Money and their **** from a TFBI at a job in Missouri. The best lead, the best evidence, the best witness was blown off. Listen to Paper Ghosts on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your favorite shows. It's 1967, the Cold War, and Joseph Stalin's daughter, Stetlana, the princess of the Kremlin, has just fled Mother Russia. Her new home, a place where the roads are paved with gold, and people bake apple pies out of baseballs and freedom. A place called America. That story alone would be worthy of a podcast. But this one, Stetlana, Stetlana, is about what comes next. And it's the craziest story I've ever heard. It has KGB agents, mystics, and a Frank Lloyd Wright commune, destiny, immortality, and unbreakable cycles. Weird sex stuff, weird money stuff, weird dances, three Olga's, two Stetlana's, and one neurotic gay playwright who won't shut up about it all. Guess which one I am. Listen to Stetlana's Stetlana on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. Ah, I do get like 10 to 15 messages a day about the gold ads. Yeah, well, and you love that. So if you've got let's you feel like you're not alone. I know, guys. I see you. Look, I am a big fan of people reaching out to us and letting us know that there are random ads from a shady gold company going into our thing. Please continue to do that every day. Sophie messages me and says, my life has been improved by the fact that people are complaining about these random gold ads. Don't just skip ahead by like 30 seconds or a minute using the button on your phone. Um, message Sophie, she loves it and it makes her feel wanted and like she has a wide and and broad base of of friends out on the internet. Just checking out to her, letting her know there's gold ads on the show. So please keep doing it everybody. Well, one of the upsides of podcasts is that none of you ever, well, I say upsides. When you none of you ever get to see the faces of Sophie makes dream this, which makes my life better and makes your life worse and this makes me happy. Mm hmm. Just know that my face said, I hate you, Robert Evans. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. But you know who I don't hate. You know, Wong. Oh, all right. Yeah. Let's let's let's rock on. Yes, let us return to the world of Bobby Fisher as a very small child. So, all right, Bobby Fisher's mom is very concerned about the fact that he's just sitting around playing chess all the time. It doesn't have anyone to play chess with. So, she, she emails a chess guy at like the local newspaper and is like, hey, can you find someone for my like seven-year-old child to play with? And for, for reasons I do not understand, this guy is like, yeah, here, go, go play at this simultaneous exhibition that this like chess master is going to be holding. So, yeah, chess masters do these things where they're called similes where, you know, like we talked about Nashreft doing one of these, right? No, move an offline folder, but the guy shows up and like you show up in like 30 of you just get destroyed by this guy. So, this new separate editor is like, okay, okay, send send Bobby Fisher to play against like this incredibly strong American player. And the result of this is that seven-year-old Bobby Fisher just gets absolutely annihilated and then starts crying because he's a seven-year-old and he's just like gotten destroyed in public. And this is an interesting sort of adventure Bobby's life because people make a lot out of this. Like when you read about every single one like this is a critical moment and like, it probably kind of is but also like, I don't know, he's a seven-year-old. It turns out when when this happens to a seven-year-old they cry because they're seven. I mean, it's still toughing up a little bit. Come on. Yeah. Well, he's, I don't know, people expect really weird, like people keep asking, like people like throughout the entire like people would ask Bobby Fisher about the games that he played when he was seven and they're like, do you remember these games? It's like, this man is seven. Come on. Why do you, the chess writer, expect this guy to remember a game that he played at age seven? I don't know. I've just been sort of continuously baffled by chess writers as I've been. I mean, the chess writer does kind of presuppose a few things about a person. I guess I'm not surprised that someone who would pick that as a living would want like questions somebody in depth about a series of games they played when they were too young to be fully conscious of the world. That makes sense to me. If someone were to interview me about being seven, I would, I could probably, I have moderately strong memories of hurting a bunch of cows with a broomstick in my fucking back 40, but that's about it. I remember the time my dog got skunked and then ran into the house and skunked the entire house. And I remember getting not the big Lego pirate ship, but I had a good report card and my mom got me the small Lego pirate ship and that was the best day of my childhood. You know, it was fucking dope as pirate ship, everybody. I look so someone should have got Bobby Fisher this thing so he didn't turn into Bobby Fisher and said had a cool pirate ship. One Lego pirate ship could have solved a lot of problems. Yep. Instead, unfortunately, what happens is that I, okay, so there's a guy who is the president of the Brooklyn Chess Club who like sees the seven year old playing this game and he's like, wow, the seven year old is actually pretty good. He's and he invites him to join the Brooklyn Chess Club, which is very weird because the Brooklyn Chess Club is like, it's a very serious organization. It's like, it's like, we're like doctors and lawyers and stuff go to play chess and they don't allow children in. But the president's like, no, I'm making an exception for this like seven year old. And so Bobby shows up and nobody wants to play him because and this, this is sort of a thing that's I think kind of special about over the board chess that you don't get with very many other things, which is that over the board chess is one of the few games you can play where you sit down and there's a seven year old across of you and the seven year old just destroys you. Yeah, I mean, Warhammer actually would be one of the others, but yeah, but they're kind of rare now, but the problem is, okay, so Bobby shows up and nobody wants to play him because it would be cool. It would be cool. A football work that way. Oh my god. Like full contact football, throw some seven year olds on the field. Now let's see if they're prodigies. Put them up against these 350 pounds steroid monsters. See how it goes. All right, kid, after the snap, there's no more rules. I mean, you know, I was saying, so they they throw Bobby Fisher into this pool and it goes about as well as you would expect a baby fighting like a guy in full football shit, which is he gets run over and destroyed like, continuously awesome. That's good. That's good for kids. Yeah, but unfortunately, he like just keeps doing this. And so he like, even, even, he's progressively more and more of his time is consumed by chess. It gets to the point where like, he has his like little chess set and his chess set is just like covered in crumbs and like stains of all the food that he's eating while he's playing chess. And this gets to a point that's like, I'm going to read this thing from endgame, which is that Fisher biography. He even maintained his involvement with the game while bathing. The Fisher's didn't have a working shower, just a bathtub and Bobby, like many young children, needed to be urged to take at least a weekly bath. Regina established a Sunday night ritual of running a bath for him, practically carrying him up to the tub. And once he was settled in the water, she'd lay a door from a discarded cabinet across the tub as a sort of tray and then bring in Bobby's chess set, a container of milk and whatever book he was studying at the time, help him get into position, position them on the board. Bobby soaked sometimes for hours as he became engrossed in the games of the grates, only emerging from the water prune like when Regina insisted. The milk of it all really just happened to the business. It's not right. I don't like that. Yeah, that's not my favorite thing that I've heard. Yeah, I do too, too, too, the two Regina's credit. She actually like this is why we, okay, I don't know. I'm on, I'm on shower gang now. I'm fully shower-pilled. I'm a shower cell. I couldn't agree more. I used to think a bath was a lovely thing. Nope. Nope. It's been a milk-ified and door-ified. That sounds, that sounds horrified. Yeah, it's horrible. It sounds like it sounds like a scene from one of the one of the later alien movies where one of those Android's has been wounded and they've got that white milky blood gooping out everywhere. Gross. Thanks for that, Mia. Yeah. So, yeah, as you can see, this is a very normal child. Yeah, sounds like a great childhood. Yeah, unfortunately, he's taking his milk baths. He's getting his ass beaten by a don'ts. Readin' lots of weird chest book sounds healthy. Yeah, so I can't see how this guy turns out to be fast. Oh, oh, oh, don't worry. We are, we are, we are literally right about to get to that. So, great. Okay, the problem is that he just keeps getting better at chess. And by the time he's 12, he's like actually really good at the game. Like, he's playing real tournaments. He's beating people who are actually good at chess. And at this point, Bobby becomes involved with the extremely wealthy chess patron, E. Flory Lox, who arranges for him to go on this like chess trip around the US and then go to Cuba to like play chess against Cuban chess players. Okay, what do we know about this guy? Because that's, yeah, that's, oh boy. Okay, from that, that does sound a little bit, that does sound a little bit sketchy. Oh, yeah, Lox frequently wore a small black enameled the pelpin bearing a gold Nazi swastika. Oh boy, amazing. It never seemed to attract much attention. He didn't wear it all the time, but often enough, you wear that once then people should be like, yeah, man, it's, it's wild. And it didn't seem to inhibit him when he was in a Jewish delicatessor and to get his favorite sandwich of pastrami on rye when he was talking to Jewish chess players. One player, will, why didn't he then affect him? Yeah, I don't know. This is like right after the Holocaust. I honestly, it shouldn't have mattered if it was before the Holocaust. No, it's the able though. You shouldn't be able to go anyway. I think cool. That's just, he's getting worse. So I won't put there as a player who gets embarrassed when he walks it and, you know, no, he walks in this restaurant and nobody says anything about it. Okay, here's some more stuff just about to this guy is an in addition to the pin locks off in war, whether permitting a small brimmed alpine fedora with a feather in the band adorant with emblems from countries he traveled to. Absolutely not. Okay. He, he, he, he, he, he cymbal ostentatiously dressed in later hosin at times and for a few years, even sported a hit larian mustache. When he entered tournament dressed in cocky shirt and pants and dirt tie and displaying that mustache, it was as if the dopper gamer of dare fury had been reincarnated in his home, hung Nazi flags in prominent locations and displays of airplanes models of mishmits and junkers as well as semi-meshmits and young kamehru shmits. Yeah, sorry. I'm not a, I'm not a world war too. Jesus Christ, man. Look, the, the German language is a curse it. That's true. He also has just like a bunch of, he's like a giant oil painting of, of Adaf Hitler in his house and like a bunch of third right memorabilia. So this guy's great. Oh, no, he, he sounds dope. Yeah, the, the, the next line from this book was, Lax was in arguably one of the most eccentric people in the New York chess community, which like I, I guess eccentric is a way that you could describe this guy walking around in the Nazi pin with the Hitler mustache and later hosin. That is, that is certainly eccentric. You know, you know, so so later on in his life, right? But by the time he's about six, he's on this tour when he's like, I think like 13. When he's like 16 or 17, Bobby's going to be like a very serious anti-Semite. And you know, people are always like, well, how did this happen? It's like, well, it might have been the fact that he was hanging out with this Nazi guy. That's like a 12 year old. And also on the trip to Cuba is this guy named Normandy Whitaker who quote, had also been in prison for car theft and for raping a 12 year old. When he was in his 60s, he proposed marriage to a 14 year old. So this is a great crowd at chess players. Wow. Yeah, real, real, real luminaries in the field best of the best. Yeah. Frank Brady also notes quote, Bobby sat up in front between the fascists and the con man, which I is, is this is called foreshadowing. Sounds like dad's doing a great job, by the way. Yeah. No, no, this is where your kids got to be. Yeah, get in there. Well, he is bad. He's like fucked off somewhere. Yeah. Oh, sorry. It's, it's, it's, it's, I don't know. It's, it's good. No, this sounds fine. Um, I can't wait to hear how well the rest of the story goes. Well, the problem is he just keeps winning that chess. So at age 13, he wins the US Junior chess championship, which is like nuts. And okay, unfortunately, I do have to talk about one game of chess because there are Bobby Fisher plays, I mean, he plays a lot of famous games chess. He plays one very famous one at age 13, where, okay, so this game gets dubbed the game of the century. People talk about it literally all the fucking time. I'm sick of it. I'm very angry. This game's fine. He plays like an, he's playing like a very strong international master. Um, and you know, he, he does, he plays a pretty cool game where like, he like sacrifice, he famous like sacrifice is his queen and then uses this, that queen sacrifice to like get this attack and does all this stuff with his knights and his rooks and everyone is like, you mean, chess. Exactly. Unbelievable. Yeah. And you know, okay, on the one hand, like, this is a pretty good game of chess. On the other hand, I can open YouTube right now and find like a thousand games of chess that are way cooler than this that aren't the product of like domestic operation paperclip. So, uh, this is, this is, this is, this is, okay, this is the extent of which I'm going to talk about the game of the century because I'm sick of people talking about it. Okay. Um, yeah, but unfortunately, I do have to mention, or the chess people will like attempt to murder me in my sleep. So yeah, chess people, you hope you're not, I hope you're now satisfied. I have briefly covered this one game. See, I'm not worried about that at all. I feel like I could beat the shit out of chess people and I'm fighting. Maybe, but the other time, maybe chess books, they have, I don't know, they, they have suspiciously high level state contacts, which is not a, I don't know, you, you wouldn't think that was true, but these guys know a lot of intelligence agencies. Yeah. Well, that's fair. So at age 14, uh, Bobby Fisher becomes the American chess champion. And Robert, you might be asking, how did a 14 year old win the US open and become the American chess champion? And part of it is just that the American suck at chess. Yeah, that sounds right. And the other thing that's going on here is that Bobby Fisher, you know, okay, so like he realizes that Americans aren't for good at chess. And so he learns Russian in order to read Russian chess books. And he just keeps doing this his entire life. He just keeps learning languages like specifically to read chess books that are not in languages. And so, you know, he, he starts reading, like he's, he's just like reading these things. And, you know, well, well, all this is happening. Bobby Fisher starts getting investigated by the FBI. Okay. Which, okay, so he, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's being investigated by the FBI for like a third of his life, but somehow it's the third of his life where he doesn't think that he's being investigated by the FBI. Oh, which is a very, very, so the reason this is happening is that the FBI thinks that his mom is working for the Soviets. Okay. And okay, it turns out that not only was she not working for the Soviets, she'd actually gotten kicked out of the Communist Party, but you know, it's the FBI. They're not going to let something as petty as, you know, reality, getting way of their sort of domestic, like espionage operations. And this gets like so serious that like they are, the FBI is infiltrating TV shows, like the crews of TV shows that Bobby is going on to like see if he's a Soviet spy. His mom starts drilling him about what to say if the FBI shows up at your door, which is apparently I quote, I have nothing to say to you. Yep. That is, no, I mean, that is the thing that you say if the FBI shows up at your door, come back with the warrant. I'm not speaking to you without a lawyer. Nothing the fuck else. No, I mean, actually, honestly, this is the first time mom has given him good advice. Yeah. Yeah. Well, like, you know, I feel really bad for her because it's like she, she, well, she, she also, she's also the only person in our life who ever attempts to stop him from playing chess. But she does this by going to like chess psychiatrist and being like, is he addicted to the chess, but they're all chess psychiatrist. I didn't like no way. Yeah, I don't think you're going to get good information from a chess psychiatrist. So okay. Later on in life, Bobby Fisher is going to get absolutely obsessed with the idea that he's being spied on and people like coming to kill him. And on the one hand, this is just like his own sort of like the scientific conspiracy conspiracy theories. But on the other hand, like, it's hard to argue that the fact that the US government was in fact spying on him for a bunch of his life, like did not play a role in this. I mean, given the period of time that this is, if you are someone who is even moderately prominent in a thing that might put you in contact with people outside of the United States, you're being spied on by the US government. Okay. So, one of one of one of the big things happens is, uh, uh, Bobby Fisher is trying to go to the USSR to play against the Russian chess players. Mm-hmm. And you know, so the Americans hate this. But why? Okay. So what the larger back story here is because Bobby Fisher is now the US chess champion. He doesn't fight it to this like tournament in Yugoslavia. And if you place high enough in this tournament, you get a chance to be in another tournament and that. And if you win that tournament, you can become the world you can play the guy you can play the world champion and become the world champion. So he goes to this thing, right? And while he's in Yugoslav, well, he has to go to Yugoslavia. He's like, okay, I'm going to go to the Soviet Union because it's like close. And the Soviets are like sure 15 year old Bobby Fisher. Like you, you can come be a guest in our country because you're good at chess. So, Fisher shows up to the USSR and like he like steps off the plane and just immediately starts demanding the Soviets like bring out their best chess players to play him. The Soviets are like, really dude, like we brought you here as a guest and you are yelling at us to bring out your best chess players. So eventually they bring out a guy named Petrosian who is like, this guy is four years out from becoming the world champion. Like he is a good, he is like good at chess. Pretty good at chess. Yeah. But Fisher's pissed off because he's not the current world champion. And then immediately Fisher starts asking how much he's going to get paid for playing Petrosian. And Petrosians like, what the fuck are you talking about? What do you mean? You came like Soviet Union, they have no money. I owe they they have money. It becomes clear very quickly in this story. They do in fact have money. But he's like, he's like, what do you mean? Like you came to stay as a guest here and now you are demanding to get paid money for playing us? Like what is happening here? And you know, Fisher just gets progressively more and more mad as this goes on because he wants to play like actual like tournament games and they're just playing like speed chess. And he just gets like progressively angrier. Okay, so there is a very important event in the life of value Fisher that happens next. And there's a lot of disputes over what exactly happens. The claim at the time was that Fisher like standing right next to his like English like his trend English translator starts yelling about like quote, these Russian pigs. This is the way that I've seen it reported in a lot of the sort of books and articles about him. This is what gets reported to the Russian press. Frit Brady, who's who's fishers biographer claims that Fisher actually said pork and was complaining about his food. But the translator got the confused word for pork and pig. Okay. But whatever happens like this turns into sort of like a firestorm, right? Because you know, this American kid came here and then starts screaming about Russian pigs. And the Soviets are like, okay, you like can't stay here now. And okay, so this means that Bobby, Bobby so has time for this tournament. He's like, okay, where am I going to go? And then from left field by God, is that Tito's music? Oh shit. Oh shit. Is he coming in with a steel chair? Yep. He is about to beat the shit out of who was in power on the Soviet Union at this point. I probably, Chris Jeff, he's about to hit two share from the high wire with a steel chair. God, man, I just every time Tito comes into a story, you know, things are about to get fun. But you know what else makes things fun? Is it the products and services that support this podcast? Is it not? You know, that's your goddamn right. There's nothing besides buying products and services that makes anyone happy. And that's the truth. That's science. That's mathematics. Levitations. Vomiting. Strange voices. Have you ever wondered if the stories about exorcism are true? He definitely has something going on. It's primal. And if they are true, how could one protect themselves from these dark forces? That's still in there. It's really that thing's back. I see it. These are the questions we pose to renowned exorcist father Carlos Martins, who agreed to open his case files to the public for the first time. Tell me who you are. The one you won't get out. The one who can't. My name is father Carlos Martins. I am an exorcist. I have seen things. 473, well with me. Very evil things. No, I'm not dead. Things that I wish weren't true. Oh God, that's right. Forget what you think you know about exorcism. Listen to the exorcist files on the iHeart Radio app Apple Podcast. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Paper Ghost is a true crime podcast investigating the mysterious disappearance and brutal unsolved murder of Tammy's Wiki. They just kept telling us from the beginning. She'll be back. She'll be back. We had no clue where she was. We didn't know where to begin to look. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I just had not really thought about anything except finding her. Tammy's story shocked the nation. There was no resolution. Nothing was ever zeroed in on. The deeper I searched, the more troubling things I found. There was a lot of physical evidence that had never been analyzed. Money and their **** from a TFBI at a chocolate Missouri. The best lead, the best evidence, the best witness was blown off. Listen to Paper Ghosts on the iHeart Radio app Apple Podcast. Or wherever you get your favorite shows. It's 1967, the Cold War. And Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana, the princess of the Kremlin, has just fled Mother Russia. Her new home, a place where the roads are paved with gold and people bake apple pies out of baseballs and freedom. A place called America. That story alone would be worthy of a podcast. But this one, Svetlana, Svetlana, is about what comes next. And it's the craziest story I've ever heard. It has KGB agents, mystics, and a Frank Lloyd Wright commune, destiny, immortality, and unbreakable cycles. Weird sex stuff, weird money stuff, weird dances, three Olga's, two Svetlana's, and one neurotic gay playwright who won't shut up about it all. Guess which one I am? Listen to Svetlana's Svetlana on the iHeart Radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And we're back. Oh, all right, please continue me. So Bobby's about to get kicked out of Soviet Union. Yugo Slaviyo, who is like the great socialist enemy of the USSR swoops in. It's like, hey, Bobby Fisher, yeah, come here, play our grand masters. It'll be great. And you know, Fisher Fisher is like incredibly happy about this. And I just got to say this man, Tito old buddy, this man is going to do things to your country that if you found them out, would cause all of your organs to explode simultaneously, like you should have left him to the Soviets. But unfortunately, Tito, Tito offers hospitality to this terrifying American man. And you know, the product of this is that Fisher like goes to Yugoslavia and loves it there. And for like the rest of his life, he's going to, well, okay, and this is where we need to be sort of careful. He's going to like, he's going to like Belgrade a lot specifically. Hell yeah. Um, this is becoming too important later. Uh, hey, Belgrade's dope city. Love it. Yeah. Oh, if you want to get a pile of it perfectly cooked processed meat, walked to you by a waiter who is actively smoking a cigarette over the plate. And enjoy the entire experience. Belgrade is the city for you. I mean that unironically. Great town. Love it. Yeah, Fisher. I don't know. He, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, he, indeed just enjoys that a lot and other stuff that he's doing there at question mark. We're going to do that a little bit. Um, okay. So he, he's playing this tournament, right? And everyone expects him to just sort of bomb out because he's like 15. But instead, when he does the draws like a bunch of the best players in the world. And you know, he beats, he beats some people he draws like three of the best Soviet players. And somehow, you know, this like 15 year old kid from the, from like the, just the absolute provincial backwater United States, like qualifies for the champion's tournament. And simultaneously, becomes the youngest grandmaster in history. And at this point that everyone starts to lose their minds for Bobby Fisher. Okay. Like all over the American chess scene, everyone suddenly talking about like, oh my god, there's this kid who could beat the Soviets at chess. Like he, he, he gets, he gets a full editorial in the New York Times. Um, suddenly there's this like, there's like the great white hope against the Soviet chess machine. And you know, every, like from this point on, like everything that he does just becomes like in layered and like levels and layers and layers and layers and layers and layers of propaganda. Because the US had finally done the thing that it always does when it used to fight communism. They had found their own Nazi. So, okay. Even at like this age, Bobby is very, very anti-Semitic. He's better at hiding it than he's going to be later on. But he is doing stuff like, for example, the encyclopedia, Jutica, I like put him in under list of like famous Jewish people because his parents are Jewish. And he writes them a letter saying he is not Jewish and they need to take him off his list. And then he starts doing something he's going to do for the entire rest of his life, which is threatened to whip out his dick to show that he's not circumcised and thus not Jewish. Wow. Which is like, can't argue with that. Perfect. Perfect evidence there. It's I don't know. I have nothing on this. It is a very, very weird kind of anti-Semitism. And I need everyone's like, okay, whenever you think of Bobby Fisher, you need to understand that he is at all times two steps away from just whipping out of his dick to prove how not Jewish he is. Like he, he's gonna like, there's going to be another time he does have bring racism into the proud tradition of whipping out your dick at a chest tournament. That's that's heartbreaking. Yeah, it's he's I don't know. It's it's it's he's he is a wildly weird anti-Semitic person. There's there's another story of his sort of early anti-Semitism. So in 1962, he's doing this interview. He's I think how old is he like 18 or 19 at this point. There's just Harper's magazine interview where I he says quote, yeah, there are too many Jews in chess. They have taken away the class of the game. They don't dress too nicely. That's what I don't like. And I want to remind everyone here that like, okay, Bobby Fisher is about to become like the like literally the symbol of American chess, right? And you know, a genuine sort of geopolitical and moral here of the US. And this was just in Harper's magazine. Like he just said that. He's wow. And that's and this isn't like, it's not like he's saying this to like, I don't know, like a tiny village paper in like rural Idaho or something like the journalist actually read this, right? But you know, there's something that's going to happen time and time again in the stories. It like the press is just like they'll they'll see him say something like like this. And then they're going to see some pretty good chess and they're just instantly going to forget about it. And everyone's going to go back to comparing him to like Mozart and like Picasso and immediately forget what he thinks about the Holocaust. Yeah, he he's a literal Nazi, but he's good at chess. So who can say if it's bad? Yeah, yeah. So okay, but back in being good at chess for a little bit. Fisher qualifies for the candidates tournament, which is he is the tournament where like if you win it, you get the right challenge of World Championship. And like almost immediately after he gets there, he makes history of becoming the first grandmaster ever to get into a fist fight with another grandmaster in a chess tournament. Okay, now that's dope. That's that's that's good. That's like that's like Anna Sandler and fucking happy Gilmore. Yeah. So all right, I respect that. Look, he's a Nazi, but that's pretty funny. Yeah. And then he does he does another there's a very famous Bobby Fisher thing that happens here. And I'm just going to read this in men game. Henry Stockholm, the chess player who was covering the match for the associated press brought Bobby to a broth of one night and waited for him. When Bobby exited an hour later, Stockholm asked him how he enjoyed it. And Bobby's comment, which he repeated other times has been quoted, chess is better. Huh. So this is a this is a incredibly weird, weird dude. Yeah. Um, I'm fortunate for Bobby. He just gets like destroyed in this tournament. And this leads to basically what what becomes the Bobby Fisher chess special. He immediately starts grieving about how the entire tournament was rigged. And this is like enough that he gets an entire like giant. I think it was like a front cover piece in sports illustrated called the Russians have fixed world chess. And okay, so this is kind of true. Um, what was happening at these tournaments that the Soviets would play these like fast draws against each other so that they could like preserve their energy for when they had to play non-Soviet players. But also there was there was a bunch of there's like there was endless analysis of this that's done by a lot of people then and people now. And basically what they concluded was like, okay, so the Soviets win every tournament, but the Soviets win every tournament because they have more good chess players than anyone else does. I mean, yeah, that that makes sense. Yeah, but Bobby Bobby is convinced it's because they're just like cheaters. And he this he this just like he gets really, really angry at this. And you know, he's already embarrassing this grudge from the Soviets like kicked him out. And so at this point, he basically just like swears eternal revenge on the Soviet Union to the point where he refuses to play any tournaments that the international chess federation puts on because he's like the international chess federation just like a tool of the Soviets. And I'm here. Okay, man. Yeah, okay. So this this is you know, as much as I've been saying, he's really worried. This is where he starts to get really weird. So there's just like, I guess it's like that's like a little fucky what they were doing, but that's not really. Yeah, it's not really. No, like if you're playing them, you're still just playing a game of chess. Like they haven't taken chess steroids. They're not they're not hiding an extra queen up their sleeves. No, they're just like kind of coming in a little fresher than you because they fucked around slightly. But I don't know. Cheating seems like a weird way to phrase that. Yeah. And he just gets he gets just utterly like he like on his like deathbed, he is going to be yelling about how the Soviets cheated him and like stuff like that. All right, man. And you know, okay, partially, she just gets like like yeah, he he he he turns into a kind of guy that is partly very recognizable and partly not. So his two favorite books in this period are 1984 an animal farm. Oh boy. This is a you know, these are going great. I'm going to guess he didn't read a lot of other or well. No, it's you know, and amazingly, those are like the two most normal things he's going to read from here right now. He also like he starts listening to I my my ancient enemy the evangelical preacher Billy Graham. Oh no, no, no, no, no. And then he discovers a man named Herbert W. Armstrong's radio church of God. Oh no, no, not Armstrong. Oh boy. We should talk about Armstrong a little bit. All right. So Armstrong is he's caught from the same cloth. I'm fairly certain we've mentioned him once or twice on the show. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, he's like he's like I mean, he said that he's like, okay, he's I think he's technically Christian. But he's definitely technically Christian. Well, here's the thing. Here's the he's not a Trititarian. And at that point, I I start I start looking at you real closely when you deny the Trinity as to whether or not you are actually a Christian. This is this is the line that I feel someone who was not Christian as imposed on Christianity. See see see how they like imperialism this wants. I have no opinion on that. But he Armstrong is like a real weirdo. He's like a breeze or British Israelite, which is just like. Yeah, I mean, he's yeah, he's he's these are the folks who believe that like British people are the real Jews and Jews aren't real. Like the actual Jewish people are not actual Jewish people. Um, which you know, there's there's a bunch of weird like it this kind of feeds into the creativity movement. Oh, yeah, we're going to get that. Yeah, oh, good. Yeah. So yeah, I you know, so what there's a lot of things that he like, I get involved with. Um, Fisher, Fisher, like, well, he hasn't quite joined the church because there are some like prescriptions on stuff that the church has rules about like you're not supposed to date and one side of the church. And Fisher's like, this is stupid. So he hasn't technically joined the church, but he's like taking you by the glass. Yeah, but he also picks up something that like he picks up basically these guys are also sort of like, I don't know if proto is right term, but they're basically like Christian science people. So they like don't believe in doctors. And they don't believe vaccinations and Fisher like picks this up. He like is really hardcore on this don't go to doctors thing. They also starts typing the church 10% of his income. Don't. And the other thing he starts doing around this period is he starts carrying around this blue cardboard box everywhere that he goes. And he would just refuse to open everyone when I like he's just walking around carrying his blue carpet box and everyone's like, okay, Fisher, like what what is this blue carpet box? And he just get really mad when anyone asked him. And one time he finally like, related to the pressure and opened it and inside of the box was the Bible. Which oh my god. Like this is something like a youth pastor went the story like a youth pastor would tell. That's like one of those like this child's days. Really? Albright. I think for Jesus there, buddy. Yeah, it's so he gets very weird. Um, so, okay, so this goes on for like a couple of years of being wrapped in his like, I'm not going to play for feeday. I'm not going to he plays like very little chess. But eventually feedays able to sort of like entice him back to like play chess again by like changing the format of the world's tournament. So like people could the candidates turn about, people can't collude. And so when we Fisher like goes into this tournament. And he just trivially easily destroys like three Soviet grandmasters. And he, you know, he's very, very quickly and incredibly decisively. He just annihilates them. And this means that he has to write the challenge to world champion, Boris Spasky, who at this point, Spasky's in like one of the few people on earth that Fisher has never beaten. But you know, this is a sensation in the US. Suddenly, like, you know, back, back, back, back when he like qualified for the candidates tournament. Like chess, like there was some coverage of it and like chess people are talking. Now like everyone knows who Bobby Fisher is. Like any entire country that this is, this is like everyone, it's only everyone's in the chest too. Like it's on the front page in New York times. Yeah. It's one of those things. Like when people briefly cared about hockey because of that team thought the Soviets. Yeah. Yeah. And like this is basically the 1970s version of like the hunt, the Magnus Carlson, Hans Neelman, like cheating plug thing. And it sparks like until basically literally this month, probably like the greatest chess boom America has ever seen. And you know, okay, so this is like nobody really cares about chess. What's actually happening here? This is, you know, this is like this is basically a American nationalism and sort of anti-communism. And Fisher is seen by everyone like including himself as as a cold warrior. A term that people took like incredibly seriously at this time. And now it sounds like the tag off for like a rip off mortal combat character. Yeah. And you know, okay, like the stated reason for this is that like chess is like a big deal to the Soviets is ideologically important. Like Lenin played chess and wanted everyone to play chess. Yeah, we got a. Yeah, we got to waste quite a time. Yeah. Yeah, this is the thing you have to understand about the Cold War is every single person on the face of the earth is completely insane during this entire period. Right. This match has literally no effect on the Cold War. Nothing. It does nothing. There was never a chance it could even conceivably have done anything. And I want everyone to keep this in mind as we tell as I tell the story of this world championship because by the end of the story, the president of the United States is going to be personally involved in getting value-fisher to play this game. This is this is a game of chess. They're just playing chess. This is completely, what is completely deranged. So, okay. Another we've prefaced this with the fact that like nobody involved with this is even remotely sane. Bobby Fisher is like, okay, he's headed into his like world championship match with Boris Spatsky. They're going to play a bunch of games. One of them is going to win. There's a huge fight about the location that frankly doesn't matter. They settle on Iceland. And this tournament, you know, it's going to be a huge deal. It has the largest prize pool of all time for a chess match. And Bobby Fisher takes a look at the most money a chess player has ever received for playing chess and is like, no, I want a bigger cut of the ticket sales. And they're like, Bobby, like if you take money from the ticket sales, like, we're going to lose money on this. And he's like, I don't care. I literally will not play unless you give me money from the ticket sales. And they think he's bluffing, but he's not bluffing. He cancels his flight from New York to Iceland because they won't like pay him more. And this is also very funny because the head of the Iceland chess federation who's like the guy who's been organizing this whole thing is a very hardcore anti-combatist, right? And he's trying to use his whole match to anti-combat propaganda. But, you know, you get what you pay for, buddy. Like, yeah, you want to do anti-cap and anti-combatist propaganda. Have fun dealing with like this absolute capital's asshole who just keeps extorting you literally every five seconds. And okay, so this sort of saga of Fisher, like, refusing to show up to Iceland continues until a chess journalist calls this British investment banker named Derek Slater who puts like $900,000 in today's money into the price pool in order to get Fisher to play. And Fisher's still like, yeah, and at this point, Henry fucking Kissinger makes a personal call to Bobby Fisher and says, you have to play this game for America. The United States of America requires you, you play this chess game. And this finally convinces Bobby to play. Now, the other thing that's that's very weird about this is, okay, so this is like, this is like, you know, high cold word drama, right? So you would expect that Fisher's opponent who is Boris Spasky, like the the darling of the Soviet chess machine, you would expect him to be a communist. But no, he's a zarrist. Oh, no. Here's a call from Spasky. As for my views, I'm a Russian nationalist. And there's nothing scary about that. Don't be afraid. Some say that Russian nationalist is a nasty thing, most definitely an anti-Semite deraces a national Bolshevik. No, for a nationalist god exists in that and nations that respect each other. I'm a convinced monarchist. I remained a monarchist during the Soviet years and never tried to hide that. I believe the greatness of Russia is connected to the activity of the national leaders represented by our zars. Wow. Uh, strong take. Okay. I, you know, I talked about this a bit earlier, but like this was the moment where I finally just became convinced that I spent like a bunch of time trying to find like a super grandmaster who has like normal-ish politics. And the thing that I realized, yeah, there's something about just spending a lot of your time playing Tress drives. You can completely bad. Like all of these people have the most nonsense politics I've ever seen. Like, it's like looking through a pole board and you just find you find ideologies are like, how are you a zarist in like 2003? What is happening here? I mean, there are still zarists today. Like, yeah. There's many, many monarchists on Twitter at least that you can find. And if you go to YouTube and you look up like Russian imperial anthems and stuff from the Zara, you will find people being like, oh, for the days of Nikolai in a second. I guess. I'm also not surprised that a chess guy in specific would be a monarchist. It is low-key a monarchist. It is true. But the thing that's weird about this right is like all of the sort of like all of the like every single like major communist, I don't know if actually Stalin did, but like every like major communist person, like Tito plays chess, Lenin plays chess, Che Guevara at one point like helps Fisher play a tournament in Cuba. Like everyone plays chess. And then all of their chess players are like weird fascists and none of them are communists. It's it's oh god. I don't know. I'll never understand chess. So I but clearly if you like chess a lot, you're problematic. So I think we can say that for certain. It's true. This is this is how I get canceled. So all right. This I'm just going to read a quote about end notes about what from end game about what Bobby Fisher does when he like finally shows up in Iceland after getting personally called by Henry Kissinger several hours later coming home from bowling in the early hours in the morning before returning to the hotel. Bobby sneaked into the playing hall to check out the conditions after an 80 minute inspection. He had a number of complaints. He thought the lighting should be brighter. The pieces of the chess set were too small for the squares of the custom built board. The board itself was not quite right. It was made of stone and he thought would would be preferable. Finally, he thought that the two cameras hidden inside burlap covered towers might be distracting when he began to play and the towers themselves looming over the stage like medieval battering rounds were disconcerting. So he's showing up at like four in the morning and he walks into the hall and he just starts bitching about all like the chess pieces are the wrong size. Okay, the tournament organizers are like whatever we need this game to happen and they're there and they're just desperate for smashed to happen and you know, okay, so chess starts to be played. But in the words of John Boyz, who cares about that? Midway through game one. Bobby Fisher starts complaining that one of the cameras in the back is distracting. So that the game like adjourns for the day. There's a thing in this period where like you play 40 moves and then everyone leaves and goes home and you come back and finish again the next day. So Fisher comes in. He plays one move and then he stands up on live TV, walks to the back stage and spends 35 minutes of his own game time with his clock taking down screaming at the organizers to take down the camera and okay, they eventually give in. But the next day the game is supposed to start and Fisher is nowhere to be seen. Fisher's team shows up. His team is sort of like lawyers like advice. They show up and they tell them that Bobby Fisher will not play unless all cameras are removed from the venues. Oh my god. Bobby Jesus. What a fucking frame. Madonna. It gets it. This is this is we are we are like maybe in the early midgame of Bobby doing this shit in this tournament. Okay, so he then refuses to even show up to the hall to see if they accommodations. The organizers were like, okay, well, we'll do move cameras and he like he won't even show up to like check if they're fine. So, you know, he just he's not there. So the game starts, right? And especially he's like, okay, I'm going to start the game clock and Fisher is just still in his bed like in his underwear in his hotel. And eventually they were going to just like, okay, fine. For one game, we will remove all the cameras. And Fisher goes, I'm not going to show up unless you give me back all of the time on my chess clock that I spent yelling like arguing with you about removing these cameras. And the organizers finally are like, come on man, like that there has to be a line. Like you can't just not show up to your match and then demand we give you all of your time back because you are arguing with us. So, and they they everyone at every point in the story like expects Fisher is going to compromise. He just doesn't he just does not show up for this game. Okay. Yeah. So, so we're not we're not one day for, right? And the organizers are like, he Fisher is like, okay, we need to wipe this game from the record. I didn't lose this game. You have to like forget that I didn't show up. And they're like, come on, like you didn't show up to this game. And so Fisher books a flight home to the US. So it is now day four of the World Chess Championship. Fisher is still refusing to play the New York Times on its prep page publishes an article begging him to play like that sad. Yeah. She gets a second call. New York Times don't fucking simp for a fascist impossible challenge. And because your calls him again, Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon personally invites him to the White House. That is the least surprising part of this story. Also the fact that Henry Kissinger would negotiate badly. Oh, yeah. It's and you know, okay, we could reasonably ask ourselves at this point, why is the secretary of state in the president of the United States getting involved to make sure some like random asses anti-Semites plays a chess game? And the answer is that like insofar as this game is is is important anyway. It's because you know, it's about like symbols and sort of myths. And spatsky is like the representative of like the bureaucratic like terror rep harass of the Soviet Union who's being challenged. But like this like lone individual manic genius of the free world. But like, okay, if you think you take about two seconds to think about what the US is doing while this is going on, right? Okay, like what what is Kissinger doing? And the answer is using one of the like literally one of history's largest most most like bureaucratic organizations to delivery munitions from Tennessee to Tokyo in order to burn children alive in Vietnam and Cambodia to you know, prop up an incredibly corrupt and tyrannical narcotic dictatorship. So you know, in some sense, right? Fisher is like he is kind of someone the Americans need, right? He's he's someone that like someone like Kissinger or someone like Nixon needs to be the sort of like individualist hero to match the Soviets collective hero. Because otherwise everyone's going to start questions about sort of like asking questions about the fact that like we also have our own terror bureaucracy. It's like murdering everyone in the street. But like, no, hey, look, it's Bobby Fisher. We're going to like wave this like like shiny trinket in front of you. I'm be like, he is all of us. And then meanwhile like, okay, like the the great American collective hero is sitting in his underwear refusing to like refusing to play chess because there's cameras in the room. And even after all of this, Fisher is still refusing to play. And what what eventually convinces him is that like Boris Basky who by all rights at this point could simply have gone, I beat him. He refused to play me again. I'm going home. Yeah. It's like fine. I I won't look like I will go talk to him. We'll play a game be like backstage where there's no cameras. And Fisher like finally having gotten literally everything that he wants as his temper tantrum like waits until 90 minutes and for the matches going to start and finally he agrees to play. So the match starts again. Fisher makes one move jumps out of his seat and starts screaming at the organizers that there's a camera again. And at this point, Spasky who is like he has been putting up with Fisher's bullshit for like months now, just like just snaps and just like walks out of the room. And the this one referee has to convince both Spasky and Fisher that they should actually play this game. And eventually this guy who like absolutely should have had Kissinger's job because he's apparently just a miracle worker like manages to convince both him to play the game. And at this point like the game after like a litany of bullshit two calls from the Secretary of State, like cash infusions from British bankers. But the thing like finally gets going. And meanwhile in the US like this is such a big deal. It's a good thing. There's no other problems happening in the world at this point. Oh God. Yeah. That these people could be focusing on. Yeah. Like this was the number one thing happening at the top. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Here we're going to get something about that. So PBS puts together a special program specifically just to broadcast these games. This is watched by over a million people. Here's from endgame. So popular was to show that it crowded out the baseball on tennis coverage. Normally seen in sports bars in New York. And when the channel was covering the Democratic National Convention in Washington, the stations were flooded with thousands of calls to have them put the chess match back on. Station officials gave into the viewers demands dropped the convention and went back to broadcasting the match. Oh God. So okay. People have chess media. But like back in the match like nothing interesting happens. It's not a very good match. Both of them are playing kind of badly. Fisher wins. And then he shows up to his medal ceremony. And then in order to complain that there's not his name isn't engraved on the medal. Huh. And that is that is that is Fisher winning the the test for the championship. You know, he at this point, you know, fish Fisher is an American hero, right? Like sure. Sounds like the stuff. Yeah. He is a profoundly American figure. And he comes back to us. That is undeniable. He sounds extremely American. It's it's amazing. So okay. So he goes back to the US and he gets like he has a just infinite number of sponsorship deals and like branding stuff and everyone wants to talk to him. And he just turns them all down. Here's here's here's one last thing from endgame. The most fabulous offer came to Fisher in 1974 right after the Muhammad Ali George Foreman fight. Notice the rumble in the jungle in Zaire. The Zaire government offered Fisher $5 million. I think it's like that's like $40 million or something in modern money to play anecdotally carpov in their country. And what would have been a month long championship chess match. Two short said Bobby. How dare they offer me $5 million for a month long match. This is like, yeah, this is $30 million in today's money. Ali receives twice as much for one night. He didn't. Muhammad Ali did not get five 10 million dollars. No, but also I'm a Muhammad Ali's the sport that he played involved him destroying his brain by getting his skull smash. So yes, I understand why he might get more money. Yeah. Okay. Get get get the fucking next line. It was after that match that Ali became began calling himself the greatest. And Bobby took issue with that too. Ali stole it from me said Bobby. I used the greatest for myself on television before he ever used it. Okay. Okay, Bobby. You don't get the copyright the terms the greatest. Yeah. And you do get it. Can play that Muhammad Ali. No, no, no, you know what? I think we should do a hybrid chess boxing match between Ali. No, I would have been a miss. He would have that man would have died in the ring. It would have been. Would have been very funny. Unfortunately, chess boxing will not become a popular thing until two months ago. So we do. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And this is this is where we're going to leave Fischer here for today. Wow. The absolute peak of his face. And I'm yelling at Muhammad Ali for calling himself the greatest because he did it first. I think we can all agree. Chess was a mistake. Yeah. Yeah. Mia, you want to plug your pluggables before we write out? Yeah. So I do a show called it could happen here that Robert is also on sometimes. I am. And other people are also on and it's good. And you should listen to it. And I'm also at it. me. CHR three on Twitter. If you want to be there for some reason. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I have a book called After the Revolution. You can buy it by typing it into any place that sells books Amazon or bookshop.org or whatever that places or just go to the AK press website. You can buy after the revolution everywhere. All right, folks. Until next week. Go go go play Warhammer. You know, engage with the true sport of strategic masters. The one that has a lot of chainsaws in it. 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