Endgame: Bobby Fischers Remarkable Rise and Fall from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness Hardcover – 19 May 2011
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A rapt, intimate book... Fascinating. (New York Times)
Frank Brady's superlative Endgame is a biography more than worthy of its charismatic subject ...the second half of his life is one of the saddest stories, even as this is one the year's best biographies. (Washington Post)
The Mozart of the chessboard is inseparable from the monster of paranoid egotism in this fascinating biography. Brady, founding publisher of Chess Life magazine and a friend of Fischer, gives a richly detailed account of the impoverished Brooklyn wunderkind's sensational opening--he was history's first 15-year-old grandmaster--and the 1972 match with Boris Spassky, in which Fischer captivated the world with his brilliant play and towering tantrums. Brady's chronicle of Fischer's graceless endgame is just as engrossing, as the chess superstar sinks into poverty after rejecting million-dollar matches; flirts with cults; and becomes, though himself Jewish, a raving anti-Semite and conspiracy theorist.... Brady gives us a vivid, tragic narrative of a life that became a chess game. (Publishing News (Starred review))
Rich in detail and insight...I consider this book essential reading in the effort to understand
Bobby Fischer and his place in our world.
The definitive portrait of the greatest- and most disturbed-chess genius of all time. (Paul Hoffman, author of The Man Who Loved Only Numbers)
Tells the full and fair story of Fischer's astonishing rise and heartbreaking fall...Brady is the perfect biographer for Bobby Fischer. (Christopher Chabris, author of The Invisible Gorilla)
A heartbreaking story of failed hopes and torment. (Catholic Herald)
Fascinating. (The Times)
Well-researched. (Mail on Sunday)
(An) engaging account. (Sunday Telegraph)
Well-researched and enjoyable. (Jewish Chronicle)
A superb storyteller. (Literary Review)
Frank Brady knew Fischer well as a young man and has now written this biography with sympathy and skill. (Sunday Business Post)
The fascinating biography that for the first time captures the complete, remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer's life.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I suspect that in Britain the book will be read mainly by chess players but the author clearly aims the book primarily at Americans, including non chess players interested in their fallen hero, which means he has to regularly explain features of the game that are basic knowledge for players. More importantly, the author avoids being too critical of Fischer, aware that many American readers will be passionate Fischer fans. For example, Brady explains Fischer's failure to play Karpov for the world championship in 1975 primarily as Fischer's desire for a change from the pattern of a 24 game match established by FIDE for all world championships after 1948 to a first to 10 wins with the holder keeping the title if the score was 9-9. This meant that if the score reached 8-8 then the challenger would have to win 10-8 to become champion.Read more ›
I should also say that I am a personal friend of Larry Remlinger whom I have known since childhood. He played against Fischer in at least one US Junior Championship in the 1950s. He recalled that after the games one day he and Fischer played blitz chess well into the night. Larry told me that Fischer (a year and half younger than Larry) was winning at first but as the night wore on Larry pulled ahead. Larry despised Bobby Fischer as well he might since even then Fischer was a narcissistic spoiled brat of a human being. And of course he only got worse as the paranoia and schizophrenia kicked in.
Frank Brady did not interview Larry Remlinger and Larry did not contact Brady. Too bad.
Nonetheless this is an outstanding biography, painstakingly researched and documented, beautifully edited and written in the kind of prose that tells the story without flourishes or pretension, the kind of "invisible" prose that George Orwell admired and practiced. And it is a "fair and balanced" account, celebrating the genius of Fischer's mastery of chess while not shying away from reporting his great failings as a human being. Moreover it is a great human tragic tale, the sort of story that would engage the mind of Sophocles or Shakespeare, and may someday find its great author to dramatize the sadness.
Yes, sadness, profound and maddening sadness. Note well that there is no review of this outstanding biography written by a master chess player among the Amazon reviews.Read more ›
You won't learn much about playing chess, but you may learn things that will help you live with genius.
This book is hard work, but worth it.
The author knew Fischer personally for a long time but he obviously lost touch and provides little first-hand insight on his later years. He never met Fischer after he disappeared from public view and does not even seem to have tried to contact him.
As he is chairman of the Marshall Chess Club in New York, he concentrates a lot on never-ending accounts of chess competitions and games and lists of players that end up just overwhelming the reader.
He does not dig into Fischer's background to even try and find out who his real father was. Nor does he tell the reader enough about Fischer's extraordinary mother - a Communist who ended up living in East Germany and Nicaragua. Her death is dismissed in the second half of a sentences.
Fischer was technically a Jew as his mother was Jewish but he became an unhinged anti-Semite. The author does not really try to explain this.
Despite these criticism, this is a pretty good book overall and certainly worth reading but I feel a more detached writer could have done a better job. I have not read any other biographies of Fischer so perhaps there is a fuller version of his life out there somewhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A review of the paperback. The author makes use of plenty of sources. The book isn't a great psychological study, just a fairly straightforward surface account of Fischer's life. Read morePublished 15 days ago by James Rasmussen
extraordinary story of this complex and at times loathsome man.Published 22 months ago by mr d b cunnigham
The tragedy of living proof of the old adage about the thin dividing line between genius and madness. The greatest chess player of them all and otherwise basically insane. Read morePublished on 22 Jun. 2013 by mark taha
I bought this book as a present for my husband who loves chess and Bobby Fischer is one of his inspirations. Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2012 by soozy