Bobby Fischer. This enigmatic genius has elevated the game to hitherto unimaginable heights, reaching the front pages of the world's newspapers and more than doubling the number of registered players in the Western World. Fischer's popularization of the game he loves has also had a pronounced effect on chess literature. Since December 1970 when he began his successful journey on the road to the World Championship title, more chess magazines have been born, more newspapers have published chess columns, and many more chess books have appeared on the market than ever before over the same time span. It surprises me that only a small handful of these books have been about Fischer.
I must thank Bobby Fischer for being Bobby Fischer. The beauty of his games, the clarity of his play, and the brilliance of his ideas have made him an artist of the same stature as Brahms, Rembrandt, and Shakespeare.
There can be no doubt that Bobby Fischer is the most superlative chess player that has ever lived. His results up to the time that he defeated Spassky in Reykjavik indicate that his playing strength had already surpassed zeniths reached by Alekhine, Botvinnik, Capablanca and Lasker who had all occupied the World Champion's throne before him. Fischer is a more controversial figure than Alekhine or Staunton. He is more dedicated to the game than were Capablanca and Steinitz. He is also fast becoming the most prolifically biographed player in the history of chess.
From his results we can safely conclude that Robert James Fischer is the strongest chess player the world has ever known. From the diversity of openings that he has played with a profound understanding, it is clear that in that area of the game his knowledge has never before been equaled. The precision with which he plays the endgame is almost frightening. Even strong Grandmasters cannot treat a "book draw" too lightly. His impeccable and often original handling of all types of middle game positions leaves nothing lacking.