Chess as psychic murder...? least at the highest levels, according Bobby Fischer. With his death on January 17th, 2008 (at the age of 64), now might be a good time to look at his life and game he loved.

He was the first (and currently only) World Chess Championn from America (unless you count Wilhelm Steinitz, who won in 1886 but didn't become an American citizen until 1888). Fischer took the title in 1972; since the previous seven champions were Russian, this created quite a stir in a cold-war crazed world. Three years later he forfeited his title and fell into relative (and enigmatic) obscurity.

Want to know more? For details on his life, try a general biography, but I recommend you skip right to the good stuff and read Bobby Fischer Goes to War, which focuses on his championship-winning game. To truly understand him you also really need to read the books he wrote on chess. His strategy is pretty advanced, however, so you might want to start with a simpler book on chess (we have many, for all age groups and skill levels).

You also might enjoy Searching for Bobby Fischer, a book (and DVD) about child chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin. Bobby Fischer doesn't actually make an appearance, but several other big names in the chess world do make cameos.