A world champion was born

Published: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 12:59 a.m.
I try to be responsive to suggestions regarding my column, and especially like to include stories sent by my readers.
For instance, a while back, Al Berlin from Cedar Key told me a story that fits very well in today's article.
Berlin graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and one of his good friends there, whom I'll call Dr. L, happened to be a very good chess player.
One day Dr. L's girlfriend, who also played chess, asked him if he could begin teaching her 6-year-old brother chess, since the little boy showed a lot of talent. Claiming that he's not such a good teacher Dr. L refused, only to see the little boy grow up to become the mighty Bobby Fischer.
Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago on March 9, 1943, only one year after the death of another chess genius of the western hemisphere, Jose Raul Capablanca.
Bobby was the second child in a family where the father was a physician and mother a nurse. Two years later, Bobby's dad left the family and until today nothing is known about his whereabouts.
Bobby's childhood was marked by hardship that left deep scars on the boy. Years later, in a moment of sincerity, Bobby was to declare "children raised without both parents can become wolves."
Bobby's introduction to chess happened through his sister, Joan, who gave him a chess set as a present on his sixth birthday. She also taught him how to move the pieces, without imagining what this would trigger: Bobby became fascinated with the new toy.
He played night and day and only one year later, a more experienced coach took over his training. He started playing in many tournaments, where every victory was a source of joy, and every loss was followed by flowing tears.
Experts claim that Bobby proved from a very young age his deep understanding of the chess game. He not only mastered the tactical aspect of the game, but also its more difficult, strategic part.
But even at that young age, Bobby understood his destiny: the talent he was showing was not enough. A titanic amount of work awaited him and he was ready for it.
He promised himself to keep fighting until he reached his ultimate goal: world champion.
You can reach Gabriel Schwartzmann via e-mail at gasch@fdt.net, or c/o The Gainesville Sun, P.O. Box 147147, Gainesville 32614-7147.

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