Dick Cavett on Fischer – thank you very much!

by ChessBase
2/26/2008 – The reactions to talk show host Dick Cavett's eulogy on Bobby Fischer were moving – not just the ones from our newspage readers, but also those in the New York Times. Cavett has written a new piece thanking the Fischer fans who wrote in. “Thank you, Mr. Cavett, for bringing the human Bobby Fischer back into my life,” as one lady said. Report with a new video you've got to see.

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Feedback from our readers

Here is a small sample from the many reactions to our story on the Dick Cavett eulogy in the New York Times. The newspaper got a lot of feedback too, which was so moving to Cavett that he penned another piece thanking the readers. This is given below.

Joel Murang, Kuching, Malaysia
Thank you for putting that up, it was something special.

Timothy Bogan, Chicago, IL
Brilliant, insightful, and very touching – by far the best eulogy of Bobby I've read, and, amazingly, from someone not in the chess community. Bravo, Mr. Cavett.

Johan Hasselgren, Uppsala, Sweden
Thank you for providing the link to Fischer on the Cavett show. Would be nice if ChessBase (or anyone else) provided a list, including available links, to other shows where he was present.

William Schill FM, Seattle USA
Wonderful story, are Fischer's other appearances on Dick Cavett's show available anywhere?

Joe Fromme, Manitou Springs, CO, USA
Bobby Fischer is my one and only Hero and I will miss him dearly and it will be my personal honor to do two things in his memory. First I am funding and organizing the 2008 Bobby Fischer Memorial Chess Tournament. Secondly, I will visit his gravesite and pay my respects. These things I do are very important to me and will do no matter what financial pains must be endured. Bobby, you are the Greatest World Chess Champion who ever lived and I will never ever forget your Brilliant Genius!!

Gerard Elder, England
I would like to say that Bobby's passing has moved me deeply. Like other contributors here, I did not understand his political views nor agree with them, but as a chess player he was, for me, without equal. His life was a strange tale, full of mystery. I feel that the World is a poorer place without this colourful character. Bobby, we miss you.

Alejandro, Panamá
It was nice to see a picture of Fischer smiling, perhaps enjoying himself.

Bobby and You

By Dick Cavett

Thank you very much.

Much of your reaction to the Bobby Fischer piece even produced a tear on my part — am I becoming a sob sister? — as I read your comments. So many “moved”s and “stunned speechless” and the various ways of saying, as one lady did, “Thank you, Mr. Cavett, for bringing the human Bobby Fischer back into my life.” There was even one “I wept.” (From a famous person who would prefer not to be identified, I’m sure.)

I take a measure of delight at the reaction expressed in various ways as, “Thank you for altering my nasty thoughts about Fischer formed by all the awful stuff about his later years. I had no idea there was a likable human being behind it all.”

Here is how Larry Evans, an American grandmaster, described the kid from Brooklyn who single-handedly collapsed the Soviet Chess Empire: “The most individualistic, intransigent, uncommunicative, uncooperative, solitary, self-contained and independent chess master of all time, the loneliest chess champion in the world. He is also the strongest player in the world. In fact, the strongest player who ever lived.”

I’m grateful to the readers who tried to make me feel better about my failure to “help” Bobby in his illness. Especially those who described their own experiences trying to get through to and help unfortunates in their own lives who suffered mental illness like Fischer’s – and how futile it was.

Dick Cavett's new NYT column and the feedback of his readers

I've Got a Secret

This was a weekly panel game show, produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television, derived from the original Goodson-Todman panel show What's My Line?. Each episode contained two regular contestant rounds, which were basically guessing games where the panel tried to determine a contestant's "secret." Each panelist had 15 seconds of questioning time, after which the contestant was awarded $10. Usually contestants got a maximum of $80. They would also often receive a carton of Winston cigarettes or a supply of whatever product was sponsoring the show at that time. Here are excerpts from an "I've Got a Teen-Age Secret" special aired on March 26, 1958.

"I've Got a Secret" game show with 15-year-old Fischer


  • Cavett on Fischer (with video)
  • Dick Cavett: Bobby and You
  • Robert Hübner on World Champion Fischer
    Former world champion candidate Dr. Robert Hübner thoroughly examines Fischer’s biggest and best known publication, “My Sixty Memorable Games”. This ChessBase monography includes reports on Fischer’s most important chess matches, including contemporary material. The CD contains a database with all of Fischer's games, with an introductory text to the most important matches and tournaments. About half of the games, 462 in all, are annotated, many very extensively. The Fischer CD also contains many pictures and 330 MB of historical film footage.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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