Saturday, June 29, 2013
What is genius?
Chess / By Shelby Lyman
on June 29, 2013 - 8:08 AM
What is genius? It is an edifice built of solitude. Our inner spirit drives it forth.
So it was with the young Boris Spassky, who recounted, as in a dream, his first sight of the gleaming tables and chess pieces at a pavilion in Finland Bay, north of Leningrad.
And with the young Bobby Fischer encountering his first love, chess.
It is passion married to wonder. It is a voyage of discovery.
Einstein with usual honesty and clarity said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”
Genius discovers a world large or small. Cosmic or 64 small squares, a universe in itself.
So Bobby saw and fell in love.
He contested his sister, Joan, on the tiny plastic set from a candy store. Mom and pop got their few cents, Bobby entered a new world.
Joan tired of the sport.
But Bobby had no doubts.
He played both sides, seeking out its secrets.
He discovered and built on them, astonishing himself and the rest.
In a demonstration of precocity – extraordinary for its time – Fischer became a grandmaster at the age of 15 years and 6 months.
Although his career was sadly short, no chess player has been more dominant in his time.