Rare Bobby Fischer images!

Recently, photo images have surfaced of Bobby Fischer during a trip to the Philippines. These pictures show an apparently contented Fischer reveling with good friends and enjoying the scenery. Of course, Fischer would frequent the Philippines as well as Japan as a refuge from what he regarded was an increasingly untenable relationship with his home country.

Bobby Fischer

There were a number of touching photos of Bobby Fischer in the Philippines.

The source of these pictures are unclear, but earlier this year Rex Sinquefield, the founder of the beautiful Chess Club of St. Louis, purchased possessions of Fischer from his storage locker in Pasadena. It was thought that these items were sold when the locker bill was not paid, but apparently there were additional items left.

The pictures featured were taken in 1973 and 1974 in the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong. The photos include Fischer on a boat with the young Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos. Another familiar face is the legendary chess patriarch Florencio Campomanes.

These were much happier times for Fischer and preceded what would become a self-imposed 20-year exile. He then played the infamous match with Boris Spassky in 1992. This match apparently violated U.S. sanctions and Fischer would never touch U.S. soil again. He died in January of last year in Iceland and is buried there.

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

12 Comments

  1. Bobby Fischer’s visit to the Philippines in 1967
    for the “Beat Bobby Fischer” chess matches

    Bobby Fischer’s visit to the Philippines 1973
    with President Ferdinand Marcos

    More photos of Bobby Fischer in Philippines

    Photos linked from ChessBase.

  2. It’s nice to see him , in the 197xs, when he was at his best, relaxed and not having to deal with all the BS to come.

    Well done guys!

  3. Dear Dr. Shabazz,

    The lady with Bobby in the picture above is an unidentified Filipina, not Miyoko Watai. Please make the correction.

    Thanks and regards,
    Elmer D Sangalang
    Manila, the Philippines

  4. Not Bobby Fischer’s sister. He had one older sister, Joan Targ (Fischer), who lived in Palo Alto, California in 1973. Miss Fischer escorted young Bobby on his tour of the USSR after Bobby won the US Championship at age 14 but, by 1973, the two were estranged.

  5. “…These were much happier times for Fischer and preceded what would become a self-imposed 20-year exile.”

    I grew up in the same cult (Worldwide Church of God) which Bobby joined in 1962. There are so many, many lies (some told out of ignorance, others made up as deliberate, malicious fiction). I was in the cult and did not know Bobby F. was out in the Pasadena, CA headquarters attending. The last year he tithed was 1974. My family joined in the 1970’s while Bobby was attending, and I finally ended my time in the cult around 1991. Still, the prophecies of Armstrong were the same. Terror doctrines about the book of Revelation forecasting “Nazis are going to rise up in Europe and invade the U.S. and Britain” (and myself and Bobby were under the belief that we were as ‘cousins to Jews,’ and were part of the ’10 lost tribes of Israel’. (The tribes ‘Manasseh’ and ‘Ephraim’). The Nazis were going to arise in their ‘second coming’ and persecute the ‘unworthy to escape to the place of safety’. Bobby believed the church was going to flee in 1972 but it didn’t. He was following a false prophet and gave Armstrong, in his words ‘gave all my money’. NY Times reported Bobby was reportedly, ‘destitute’ and ‘replaying chess games and reading Nazi literature’ (1973).

    The same thing happened to me and others. When the prophecy timeline approached (Armstrong also said the ‘End Time’ would occur when you see the Berlin Wall fall) so in 1989, I became alarmed and began the search to find Nazi literature. They were prophesied to kill us because we kept the Saturday sabbath and were like the Jews. In 1991, I got my first opportunity from a PBS television program which mistakenly aired the address of an organization. From there, I began writing people in far right and asking questions such as “Why do you hate people only because of the day they worship on?!” The answer back from neo-Nazis was not what Armstrong claimed. Armstrong lied about Nazis just like he lied about the Bible. Between 1991-1993 I became brainwashed in their ideology just like Bobby did. I married one of the far right. He murdered and killed innocent people. It destroyed what remained of my sanity. Bobby too. He gave an interview in 1977 about the devastating mental toll Armstrong had on him. There are so many lies and speculation and theories about what happened to Bobby and so much slander. I lived through it myself. I saw firsthand what that cult did. And me and Bobby were not alone to seek out nazi publications, there were others I received vague reports of over the years who got lost in Far Right ideology too. So much ignorance, such as this:

    “He disowned his Jewish roots and joined Worldwide Church of God in mid-1960 only to accuse it in 1977 of being Satanic.”

    Joining the WCG in 1962 didn’t change much, if supposedly ‘disowning his Jewish roots’. Preposterous… since Bobby traded it in to keep the Jewish holy days, Jewish sabbath, Jewish meat laws and subjected to great admiration of Jews and Israel for 15 years of his life, and all the rigid, strict pseudo-Jewish regulations outsiders don’t seem to understand about “Armstrongism,” which most people on the outside mistook for “Jewish”, anyway. Some are apparently under the delusion that Bobby fled from his “Jewish origins”. For all practical purposes, Bobby probably accepted Armstrongism because it was so SIMILAR to Judaism. Bobby would’ve seen himself as a living descendant of Israel, a “spiritual cousin” of Jews, of the Hebrew tribes of “Manasseh and Ephraim” and “Satan’s Nazis” really had it in for the Jews & “lost tribes of Israel” (Manasseh and Ephraim) and were to prophetically arise in 1972, invading the U.S. and Britain. The media didn’t know that, either. Too busy slandering to fact-check.
    “Satanic” is a real good word to describe the WCG. Armstrong extolled the ‘mighty and wondrous power of Satan’ and his righthand man Hitler. To hear Armstrong talk, Hitler was supernatural, “beyond the human realm” and for Armstrong’s drilled in terror of Hitler, people should open their bank accounts wide if they want to make a bid to survive the coming plagues and “Great Tribulation” or perish in the Nazi Death Camps. Neighbors and extended family who actually knew how the religion affected them and those attending, sometimes referred to it as “The Devil’s Religion.” Attending a Baptist Church with my Grandmom resulted in my Dad becoming enraged and shaking his fist in my face about the “true sabbath”. Grandmom overheard the yelling in the distance, when next I saw her she was in tears and said she’d never have me back to church with her. When a relative married outside the church she was excommunicated… kicked out and shunned. So, my church brother Bobby called it “Satanic”? Well that’s fitting in my opinion. It was a manipulative, controlling CULT.

    Or this, speculation:

    “…some wounds never heal. Bobby’s mind was scarred by a sense of being deserted and rejected by his father. But not all children from broken homes become wolves.”

    And, my father was around till the day he died. My parents married in the 1950’s and stayed married till death did them part and yet I still ended up where Bobby Fischer did. Talking about “Evil” and “Jews” in the same breath. I guess it was because “my Dad stayed around”?
    All the speculations as to how a person could devolve from World Chess Champion into a radical rightwing fanatic are Non sequitur…. So many non-explanations for Bobby’s “enigmatic disappearance” that left people wondering, “Whatever happened to Bobby Fischer?” by people who know nothing about
    1. Armstrong’s WWCG Cult AND
    2. Far Right and its Cultic ideology
    TWO CULTS. Not just one cult. Try seeing your way out of two cults see if you’re up to the challenge, when a World Chess Champion couldn’t see his way out of it. TRY IT. Armstrong happened… Armstrong’s sick, depraved terrorism about Biblical Prophecies of “Nazis rising as a fulfillment of the Beast in Revelation” and coming to get us is what happened… 15 years of NON-ENDING TERROR about being placed in extermination camps drilled into mine and Bobby Fischer’s mind… until all that’s left to do is get sick of sitting around and waiting for death, but search out your killers, learn about them and confront your worst fear. The Nazi Wolf comes dressed in sheep’s clothing, of course. Bobby could not see through the deceit. I could not see through the deceit. “Nazi Propaganda” just like “Communist Propaganda” has a real bad reputation because it is not easily seen through! Bobby got vacuumed into it. I got vacuumed into it. There’s still other people out there alone, with no support of like-minded people who survived and overcame both cults. Because of the way the vicious, ignorant, lying media has slandered Bobby those cult victims will surely be reluctant to ever come forward and admit the toll of devastation Armstrong had on their personal lives as well, just as I kept silent until 2017 when I learned “Bobby Fischer was in the Worldwide Church of God?!” and… for 15 years. The toll is up to: TWO LIVES DESTROYED. How many more? For that, I can’t be silent any longer.

    I have included the link to the page I set up dedicated to explaining my spiral from the Worldwide Church of God cult, into far right ideology, as well as putting Bobby’s spiral from Worldwide Church of God cult into far right ideology. There are still others out there. It is too late for Bobby, and I did find my way out of this 2-cult mind trap (Armstrong did not teach antisemitic although some in the media tried to lie and claim it did… Armstrong served as a type of ‘Gateway’ that some did seek out the literature because of Armstrong’s prophecies of terror). We were terrorized for over a decade. (Bobby was in the cult 15 years) (I was in the cult for 18 years).

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