I checked out Google News when I got in to work today and one of the top articles was announcing the death of Bobby Fischer. Bobby Fischer was a chess prodigy - attaining the level of grand master at the age of 15, and becoming the world champion when he was still quite young. Then he disappeared for long periods of time - occasionally coming back to defeat everyone.
Until recently, the only knowledge I had of him was from the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. It's an amazing movie, that really isn't about Bobby Fischer at all, but about Joshua Waitzkin, also a chess prodigy. Here is the synopsis from RottenTomatoes.com:
Though he's only seven, Josh looks at a chessboard and anticipates moves that mature chess players don't even see. He's a malleable young boy with an incredible talent for the game of masterminds. When Josh begins honing his talent, playing a speedy version of the game called "blitz" with hustlers and hobos, his father decides to take him to world reknowned coach Bruce Pandolfini, who claims Josh may well be the second coming of chess legend Bobby Fischer. But family struggles ensue when the mother worries that in cultivating the genius, they may be hurting the child.
It really is a wonderful movie, and very family friendly. I don't know anyone that I wouldn't recommend it to. I always think of it when I see people playing chess, especially in a park.
Awhile back, I saw an article about Bobby Fischer. He'd been invited to live in Iceland, and the article touched on some bizarre behavior of his. Out of curiosity I looked up his article on Wikipedia. It seems he was not just a recluse, but, in my opinion, definitely on the crazy side.