Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Chess King Bobby Fischer Erupts in Spate of Anti-semitic Remarks

September 3, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Chess genius Bobby Fischer, emerging from decades in seclusion, made headlines this week after spewing anti-Semitic remarks at a news conference in Yugoslavia, the site of his rematch with Russian Boris Spassky.

Fischer, whose mother is Jewish, was well known for his anti-Semitic rancor during the height of his fame when he became the first American world chess champion two decades ago.

As his widely-reported comments from a resort just 70 miles from the war-torn republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina showed, time has not softened his views.

“The United Nations had this pretty good resolution equating Zionism with racism and now it’s been rescinded,” Fischer said Tuesday, the day before his rematch began. “Well, I think it was a good resolution.”

Fischer described communism as a mask for Bolshevism and Bolshevism as a mask for Judaism, and then indicated he was perplexed at being termed an anti- Semite.

“Arabs are also Semites and I’m definitely not anti-Arab,” he said.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Fischer’s remarks prove that “genius is no guarantee of wisdom.”

Recommended from JTA