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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy Paperback – October 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Frank Brady, who is as familiar with Fischer as anyone on the New York chess scene possibly could be, has furnished an explanation which neither exonerates nor condemns Mr. Fischer . . . we found it fascinating."—Library Journal
Considered by many the most extraordinary phenomenon in the history of chess and perhaps the strongest player who ever played the game, Robert James "Bobby" Fischer is also, undeniably, one of the most controversial. His unusual demands during tournaments, off-the-board antics, and unexplained forfeiture of his world title have brought him a notoriety uncharacteristic of most chess champions.
Both Fischer's chess brilliance and his uncommon behavior are explored in this comprehensive, carefully researched volume. Frank Brady, noted chess player, teacher, writer, and tournament director, has known Bobby Fischer since the latter was eleven years old. He has been present at various behind-the-scenes episodes in Fischer's tempestuous career, and discussed Fischer with many grandmasters, including several former world champions. That personal involvement adds a special dimension of intimate knowledge to this work.
The book is virtually three books in one: a complete biography, an analysis of 90 representative games that trace Fischer's rise to chess supremacy, and a complete history of the Fischer-Spassky World Championship Match (1972). Also included are 15 pages of cross-table results of Fischer's performance in major tournaments, 16 pages of photographs, as well as reproductions of Fischer's original score sheets and letters.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486259250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486259253
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frank Brady is an acclaimed author of several biographies, including that of Orson Welles, Aristotle Onassis, Barbra Streisand and his most recent biography: ENDGAME: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall -- from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness. A New York Times bestseller, ENDGAME is being published in countries around the world, and is available as an e-book and an audiobook.
Frank Brady first met Bobby Fischer when the young prodigy was a child and Brady was a teen, and he went on as a journalist to cover Fischer's life as the boy from Brooklyn rose to become the first American to win the World Chess Championship.
Brady is a full professor of communications at St. John's University, and the president of the Marshall Chess Club,the most prestigous chess club in the country. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Maxine, a writer and editor.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Welsh on December 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought the first edition of this book by mail order when I was about 16, and devoured it eagerly. In those days world-class chess was relentlessly dominated by the USSR, challenged mainly by other Eastern Europeans and the occasional American like Reshevsky, Evans and the Byrne brothers. Boris Spassky was soon to play "iron Tigran" Petrosian for the world title, and the only wild card seemed to be a crazy teenage genius from New York who could beat anyone at all on his day. Frank Brady's writing captured the sheer excitement of it all. For instance, in a great tournament with most of the best players in the world, Mikhail Tal expected Petrosian to crush the upstart Fischer, "but when Bobby beat the USSR champion the crowd roared".

Brady's style is journalistic, but it fits his subject quite well. This much expanded edition takes Fischer's story all the way to winning the world championship, which is probably a logical place to stop. (Fischer stopped playing chess at that point, so the rest of his life has been lived in a very different world). The book is full of interesting facts that you could not read about anywhere else, and until a professional biographer turns his attention to Fischer - which may never happen, because he is about the least cooperative subject imaginable - it will remain the last word.

The games section is a different story. Only a narrow cross section are given, with notes by Brady that reveal his lack of expertise. They are only there for completeness' sake, and should be read as an extension of the biography. If you want to understand Fischer's chess, read his Collected Games, his own "My 60 Memorable Games" (which is itself very limited in scope, though superb in depth), or Elie Agur's brilliant "Bobby Fischer: His Approach to Chess".
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Eminently readable, but strangely unrevealing. Full of details about all sorts of Fischer tantrums, negotiations, etc., but somehow the real Fischer is absent. Noteworthy is Brady's refusal to write a single word about Fischer's sex life or lack thereof. Brady outlines his career from age six to the end of the World Championship match with Spassky in 1972. One gets the sense that Fischer was unconsciously a master of the psychology of intimidation, but gradually became more of a paranoid schizophrenic. As the book ends and Fischer has secured the world title, the reader can see he is about to leave the world of the sane. Also absent was any explanation, or quotes from Fischer on why he embraced the fundamentalist World Wide Church of God faith and dumped his nominal Jewish identity. I mean, does Fischer pray to a personal God? Does he actually believe in hell fire, etc.? Brady gives no hint. The details about Fischer's incredible work ethic and maniacal devotion to the game, however, help us to see how he became at the time the greatest chess player in the history of the game. Also good were the many glimpses of the chess players and personalities of the times, including Evans, Cramer, Edmunson, Reschevsky, Petrosian, Tal, Spassky, and others.
The other thing that Brady is mum on is Fischer's famous prejudices. Brady spares us Fischer's anti-Semitism, etc. There are almost no quotes of Fischer's famous stupidities. When Brady talks about the article in Harper's Magazine by Ralph Ginzburg in 1961 he says that "Bobby is depicted as a monster of egotism, scornful of everything outside himself and the game" who has a "hopeless vulgarity." But Brady quotes nary a word to show us what Fischer supposedly said.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hunt on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Frank Brady's "Profile of a Prodigy" is a frustrating combination of good and bad. The good first: Brady gives fascinating behind-the-scenes information that I'd read nowhere else, giving you the sense that you are there. The bad: the book is riddled with mistakes, stuff you wouldn't find in a High School newspaper! Dates and misstatements of facts, too numerous to mention. And some chessic misjudgements too, like when Brady says, speaking of the 1972 Title Match, that Fischer varied his opening repertoire to an English Opening in Game 8 from the QGD of Game 6. But it wasn't Fischer who varied; he played 1.c4 in both games. It was Spassky's reply in game 8 that changed the opening. The book would've benefitted from a good editor, one who knows how to play chess. But despite all this, I'd still recommend the book. It's a fascinating read.

Bob Hunt, Hillsborough, N.J.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Abhay Avachat on January 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
As one of the reviews says, this can be a good book for some interested in the life of one of the most famous players of all the time. Although, even in that aspect, it is not entirely satisfying. My interest in Fisher is more in his games. And for his games, I would strongly advise the reader to look elsewhere. The notes and annotations are superficial and not at all helpful. The aim of the book may not be to improve your chess, but Fischer games deserve far better treatment than this one does. I was very disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
An excellent and very detailed biography, complete with strong insight into the unique personality of the greatest American chess player of the 20th Century. I found this book to be a quite interesting pleasure to read. The chapters on the 1972 World Championship Match were satisfying indeed. This book gives you a good background to the present ongoing Russian/Soviet domination of the game at it's highest levels. It makes you think of the pity inherent in Fischer not defending his hard earned title.
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